At the heart of a 10 million inhabitants city like Seoul, who would expect to find a great hiking spot like Ansan mountain? When you need a break from the noise and the crowd climb one of the many slopes for a mini retreat.
Hidden among the trees are several exercise areas, Korean style picnic tables and even a natural spring. Koreans are really fond of hiking, especially ajummas and ajhussis (middle aged Koreans) who sport colorful hiking gear and walk-up with their friends.
Starting from Yonsei University’s East gate, I went up Mount Ansan on a Sunday afternoon. The Fall sky was beautiful and the air really clean. There were groups of old ladies gossiping and sharing laughs, grandfathers with their grand-kids playing together, while at the top of the mountain a man with an icebox was selling ice-cream right next to the Ansan Beacon Mound.
From beacon you can see all the way to Mounts Bukhansan and Inwangsan, the Haegjusanseong Fortress and the Hangang River. For some culture you can walk down to the Seodaemun Museum of Natural History and then head to the neighborhood market across the street for some snack.