Sokcho & Seoraksan National Park, 12 - 13/04/2012

Gangneung - Andong, 14/04/2012


12/04/2012: Seoul - Sokcho

Drive with a taxi to Hanwha Building where we took an bus to Sokcho at the northeast coast of South Korea (3,5 hours with 2 stops). Taxi to Class 300 Hotel (4000 KRW). We have a big nice modern room on the 11th floor with good sea views. Walk to the Sokcho south harbour Daepohang where there are about 15 fish and seafood restaurants specialized in “modeumhoe” - assorted raw fish with a spicy broth made with vegetables and the heads and bones of your fishes. The lady took 5 living fishes off the tanks and prepared them for us: this is fresh fish at its best. After a pause we took a bus (1100 KRW p.p.) to the city centre which was much bigger than we tought! Many shops with the world-known brands, especially for sports and outdoors. But we were amazed by the underground sea-food court with a huge amount of small stalls serving the weirdest kinds of fishes, crabs, octopus, clams and some other things we don’t know what they are.  Back to our hotel with a taxi (3600 KRW).

13/04/2012: Seoraksan National Park

We took bus nº 7 up to the end which was at the entrance of the park. Park entrance fee: 2500 KRW p.p. Strenuous walk up to Ulsan Bawi (8,6 km, 3,5 hours) a spectacular granite cliff that stands at 873 m. The trail passes Heundeul Bawi, a massive bouler balanced on the edge of a rocky ledge. From here it was a hard-going climb (including an 808-step metal staircase between the rocks) but the stupendous views were well worth the effort. On our way down we ate squid sausage (20.000 KRW for 2), a speciality from this area  When we were down again, we took the cable car (9.000 KRW p.p.) which, by the way is Swiss made. Back to the hotel with the bus.

14/04/2012: Sokcho - Andong

This morning our hotel breakfast room was full whereas yesterday we were the only ones in there. Breakfast consists mainly of east Asian food, today coffee was really “unacceptable”... I am adapting to the local breakfast custom and eating a lot of local halosches. We took a taxi to the Express Bus Terminal and then a non-stop bus (1 hour) to Gangneung (bus fare 6.000 KRW p.p.). There we took a taxi to the Charmsori Gramophone Museum (very interesting, 7.000 KRW p.p.) It is located at the Gyeongpo Lake and just now there is the Cherry Blossom Festival and there were many people taking pictures, riding tandems, quissetax etc. Traffic was jammed and on our way back -this time to the train station- we had to wait a long time for a taxi and were already getting a little bit nervous, although our trains was only leaving at 12:55h. We arrived in Andong at 17:30h and walked to our hotel Andong Park. This is a pretty strange hotel. First the receptionist didn’t care to attend us, then he wanted to have us pay our (already pre-paid) room, he doesn’t understand a word of English and after calling the tour operator in Seoul he kindly gave us a room key. The room is weird: it has flower wall paper in 2 colours, strange (halfway modern but clumsy) furniture and a lightened, colour changing flowery “painting” upon the bed that also has another colour. Nothing matches with anything and, to say the truth, that looks a bit like a love hotel room. Anyway, we are only here for a night. We dropped our bags and took off to have dinner; from 6 pm on, the restaurants fill up pretty quickly. We think we had steamed chicken (we ordered the same as our neighbours) which was served in a big pan and cooked on our table with lots of vegetables, very tasty and not too spicy. On our way back we bought instant coffee to be able to rescue the one we will get from the hotel. 

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Casual eateries at the waterfront of Daepohang

Southern harbour of
Daepohang in Sokcho

The local meal is “modeumhoe”, assorted raw fish, served with soy sauce, wasabi and a spicy soup. The stall owner scoops the fishes (1) from the fish tanks, kills and slices it (2) immediately and serves it with side dishes (3)




That’s where the fresh seafood comes from.

The huge seafood court in the basement of the market in the centre of Sokcho. There are many fishes and other creatures we don’t have a clue what they are.

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Cable car up to the viewpoint, Seroaksan N.P., Sokcho

This lunch consists of squid sausage, another speciality from the region. As we were leaving our table neighbour invited us to eat and drink dongdongju makgeolli (fermented rice wine) with him.

Ulsan Bawi, a spectacular granite cliff that stands at 873 m. The trail passes Heundeul Bawi, a massive 16-tonne boulder balanced on the edge of a rocky ledge which can be rocked by a small group of people

This endless staircase leads to the top of the Ulsan Bawi cliffs.

These giant figures guard the entrance to the temples

Our train from Gangneung to Andong.

Chamsori Gramophone & Edison Museum, Gangneung

A private collector, Mr Son Sung-Mok, was the initiator of this museum. There are hundreds of antique gramophones and music boxes, as well as some other of Edison’s inventions. A Korean guide demonstrated the use of some antique music boxes with the plates, rolls etc. that were used with it.

Cherry Blossom at Gyengpo Lake

Guess where are the restrooms?

Defying water tap!

1000 KRW ≈ 0,68 EUR ≈ 0,88 US$ - see today’s rate

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