Sokcho - Land of Autumn in My Heart & Mt. Seorak: 14-15 May 2010 PART I

Going from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal! (Which will bring you to Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal.)

This trip started out because I felt that as exchange students, we weren’t fully utilising our weekends to travel. And also because I missed Jeju so much, I wanted to explore other places beyond Seoul. So I began searching for places that were near Seoul and not too far off, considering how I had to be back on Sunday for the World Cup Pre-Match (which you can read about HERE) and also because we had our final Korean test on Thursday.

So! I looked at the big Korea map and my eyes landed on this place called Gangwon-do, where I read about Seorak-san. A week before, my friend had been to Seoraksan on a day trip and she posted the photos on Facebook. To be honest, a day trip seemed too tiring, so I decided, why not stay for a night? And the nearest town that Google and Wiki Travel threw up was: Sokcho (속초).

Sokcho is one of my favourite places in Korea of ALL time, next to Jeju and Seoul. It is incredibly scenic and quiet. It was a great time of escape from the busyness of school back in the city. It is a very small city of about 90,000 people and it is one-sixth the size of Seoul.

I grabbed my usual travelling buddies, Bernice and PS. I made reservations at The House Hostel. (Sounds creepy, but it’s far from it. It’s so cosy and pretty!) And the guy there could instantly tell I was a foreigner even though I spoke Korean on the phone. T.T

The House Hostel (http://www.thehouse-hostel.com/)






Her name is Gumi, which means cloud in Korean because her fur's white.


The streets of Sokcho! It was surprisingly modernised! See the Adidas shop on the left hand side!

So we walked, walked, walked. Based on the recommendation of the owner of The House Hostel, he directed us to this place where we could have unlimited sushi, western food and uh, some Korean food for 7,000 KRW! Amazing or what? That's about S$8.50.

Look at the amount of food we all piled onto our plates!

Basically telling you that you can have all this food for 7,000 KRW!

Happy diners!

Oh when we were at the restaurant, some high school girls kept looking over at us and talking. I later deciphered that they were saying my hair was similar to one of the f(x) members. (This was when f(x) had just begun promoting NuABO.) Amusing much? Another friend of mine, Grace, says that my hair looks like Jessica's from Girl's Generation. It's just the whole blond and black thing lah~

We ate a little too much and we decided to walk it off, so we headed in the direction of the red bridge we had seen earlier, which led us to Lake Cheongchoho.



Sinsuro Arched Bridge overlooking Lake Cheongchoho.


This is called a Gaetbae (갯배). You have to take it to get from where we were, to the Sinsuro Arched Bridge. Unless...you want to take the other long way around.


Ahjusshis fighting about who gets to pull it. It's completely hand-pulled!


And when you get to the other side, you see a little house with the Autumn in My Heart memorabilia and information panels. Remember to pay the Ahjusshi 200 KRW for the boat ride! We nearly forgot!

When we reached the other side, we came across this area called Abai Village. It's made up of N. Korean expatriates. The village is apparently well-known for its special type of Soondae. Soondae is a street food common in Seoul. The area near my school, Nokdu, is known for Soondae. But apparently the Soondae at Abai is a different type. We didn't get to try it because we were all too full from lunch.


Abai Village


We walked up the bridge and there was NO cars. So we played around on the roads.






The skies were gorgeous that day and the town was so quiet and serene, I remember us telling each other that this was such a nice place and a great getaway. So we basically walked a whole lot. We walked to E-Mart near Sokcho Beach. We had a map with us, and also, we were just making a big circle around Lake Cheongchoho, so it was hard to get lost. If you're heading for Sokcho beach, it's about 5 minutes by foot from the Sokcho Express Bus Terminal. (There's two bus terminals by the way: Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal and Sokcho Express Bus Terminal. Don't get confused!)

Buying food to eat on Sokcho Beach. Look at all the instant coffee!


It was a nice clear-skied day!


I don't know why Ber is laughing so happily.


Our snacks by the beach!



We heard about cycling around Lake Yeongnangho from the owner of The House Hostel. We cabbed down to the place and climbed up the Beombawi Rock, which is a rock in the shape of a tiger. It wasn't anything much though, so we just walked around Lake Yeongnangho.





We walked all the way back to our place and slept a little while watching Superstar K. PS and I went out for dinner, but Bernice stayed in the room. I have no photos from dinner because it was so cold that I forgot about bringing out my camera.

Our cosy room. It had two double-decker beds, a computer and a TV! I love guest houses in Korea!

But we had dinner at this place called 왕십리구이한마당 (Wangshimni Gui Hanmadang) where we had unlimited barbequed meat for 7,000 KRW. We got ice cream at the end of the meal too! It's recommended by the owner of The House Hotel. He directed us there. If you want to go, walk the road straight down from The House Hostel and cross the big road, you should see it after about 5-10 minutes? Here's the number in case you need it: 33-636-7849. (Taken off Wiki Travel.)

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