Vegan's Chronicles + [seoul]

Mt. Achasan (aka, my backyard)

After 4 years of living in my current apartment by Gunja Station, I've decided that it's time to relocate! Don't worry, I'm not leaving the country. I'm just going a hop and a skip away to the Jamsil area where I will be sharing a big-ass apartment with 4 other people (at least that's the plan right now)! Yup, I'm going to have roommates! Nothing is finalized yet, but I've notified my landlord and the realtors, so hopefully they will find someone to take over my current contract within a month or so. Eeek! I've been wanting to move for a while now, not because I don't like my current apartment or this area, but mostly because I want a change of scenery. Living in one location for this long can put one in a bit of a rut, and I've just been feeling very stagnant. This has been a big decision for me, and I've gone back and forth on it more times than I can count, but I think it's time. I think it will be good for me to experience a new part of Seoul, shake things up a bit.

Anyway, I'll share more details later, as things are still a bit up in the air, but just knowing that I'll be leaving my neighborhood has got me rather sentimental. I'm trying to appreciate all the best things about Gwangjin-gu while I'm still here.

Achasan Yongmasang hike

For example, call me pathetic but I've been living near Mt. Achasan for about 4 years, but only very recently did I decide to actually hike it! Pathetic, I know! I always looked at it from a distance and told myself that I needed to go hiking there, but then I just never got round to it. I guess it's only when you're about to leave do you realize the importance of appreciating something right in your back yard. So for the past few weeks, I've been hiking Achasan about once a week. I absolutely love it and can't believe I waited this long. Every time, I find new trails and new views of the city, and I feel so renewed and alive after.

Achasan Yongmasang hike

The hike itself is not very steep at all and you can hike up to the peak of Achasan in about 30 minutes, although I usually continue onto Yongmasan (the connecting mountain on the left of the map), for about a 2-hour hike in total. It's not the most strenuous hike, but it is a good butt and leg workout, and it's a good break from the running routine. Buns of steel!

Here are some photos I've snapped on my hikes:

Achasan Yongmasang hike
Achasan hike
Achasan Yongmasang hike
Achasan Yongmasang hike
Achasan Yongmasang hike
Achasan Yongmasang hike
Achasan hike

One of the many trails led to this small, tranquil Buddhist temple, hidden on the side of the mountain. (please note that the symbol on the temple is not a Nazi swastika, but an ancient buddhist symbol signifying good luck.)

Achasan hike
Achasan hike

There was a section in the side of the mountain with so many different buddha and monk figurines.

Achasan hike
Achasan hike
Achasan hike

While there are always quite a lot of hiking ajumas and ajushis on the main trails with their mini dogs and hiking poles, there are also plenty of lesser-traveled paths to find some solitude. Ah, don't you just love being amongst trees?

Achasan hike
Achasan hike

Yay, it's warm enough to wear shorts outside! I'm grateful for these shawty legs that are strong enough to go hiking. :)

Achasan hike

At the end of one of the trails, I walked though this neighborhood with some sweet murals by the street.

Achasan hike
Achasan hike

So yea. I heart Achasan. It's good for beginner hikers and those who just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Oh, and let's not forget that when you return to the bottom, you can reward your hard work with a delicious vegan feast at the Achasan Loving Hut buffet! Hold on, why am I moving??

Directions: Achasan Station, Line 5, Exit 2. Walk straight to the next intersection and turn left. Walk straight til you reach a T-intersection and turn right. Walk up the hill, passing a temple on your left, until you reach an elementary school. Follow the road around the edge of the school campus and it will take you to the entrance of Achasan.

More info here.