Unusual in Korea the mountain is formed of conglomerate rock which looks like gray pebbles hardened in cement, and which give the area a lost world feeling.
At the foot of the mountain, between the two peaks, is the renowned Tapsa Temple and its 80 stone pagodas. The mortar-less pagodas were erected by a hermit in the early 1900's as symbolic personal prayers for peace. These diverse stone towers (some as tall as 10 meters) are an intriguing sight and add to the mysterious atmosphere of the area.
Another interesting phenomenon of Maisan is its inverted icicles. In the cold winter months when water is left outside in a bowl it freezes into a pole reaching for the sky. No one knows why or how this happens, but it makes Maisan just that much more mystifying.
The west peak is the only peak that can be hiked to. The east peak requires the use of climbing equipment.
The hike up the west peak of Maisan is very steep, but is on a marked trail which makes its way up stone steps, and through the thick woods. The hike is strenuous but very short (less than 2km). Allow about 45 minutes of walking time to reach the peak.
To get to Maisan, simply take a bus from the city of Jeonju to Maisan’s neighboring town of Chinan in the Chollabuk-do province. The bus ride from Jeonju to Chinan takes about 50 minutes. In Chinan make your way to the one and only bus stop on the first street you see after you pass the city limits. Here you can purchase tickets, and catch a bus to the Provincial Park which is about a 10 minute ride away.
Buses for Chinan depart Jeonju every 10 minutes from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Buses for the park depart Chinan every 30 minutes from 8 a.m. to 6:20 p.m. Jeonju is situated south of Seoul by an approximatley 2.5 hour bus ride.
After you get off the bus make your way to the Tapsa Temple which can be found after climbing the many stairs to the saddle between the two peaks. After visiting the temple, head north where you will find a sign marking the trail head for of the west peak. The sign amusingly warns that the climb is not suitable for women and childern, the elderly, nor drunkards!
CampingIt's unclear if the park contains any designated camping spots. The best bet is to plan to stay in the neighboring town of Chinan.
WeatherSouth Korea enjoys all four seasons, with a wide range of temperatures. Average temperatures in Jeonju (city near Maisan) in January range from -8 C overnight to 2 C during the day. In April Jeonju night and day temperatures range from 5 C to 19 C, whereas in July the average night and day temperatures are 21 C and 30 C respectively. In the fall expect the daytime average to be around 20 C and overnight to fall to 7 C.
In the spring months Jeonju averages about 13 hours of daylight, increasing to about 14 hours of daylight in the summer. In the fall daylight hours decrease to about 11, and fall to 10 hours in the winter.
July and August see the most rainfall averaging 286mm (11.3 inches) and 248mm (9.8 inches) respectively.
See weather2travel.com for more detailed Jeonju weather information.
See an album of Maisan photos.
Video ClipBelow is a link to a video clip of Mt. Maisan. The video lists the elevations as 685 m, and 678 m - it's unclear where those numbers come from. Also note when they say the view is from the North (for example) they mean the view looking south at the north aspect.
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