A man surveys the sky and the land below from Gasupbong, which is the summit of Mt. Yongmun in Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi Province. A climb to the top from Mt. Yongmun Tourist Park takes about three hours.
By Shim Hyun-chul
In celebration of the Year of the Dragon, tourists are flocking to sites related to the mystical creature. Mt. Yongmun is one of them as the name translates to "dragon's gate". The 1,157-meter high mountain sits between Yangpyeong and Yokcheon in Gyeonggi Province. It is lies between Mt. Bongmi to the east and Mt. Daebu to the west.
Mt. Yongmun and Mt. Jungwon form a deep canyon. The water flowing from the gorge leads to a beautiful waterfall comparable to scenery at Mt. Geumgang. The north side of the mountain is flatter than the south. An information panel at the foot of the mountain indicates the difficulty levels of all paths, allowing hikers to pick appropriate courses.
The area was a restricted military zone until November 2007. At the peak of the mountain, Gasupbong, there are remains of the time before it was open to the public. There one can enjoy an unhindered view of the area.
At the southeast foot of the mountain is Yongmun Temple. The Buddhist temple was built in the second year of King Seondeok's regime during the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C.-A.D. 935) A 1,100 year-old gingko tree is inside the temple. The tree, natural monument No. 30, has a 14-meter trunk radius and is 62 meters tall.
The area near the mountain offers historical sites as well as picnic spots by the creek that flows through Mt. Yongmun and Mt. Jungwon. In 1971, the official Mt. Yongmun Public Tourist Site was designated around the mountain to accommodate visitors. Many restaurants are located near its entrance.
Mt. Yongmun is only a two-hour drive away from Seoul, and one can take a train to Yongmun Station from Cheongnyangni Station in the capital.
For more information, call 031-773-0088 or visit http://tour.yp21.net/english.
Source : www.koreatimes.co.kr/... ( English Korean )
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