I love hiking different mountains around Seoul. Some of them offer great views, even if there is not much involved hiking. Yesterday, for instance, another foreigner friend took me up what could be better described as a ‘hill’. I can’t really say we climbed it either, since there were wooden steps much of the way. Not once was their an opportunity to use my arms to climb up big rocks.
It only took 20 minutes at a brisk pace to reach the top. While I was slower than my friend, I was faster than everybody else. Nearly everybody else appeared to be Korean. Nearly everybody else was decked out in full hiking gear, like they were going to take on Mount Everest. They all had fairly large, robust backpacks; uber-expensive hiking shoes; uber-expensive hiking jackets (at 17 degrees C, I didn’t see the need); carbon-fibre hiking sticks; etc. I think the most dangerous thing about the hill was the random placement of sharp rocks, which of course would pierce right through any of their expensive gear.
Due to advertising, they think they need all this gear. But it doesn’t suit their needs one bit. I know that Koreans like to look good, but the only person that seemed to achieve that was a model on the bridge below the mountain (being photographed as I walked by after the hike).