Kuryong Falls – Mt Kumgang Walk

Mount Kumgang, or the Kumgang Mountains, is a spectacular and stunningly beautiful mountain range, also referred to as the diamond or the thousand peak mountains. The mountains are located in the South East corner of North Korea, bordering with South Korea, on the other side of the infamous demilitarised zone. Between 2002 and 2008 hundreds of thousands of tourists from South Korea, in particular, visited the area. Since then it has very much reverted back the ‘the unseen North Korea’ visited by very few international tourists. While the mountains are a hikers delight and one could easily spend weeks here we were limited to an afternoon’s hiking to Kuryong Falls and a short visit to the Samilpo Lake (see seperate review) – but what a delightful afternoon it was.

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Overland from Pyongyang to Hamhung via the Ullim Falls

With the military and other celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of North Korea’s foundation, on the 9th of September, over it was time for us to head east for the first of two forays which would let us see a large part of this, much less frequently visited and scenically beautiful, side of the country. For this trip we started with a bus ride, 300 kms across the country giving us a wonderful introduction to this beautiful scenery and an insight into country life more generally. This review is a photo journal of my trip from Pyongyang to Hamhung, on the east coast of North Korea. Continue reading “Overland from Pyongyang to Hamhung via the Ullim Falls”

Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty Summit Walk

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This challenging, well signposted, walk (8km return) begins in Waterfall Gully at the 1st Falls lookout and continues past the 2nd Falls from where the trail climbs steeply up to the remains of Chinaman’s Hut (1.1kms – picture 2). Archaeologists have been unable to find any sign of past Chinese occupation and the hut was more likely occupied by European woodcutters in around 1900.

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Waterfall Gully – Oasis On City Outskirts

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Located in Cleland Conservation Park, Waterfall Gully is home to the largest (18m) of seven waterfalls in the park and is a lovely spot to visit, in itself, from Adelaide (10kms) or as a base for a very popular 4km (each way) walk to Mount Lofty summit (see separate review). Even if not walking the whole way to Mt Lofty summit I recommend you at least go up to the top of the first falls and perhaps as far as the second falls (about 500m). Continue reading “Waterfall Gully – Oasis On City Outskirts”

Gudvangen to Voss via Stalheimskleiv Road

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Given the slight hassle we had getting our boat from Flåm to Gudvangen, notwithstanding that we had a ticket, purchased well in advance, we didn’t want to take any chances with the bus from Gudvangen to Voss, especially as I had always felt this to be the least clear and thus most uncertain component of our trip between Oslo and Bergen.

Accordingly, as soon as our boat docked at Gudvangen we headed straight for the bus – no dilly dallying or looking around the Viking village of Gudvangen. Continue reading “Gudvangen to Voss via Stalheimskleiv Road”