Climbing Juwangsan (주왕산), a mountain off the beaten track

Juwangsan (or Juwang mountain) is located in Gyeongsanbuk-do in the South East of S. Korea. It is not really popular as compared to Seoraksan which I climbed just a week before Juwangsan (Click here to read about my trip to Seoraksan). In fact, Hyunwoo (my high school classmate who is Korean) hasn’t even heard of it when I first mentioned to him that I wanted to climb Juwangsan. Beacuse there are simply so many mountains in S. Korea (According to Korea National Parks, there are 37).

The night before climbing Juwangsan, I was staying at Andong. I woke up at 7:30, left the place at about 8 and took a bus to Andong Bus Terminal (which was about 20 minutes away by bus from Andong train station). I planned to take a bus to Cheongsong, and then another bus to Juwangsan. But upon arriving at the Andong Bus Terminal, I realised that the bus that goes to Cheongsong continues on to Juwangsan, so I bought the 9:30 ticket instead (costs 8.6k Won). I had about 30 mintues till the bus departs so I atebreakfast of Bibimbap, and bought some snacks for the peak. The bus from Andong to Cheongsong is about 1 hour. From Cheongsong to Juwangsan was about 40 minutes. So in total it was about 1h 40min.

Juwangsan was very different from Seoraksan. There was hardly anyone. As I walked towards the entrance of Juwangsan, there was a whole row of restaurants and stalls selling herbs and souvenirs. After walking about 5 minutes or so, I reached the entrance. Bought the ticket and here we go…

Dajeonsa, a temple at Juwangsan's entrance

Dajeonsa, a temple at Juwangsan’s entrance

As usual, the first 5 minutes or so after entering the entrance was rather flat. Soon, I reached this intersection

Intersection

Intersection

You can actually access the peak of Juwangsan from both ways. It is a circular route. The map shows that there are 3 waterfalls to witness on the left side, so I decided to take the route on the right, thinking that the waterfalls will be my reward on the way down.

 

As usual, stairs and more stairs

As usual, stairs and more stairs

The climb to Juwangsan wa not very interesting. There was hardly anyone (The first people I met was actually at the peak!!) So I kinda hiked alone. Along the ascent to the top, there are a couple of rest points and they give a panoramic view of the mountains. Beautiful!

DSC_1070

View from rest area

View from rest area

And to be honest, it was a really boring hike. The route is through the trees, and there are only like 2 or 3 rest points. Only the rest points have views. I was alone for the whole ascent (I met NO ONE while going up, I’m still shocked about this.) So yeah it was quite boring. The map said the ascent through the route I took would be about 1h 20min, but I only took 50min. Still tough though, because there were very little rest stops, so I just kept going and going, my legs occasionally felt like dying, so I rest for a while, maybe half a minute, then kept going and going.

And 50 minutes after leaving Dajeonsa, I reached the peak of Juwangsan!

Juwangsan at the peak

Juwangsan at the peak

There was no view AT ALL at the peak, so I was rather disappointed. Just after the peak, there was a platform for people to chill, and a group of Korean elderly were there picnicking. They were the one who helped me take the above photo. They asked me to join them for some coffee and food.

감사합니다 아주마, 아주시!

감사합니다 아주마, 아주시!

Koreans are really very friendly! I joined them for the descent from the peak for the next 30 minutes or so, until I decided to take another path to view a waterfall.

Stream along the descent

Stream along the descent. Just looking at it makes me feel so calm.

The path I took after parting with them took me to Yongyeon Falls (용연폭포). IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!

Chilling at Yongyeon Falls (용연폭포)

Chilling at Yongyeon Falls (용연폭포)

I decided to sit there and relax for about 40 minutes. Just listening to the water plunge is really very soothing.

View from top of Yongyeon Falls (용연폭포)

I wanted to dip in. But it says “No Swimming” and the water was freezing 😦 Oh wells.

I then continued towards the 2nd waterfall, Jeolgu Falls (절구폭포) Not as beautiful and big as Yongyeon though

Jeolgu Falls (절구폭포)

Jeolgu Falls (절구폭포)

Passed by this stone stack. They said the taller you build your stack, any wish you make while stacking will come true.

I wonder what his wish is

I wonder what his wish is

And, the 3rd waterfall, Yongchu Falls (용츄폭포) This one is really really beautiful. Not because of its size and drop, but because of the location it is in: In the middle of a gorge. It feels like the place you see in the movie Jurassic Park. Amazing!

 

Top of Yeongchu Falls (용츄폭포)

Top of Yngchu Falls (용츄폭포)

Yeongchu Falls (용츄폭포)

Yeongchu Falls (용츄폭포)

The pictures honestly doesn’t do it justice. You must be there to be awed by it’s magnificence! Simply Wow!

After passing Yongchu Falls, I walked back down to the base, there’s not really much to see after that.

I'm done with Juwangsan! :D

I’m done with Juwangsan! 😀

Juwangsan was a really enjoyable climb, though in a different way as compared to Seoraksan. At Seoraksan it was mainly the view, weather and wind that I liked. Juwangsan was more of the serenity that the mountain seemed to have, because there was so little people and the sound of running water is the BOMB! Hehehe You should definitely climb Juwangsan. While Seoraksan provided Adrenaline, Juwangsan gives

After the Climb, which I finished at around 3 (I started at about 11), had a late lunch near the base of the mountain before taking a bus to Daegu.

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Climbing Juwangsan (주왕산), a mountain off the beaten track

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