Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Walk Thoughts #22: Day 1, Leg 1

So let's talk specifics: let's talk about where I'll be walking over a period of 24 or 25 days. Today, I'll show you the first day's walk, rendered very approximately on Google Maps. In future posts, I'll be showing several legs at a time.

The above title for this post is clunky. From now on, let's assume that a "day" and a "leg" represent the same thing for my walk: if it's Day 5, then I'm on the fifth leg, etc. From now on, I'll simply say, "Day #."

There's a certification booth at a place called Neungnae Station, which I'm not seeing on Google Maps, but which does come up on Naver and my Maps.me app. The Neungnae area is a bit beyond the reach of my first leg, but that's fine. I'll hit it on Day 2, most likely. Here's a map of Day 1's walk (click, right-click, then "open image in new tab" to enlarge):

Essentially, this is the route I biked, almost down to the meter. I'll be walking about 15.5 miles out, then camping. At the spot where I turned around on my rented bike, there are fields ("There are fields, Neo... endless fields...") where a tired Kevin can set up camp—hopefully without being bothered by any nosy assholes claiming the field as their own.

Day 2's walk ought to take me past Neungnae Station and the mighty Paldang Dam. More on that part of the trip later.


Charles said...

You might want to do some advanced research and find out whether those fields are owned or not. There is quite a bit of open space along the river east of Seoul, but much of that land (especially the flat land) is privately owned. Once, a long time ago, I went out with some classmates to have a barbecue in the middle of nowhere. We set up in one such field, and before long the owner came out to see what we were up to. He ended up being pretty nice about it, and let us stay as long as we promised to clean up after ourselves, not burn anything down, etc.

If you're planning on camping somewhere and there is a house nearby, checking in advance might make for a warmer welcome. Unless it's a "national forest" type of area where cold camping is allowed--I honestly don't know how that works in Korea, though.

Kevin Kim said...


I'm hoping that most of my rest stops will be at free campsites (the bikers all say that the routes are lined with these) or yeogwans whenever I stop in a town. You're right; I should do the research, just to be sure, but in most cases, I won't need to.

Based on my hike with Brian, I saw that the location of the certification booths is not always the same as the location of the campsites: there appeared to be some public-camping-style spaces along our walk, but the cert booth behind the National Assembly building didn't seem to be on a campground. One of the websites I linked to in an early Walk Thoughts post has leg-by-leg descriptions of these bike paths; I'll be checking that site to see what it says about camping, etc.

Charles said...

Ah, so there is a proliferation of camp grounds? That is cool. I suppose that does make things easier.

You know, I just realized that, despite the fact that I've lived there for over two decades, I've never actually camped in Korea. As in, stayed overnight somewhere in a tent. Hmm.

Surprises Aplenty said...

The map didn't expand for me when I opened it in a new window.

If you're camping where you might not be welcome, don't let the police find this on your phone: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North%E2%80%93South_differences_in_the_Korean_language
Differences between North and South Korean language.

Kevin Kim said...


Sorry to hear the map didn't expand for you. Did you right-click on it immediately? You'll note that my instructions say to click first, then right-click on the clicked image.

1. Click (i.e., left-click) on image. Image will expand somewhat.
2. Right-click on somewhat-expanded image. Menu appears.
3. Select "open image in new tab."
4. Click on opened image (your cursor ought to be a magnifying glass at this point), and image will expand to its fullest size.

Admittedly, the above instructions work in Chrome, but I don't know whether they work for other browsers, like Firefox et al. Please give that a try and tell me how you fare. If it still doesn't work, I guess you'll have to find your own workaround. Sorry.


Camping in Korea isn't something I'd leap to doing, given how crowded (and polluted) the mountains are. It's not like camping along Skyline Drive, where there are few people, and there's almost no pollution in the form of wrappers, tossed-off containers, and piles of soju bottles. (I'm looking at you, Gwanak-san.)