A quest for quiet: serene nature in the midst of Korean chaos

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One way in which Korea really stands out is in its access to nature- there are peaceful temples and sprawling parks to visit, and marvelous mountains to climb, even within the heart of the third-largest metropolis in the world. Despite rapid development over the past half-century, this is a country that has held onto some beautiful wild areas. That hiking is a national pastime has likely played a role, but I’m glad in any case. Another selling point is its relative accessibility- one can hop on buses or trains to reach many national parks, an option that is an unfortunate rarity in Canada (stunning though these parks might be).

In Giheung, my neighbourhood during this period in limbo, a well-developed walking/biking trail runs along a tributary of the Han river for a good chunk of its length.

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In fact, Korea has quite the network of cycling trails I look forward to discovering (two weeks sans bike, and I’m thinking I should look for a secondhand one around here- I miss it too much!)

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Wildflowers abound, ducks and cranes pass their time here and the chilly waters of this creek flow past. The lush scent of nature bursting with life perfumes the air wonderfully.

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