This weekend Seoul Hiking Group took our usual night bus to Saryangdo was pleasantly uneventful. Little did I know but my 3rd trip to the island would be just as stunning as the first. A true testamant to the natural beauty Saryangdo possesses. We arrived at Goseong Dino Park at 5am for a quick hike to fossilized dinosaur footprints and a gorgeous sunrise among the islands.
Saryangdo is one of the best hikes in all of Asia!
As the mist cleared we jumped back on the bus to the ferry terminal. Arriving early we enjoyed a breakfast of muffins and fruit while watching the calm morning water as locals got to work on their boats.
The 40 minute ferry was full of excitement with Saryangdo coming into full view as the hikers’ anticipation grew! We had to walked to our pension; tucked away in a quaint fishing village on the north side o the island.
Once there everyone dropped off bags and geared up at the only store in town before promptly climbing the first peak. Its funny how even these remote towns have similarities to Korean big cities. Wandering around you see the same multicolored umbrellas and brightly clothed ajummas (old women) selling goods on the street.
An experienced hiker can reach the top in 30 minutes. An experienced hiker knows to take time and enjoy the views along the way. We made it to that summit in about an hour ;).
Finally on the ridge everyone understood why I promoted this as my favorite hike in Korea. It was my 3rd time here and every moment was just as breathtaking as the first! We set out at a leisurely pace up the rocks, ropes & stairs with regular photo ops.
The hike isn’t too difficult even for a novice. Sure there are some more technical parts but the biggest issue on Saryangdo is a fear of heights. Unfortunately those with acrophobia usually have trouble on top of mountains anyway.
That fear made this hike an even bigger challenge for some. But the great thing about Seoul Hiking Group is that we are full of patient, kind hearted people. No really, we are! Anytime someone needed a break or got nervous a stranger would jump in with encouraging words and helping them make the decision to trek onward or turn back.
Its impressive to watch someone come to such an obstacle and overcome that hurdle in the same day. I’ve gotta give a shoutout to the two in my group who struggled at times and proved to be some of the strongest in our troop at others. You know who you are! (keeping it anonymous on the internet)
While at the top Ronda and I couldn’t resist the urge to practice some Acroyoga with this stunning backdrop. It started with shouts of caution which quickly turned into a low applause as “ooo’s” & “aaaahh’s” spread among the Koreans and foreigners. Don’t worry mom (or Ronda’s mom) we make sure there’s plenty of flat ground and only try moves that we’ve perfected down below 😉
Enjoy the rest of these photos and hope to see you on a trip soon!