We were off to hike Ungilsan (운길산) to see Sujongsa Temple. It was late on a Saturday afternoon, and the tables at the base weren’t yet filled with thirsty hikers.
Getting off the outer city train, following signs to the temple, past cute little houses and restaurants that looked as if they’d been closed since 2006. Most of the beginning hike was up a road, which was not cool as there was much more road noise and exhaust than I’m used to on a hike.
We came across a standing Buddha in the hills.
After a pretty easy hike with terrible annoyances by the passing cars, we made it to the temple. It had good views of “Two Heads”, where north and south Han rivers merge.
It was a beautiful temple, complete with tiny Buddhas, HD satellite TV for the monks, cute plants, amazing views and a tree that appears to be 1,000 years old.
After a snack break of beef jerky, nuts and water, we were back down the mountain in the fresh air of the forest. We went down the tree path this time and avoided the cars from the way up. We also spotted the tomb mounds that can be seen on most Korean mountains.
After the hike comes Korean rice wine and pancakes made of green mountain vegetables. We ate under the road in a red lit underpass.
After a long train ride back to Seoul, we were hungry again and went to eat Vietnamese pho simply because it was on the way home and bedtime was rapidly approaching. But, in case you’ve never seen the shared bar soap in bathrooms that have become normal to me, here it is.
Pho and a cold one: always satisfies.