Bukhansan: Panorama from on High

If you happened to be in Seoul and you want to have communion with nature in a Korean way, then Bukhansan or Mount Bukhan is worth a visit.

One of Bukhansan's Summit

This mountain is very close to the city center of Seoul. This place is near Dokbawi station in the northern area of the city. From the station, you have to walk around 300 meters to get to the entrance of the hiking trail.

At the time of my visit, I was amazed to find a corn plantation at the trail's entrance. It reminded me of my childhood trek in the mountains of Bacacay where there were lots of corn plantations.

The corn farm at the entrance of the hiking trail.

Also at the foot of Bukhansan, one can find a Buddhist temple just perfect for meditation before climbing up the mountain or for cooling down after the hike.

A Buddhist temple at the foot of the mountain. 

I was privilege that Jina, a Korean friend of mine accompanied me in this adventure. She knew quite well the way to the mountain's summit. She told me that if she wants to relax, she would climb the mountain and she has been doing it since childhood.

There are picnic areas in flatter parts of the mountain. These are covered in the shades of trees. That is why if you are there it feels cool.

There are areas in the mountain which offers a panoramic view of the city. The city looks like a rugged jewel nestled in the midst of mountain ranges.

View from Bukhansan overlooking the city.

There is a certain place in Bukhansan where you can find a stream with crystal clear water. It is believed that the water is medicinal that is why when you happened to be in that place, a dip cannot be resisted.

The crystal clear water of a stream in the mountain.

I tried dipping my feet in the stream to have a cool feeling after a long hike from the trail's entrance. We met there a number of Koreans, some are older, some are younger.

One learning I had was when I was about to topple layers of stone left at the side of the stream. Jina told me that I should be careful not to topple those stones because it was made by someone asking for favor from the deity.

A Korean practice of putting stones one on top of another. This is 
done for asking favor from the deity.

After our stopover at the stream, Jina and I tried to reach the summit of Bukhansan so we proceeded walking and trekking the terrain of the mountain. For Koreans and visitor's alike, the mountain is not that difficult to climb.

The mountain, though rugged, has extruding stones where you can hold on. In some parts, there are handrails or ropes to hold in case you are outbalanced. There are also no wild animals which can harm humans visiting the place.

My backdrop is the slope of Bukhansan.

This experience had been one of the most memorable in Korea. I trek a mountain different from the one's I used to trek in the Philippines such as Mount Makiling, Mount Mayon or the mountain in Bacacay. The Philippine mountains are not made of beige rocks.

The vegetation in Bukhansan is very much different from the one's I saw in the aforementioned mountains. This is a picture perfect place to shot. A haven for the city's hustle and bustle and a place to reflect.

This can also be a place for meditation not only for Buddhists but also for Christians who do not want distractions. This is a place you must visit when you set foot in Korea!