Discovering new hobbies: Rock Climbing
All you need is a rock, a harness and rope! Well, a rock will be a start, but rock climbing is a versatile and athletic sport. Rock climbing is popular around the world and Korea is no exception! Korea may not be a top-destination to travel to for rock climbing, like Venezuela or Yosemite, but I think that there are many locations to choose from for the beginner to experienced climber.
There is a great web site called koreaontherocks.com where you can search for indoor and outdoor rock climbing destinations. They are “dedicated to providing information to foreign rock and ice climbers living in South Korea”. The website is an open forum for people to share their personal experiences and feedback about different locations to go climbing around Korea. On this website, you can search for places to go bouldering, rock climbing, and ice climbing in different provinces all around Korea. Any expat living in Korea, has noticed that Koreans are fond of having the equipment to be prepared for the sport (case in point, hiking outfits that are high quality from their top of their waterproof and sun-protecting bucket hats to their fully supportive hiking boots) and rock climbing is no exception.
I am a beginner rock climbing I have only gone bouldering a handful of times and I rock climbed outside for the first time this past month, but I feel like that the community is full of people who are happy to share their experience and knowledge by sharing tips and pointers. After all, they remember what it feels like to be a beginner and the only way that you will improve with your skills and physical ability is to practice. I recommend starting at an indoor gym with bouldering so that you can start to understand the movements and strengthen your forearms. For those who are not sure what bouldering is, bouldering is where you are climbing without ropes, but there are mats to land on when you fall (and you are not climbing that high). Bouldering helps build up your strength and trains your eye as to what to look for and the movements that your body will make. Most people use climbing shoes when they are bouldering as well as chalking their hands, but you can rent shoes and use chalk at a bouldering gym. Here are some pictures from Sinban (신반), Gyeongsangnam-do province. If you are an inexperienced climber, I recommended going with someone who knows the ropes. Good luck climbing, have fun and be safe!