Korea 2011 – Sokcho + Abai Village

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Seoul to Sokcho

Weather here is FAB! The low 13degree makes me so happy!

Surprisingly, my ears did not give me any prob on the airplane either. It was truly one of the few rare moments where I actually enjoyed the air plane trip! So we had a great start. Landed happily in Incheon airport. Tried to find the information counter where we realised the people arent friendly, at all!

Obviously, in my hol mood, who cares. Got our brochures, we departed to take the AREX train & then changed to line 2 at one of the university stations. We got onto the commuter subway & thought that we were super considerate by taking the seat by the door coz of our luggage.

Apparently, NOT. There’s this 1 old man who started scolding us because his friend could not sit down beside him & started shouting in some freaking korean language that obviously we can’t understand. Oh wells, we presume coz the seat is for the handicapped pple & all so anyways we stood up & gave our seat. Then he started shouting some CHINA people etc…GOSH…felt like telling him UNCLE…Koreans also came from China. Otherwise, why u eating with chopsticks, why your temples have CHINESE words? GEEZ…+ I am not from China. Told u dun understand your language, still happily shout. REALLY!

So after this freak incident, we made our way to the bus terminal where gosh, the people here are really not the most patient & helpful. Nonetheless, we managed to get to The Kensington Hotel. So apt a place to stay. Just after the royal wedding!

Hotel was great! Everything was good.Staff here was surprisingly super friendly. But me & mark concluded. Japan is unbeatable. From culture to people to service. Then again…we have many more days to explore the places. Can’t wait for Mt Seorak! 😉

Hope everything will change after today!