Jeju Island, South Korea — Climbing Hallasan Mountain

Jeju Island has been blessed with exceptional natural beauty. It’s full of UNESCO World Heritage sites, and hey, it’s a tropical volcanic island.

I visited Jeju four years ago but didn’t get to hike up Hallasan Mountain, South Korea’s highest and one of its most beautiful. My travel partner is a terrific hiker; I’m not, so our agreement was to keep our own paces and just meet up when the last one (me) got down the mountain. We chose the Gwaneumsa Trail because it goes all the way to the top where you’re rewarded with a panoramic view of the island and a small lake inside the volcanic crater. The trail is nearly 11 miles round trip and rises about a mile in elevation. It took about 8.5 hours for me to finish it.

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