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[Travel] Trekking to snow flowers on Mt. Taebaek

Posted January. 18, 2001 19:37,   


No matter what the people say, the darling of winter is the snow. So the Seoul Chongnyangni railroad station has been bustling these with people going to eastern provincial areas to appreciate the mood of winter mountains covered with white snow. Mount Taebaek in Taebaek City, Kangwon Province, is one of the mountains boasting the beautiful winter landscape.

As in the past, there are many ¡°mountain people,¡± who come to Mount Taekbaek covered with beautiful snow flowers from Seoul by night train this winter, thanks to the heaviest in 20 years. The travelers¡¯ joy doubles as they see from the train windows the white mountains.

The train arrives at Taebaek Station at 3:28 a.m., and the travelers go first to a taxi driver¡¯s restaurant in front of the station for a bowl of ¡°haejangguk,¡± or spicy soup, to kill hangover. They leave the restaurant at 4:15 a.m. by taxi to the entrance to the mountain at Yuil-sa temple. The fare is 15,000 won.

Everything is crystal clear on the way to the top of the mountain at dawn. As the white snow reflects the moonlight, shadows of trees on the snowfield are that clear. Even the colors and the brightness of the twinkling stars in the sky can be classified. The nature¡¯s orchestra performs a symphony of various sounds -- the sound of wind passing through the woods, the screaming of twigs under deep snow, rhapsody of footsteps on the snow, the sound of hens flapping wings in the dawn. Everything is beautiful. And then, the sun rises. The sun soars from the thick sea fog and lights the land. The world opens. Every existence regains its own color -- white whiter, black blacker.

There is one bonus in Mount Taebaek hiking. A Mount Taebaek Snow Festival is being held through Jan. 23 at the Danggol Square. About 10 snow sculptures greet the visitors. There is an ice tunnel and a sleigh course, whose snow quality is said, is the best in Korea.

It was 12:30 p.m. after taking a lunch at the restaurant street in Danggol Square. The visitors leave for Taebeak Station by taxi (it takes about 20 minutes) and take a ride on the train departing for Seoul at 1:01 p.m. Outside the train window is a white country. Taking seats, the visitors feel sleepy because it was sleepless two-day event requiring 18 hours.

It is a short journey of 18 hours, but the trailing note is long.

Package travel:

It starts only in Seoul (for no night, one day). Seungwoo Travel Agency (02-720-8311) offers ¡°Simple Snow Flower Train¡± (Taebaek-Chongnyangni Station for round trip plus Mount Taebeak sightseeing).