Lots of pple find that travelling in a foreign place w/o knowing their native lang is very daunting. Alot of hassle as well. Since you need to do tons of research + arrange all the accomodation & the thought of trying to survive there makes you want to just take the easier route of following a tour group.
Glad we made the effort to do tons of research + our own arrangement for this KR trip!
I feel that the travelling like a normal local helps a traveller understand the local culture better. It’s totally a queer and exciting experience. You never know what to expect.
After the touch-down at Incheon Airport, the usual train rides to one of the Seoul city subway stations, wefound our way to Ganbyeon Station where the Dong-Seoul bus terminal is. It looks like Queenstown shopping center. Crowded. Noisy.
We were totally lost in booking our bus tickets. Everything was in Korean. hahaha somehow, after matching the characters, we found the counter to book our tickets & bus bay to take the bus. All the while, I was worried if we would end up somewhere else!
In Dong Seoul, the female toilet was totally gross. From the outside of the toilet doors, I could actually see the males peeing!!! hahahaha what a start. Uncle Mark was smart…he actually went all the way inside to the last cubicle. All to avoid prying eyes…SHEESH…hahahaha
Arrival at Sokcho inter-city bus terminal was super duper in darkness. We took a taxi to The Kensingston Stars hotel. The taxi interior was so damn clean. We were seating on plastics lor. The taxi driver did not even remove the covering. Jeez…so the ride was freaking me out. Totally reminded me of the drive in US to find that stupid Cedar Lodge. The mountain roads were deserted. Total pitch-black. FREAK
When we reached at 11pm, the whole hotel was in pitch darkness. Looked like haunted hotel in the midst of the mountains. Thanks to the pleasant hotel staff and wonderful room, it relly alleviated my fear…wahahahaha
We zonked out from the long rides & the next morning. WOW! Scenery was GORGEOUS!!!!
Mountains was really pretty. Rivers, rapids, FRESH AIR. GOSH I missed fresh air!
Lots of flies. BUT WORTH THE HIKE UP. So, we walked from 7am till 10am. Just to see the 3 rocks. 3 Rocks were called Daecheongbong Summit & large rock – Onguri. We could have travelled further to the cave. BUT no thanks. I saw the ladder and freaked out. It was almost 70degree tilt to me. Looked like I have to climb on fours to get up. Actually, getting up is never an issue. It’s the after thought of coming back down. That’s where I have the mighty image of me slipping down & free-falling somewhere down the rocks! hahahaha
So after the climb which we only took like 3hrs, we had time to take a cable car from the foot of the mountain to another part of Mt Seorak. Then, we happily started up a flight of stairs, that I really thought it looked harmless. Until after 10min of climbing, I realised we were still climbing. DAMN! Finally when we reached the mountain side after at least 20min of climbing flight of stairs. Then I freaked out again! The stairs leaded to just pure mountain Rocky paths. No ropes, no ladder NOTHING. Beside the rocky plateu, it was steep drops down to the valleys. JEEZ. & there was another peak. The peak was not only rocky, the path was super narrow. U see people walking UP & DOWN. Hanging on for their lives. People are FEARLESS. They just climbed happily on the rocks to the peak. Just to see the 1min of grandeur view.
As usual, fear got the better of me. I stopped in the midst somewhere & amused myself with China gals who seriously wore PLATFORMS up the peak area…hahahahaha
After which, we made our way to Abai Village for lunch. DAMN good the food. Universal lang of hand gestures + picture pointing actually got us the food we wanted. Seriously, after the morning activity, we were STARVING. Anything tasted good!
To get to Abai Village, we sat the gaetbae (small boat). It was damn cheap. Only 200Won per pax. That’s like max 30cents SGD?! It was fun la…getting passengers to help pull the boat across the river.
Sokcho was great FUN!