January 1st marks the beginning of a new year, and many Korean families partake in the traditional custom of hiking to the top of a mountain before sunrise, so they can watch the very first sunrise of the new year from the mountain’s peak.
Some other foreigner friends and I set out to bring in the new year in this traditional Korean fashion by climbing Changwon’s 2nd tallest mountain Muhaksan (Mt. Muhak: 761.4 m). We however, lacked the gusto for a pre-sunrise hike and began our trek in the early afternoon.
It was a beautiful early winter’s day in Changwon, with slightly frigid air, a shining sun and clear blue skies. We hiked for five hours from the base of mountain to its windy peak. We hiked through temperate forest and over granite boulders. Once at the summit, we quickly took some photos before retiring to stop and eat our snack of gimbap and cookies.
On our way down he hiked down Muhaksan’s ridge directly into Masan’s Changdong neighborhood, all the while looking over Masan and the sunset lowering over Masan’s Bay, aptly nicknamed “Dream Bay.” In the twilight, hotel and restaurant signs brightened, and office and apartment windows one by one started to illuminate the Masan skyline as we watched from above, overseeing the first day of 2014 peacefully draw to a close.
/Posted by Coby Zeifman, Changwon Reporter Blogger