Crocodile Peak & Bibongsan


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Asia » South Korea » Chungcheongbuk-do » Chungju
April 23rd 2016
Published: July 9th 2016
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Crocodile Peak seems to be a relatively new place to visit in Korea, I have only heard of it in the past couple of years. Maybe someone in a marketing department somewhere visited and came up with the idea of calling it Crocodile Peak. We drove for a couple of hours, maybe three and arrived at where we would start hiking. This place seemed off the regular tourist trail, we pulled up at a carpark, near the lake. The carpark was for a restaurant, which was abandoned. Whether it had been shut up for good or just for the winter, I guess I will never know. We walked down the road for a few minutes and crossed by a bridge. We joined the trail by the edge of the bridge. It wasn't marked at all and we wandered along the path. We seemed to get lost a couple of times as there were no route markings. There is no way I would have been able to find this place by myself. The trail started off pretty easy, but that didn't last for long. It soon started to get steep. The ground was muddy in places and I was definitely scrambling at points. I'm sure I put my hand in some animal turd. It looked different to the mud around it. Thank god for hand sanitiser! The trail got worse as it was hard to get a grip with your feet as the dirt was just giving way. Thankfully, some of the guys were there, as always, to help us up. While the terrain was tough, the hike was relatively short. I feel like it took us less than an hour to reach the top.

The views at the top were great. When I looked down I could see all the crocodile peaks below. The land forms below look like the outlines of crocodiles. They looked so cool. I really enjoyed the view. There was one downside, the haze. The smog from the yellow dust was at a really bad level and the sky was hazy. I wish the sky had been clear and that the sun had been shining. I think it would have made the Crocodile Peaks looks even better. There wasn't too much space at the vantage point, I felt sorry for the Korean couple, who were sitting eating their picnic, and we all rocked up and spoilt it. They were good sports and joined us for some photos. We took a much easier path down, I think that this is probably the path we should have taken up. This path lead us right down to the carpark. There were nice views of the lake from the carpark. The flowers were out in full bloom and it looked really pretty. We took a break there and ate our lunch.

After lunch we drove to our next destination, where we would do some more hiking. We pulled up on the main road by a temple. A lot of us were in need of the bathroom, so we walked up to the temple to find theirs. One of the guys asked if we could use it. All seemed well, until the woman started kicking off. I think she thought it was only him wanting to use the bathroom, not a busload of people. And I think it was her private bathroom, not the temple's. Big oops! Our hike to Bibongsan Peak was only just over one kilometre. It was shot and steep, but not too bad. At least there was a proper trail, not like earlier. It took us maybe 30-40 minutes to reach the top. The views on the way up were gorgeous.

I was really surprised when we reached the peak. I had expected it to be like most other peaks, I had visited, a peak marker and nothing more than stunning views, but this place was different. The whole area was covered with decking, there was even a fancy bird sculpture. The views were beautiful, I could see the surrounding lakes and land forms. It was a shame it was a bit hazy. The peak was pretty busy and I was wondering where all the people were coming from as the trail had been relatively quiet. Also the people weren't dressed like typical Korean hikers. The men were in suits and the women were in heels, how had they got up the mountain. I know this mountain isn't very high only 531 metres, but still how did they get up there? Monorail! There is a small monorail that runs up the other side of the mountain. We went down the mountain a different way to the one we had come up. We passed people coming up on the monorail. The trail down took about an hour. We came out a small village with lots of farmland. Such a pretty area, but a bit too cut off for me to want to like there.


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