Ulleungdo: Seonginbong Peak

June 12, 2011

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For my first full non-sick day on Ulleungdo, our Discover Korea tour group went on a bus to the hot spots around the island. I say hot spots, but other than some decent hiking (which is very decent), there’s next to nothing to do on Ulleung:

– Little in the way of culture or history, with the exception of the Dokdo Museum
– Most of the tourism surrounding the island is based on Dokdo and ajumma and ajussi going for weekend hikes
– There are no beaches or anything other than rock formations around the shores. While some of these are rather impressive, it’s not exactly an exciting way to spend the day, looking at rocks (pretty much sums up the Dokdo experience as well).

One thing I will say to those going: a weekend is enough. And be sure to enjoy some raw squid from the seafood market and pumpkin candy and bread from the bakery. I have to admit a certain preference to pumpkin, and when I saw Ulleung shops offering pumpkin makgeolli (막걸리), well… let’s just say the island has more to offer than rocks.

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Take the main peak, Seonginbong. Whether you’re starting from the north end of the island (북면) or in the middle of the caldera (it was a volcano at some point), this peak is a good day offering some of the best views of the East Sea. Unfortunately, it was rather hazy that Sunday, so we didn’t have a chance to see Dokdo or the Korean peninsula from on high, but it was nice being on a mountain again.

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The weather here has just started to warm up again, but that’s hardly an excuse for not taking advantage of some great climbs just short bus rides away from me. Hiking in Korea, like drinking, bathing, and noraebang, is probably one of the more social activities one can engage in. Thus you see company outings on mountains for team-building, and few hikers hoofing it alone. With few exceptions, almost everyone is dressed in the same fashion: the official expensive hiking boots, jumpsuit, hiking poles, sunglasses, and (for ajumma), sun visors.

One Response to Ulleungdo: Seonginbong Peak

  1. It’s a Young World | Once A Traveler on June 12, 2011 at 3:24 am

    […] ajussi. I can still run with the best of them. I beat all the “kids” on the climb up to Seonginbong Peak on Ulleungdo. I still have my youthful looks and my amazing […]

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