From Seoul to Sokcho via Dongseoul Bus Terminal

4 Nov 2013

This morning I woke up at 7.40 AM. I still wanted to sleep but then I remembered that gate near the hostel that was burned down and rebuilt recently – I wanted to take picture of it before leaving Seoul.

At 9 AM, I was eating breakfast…alone…strange…where’s everybody? I saw a lot of luggage at the reception yesterday.

Breakfast was served in the Kitchen, on the same floor as my room. The kitchen was small but charming. There’s a washing machine too (behind the grey curtain with white tree print).

Breakfast menu were toasts with jam or peanut butter or hazelnut chocolate and cereal with milk and orange juice. I had toast with chocolate and peanut butter and 2 glasses of orange juice. Guests were encouraged to wash the dishes they used.

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I checked-out from the hotel around 9.30 AM and then took pictures of the gate. It’s more beautiful at night when the lights were on. It’s surprising to see historical site in the middle of modern city.

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The lady wearing brown coat in the picture above was checking on her make up while waiting for the green light.

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When I walked to metro station, an elderly couple asked me for the direction of Gwanghamun. He showed the map and it’s a straight line from the gate where I took the picture above.

Near the City Hall metro exit 7, I saw the statue of Admiral Lee Sun Shin that guard the Gwanghamun a little far away. I wanted to take picture of it but there was a construction site hindering the view. Too bad.

I went to the station, bought a single journey ticket and went to the platform. A train came, I went into it and then realized that the City Hall station code was 201. The train that came went to station with code number 259 and I was supposed to go to station # 214 (Gangbyeon) – which was on the opposite direction. I went out again and waited on the correct lane. Thanks God the train wasn’t moved yet. Phew. Another close call.

At the Gangbyeon station, I went to exit 4 then went outside the station, crossed the street, went to the left and enter the Dongseoul bus terminal building. I found the information about how to get there and how to bought the ticket from visit Seoul website.

Inside the terminal, I went looking for toilet….kekeke….I always looking for it first. Then I went to the ticket booth. There are several ticket booth on both sides of the entrance. Every booth sell ticket to everywhere. I queued behind a soldier (military service is mandatory for South Korean male, aged between 18 – 35 years old).

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At the ticket booth, I showed Sokcho written in Hangul and then paid the ticket – KRW 17,800 to the lady. She printed the ticket and showed me the departure time. 20131104_112143

The bus was scheduled to leave at 11.29 AM from platform 4 or 5. It was 11.08 AM. I went to the lane and showed the ticked to the officer standing in front of a bus and he gave me back the ticket. I guessed it’s not the correct bus.

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There was a time information in front of the bus – it looks like a digital clock. It showed 11.25. I guessed that sign showed the bus departure time.  There is also information of the destination – on the bus front window – written only in Hangul.

20131104_111355 20131104_111336Looking at the platform information, where “Sokcho” is written in A-B-C alphabet and in Hangul), I guessed the bus to Sokcho is always parked on platform 4 or 5. So all you have to do is to check the departure time printed on the ticket with the one showed on the bus front window.

There were time, so I went inside the terminal building again. I took pictures of the terminal and bought chocolate wafer for snack.

It was a bit unnerving trying to buy things when you only know a word or two of the local language….but I was hungry so I forced my self to speak ^_^. Months before I came to Korea, I learned how to read Hangul and the name of the food and the numbers. It’s enough to help me buy snacks. All I have to do was chose the things that I wanted to buy and then asked for the price by saying “Eol-ma-na-yo?” which means, “How much?” and after that I only have to decipher the price. I found out that most of the vendors in Korea know how to say the price in English ^_^ . Some are also able to speak Chinese.

I was considering buying Kimbap (it was sold wrapped in aluminium foil) or other snacks. I wanted to taste the local snacks at the bus stop on the toll road to Sokcho and eating Kimbap would make me full so I chose the chocolate wafer.

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The bus came around 5 minutes before departure time. I put the baggage inside the bus trunk, showed my ticket to the officer waiting at the bus door and then went inside the bus looking for my seat number. The seat number was printed on the ticket. Mine was no 4. on the aisle side on 2nd row. 

The bus was roomy. There are only 3 seats on each row. Each seat has its own seat belt and  the seat can be reclined and has a foot rest. There’s a TV at the front, near the driver seat.

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The bus was almost full and it departed on time.

I was looking forward for a comfortable ride to Sokcho. Sockho, here I come!

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