My 2 months stay in Jeonju, South Korea made me an independent person. I always go out alone every weekday because everyone has their own schedule. My brother-in-law and sister have their work, also my nephew and niece are in school. So at day, I live and explore independently. Doing things alone got me always thrilled and challenged. Since I had memorized the bus routes to major tourist attractions in Jeonju, I went alone to this holy mountain called Moaksan, one of the most popular hiking mountains in Jeonju.
Moaksan is accessible by the city bus and it took 30 minutes or more. When I arrived at the station, there are a lot of coffee shop, restaurants, and hiking stalls. I honestly don’t know where to start, I just went observe everyone where they will go. After observing them, my feet led me to those staircases and it made me feel relax because I thought it will be easy hiking.
At the start of my hike, there are also people climbing up and down on the way. After 20 minutes, I thought it will be just staircases but it’s not. There are these areas where you will be actually thrilled and challenged. So you must really bring water or any snacks in your bag.
My goal is to reach the mountain peak which is 3.3km away from the starting point. There are signs where you will go, so you will not get lost. After 30 minutes of hiking, I am surprised that there are a lot of attractions in the area which made me curious! Such as temples, graves, view decks, and rest areas. So, I took a lot of re-routes, just to see and explore these places.
After an hour, my feet really hurt a lot and It made me think not to go to the peak and just go back down. But, I still go climbing up despite having the thought of giving up. As I go deep in the mountains alone, there are things that the mountains made to me. It is unexplainable but it somehow heals and refreshes my mind, heart, and soul. As I read somewhere, going inside these forests will actually heal whatever is hurting you, physically, mentally and emotionally.
After 3 hours of hiking, I finally reached the peak of the mountain. And it surprised me because it is actually a military based area. You can rest inside of it and enjoy the majestic view of the mountains. There is also a telescope where you can see the beautiful city of Jeonju. Most of the people are adults and elders! There is a group of Ahjumma’s and Ahjussi’s offered me a kimbap and asked me what is my nationality.
I have 30 minutes rest in the area and decided to go down fast because it is already 3 pm. I am afraid when it becomes dark. But, I thought it will be just an easy way go down but it’s not. I cannot find the stairway to go down! Instead, there is this rope where you can use to go down the rocky and scary trail. I guess, it is the other trail I took up, and it made me feel scared because there are no people on the way.
But, luckily after an hour, I found a temple where there are free water and snack. So, I took a rest for a while. The temple looks scary too, and there is just one elderly who assisted me. Along the way down, I also found rivers and mini-falls! And the bottom of it, I saw people already and it’s a sign I am near.
The adventure I had experienced on this mountain is extraordinary!