Never come into our mind that we would spare some time, hiking Halla-san, situated in Jeju Province of South Korea.
We were a curious bunch of people, so the opportunity to satisfy our curious mind was not something to be missed - hiking a mountain with different climate and atmosphere, unprepared!
I am not a climbing expert. The last hill ever I did was Broga Hill (the beginner's trail) some when in 2010 and my fitness level was not satisfactory. I am obese person OK, so please dont laugh since I think half-way hiking quite a big achievement to people like me (medicore sangat!). It proved that Halla-san was the tallest mountain in South Korea (kembang kejap) with height of 1950 meter above the sea level ehhehehehh.
To cut the story short, let's see how it begun.
We found ourselves in Jeju Bus Terminal and went to the counter asking which bus to take us to the mountain. There are about 6 hiking trails available in Halla-san, so perhaps the kind counter lady suggested us to have the most easy access to the trail itself. We had no idea which trail was that!
We took Bus No. 6, and I was impressed that the bus system - they are very punctual and very efficient. Fare? 1500 won per person.
My Broga Mate and Dotter, waiting!
bus route 5.16, the one that goes to Seogwipo.
We encoutered many interesting places along the way like horse ranches, farm, homestay, Jeju University, Jeju City view from some hills which the scenery was so beautiful that I think I may come again to layan!
On our way, I noticed some exit to a few trails - checking on the map and see it for real, no way we can simply stop anywhere as for some trails are situated further inside. They require some walking even light climbing (1-2 km) to the entrance (kes malas!), so what we did was to stop upon seeing any sign of touristy area ( lot of cars being parked outside) and very accessible to the road...smart eh? hahahahahhaha, belasah! asal senang nak dapat bas balik ke hostel!
There are about 6 trails heading to the top, namely : Seokgulam, Gwaneumsa, Seongpanak, Donnaeko, Yeongsil, Eorimok and Eoseungsaengak. Since Seongpanak Trail Entrance is visible and located next to our bus route, so we decided to give a try. In fact, the Singaporean boys in our hostel recommended to use this one since the trail is not so tough to conquer... and they are right!
the map of Halla-san.
As we came in quite late (mid afternoon), we wasn't able to climb it to the top due to weather and time factor. It requires 4 hours for climbing and visitors need to come down to the entrance before 2 pm during spring season. Upon asking for more details, the kind lady who was at the information counter advised us to stop at Sokbat Shelter (3.5 km from Seongpanak Entrance). Estimated time to go there - 1 hour (naik dan turun). Oklah dari tak merasa langsung kan? so guys, in the future, please do come early if you wanna make it to the top! Entrance Fee - FOC.
As we begun to climb further up, some information of our whereabout helped us to stay motivated and of course not to get lost along the way.... My feeling upon seeing this? hmmmm
We encountered many small streams... they are in dry condition so taderla gambar stream cantek air mengalir but the bridge is in good condition :)
the stream has little water due to the spring season.. perhaps during summer, it flows nicely kot?
Bila dah mengah memanjat, of coursela tak kisah serabai ke dak rupa tu kan... anyhow it was pleasant climbing due to the gently cold breeze and wind blowing in the hill that kept us dry from sweat.. sangat best ok, sebab tak payah nak lap lap muka dengan tuala bila berpeluh... kalau hutan khatulistiwa of course dah basah lencun... perasaan nak cakap masa naik? ala ala "The sound of Music" ---> The Hills are alive........................
On our way to reach Sokbat Shelter, suddenly the dried trees were replaced with pine trees scenery. Masa tu rasa sangat kagum sebab pemandangan bertambah menarik, how to describe eh? only in Seongpanak Route, if you are someone suka layan pokok, this is a recommedable route to enjoy the trees.. ala ala Salem High country pun ada... there are spot to stop and to camp if you wanna spend time longer here....
As we went up, we met a few hikers going downhill, yer la mereka datang awal, jadi berkejar nak turun balik. Sepanjang perjalanan, they gave us surprised look, sebab apa? sebab tader budak yang mendaki kecuali orang dewasa dan golongan emas... sebab tu anak aku selalu ditepuk bahu oleh para pendaki yang lalu melintasi kami, perhaps because they were quite impressed.. and as way to wish her luck, she received a lot of pat in the back... whoa, sungguh touching mak!
After some hiking and stop, finally we made it to Sokbat Shelter, yippe! Perasaan? Sangat lega!
some women climbers, resting......
Aktiviti semasa rehat, check phone.... ehhehehehehe
More climbers went downhill, they perhaps finished hiking from the top... seeing them? a little bit frustrated la kan and envy... haish, next time planning kena canteks!
Sokbat Shelter... very basic facility (unattended centre) so it is just a place to rest....
How does it look from inside? simple basic stuff like locker, tiada kerusi empuk atau kerusi urut ogawa... enough to get some heat if outside is too cold....no water source provided. .. masa ni anak dah kebulur sangat, seb bek la ada maggi si iera yang banyak menyumbangkan jasa... air pun kami tak bawak, boleh? pow lagi si eira punya!
Kemudahan lain yang disediakan? wash room for gent and ladies... yang gent tu ala lucah sket sebab dari luar leh nampak kaki orang kat dalam ahahhahahahhahah...
kami decided nak turun selepas lepak tak sampai setengah jam... mode? kebulur and berbaur agak frust since we saw people coming down with muka sangat puas dapat naik, tapi takpela... cubaan kami adalah sesuatu yang tak pernah kami fikirkan pun nak buat in the first place... very spontaneous!
As we went down, surprisingly climbing is easier than going down hill? Why? the rocky path unlike our tropical climate path which basically made of rock and rock.. sakit woo kaki nak turun, kalau kat tempat sendiri, at least we can just jump and sprint to go down and the impact of jumping and run (walau tak sangat disaran) will be absorbed by our very malaysian soft ground...tak caya? cubalah... hampir terpeleot sebab mak kan ditarik kuat oleh kuasa graviti ahahhahahahha...My feelings? Hazab!
The view of dry pond and leaf-less trees... yeah, as what we encountered before... how it feels?
Indescribable. First time daki gunung kawasan empat musim (walau jeju adalah more to tropical climate katanya)... this is quite a rare moment for us, especially for me which hiking is not my liking but halla-san is a bit doable... alhamdulillah...
To be continued.........................