Its been an incredibly busy fall with my the last 4 of my masters classes crammed into this semester on top of normal teaching. I’ve been fortunate enough to take a few hiking breaks in Seoul and even got out to Seoraksan National Park and hiked Dinosaur Ridge again for some much needed nature time to de-stress and look forward to putting out an ultimate guide to Seoraksan soon. Until then enjoy these photos from my latest night hikes!
One of my favorite things to do in Seoul is night hiking! Since the summer I’ve managed to get on 3 night hikes with my SHG buddy, Warren. Ansan, Ungmyeonsan and Ingwansan have yielded completely different views but no matter where you hike it’ll surely be an enjoyable evening.
A temple near Ansan turned out to be more interesting then the hazy views we got one lonely Thursday. Fall usually has the clearest skies but this night was a fluke. Rather than be disappointed I changed my angle to capture some cool glows coming off the monastery.
The clearest night came when hiking Ingwansan and we got a great view with both Lotte Tower and North Seoul Tower on Namsan. Unfortunately I was late and missed Warren that time but was able to join up with a few stragglers to enjoy the clearest night I’ve ever seen in Seoul!
Trekking in South Korea
We met at Gyeongbukgung Station exit 1 and went straight for a block or two before veering right towards the mountain. Ingwansan’s location near the Presidential Blue House & Royal Palaces give it a lot of military activity and Tuesday night was even more secure because of a national holiday. We saw signs saying the trails were closed from 00:00 Monday until 00:00 Tuesday and figured that we were safe to hike since it was presently 19:00 on Tuesday.
Skipping past the rope we started climbing and found an amazing vantage point! Unfortunately in the middle of taking photos a military guard came down to tell us we couldn’t hike tonight. He only spoke about 5 words of English so we apologized and said we wouldn’t go any further but weren’t ready to give up this perfect view. Everyone in my small group had hiked a few mountains at night and we were all in awe at how clear the skies were. The last few nights it rained and must have cleaned up all the pollution giving us a view well past Namsan tower all the way to the Lotte tower in Gangnam!
10 minutes later the guard came back with a friend who spoke about 10 more words of English but context told us it was time to go. We trekked back down disappointed that we couldn’t get a higher view on such a clear night.
South Korea Travel Guide
Ungmyeonsan is south of the Han River and gives a slightly different view from most of our usual mountains. The city lights still light up in a beautiful array and you get a great view of Seoul’s massive boulevards with Namsan Tower in the distance.