The Man With the Rock Hat
For Singaporeans, nothing sounds better than the idea of escaping Singapore’s baking weather to the land of Kim Soo Hyun’s origin, South Korea for the spring holidays! Guest blogger Ms Priscilla Pecks goes “Seoul” searching on her first solo graduate trip.
Being an avid fan of Korean culture and music, of course, it was a dream come true to fly to Korea for my very first solo trip. From eating kimchis to the daily fashion parade, there were so many things to see and explore in Seoul itself.
But one of the most memorable experience I had was actually a mountain climbing trip in Daegu, a city surrounded by mountains. This particular mountain I climbed was deeply embedded in the locals tradition. ‘Gat Ba Wi’, literally translated to ‘Rock Hat’ with ‘Gat’ meaning ‘Hat’ and ‘Ba Wi’ rock. Why do I say it was interesting? On the day of tedious mountain climbing, I was able to witness the uniqueness of this mountain. After hours of steps after steps after steps, once I reached the top of the mountain, I saw many people praying to this ‘Gat Ba Wi’ statue, a man wearing a rock hat.
According to the Daegu-nians, during the Buddha birthday holiday, which was only 2 days away from the day I went up the Gat Ba Wi, parents and grandparents would climb this almost 10,000 step-high mountain to pray as they believed it would bring luck for their kids when taking their SAT exam, which was a major exam required for every South Korean, pretty much similar to O levels here.
Of course if that doesn’t interest you, why not take your time to enjoy the breathtaking scenery at the top of the mountain? Not to mention the amazing breeze that is non-existent in Singapore.
If that isn’t enough, pack up some food and picnic on the rocks with your friends while doing some bird sight seeing! But beware ladies, and maybe gentlemen, because insects here are far larger than the one’s you spot in your own home kitchen.