Hiking + Climbing
Postcards: Huashan, a sacred Taoist mountain

Postcards: Huashan, a sacred Taoist mountain

It was foggy and drizzly when I walked towards the bus stop in Xi’an that morning, but I didn’t care. I was going to climb that damn mountain. Accompanied by a quiet Belgian guy from my hostel, I held a flimsy umbrella over my head and ate steaming buns filled with mystery meat that I’d bought...
Secrets of Taroko

Secrets of Taroko

After a few days in Taichung, my Taiwanese friend Olivia and I traveled to Hualien, a naturally-preserved, remote beach town on Taiwan’s east coast. The sun was shining, the air was crisp, and we spent a few days biking, walking along the beach and drinking beers on the rocks, while listening to the waves crashing...
Postcards: Hiking in Shaxi

Postcards: Hiking in Shaxi

August 11, 2011 Shaxi, pronounced sha-shi if you are reading it in English, was once a bustling village during the Tang Dynasty, where traders passed through to exchange tea and horses. Now Shaxi is eerily quiet, save small groups of tourists who pass through the deteriorating Sideng Market Square, named one of the 100 most endangered...
Climbing in the mi(d)st of Seoraksan National Park

Climbing in the mi(d)st of Seoraksan National Park

In Seoraksan National Park, towering, jagged peaks jut into layers of clouds overhead. Waterfalls pour off the rocky cliffs, and clear waters flow, carving paths through the valleys. Encompassing 373 km of land, Seoraksan has, throughout history, been a sacred place for Buddhist pilgrimages and monastic life, as well as a muse for artists who have...
Hiking, Gochujang and Buddhists with swords

Hiking, Gochujang and Buddhists with swords

With the vibrant fall foliage currently dotting the Korean countryside in shades of gold, crimson and burnt orange, I embarked on a weekend getaway with Adventure Korea to the county of Sunchang, located in North Jeolla province. A number of traditional Korean foods originated in North Jeolla province, including bibimbap, mixed vegetables with rice, and...
Famous for a day: the Heongseong Hanwoo Beef Festival

Famous for a day: the Heongseong Hanwoo Beef Festival

This past weekend, I was invited on a weekend trip to the Heongseong Hanwoo Beef Festival by Adventure Korea, with the impression that I would eat some delicious beef, hike a mountain, and drink a lot of soju. And that’s exactly what I did–in addition to catching a trout with my bare hands, eating it raw,...
Nuts Huts: roughing it in the Filipino jungle

Nuts Huts: roughing it in the Filipino jungle

“The beetles eat the bat shit and the bats eat the beetles, but the beetles can’t eat the bats because too big,” our guide, Pedro, stated as he pointed his flashlight from a cluster of sleeping bats hanging from the top of the cave to a few beetles scurrying along the dirt floor. “So I...
Surfing in Korea

Surfing in Korea

Have you ever been surfing in Korea? Neither had I, until I joined a surfing trip with the Korean budget travel company Adventure Korea, who again, generously sponsored my trip. It’s only possible to surf at a few beaches in Korea, this one being the Blue Coast, located in Yangyang, Gangwon province. The gentle waves...
Biking, Hiking, and Swimming on Seonyu Island

Biking, Hiking, and Swimming on Seonyu Island

Seonyudo (Seonyu Island) is a small South Korean island located off the western coast of North Jeolla Province, populated by a handful of local residents, fishermen, and summer tourists. It’s an ideal summer getaway from the city smog and heat radiating off Seoul’s massive buildings and concrete sidewalks. Instead, the island is known for beautiful,...
Hiking in Korea: Seoraksan vs. Jirisan

Hiking in Korea: Seoraksan vs. Jirisan

The word ‘san’ means ‘mountain’ in Korean. This year, I’ve hiked a number of mountains, most notably two 12-14 hour trails in South Korea’s largest national parks: Seoraksan National Park, located in Gangwon province, and Jirisan National Park, located in South Jeolla province. At the end of May, I hiked Seoraksan, and in July, I...
Hiking the Jagged Ridge Trail on Saryang Island

Hiking the Jagged Ridge Trail on Saryang Island

Last weekend, I joined a Meetup group to hike the Jagged Ridge Trail on Saryang-do, two tiny islands located in South Gyeongsang Province. I had never been to this province before, and the inexpensive price (50,000 won) and itinerary sounded excellent. Also, the weather has been gorgeous this spring, and I had been wanting to...
Hike with the Crowds at Bukhansan National Park

Hike with the Crowds at Bukhansan National Park

Spring is here! It’s time to break in your new hiking boots and throw on a florescent windbreaker. As seen in the photo above, hiking is a national pastime in Korea, and Koreans are as stylish on the mountain as they are in everyday life. Despite the small size of the mountains, the hikers are...