Saturday, December 04, 2010


Walking under a sea of red and yellow maple leaves, I ought to be excited but I was not. Somehow, I did not connect with Naejangsan (내장산, 內藏山). Perhaps, it was the overwhelming crowd. I am not quite accustomed to mountain being crowded with people.

Naejangsan is second to Seoraksan (설악산, 雪岳山) in term of the number of autumn visitors. Some says that Naejangsan's autumn scenery is better than Seoraksan but since I have not been to Seoraksan, I cannot comment on that. Similar to Seoraksan, Naejangsan also has cable car service to take visitors up to the peak without breaking a sweat.

Talking about cable car, I do hope those activists who are fighting to stop the authority from installing cable car in Jirisan National Park win their fight eventually.  Jirisan (지리산, 智異山) is described as an 'alive' and 'breathing' mountain by its protectors. It is amazing how people can feel so much for a mountain but then, it will not be surprising if you have been touched once by its natural beauty. Jirisan is one mountain I wish to visit in future. One day, I would want to feel its 'heartbeat'.

Autumn scenery at Naejangsan did not inspire me much and it was not because it was not beautiful. If the scenery is not good, then people would not have flocked there every autumn by the busloads. The truth is, I did not feel much about the mountain. Hence, if my photos look 'uninspiring', you should know why. Another thing which turned out quite differently was, the autumn scenery appeared much better at the mountain foot than at the top. On hind sight, the cable car ride to the peak and back seems quite unnecessary. Anyway, more 'inspired' pictures of autumn coming out soon.

Walking under a sea of red and yellow maple leaves

A bazaar was set up at the entrance to the mountain to coincide with the arrival of autumn crowd. Seen selling at the bazaar, a heap of red date or jujube.

Free shuttle bus service provided. Entrance is also free.

The queue for the free shuttle bus service was very very long. You have not seen the tail end yet.

Since, I don't like to wait in a long queue, I chose to walk. The signboard above says, "A walk in the heart of nature is like taking health supplements."

As I walked up the track around 11am, people were already on their way out.

Autumn by the mountain stream

Fallen maple leaves floating gracefully in the stream.

A long but easy walk up the track. There is no slope along the way too vercome.

Autumn leaves on trees, in water or on ground are equally pretty.

Group photo is a must when the scenery is so pretty.

The season is more beautiful when there is love

You need to keep moving because there are more to see ahead.

This is just one of the nine peaks in Naejangsan.

Pace of walking slowed down naturally at every beautiful stretch.  

Water point available in the park

A nice spot for picnic. Good shade provided by low-lying maple trees

Resting time

Long snaking queue at the cable car station. The wait was more than half an hour. A return ticket costs 6,000won.

Waiting in the queue for the cable car ride, since I was really too tired to walk up further and had no time.

Afternoon sunlight permeating through the leaves above my head

The pavilion at the top was the destination. It is an observation deck.

Cable car approaching slowly

Cable car arrived

An eager crowd could not wait to get in.

Looking out at the obsevation deck which is about 300m away from the cable car station. There was a few slopes to manoeuvre along the way, so the walk to the observation deck seemed much further on the ground.

Looking down from the peak at the route I took.

It did not take me too long before I was back at the station waiting for my return cable car. There was not much to see or do at the peak. Autumn was already over at the top.

The buzz around the cable car station.

To enjoy the autumn, you can choose to sit on chairs...

... or you can sit on the ground, whichever way you like.

A beautiful stretch of maple trees

Star-shaped shadows of maple leaves.

"Sing your way home, at the end of the day"

After more than 3 hours, I completed my visit at Naejangsan.

On my way to the bus stop for the bus to Gwangju. The time was about 2pm, still a lot of time before the sun set at about half past five.

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