MY PARADISE: Hiking on Mount Dobongsan
Editor's Note: Here's another story that will be featured in our Destination Paradise magazine that hits the streets in February. Caleb and others who write also are eligible for a set of luggage or an iPad Mini tablet. You still have plenty of time to submit your own story.
I have hiked in many areas of Korea, but I would have to say that my favorite is Mount Dobongsan. Hiking the main trail is never boring. There are always a springs welling up, old men playing janggi (Korean chess), and the occasional saxophone player looking for tips. And on one particular day, finding a Buddhist temple in the mist that surrounded the mountain was like finding a precious treasure.
The calm atmosphere in these mountain temples is something that I have never experienced anywhere else. Halfway up the mountain I encountered some locals who were kind enough to invite me into their circle and we proceeded to share our food. We might not have been able to understand each others' languages, but we communicated just fine over a shared bottle of rice soju. At the top of Mount Dobongsan there are distinctive rocks that have been shaped by wind and rain over the years.
On these rocks I could see the remnants of many rock climbing expeditions. Hiking along the ridge line offered an amazing view of the surrounding nature and the urban landscape beyond. I am most at home when I am in nature, and I think Mount Dobongsan is the best experience Korea has to offer near Camp Casey.