The Guardian hikes the Baekdu-daegan

by Philip Gowman on 27 October, 2013

in Asides, Gyeongsangnam-do, Jeollabuk-do, Pastimes, Travel ideas

Cheonwangbong, the summit of Jirisan (photo: Daniel Adamson / The Guardian)

Cheonwangbong, the summit of Jirisan (photo: Daniel Adamson / The Guardian)

There’s a nice piece in The Guardian this week about hiking the Baekdu-daegan. The author starts at Cheonwangbong peak, Jirisan, in Sancheong County (Gyeongsangnam-do) and walks north, ending his hike in the Deogyusan national park in Muju County, Jeollabuk-do.

Koreans have long believed that a current of life-energy, or gi, runs between [Jirisan in the south and Baekdusan in the North], flowing along the spine of the nation, pouring from the ridge to bring fertility to Korea’s fields and prosperity to its people. Drawn by this idea, believers from all of Korea’s old spiritual traditions – Shamanism, Taoism, Buddhism – have built shrines and monasteries along the Baekdu Daegan, gradually transforming a geological feature into a kind of linear, open-air museum of the country’s religious heritage.

The author, Daniel Adamson, camps, stays in hiking lodges, and has a particularly comfortable homestay in Nochi Maeul (Jucheon-myeon, Namwon-si, Jeollabuk-do).

Well worth a read.

LKL’s own photos of Cheonwangbong will be posted soon.

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