Panorama of Gwangju from the side of Mudeungsan
I did the “six hour” hike on Mt. Mudeung (무등산) a couple days ago. Today’s photo is from about an hour in. Believe it or not, after taking this photo I made it to the top of the mountain and then all the way back down into the city pictured below where I took the Gwangju Subway for the first time to get back to my bike. The hike actually took me about eight hours, but I took lots of photos along the way and got slightly lost once as well. Note if you ever plan to do this hike (especially in summer when it’s in the 80s or 90s and humid) that you can fill up your water bottles at Jangbuljae Pass. My guidebook (2010 edition of Lonely Planet Korea) says restaurant shacks can be found along the way, but they have all been cleared out since this became a National Park. In other words, bring your own food. Also note that if you ask the ranger at Jangbuljae how much farther it is to the Hakdong-Jeungsimsa Subway Station (학동·증심사입구역) and he tells you two hours, don’t believe him. Even on fresh, running legs I couldn’t have made it that far in two hours. As it was, my legs were already spent, and the last few hours were rather difficult even though it was all downhill.