Wolchulsan National Park and Jeung-do

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August 23rd 2013
Published: September 16th 2013
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23rd Aug: We left Seoul just before midnight for the long drive down to Jelloanam-so. We are heading right to the bottom of Korea. I scored a double seat to myself. It's a shame it wasn't comfortable! Also as we headed south the rain started to pelt down.

24th Aug: We arrived at Wolchulsan National Park around half four in the morning. After Warren handed out torches and muffins, we were off up the mountain. It wasn't raining at this point, but we all grabbed a poncho, just in case. It was 5 a.m. We walked a little way through the national park to the start of the trail. It was pitch black still and I'm glad I had the torch. We came to the start of the proper hiking and there was a temple there. I tried to get some photos, but due to the darkness and my shaky hands, they didn't come out at all.

The next part of the hike was pretty hard as it was all uphill to the Cloud Bridge. It was also raining. It started off lightly, but was lashing it down, by the time we got to the bridge. It's been ages since I had last hiked so I was even slower than normal getting up the mountain. There was a small pagoda style shelter at the top, and we made some ham and cheese sandwiches for breakfast. I walked up to the cloud bridge but the weather was so rotten, I couldn't even be bothered to talk my camera out.

After a good rest, the group split into two; those who were doing more hiking along the peaks, and the rest of us, who were heading straight down to the waterfall. There were lots of steps on the way down, and then we had to head back up a bit to the waterfall. The waterfall was a bit underwhelming, it wasn't exactly gushing off the side of the mountain. I took my socks and shoes off and went under the waterfall. I was already soaking so it didn't matter. I also slipped on a rock and went arse over tit. At least I didn't hurt myself. We spent a good while at the waterfall chilling out and a couple of the guys did some repelling from above the waterfall. That was cool.

The hike back down was pretty easy, the rain had eased off a bit. We saw a snack slithering around on one of the rocks. It was just a baby one, but I didn't want stay too close to it for too long. Before we knew it we were back at the start of the trail. We stopped by one of the water fountain for some much needed refreshment and to wash our hands. Then we stopped by the shop and I got some much needed caffeine into my soul. A bottle of power aid and an iced black coffee. We still had about an hour and a half to wait for the others who were doing the longer hike. We went to a restaurant to get some food, but the woman had nowt in. She suggested we walk into the town as there would be better food options there. However after walking for about 5 mins we decided we were going to be going too far and we headed back and found another restaurant nearer the start of the trail. I had a lovely spicy bowl of kimchi jjigae.

When the others got back, we headed to the bus and grabbed our clean, dry clothes. It was so nice to put dry clothes on. Such a nice feeling. I had a bit of a snooze on the bus and was a bit gutted that the journey was only an hour. I could of slept for longer. We went to a restaurant for lunch in Mokpo. The food was nice, but I was still full of the kimchi jjigae and a bit grumpy because I was so tired. Not great company for the other poor buggers that had to share a table with me.We were meant to have twenty different dishes for lunch, but there were only seventeen, still not bad though.

The weather was still crappy, so the idea of going to the beach was nixed. We drove to a part of Mokpo, where there were a few different museums that we could look around. Because of the crappy weather, I didn't fancy moving at all. Instead I had an hour's nap on the bus. I did venture into one of the museums, but that was only because it was free and I needed to use the facilities and to fill up my water bottles for free. We then drove to Jeungdo island. The drive took about an hour to an hour and a half. The area where the island is located is known as 1004 islands as that is how many islands there are in that area. We stopped at a local supermarket to stock up on booze and snacks for the evening and coffee for the morning.

We had about another half hour drive to reach where we were staying. The bus had some trouble getting along the small country roads. We were staying on an even smaller island off Jeungdo, called Hwado island. There was a causeway to reach it. It's a good job the tide was out, or it we wouldn't of been able to get there. We made it across the causeway. The road was pretty narrow, there was just enough room for the bus. I couldn't see the road underneath us, only water.

Our pension was literally at the end of the causeway. We got sorted between a girl's room , a boy's room and those who were camping on the roof or in the pagoda. After dumping my stuff and rolling out some bedding for later, I headed for the shower. It was lovely to feel clean again! It's ranks as one of the best showers. That evening we had cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets for dinner. We spent the rest of the night drinking, Captain Morgan's Private Stock mmmm! We also played some drinking games, which was a laugh. Then bed just before midnight.

25th Aug: Up around 8 ish, for breakfast burritos, nom nom! We tidied up and packed up and were on the bus by 9:30 ish. We got over the causeway no problem. But the bus couldn't turn the tiny sharp corner. We were stuck and blocking the road. Oops! Any way we all ended up getting out and walking to the beach. We didn't know or realise that, that was what we were doing, we just thought we were walking for a little while, and then we were going to meet up with the bus. Well, that didn't happen and we ended up walking all the way to the beach.

The walk to the beach was pretty nice, through lots of countryside and small villages. A few of the villages down here are designated as slow villages, which is pretty cool, as they shun fast food and all that crap. We finally arrived at the beach. We sat in a small outdoor cafe for a while and rehydrated. Then we walked around the corner to the beach. The beach was a mud flat, so we got a bit muddy walking down to the beach. The beach was lovely, really quiet. We walked down to the sea and had a bit of a splash about.

There were some sun loungers with umbrellas, so we sat in the shade. Eventually, the bloke came to ask for the money for them. It was only 10,000 won, I thought that was a bargain. I enjoyed chilling on the beach. I read my book for a little bit and had a snooze. On the walk to the beach I had definitely caught the sun. My back was looking a bit pink.

We left the beach around three to three thirty. We had been meant to do salt farming, but due to the rain in the previous couple of days, all the salt had melted. I had been looking forward to that. Never mind, there's always next time. We stopped off at the Salt Farm Gallery, not really worth the 2,000 won. It was very small and none of the displays had any English signs. But the best bit about shopping here was the small store that sold salt ice cream. I think the salt was in the flavouring that they poured over the ice cream. I had a raspberry one and it was delish! Some people were going back for seconds and I could understand why. Then it was a quick stop at a shop, owned by the bloke who owned the pension we had stayed at, to buy some of the salt farmed in the area. Then the long journey back to Seoul.

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31st March 2015

Enquiry on Transport and Accommodation
Hi, My friend and I are interested to go to both Wolchulsan and Jeungdo. Can I check whether you guys self drive? Also,would you be able to recommend accommodation in Jeungdo Island? We are foreigners and do not speak Korean. Thank you and Regards, Jasmine
1st April 2015

Hi Jasmine! I went on a tour. If you are driving it should be easy to get to the park and to get around Jeungdo Island, if not the Korean Tourism website has information on how to get to Wolchulsan. Also tourist information offices in the local area will be able to tell you how to get there, they normally have staff who speak English and provide cheat sheets with buses number and times on them. I stayed on Hwado Island, a small island connected to Jeungdo. The tourist information may be able to help with booking, if there is nothing available on line, or you could just ask at the accommodation, the owners may not speak English, but they will be able to sort you out with a room, or guide you to somewhere with spots available. Hope this is helpful. Enjoy your trip! If you have anymore questions, don't hesitate to ask.

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