11 comments on “Important Site Update

  1. Hi Tom, I’d like to plan a trip to South Korea in the spring or fall next year. I’m a hiker and am just starting to do some research. Your site is great. Do you have any suggestions on where I can get the most bang for the buck, i.e., from a time perspective? I only have a couple of weeks for vacation from work. Do you recommend flying into Seoul, renting a car, and driving? Or are there trains? What area, again, would give us the best views of S. Korea in the short amount of time that we have? As far as hiking, we want to get out and do what we can – we’ve done the Andes; Mt. Kilimanjaro; the Alps, etc. So we know our way around the mountains. Also, would you recommend incorporating a side trip to Japan, and, if so, what cities and airport? Any other suggestions, greatly welcomed. Thank you.

    • Thanks for finding my blog and following along! How long do you have exactly, and where are you coming from? A side trip to Japan would be awesome, I’d recommend flying from Busan (or Seoul) as there are cheap flights. If you haven’t been and feel compelled, check it out! We checked out Tsushima Island Japan from ferry in Busan (check out my post about that). For transport in Korea renting a car would be best but trains and intercity buses are plentiful. They’ll be able to get you to most parks but you may need some taxi rides to get you to your desired trailheads. I’d recommend Seoraksan NP and Jirisan NP as must-do’s for sure based on your experience. They’re the most vast and beautiful, besides Hallasan NP but that’s on Jeju Island and may be hard for you to access if you’re staying mainland SK. If I were you a potential itinerary could be Seoul, stay a day or two to see sights and Bukhansan NP, then head east to Seoraksan NP. Head south to Juwangsan NP (neat gorge) then maybe Busan if you head to Japan. If not then go to Jirisan NP for a few days. Head back north to Seoul to leave. If you have time I’d add a trip to the coast in the south. Perhaps Namhae could be nice for you. Hiking and seeing the ocean is always special for us, maybe you’d like that too. Just some ideas. Keep in touch and I’m happy to provide more specifics if you’d like!!

      • Thanks so much for the info. Many questions. So you would really recommend a rental car for the trip rather than relying on trains? Mapquest shows Busan to be about 4 hours from Seoul (driving). is that accurate? Based on what I’ve found, I was thinking about coming in April – looks like the cherry blossoms and other flowers are out. I haven’t priced anything yet, but it looks like Jeju Island is very popular. What’s the best way to get there – fly from Seoul or (fly/ferry?) from Busan? I’ve also read that Jeollanam-do Province is very beautiful. If it turns out to be too expensive to get to Jeju Island, is this province a good alternative? FYI – I’m from New Hampshire, so would be flying from Boston. Thanks! Any other suggestions extremely appreciated.

      • Hey Eve, oh my I just realized this went unanswered by me!! So sorry. Well, trains and buses are plentiful. If you’re ok paying a bit for the occasional taxi to get you to a trailhead, then buses and trains are good… a car would simply reduce waiting times for the trains and buses. Yes, Jeollanamdo is great! That’s where we lived (Yeosu). Aprils flowers are great, weather is also nice. Can’t go wrong with that month!

      • Ha, ha – no worries. I’ve been doing a lot more research since then, and it really looks like a car is the way to go. Thinking about working my way down from Seoul east, then along the coast south to Busan, then Jeju Island, then…I read about a 4-day walk that sounded great in Japan south of Osaka. No idea of the cost, but if I can afford, it sounds terrific. Thanks again for getting me started!

      • That sounds great! I agree, a car is helpful (we bought one quickly after living there and it helped us save time… please download Naver Maps through, I’d recommend using that while in Korea to cross check it with google)

        My wife and I visited Kyoto area and Lake Biwa… it’s lovely! If you have the time to check out Japan I’d go for it :)

      • Please disregard last commend on how to get to Jeju Island – just saw on your blog that you’ve gone through the options. Missed that the first time I read. And…sounds like taking a car over might be best if our time is limited and we don’t have to have any hassle with getting places. (Your blog is great – so helpful.)

      • Hey Eve, maybe look into getting a car once on Jeju (if you go that route). Having a car on the ferry is expensive IMO and may have to check with rental company that it’s ok to do…

  2. Sounds like the preferred way to travel is a short flight from Busan to Jeju, then a car. Couldn’t find anyone that liked the ferry :)

    • Ferry is nice… but flying is always faster and then puts you in easy contact with the cars upon landing in Jeju. Check out the Olle Trails in Jeju, we loved them (after Hallasan, of course!! -hallasan is a must hike if you go to Jeju). I posted about then Olle Trails… they are neat, relatively easy to follow, and is a great way to see lots of what Jeju has to offer (coasts, neat communities, etc)

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