Monday, April 6, 2015

Hiking, One of the Most Popular Hobbies in Korea

Hiking, One of the Most Popular Hobbies in Korea

Hobby means an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure according to Oxford dictionary. It means that people take up various hobbies to entertain themselves, release their stresses, and maintain their health. Koreans especially enjoy outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, climbing, mountain biking, and skiing. One of the most popular hobbies in Korea is hiking, why then do Koreans like to go hiking so much?
First, Korean mountains cover 70% of the land mass and Korea has twenty one national parks including three marine parks. It means that most of the national parks have the mountains and they are located from the north to the south. For example, the first and the largest national park of Korea is Jirisan National Park in the southwestern region, and the third highest mountain Seorak is located in the northern region. Korean national parks also provide various hiking courses, so people can choose certain courses according to their state of health or their levels of hiking experiences. Therefore the geographically accessible mountains make it, so people can go hiking easily.
Second, the Korean mountains have many historical sites to enjoy. Most of the Korean famous temples are located in the mountains due to the history of persecution of the Buddhist faith during the Joseon Dynasty. So people can enjoy the antique Buddhist temples while they are going hiking. In addition, the Korean mountains have various sceneries from spring to winter. Cherry blossoms, forsythias, azaleas, magnolias, lilacs and other spring flowers are in full bloom in spring. The lush green leaves and the cool shade of green trees are all over the mountains in summer. The gold and crimson autumn leaves under the blue sky create a picture-perfect view in autumn. The heavy snow is covered all over the mountains in winter. Therefore people go hiking every season to enjoy the different spectacular scenery.
Lastly, Koreans enjoy hiking with their families and friends to release their daily stress, breathe fresh air and strengthen their ties. Most of Korean workers have to work long hours with short breaks and in almost the same pose so they need to stretch their bodies. Koreans also believe that a sound mind is in a sound body, so most parents want their children to exercise regularly. Hiking is the perfect solution for the parents and the children both and if they go hiking together, then they can talk about their daily lives. Therefore Koreans think hiking is one of the perfect activities for all ages.

In conclusion, mountains cover 70% of Korea’s land mass, so it is easy to go hiking and the mountains have the antique Buddhist temples with spectacular views and scenic beauty of the seasons. Hiking encourages people to take a break with fresh air and strengthen ties among the family members, therefore hiking is one of the popular hobbies in Korea. Korea is truly a hiker’s paradise.

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