Today we decided to board the train northward to Gumi.Â Gumi is a smaller town about 45 mins north of Daegu on the slow train.Â Despite its size, there is a lot do to around the town with several mountain areas.Â Today we decided to check out Geumo San Provincial Park (San mean mountain).Â We got lucky again with the weather.Â It turned out to be an amazing day to be outdoors.
We like to take the Mugunghwa (the slowest train) because we get to see more of the Korean countryside, and we are never in a hurry when we travel.Â Plus the price is always right.Â We got to the station too late to get seats on the train, so we opted for the standing tickets.Â Three tickets cost us around $7.50 total.
Our first order of business after arriving was getting to the park, which turned out to be really close to the train station.Â We made out way up to the cable car, other wise it is a couple hour journey up the mountain (3.3 km to the summit).Â The building around the cable car was being reconstructed so we walked up a bit to a large map and were trying to determine if we wanted to walk up the mountain.Â We had not really prepared to do serious hiking prior to coming, but after not seeing the cable car running we decided to do the hike.Â It was 1.1 km up the mountain to the waterfall which is what we had come to see.Â As we stared at the map a little upset we would have to hike up the mountain, the cable car passed us going up the mountain.Â Collectively there was a huge sigh of relief knowing we did not have to hike it.Â So we quickly walked back down to the building and waited for the next one to go up.
There are three major attractions at the top of the cable car.Â The first being a temple as soon as you come out onto the mountain, Haeunsa Temple.Â It was decorated for the upcoming Buddha’s Birthday celebration coming up this next Friday.Â The area it was built on made the Temple simply amazing.Â The green of the trees that surrounded the Temple really made for such a peaceful surreal environment.
Next up on the list was the waterfall.Â Daehye Waterfall is 27m high (roughly 88.5 feet).Â It was a nice site to see, but we really want to come back during the rainy season when the water is really flowing.Â It didn’t disappoint today however.Â There was water flowing and it was nice that you could get up close to it via the rocks nearby.Â We sat and enjoyed the waterfall for a bit before deciding to head to Doesan Cave which was very near the waterfall.
Doesan Cave I think was the best thing we saw all day, and it had nothing to do with the cave.Â It had everything to do with the walk to the cave.Â The cave is named after a Buddhist monk Doesan who achieved nirvana in the cave as the story goes.Â The walk consisted of a winding narrow rocky trail on the side of a cliff.Â There was an iron railing with chains along one side of the trail.Â On the other side of that railing was a big drop off down the side of the mountain.Â At one point there is a rope to help pull yourself up a small rocky incline.Â The views from the trail were simply stunning.Â The cave itself was underwhelming.Â It was a small cave that now houses a shine to Buddha, but the views of Gumi through the valley was worth every step.
I was really pleased with our adventure today, and look forward to going back during the rainy season to see the waterfall in full action.Â Korea has so much to offer with places like this to visit.Â Only a short ride away in any direction are beautiful places with great food and nice people.Â I have been here 6 months now and I can really say I have enjoyed every minute of it.Â I look forward to seeing what the next 6 months has in store.
As always, if you want to see more pictures of today’s adventure be sure to check out my Flickr page.
‘Till Next Time
Eric taught ESL for three years in South Korea and now is setting out on a new journey after finishing his teaching certification in the US. He hopes to continue teaching and traveling and you can follow his journeys here.