Jangsan mountain‏ in autumn colors

The path wound its way along the river,  covered in leaves. It’s Autumn with winter just around the corner. The air is fresh with the sun trying to find its opening in the clouds. Nice temperature for a Sunday hike and a few hours surrounded by nature.

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Just what we needed after a Saturday evening out.

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My first visit to Jangsan Mountain was a few weeks earlier, so i new where to go this time. First time around was a bit tricky and along the way I had to ask for the right path taking me to the top as all signs was in Korean. Some spoke a bit English but others not that much, but with some body language and a picture taken at the entrance from one of the maps I managed to reach to the view point and from there found my way up to the top.

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The only sign in English is at the entrance of the park were it show the way to the physical park and Peak.

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Maybe it was the winter getting closer or maybe it was that it was later in the afternoon, but this Sunday the trail was less crowded. We went up the mountain the same way as i had done the first time, just to make sure we did not get lost.

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People were doing some exercise in the physical park, sitting around chatting at the same time and some had stopped for lunch along the way. Along the river there are wooden platforms that you can sit down on and enjoy some quality time with a good meal and at the same time enjoy being in the nature.

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We continued our way uphill until we came to a junction. At this point we choose the easy path around the mountain to get a bit of a break before the next steep uphill until reaching the view point.

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A bit of a rest here and there was needed this day, so we stopped to enjoy the nice view of the mountain showing off the beautiful autumn colors.

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Reaching the viewing platform the view is stunning and you have view overlooking the city of Busan. Haeundae District with the famous Haeundae beach in one direction and Gwangandaegyo Bridge with Gwangalli beach close by.

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From the viewing platform you can see the peak. The path leading up to the peak it’s steep uphill. The top of the mountain is fenced off, but you can walk around and there are different trails that leads back to the viewing platform.

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At one part of the mountain there is still land minds buried from the Korean war, so arriving at this area it’s all fenced off  with warning signs all over to keep people away from entering in to these areas.

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Most people are walking on the trails, but the easy trails can be done by bike and some people passed us on bikes on the very steep part down along the river. I think they regretted taken that way as they were struggling quite a lot having to carry the bike most of the way.

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On our return we were quite happy having done the hike even do it was quite challenging in the beginning after a late Saturday night out.

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And it must have been the fresh mountain air that gave some energy to fling around in the trees.

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As most of the parks in Korea this also have a station with air blowers to clean off the dry dirt and dust from your shoes and pants before heading back home.


Some info about the mountain:

Jangsan is a Mountain located in Haeundae-gu in Busan with an elevation of 643 Meter above sea level. Signs posted indicate that an active land mine field is located on the mountain.

To get to Jangsan mountain exit the subway at the Jangsan station that is the end station on the green line. Take exit 10 and just follow the road to Daecheon park and from there it’s just to find your way to the peak.  

Hiking in Rio

Pedra De Gavea

There’s more to Rio than just the famous Beaches, samba and caipirinhas – the city’s peaks offer an amazing view of the city and have some of the most fantastic urban hiking. So during my holiday in August last year I challenged myself to Hike to the top of Pedra de Gavea. For me this was a bit of getting out of my comfort zone as the hiking includes some rock climbing that is probably not the most ideal when you having fare of heights. The rock climbing is a small portion and considered as beginner level. The part can be done without rope but for safety ropes are recommended and for me a must so we hired a guide from the company RioXtreme that provided all the necessary equipment needed.

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Arriving at the start point the guards warned us that there had been occasional reports of armed robberies on the trail, so this got us thinking that this might not be a good idea. I have been hold up and robbed before with gun so I can promise it’s not an experience anyone would like to have. But despite of this we decided to go ahead and do the hiking. The hike is strenuous and not for beginners. So if you have not done this type of hiking before I would recommend to chose one of the easier mountains in the Tijuca forest.

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Pedra de Gavea is a part of the Tijuca forest that is the world’s largest urban forest. With its elevation at 844 Meters it makes it one of the highest mountains in the world that ends directly in the ocean. The hiking to the top takes about 2.5 hours so we made sure we had enough water and snack to eat.


A few short breaks was needed along the way.


Us and the Guide with a nice view in the background. Reaching this point we got the first close-up view of the top, and looking closely at the rock you can see features of a human face. The mountain is surrounded by mysterious legends and stories.


Reaching where the rock climbing part comes in, a crowd of people where climbing up, so we took a short rest and enjoyed the Bird-eye view of Barra de Tijuca.

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Now being in front of the 30 meter wall that is nearly vertical and getting ready to climb is where the ropes and hardness come in handy.  If you do this part without ropes you better be careful as people have died here from falling. I did my best to not look back at any given time during the climbing.

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And finally getting to the end of the wall, happy I made it this far. The rest of the trail was steep and muddy but not to challenging compared to this Rock climbing part.

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Arriving at the top we where meet with a spectacular view of the city of Rio de Janeiro. A bit foggy but we could still see both Corcovado and Pão de Açúcar. From this view, what is considered as one of the  greatest cities in the world looks more like a jungle surrounded with beaches than a big city.

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After some time at the top enjoying the view it was time to head down again. As most of the part going up is steep going down is a quite big challenge as well and a killer for the legs. The guards had recommended us to get down early. The guide was eager to go fast down so that made us a bit nervous as we where sure the reason was he was nervous as well due to the guards warning about the robberies, so we tried our best to follow his tempo. This made it even more hard for the legs so we where quite happy when we arrived down at the starting point and could rest again. But what a fantastic hike. Next time I’m in Rio I will try out some of the other peaks in the Tijuca forest.