After contemplating on what to wear, I finally settled with a shirt, blue coat, and the black boots (they were not hiking boots, take note). It was a bit cold already in Chuncheon and we were warned that the temperature can get lower once we were in Seoraksan.
We left for Sokcho by 9.30 AM and we bought our tickets in advance the day before. Sokcho is a city in Gangwondo which is also very close to the National Park of Seoraksan. One must pass Sokcho first as buses going to the mountain are situated there.
It was a two and a half hour ride from Chuncheon to Sokcho, we arrived at Sokcho bus terminal around 12.00PM. This I did not expect - or maybe I just did not do my research on the travel time. (read: Bad planning). I wanted to do the Cheonbuldong course, but apparently we will not be able to make it on time given that we only went for a day trip to Seoraksan. Fail number 2.
The bus stop for Seoraksan is 2-3 minute walk from the terminal. There is also a Tourist Information Center outside the bus terminal which was a nice touch not just for people going to Seoraksan, but also if you want to go around Sokcho. There are also small stores inside/outside the terminal so you can buy food or water before going to Seoraksan. It could get a bit pricier once you get there.
There was a schedule pasted on the bus stop and the earliest bus we can take will pass by 12.30PM. Bus fare was 1000 Won but T-money can also be used for discount, you must take Bus 7 and get off at Seoraksan National Park.
I was told that it was of a 20-30 minute ride from Sokcho to Seoraksan, however we went on a Saturday. Yes folks, Saturday! When we arrived inside the Seoraksan, there was quite of a traffic jam due to the cars going up to the park/entrance. However, we still waited as my friend wanted to preserve her energy for the hiking. We got off at Seoraksan National Park (Seoraksan Sogongwon 서락산 소공원) We arrived Seoraksan around 1.20PM. :(
|Admission Fee to Seoraksan|
|Mr.Sun, giving me lens flares|
|Inside the National Park|
|Of course, we took our time taking pictures of ourselves and the trees, again|
|I could only stare at Ulsanbawi from afar|
|Yes, this is a restroom|
It was 2.3 kilometers from the temple to Biseondae and might take 40-60 minutes of walking (took us almost an hour because we were so busy taking pictures). According to Visitkorea, the trail was 'Medium' in terms of difficulty, that I have to see.
|One of the pit stops going there|
|My feet were certainly not prepared for this|
The name ‘Biseondae’ derives from the legend of a fairy who flew up into the heavens while admiring the area’s beautiful scenery. The grand scenery of rocks and cliffs seem like they are touching the heavens, and Biseondae has inspired many poets and scholars through the ages. Some of their writings have been engraved on the rocks and are preserved to this day. (from english.visitkorea.or.kr)
|Autumn colors of Seoraksan|
|Not that cold, I wished I left my coat somewhere|
|I definitely brought lots of stuff|
|Red hue of autumn in Korea|
|guy on the back sure was taking his time, tsk|
I have also met a couple in the bus, Young Phil and Seonmi who offered to take us to Chuncheon since they were also headed that way and Seonmi's apartment was quite close to where we were staying. Friendly Koreans!!! Of course, we hesitated to accept the offer at first but the old guy kept on telling/"joking" that we were going to be stuck in Sokcho so I accepted. On the ride home, Young Phil told me that the tickets were indeed sold out. Oooops! Maybe it was a good luck that somebody took us back to Chuncheon, if not, uh-oh! I was very thankful for both of them for letting us "hitchhike", I hoped I studied more Korean though - both of them were very friendly to me however I can not express myself in the language that fluently yet.
It was around 8:30PM when we got back to Chuncheon as the road back was traffic due to lots of people going out of Sokcho (maybe they also went to Seoraksan?) We roamed around the area as it will be our last day there and with our host. For dinner, took us quite a long time to decide as there were lots of interesting places to choose from.
|Yes, meat again|
|The cake was not that yummy though|
|Day 1: Gangwon-do Chuncheon and Nami Island|
Day 2: Gangwon-do Mt.Seorak (Seoraksan)
Day 3: Gyeonggi-do Yongin and Food Tour
Day 4: Gyeonggi-do Suwon: Hwaseong Fortress, Korean Folk Village
Day 5: Gyeonggi-do Everland
Day 6: Gyeongju Food Tour
Day 7: Gyeongju Seokguram Grotto
Cheomseongdae and Anapji Pond
Day 8: Busan Railway Train in Korea
Day 9: Busan Igidae Coast
Busan Fireworks Festival
Day 10: Busan Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Flying with Jeju Air
Day 11: Jeju (E) Food Tour- Altang
Teddy Bear Museum
The Seaes Resort
Day 12: Jeju (W) Sunrise Peak
Sangamburi Crater, Mt.Halla
Manjanggul Cave, Maze Park
Day 13: Seoul Flying with T'way Airlines
Couchsurfing in Korea
Day 14: Seoul Palaces and Bukchon Village
Day 15&16: Seoul Myeongdong and Ewha University
N Seoul Tower
Booking Flights via T'way Airlines
Travel Report for South Korea 16 days travel itinerary and tips