Friday, March 15, 2013

Asian Eyes' Korea - Ulsanbawi Peak

Signboard of Ulsanbawi 
featuring 6 peaks
         Day 5, Nov/21/2012, 10.30 am: As we make our exit from the cable car, Kent set the time to gather back for the trip down. With that he then showed us the way up to the final ascent to Ulsanbawi. The park management had laid down makeshift used tires on the mountain trail for easier access the top. I saw a couple in front of me, with the lady in high heel and felt pity for her as her high heel sole get caught in the gap between the tire strips every other steps. Finally she took off her shoes and walked bare footed up the peak. 
         At the summit, it is a bird's eye view of nearly 360 degree panoramic view. Only the Daechongbong Peak, that had a Korean flag affixed to it, was higher but we did not attempt to climb it as instructed by Jeff for our safety. Again this site was portrayed in yet many Korean drama. Ulsanbawi (bawi = peak) consist of 6 granite peaks, each bearing a width of 4 km. You can see the spectacular scenery of Seorak Mountain, the East Sea, Dalma Peak, and Haksapyeong Reservoir from the top. There are 3 varying theories as to what the name Ulsanbawi implies: that it looks like a fence, that its name was copied from Ulsan of Gyeongsangnam-do, and that the Korean term of “crying mountain” was translated into Chinese characters. Because of the way the whole mountain reverberates the sound of  thunder in rain, it is also referred to as Cheonhusan. It used to be an arduous 4 km hike up that takes roughly two hours to reach the peak, but now it was cut short by the cable car ride. It is now roughly a 15 minutes hike from the cable car upper station to the mountain top. Views from the top are simply breathtaking.
          We took some pictures and stayed up there for like 15 minutes before making our way down to the cable station. The windy condition also makes it harder to stay long. Here are some pictures I took at Ulsanbawi Peak:
Location: Seoraksan-ro, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea.
Winding walkway up to Ulsanbawi. We noted the forest at that national parks does not have big trees, more like shrubs. We were later told by Kent why there were no big trees in the area or the whole of Korea which I will write in later blog.
An easier path to walk on as the park management laid worn recycle tire strips. 
On closer look on the recycled tires, I noticed the gap which proven to be hazardous to the lady in high heel. In our short time there we met 2 incidences of lady sprained their legs as their high heel shoes got caught by the tires walkway. Poor them!
Mummy M nearing the peak all cheer and smile. Luckily she was in sport shoes, not high heels
"The peak, the peak", shouted Little M at the peak, waving at us, urging us to climb faster. 
An informative signboard about Ulsanbawi at the peak.
Beyond the signboard is sheer drop cliff, and other surrounding peaks. 
Mummy M posing at the foothill of Daechongbong Peak while Little M and Middle M are far ahead,climbing up the peak.
One for the family album at the peak. Alas, Mummy M don't allowed us to climb up Daechongbong Peak.
Just by peering over the sheer drop cliff, my stomach starts to churn and I had a queer feeling of heights.
Tourist posed for picture against Daechongbong Peak with it's white 
Korean flag on top
Tourists, especially the elders, took a breather before trekking down again to the cable upper station.

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