Right after I saw Beomeosa, I went on my ~very first hike~ in South Korea. I had years ago met a guy who had done lots of hiking in South Korea who totally loved it, so I was excited to start ~my very first hike~ in South Korea, right in Busan.
Right next to Beomeosa I got on a trail which went through a rocky forest. I wasn’t sure if I were on the right trail, and the fact that all of the signs were in Korean didn’t help me.
Nonetheless, it was a lovely forest, with a lovely stream winding its way through all of the rocks.
I also got to see my ~very first squirrel~ in South Korea.
The trail I was on was apparently okay, since I eventually reached the point I wanted to reach – ‘Bukmun’ (North Gate) of Geumjeong Fortress.
This was my ~very first fortress gate~ in South Korea.
Geumjeong Fortress is a really long wall encircling a large area with four gates. It was built after attacks by the Japanese and Manchu’s make the Joseon government realize that it needed to improve its defences, especially its coastal defences. Thus Geumjeong Fortress was built in 1703, and is the largest mountainous fortress in South Korea today.
I decided to pass on going to the top of Geumjeongsan since I figured I had enough in my hiking itinerary already (I was planning to hike over 10km that day). Instead, I got lost inside Geumjeong Fortress since I didn’t have the good sense to follow the wall.
While wandering inside Geumjeong, I found this pagoda. Since I had just arrived in South Korea, I thought it was worth photographing.
I also still thought classic Korean gate decoration was unique and fresh. I hadn’t been to a bunch of Korean fortresses/temples yet.
I also liked the appearance of this building.
Inside Geumjeong Fortress is like a town in the countryside. It does not seem like part of a big city (even though it’s in Busan city limits), but they have schools, public buses, grocery stores, and the kinds of things you find in towns. They also grow vegetables.
I finally found by way back to the fortress wall, and when I found it again I stayed with it.
This may not seem like part of a metropolitan city, but I’ve been to enough metropolitan cities in East Asia to know that areas which seem to be rustic and rural end up often inside city limits, usually because they are on top of or tucked into the hills which form the perimeter of the city. Thus, I was not surprised to find a place like Geumjeong Fortress in Busan.
Speaking of the big city – there it is, the sprawling city of Busan. No doubt the fortress was constructed here partially because of its good views.
I finally reached Nammum (South Gate).
I took one last look at the peak of Geumjeongsan before walking out the gate and going towards the next spot on my itinerary.