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Chungjangsa Shrine (충장사) in Mount Mudeung National Park

Chungjangsa Shrine gwangju south korea 무등산국립공원

Chungjangsa Shrine (충장사)

I had a day with no plans in Gwangju, and the weather forecast was for “clear” (for once). I wanted to check out the nearby national park. My guidebook said to get on Bus 1187 at the bus terminal. I had never been to the bus terminal before, and my map was pretty bad. I finally gave up trying to get there by bike, parked, and walked over the train tracks via a foot bridge. On the other side I realized I wasn’t going to find the bus terminal easily, it was hot, and I was frustrated so I caught a cab. I told the cab driver I wanted to go to Mt. Mudeung. He made it sound like that wasn’t possible. I’m not sure if he thought I meant I wanted him to actually take me to top or if he just didn’t want to go there because it was morning and he would have to come back down with an empty cab. In any event, I assumed the former and tried to explain that I wanted him to take me to where the buses drop people off. He understood bus, and proceeded to take me to a bus stop. Oh well. At least I could now take a bus into the park.

Bus 1187 (fare only 1200 Won or about $1), it turns out, stops all over the place including the Gwangju Train Station, a place I could have easily found had I known it stopped there.

The park was incredible–like entering another world. I hiked around for four hours or so before ending up at Chungjansa, pictured here. This isn’t one of the more famous shrines or temples in the park, but it was pretty darn cool since the weather was fantastic and I had the place to myself.

Next time I’ll take a different route. You can easily head into Mt. Mudeung National Park (무등산국립공원) numerous times and never hike the same trail twice.

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