Palbongsan, which translated into eight peaks mountain, sits at the border of Taean and Seosan. Like the name, the mountain consists of eight peaks, with the 3rd peak being the highest at 362 meters. There are two areas where one can start the hike up; one in the north and one in the south. Today, my girlfriend, my friend Kevin and I took the local bus from downtown Seosan and started our hike from the south side of the mountain. It took us around 20 minutes before our trail turned into a small dirt path. From there we literally had to climb rocks at some places before we reached our first peak which was the 8th peak. We slowly made our way to the 3rd peak and then after a quick rest, we made our way down. I have to say this mountain was one of the harder ones to climb since there was a lot loose dirt along the trail which made it quite slippery.
The weather this week hasn't been the best and fearing that the rain might destroy the last of the remaining cherry blossoms, David, Dylan and I decided to visit one four major temples in Chungcheongnam-do, Gaesimsa (개심사) located in Haemi Eup, Seosan City. The original site was founded in the Baekjae Dynasty but was destroyed in a forest fire in 1475 and rebuilt in 1478, which are the buildings that currently standing today. We took the 522 bus which left Seosan Bus Terminal at 09:15 and it dropped us off at the foot of the temple around 35 minutes later. Lanterns were up along the trail as well as around the temple in preparation of Buddha's birthday. There was a prayer session going on at the temple, hence the lack of photos of the buildings. Seeing that there were more and more people coming to the temple to see the cherry blossoms, we decided that we did enough exploring around the area and started to head down to the main road. Along the way there were was a lane lined up with cherry blossoms trees in full bloom. Since most of the tourists headed directly to the temple, it was a wonderful opportunity to take photos knowing that a random ajuma won't walk through your photo. Once we were finished, we continued our way along the trail which followed an agricultural reservoir. Although it was a bit foggy, the light was soft and the scenes around us looked like as if they were paintings. We're defiantly coming back to visit the temple and the trail later on once the area is green again. If you happen to be in Seosan during the weekend, this place is one of the city's best kept secrets that you should explore.
Due to the warm weather that Korea has been getting lately, the cherry blossoms have bloomed earlier than expected. Seeing that I might miss my only chance this year if I continued to wait for the flowers to bloom in Taean, I decided head out to Seosan Lake Park, where I knew that most of the trees were in full bloom. Words cannot describe how beautiful these delicate white flowers are, especially when the white petals gracefully dance among the wind. I think I'll stop here and let you enjoy the photos.
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