On the last Friday in Gwangju — after our final exams and graduation ceremony — a few of my friends and I hiked up Gwangju’s Geumdang Mountain 금당산. 


Peter read about a night hike on this mountain a few weeks prior and going on the last weekend felt like a perfect end to an amazing summer. We started at about 8 o’clock expecting the hike to take about 40 minutes to the top. We also were expecting the path to be lit up.

It only took me, Paula, Aksha, Aksha’s language partner, Peter and his language partner, and my language partner about 25 minutes to reach the top. And the path was not lit, so we used our iPhone flashlights to guide us to the top.

Me and Paula. “Let’s laugh at each other and look candid.” :l

The top had a gorgeous view of Gwangju at night below. This was the first time any of our Korean friends had hiked this mountain; even my host mother who has lived in Gwangju for about 40 years has never hiked it. It was also our Korean friends’ first time to hike at night. Koreans usually go to drink every time they meet up with friends.

All picture credits go to Peter and Jeongmin!


Although it only took 25 minutes to ascend and 20 minutes to descend we spent about about an hour at the top enjoying the view and listening to jazz music. Jazz music and the soft voice of Louis Armstrong just fit the 분위기 atmosphere. Anyways I had been listening to Louis Armstrong the past two weeks non-stop.


Peter taught me how to dance to the music, and Aksha quickly changed the music to Michael Buble’s Christmas soundtrack. Before we descended we all belted out A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton. It was a wonderful night and I’m sure our Korean friends were 당황스럽다 and slightly weirded out my our American crew. But they pleasantly enjoyed the night too and it was a memorable one.


Add to the list of giant bugs we have seen in Korea. This spider and its web were MASSIVE. If Peter was like 2 inches taller he would’ve walked straight into it.




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