The weather is amazing at this time of year, so we decided to head out of town and spend the weekend at one of our favourite destinations in Korea - the town of Mungyeong, and surrounding areas. It's practically smack-bang in the middle of Korea and is a popular place for hikers, with gorgeous trails for all levels of fitness, as well as loads of history in the area.
We love the fact you can pull off the road virtually anywhere and enjoy the crystal clear waters of the creeks and rivers. This time of year, cherry blossoms are on the verge of blooming, and there are splatters of colour with the wild azaleas beginning to flower on the mountainsides.
I woke early on this morning, grabbed my camera and wandered around the farming roads waiting for the sun to peak over the mountains. Was so peaceful, with nothing but the sounds of the odd cow or rooster in the distance.
It appears the valleys are utilised mainly for horticulture, and we saw lots of farmers out in the fields planting this year's crops. I wondered who will take on farming as an occupation in the future, as it seems very few young people are returning to the farms in Korea.
I love this grass - such a common scene along the waterways in Korea.
Reflections early in the morning. The water was like a mirror.
A typical farming track winding through a small village.
We pulled off the road for a play at this mountain creek. My kids were busting to get in the water, and named the little patch of sand in the water "Paradise Island". Water looked so tempting but was icy cold.
This photo was taken on another trip we took to Mungyeong, in February so towards end of winter. There's a great sledding slope in the town which runs all year round and I think I've tasted the best doenjang jjigae ever at Mungyeong.
There is so much fascinating history in this area, including Mungyeong Saejae
, the mountain pass where the old road from Busan to Seoul passed over the Sobaek mountains and out of the Gyeongsang
region. The three gates which controlled traffic on that road are now maintained as tourist attractions. It's a lovely place for a weekend getaway.
We usually stay at the Mungyeongsaejae Youth Hostel (http://www.saejae-yh.co.kr/english/main.asp), which is in the centre of town, and right at the foot of the sledding slope - great if you have kids, and it's cheap and clean.