Grandmother at Mt. Geumjeong

Is hiking a national identity of Korea?

We are not regular hikers but often amused by hundreds of Korean hikers seen around the city with colorful hiking outfit, especially on weekends. One fine afternoon we decided to hike Mt. Geumjeong after visiting Beomeosa Temple. Since, it was already midafternoon, we can see many hikers coming down but only very few were climbing up which made us worry about timing. On the way, we met one grandmother climbing up slowly in her own pace. From her traditional looking Korean dress up, she doesn’t look like hiker from any angle. However, she was wearing nice hiking boot. So, we thought she might be a local resident and asked her about the time to reach the top. She was very friendly with smiling face. She told that it will take 1 more hour to reach the top and also asked us to go ahead as she was climbing slowly. After spending sometime near the foothill, finally we reached the peak. To our big surprise, she was already there sitting and eating alone and admiring the beautiful natural scenery seen from the top. It made us really believe that hiking has become like national identity of Korea.