It’s really sad the autumn colours have yet to fill the whole mountain yet, but it’s still definitely worth a go!! Even with the lush green leaves, the view is still super stunning!
I took a bus from Gwangju to Jeongeup and then took a city bus outside of the terminal to head to Naejangsan. After the bus drop you, walk to the other end of the bus terminal and head for the main road, once at the main road, DON’T head to the bus stop you see on the right across the street, there’s no bus to Naejangsan there. The bus stop to take the bus is on the left, where you can see a bus stop sign. You need to take the bus #171 to bring you to Naejangsan. (The bus stop doesn’t have the sign for 171 but no worries, because that bus will for sure show up at the bus stop. When in doubt, just follow those ahjumas and ahjusshis in hiking suit and gears).
The ride from Gwangju to Jeongeup is about 50mins and from Jeongeup to Naejangsan about 30mins.
Once you reached, there’s a time table for the return bus back pasted outside C U mart, so you can note the time. Then you can walk towards the left to head to the visitor information and also the entrance of the park. (But if you would like, you can cross the road then walk left, there’s a lot of stores there selling all kinds of stuffs.
The admission costs 3000won per adult. Before you head in, it would be best to speak to the visitor information counter. They speak lots of languages, English and Mandarin are all possible. They would recommend you which way to go, especially if you are the first time there.
There’s a shuttle bus from the entrance to the cable car site and it costs 1000won per trip. If you take the bus up, it’s 4-5mins but you wouldn’t be able to capture all the nice views. If you walk, it’s about 50mins, but you can take all the beautiful pictures you want, so it’s for you to choose.
I wanted to take the cable car up but I didn’t see the cable car when I got down from the bus because I followed the crowd (lol too funny i know, but that’s the best thing to do). So I walked to Naejangsa.
After the temple, I wanted to take the easy path, but I was stopped by an ahjuma that said that the way I was going wouldn’t have much to see and she told me to go the other side. So I did, and did some vigorous climbing. Little did I know that it’s the path that the lady at the visitor information counter warned me about. She said that if I were to take the cable car up, and want to see the Naejangsa, I would need to climb down but it’s very steep.
I was super glad I climbed up because the way up was super steep and I really couldn’t imagine making my way down without slipping a little bit. It’s really steep with tonnes of stones, no handles to grab. Luckily I was with this korean family and I walked with them. It took me 30mins to climb up that way, almost died panting. HAHA!
But the climb up was definitely worth it because of the view you get from the observatory! There’s an easier way out, which is to take the cable car. But if you want to take some walk and is up for the challenge, go ahead. Please take my warning, it’s really NOT for the weak.
Now here’s some pretty pictures for your eyes!!