Category Archives: Sokcho

Extra 50k Won Trip from Sokcho to Jeju

6 Nov 2013

I woke up at 6.30 AM. I had another dream with ghosts in it. Yesterday I had that kind of dream too. Was it because I was too tired?

I left the Casa Seorak around 7.50 AM. I took picture of the mountain. It was cloudy.20131106_075136RWhen I reached the main street, the bus to Sokcho city came but it left before I crossed the street. I waited for the next bus for 15 minutes.20131106_075902When the next bus came, I got on the bus and paid 1100 won. I listened carefully to hear the information of the bus stop for the express terminal. After passing the Sunrise Park Entrance, the announcement finally said gosok terminal, gosok (고속) means express. The bus stop was about 50 m after the terminal building. When I got off, I opened the KTO’s Visit Korea Mobile App to check my location and my guess was right. The small building at the intersection is the terminal building. It looks more like a bank than a bus terminal.20131106_084301I bought the ticket – KRW 18,100. The bus departure time was 9 AM. I went to the toilet and when I came back, the bus was ready. It was 8.43 AM. I took several pictures of the building and then got on the bus.20131106_083634 20131106_084209 20131106_084213 20131106_084418I got a window seat this time. Yeay! The bus was more luxurious. It had a TV and the seats were slightly bigger than the intercity bus.20131106_084557The bus left on time at 9 AM. We passed several tunnels on the toll road to Seoul.

At 10.02 AM, the bus stopped for 15 minutes at a rest area. Before reaching the rest stop, the tv showed announcement in english and korean. I went to toilet and bought a pack of hodugwaja (호두과자) .Myungje told me that it’s the favorite food at rest area in Korea. It’s a small cake with red bean filling and shaped like a walnut. I ate a few before the bus ran again. It’s not allowed to eat and drink on the bus.20131106_100754 20131106_100832 20131106_101307 20131106_101440 20131106_101454

Arrived at Seoul express bus terminal in Gangnam at 11.45 AM. I followed the sign to subway – about 225 m from the bus terminal. There were 2 subway entrances. The first one only has stairs. Not far in front of it there’s another entrance, a bigger one with escalators. I used elevator to the ticketing level. There’s a shopping mall inside the subway station.

When the lift came, there was a man with bulky plastic bags containing clothes inside. When the elevator door opened, he threw the bags one by one. I couldn’t get my baggage to pass the door because his bulky bags were in the way. An ajumma got through but she didn’t hold the doors. She waved at me when the elevator went down. kekeke. The man took several bags with him and left some of the bulky bags in front of the elevator. Then he came back to carry the rest of them. After that, the elevator came up again and I could finally had a ride down to the ticketing level.

I bought ticket from machine but it only accept 1000 won bill. I only had 10000 won bill. When I was looking around, I noticed a bill changer machine next to the ticket machine. Nice!20131106_115754When I arrived at the train platform, I noticed that it’s a different kind. Instead of facing each other, the door to each lane were on the other side. You have to go up and down the escalator if you chose the wrong lane and it showed only the next station name. I memorized the station number while I was on the bus but it was useless.20131106_120606I had to check on the map to make sure that I was on the right lane. It turned out that I was on the right lane but the information on the door, there were 2 lanes, general and express. Then, a train came but the announcement was in Korean only. The girl in front of me didn’t get on the train so I decided to wait just in case I was on the wrong lane again. But after rechecking the map, I was sure it’s the right lane. Another train came and the announcement said that it was the express train to Gimpo airport. Wow. I was lucky to wait because the express train skips several stations and it took shorter time to get to the airport.

When I arrived at subway station in Gimpo airport, after exiting the subway, I returned the ticked to this Refund machine to get the deposit money back.20131106_115806The walk from platform to domestic check-in area was quite far, about 500 m. It took at least 10 min to walk there. I saw a girl and a boy running all the way to the airport, while I was walking. The girl dropped something and then the boy took the girl’s backpack and they ran again together. It’s so sweet of him. I hoped they didn’t miss their flight. The check-in was on the 2nd floor of the airport. Jeju Air booths were almost at the end of the check-in area, just walked straight line from the escalator. The check-in process took quite a while because they were changing working shift. I was told to wait about 5 min to make sure that my bag went to the right direction.

It was 1.10 PM when the check-in process was finally done and the boarding gate closed on 1.35 PM. The boarding area was on the 3rd floor. I only had 10 minutes to eat lunch so I went to the Lotteria on the 3rd floor before entering the boarding area. I ate Lotz burger with coke and fries in less than 10 minutes then I went inside the boarding area. The boarding gate no 17 was on the right side from the security area, it’s on the end of the alley. The plane was a bit delayed and some passengers were late. The flight to Jeju took around 55 minutes.

I arrived in Jeju airport at around 3 PM. I went outside the terminal through exit 2 and found the bus stop. I checked at the information display and found that bus no 100 next stop was the intercity bus terminal.20131106_153105I got on the bus, paid 1000 won. About 5 min on the bus, I heard announcement for intercity bus terminal. A girl with a baggage pressed the stop button. The bus stopped in front of a bus stop that said intercity bus. I followed the girl to get off the bus but couldn’t see the terminal. I checked the maps-with-me app and the KTO apps. The apps showed that the terminal was 5 min away in car. I didn’t know why I was persistently trying to find my way with the map, while I could easily wait for the next bus no 100. I spent several minutes at the intersection to find out the correct direction to the bus terminal. I was silly and walked all the way to the terminal. I saw the 100 bus passed me on my long – sweaty – walk to the terminal. jeez.Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal - the backyard

Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal – the backyard

When I arrived at the terminal, I circled it while looking for the hostel sign. The hostel direction in the confirmation email said that I should be able to see it from in front of the terminal. I walked around the terminal and didn’t found it. I finally make a call and a man answered and he told me to wait there, he would come and get me. He came and we laughed at the experience. It turned out, what I was supposed to be able to see was the sign board, located across the street from the terminal. jeez.Can you see the hostel sign from here?

Can you see the hostel sign from here?

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The hostel was on a small street behind a bank building. I paid KRW 36k for 2 nights and then I just realized that I lost a KRW 50k bill that I had prepared for paying the hostel. I must have dropped it off when I took out the paper with hostel phone number in it. Huhuhuhu… T_T . 50k won was a large sum of money. I could eat a portion of Jeju black pig with that amount of money. Hiks…bye bye Jeju black pig…’re lucky….this time.

The hostel employee then showed me the room and the door password. It was a cute and girly room.20131106_16482220131106_164832 20131106_180006I took a shower and then went down and asked about how to buy Osulloc tea. My friend gave me the money to buy the tea for her. Her brother bought it for her when he was on honeymoon. The hostel employee helped me checked the tea website, it was only available in Korean. He said that it seemed, the tea was only available at the plantation store. It was quite far from the hostel and I had to take taxi because there wasn’t any public bus to that area. He helped me wrote a note to the taxi driver to wait for me while I bought the tea.


It was nice of him, but I only had 1 full day in Jeju and I didn’t want to spend it on tea hunting. So, I told him that going to the tea plantation was not an option. Then he checked the website again, and found a link to its online store. So he helped me placed my order to be delivered to the hostel that I was going to stay in Busan, my next destination. It took two of the hostel employees to complete the transaction because there was some problem with the credit card. At last, I gave the cash to the employee and he borrowed his friend’s credit card to complete the order. Phew.

Then, I asked him about the places in Jeju that would be possible to visit in 1 day by bus. FYI, if you want to visit Jeju, it’s easier and cheaper if you go with 2 or 3 friends because you can rent a car with a driver and you can visit several places in a day. There were several options that I wanted to see but all of them were located at the other side of the island from the hostel, so it wasn’t possible to visit them all in one day by public bus. The hostel employee helped me by asking, what kind of nature wonder that I won’t be able to see in my country. So, finally, I chose the Seongsan Ilchulbong.

After that, I went around the hostel area, looking for something to eat. The hostel employee said that there’s nothing special around the area. So I just walked, circling several blocks. I passed several restaurants but I found them not interesting. I finally stopped by at a small supermarket and bought an instant noodle with cheese and a bottle of makgeolli () – a local alcoholic beverages made from fermented rice and wheat.

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Back at the hostel, I cooked the noodle and ate it while drinking makgeolli. I felt that my face turned red only after 1 glass.

After finishing the noodle (but not the makgeolli!) and reading about Jeju attractions from one of the guide book at the hostel common area, I went to the bedroom. It was already 10.34 PM. What a long day! I hoped the 50K won bill that I lost brought good luck for those who found it.


Sundubu Jjigae for Dinner

5 Nov 2013

Arrived at the bus stop near the hotel, I stopped by at the Korean restaurant shown by the hotel caretaker the day before.20131105_171926The ajumma at the restaurant was pretty. I saw several cars and shoes in front of the restaurant but inside, I was the only customer. I ordered sundubu jjigae (soft tofu stew) because it was the only Korean food that I recognize from the menu….kekekekeke and the ajumma told me it was 8000 won. I gave her the money and then sat back and relaxed while reviewing the hundreds of pictures that I took that day.

The ajumma cooked it herself and it didn’t take a long time for her to prepare it. When she brought the tray, every thing looked delicious. 20131105_163419 20131105_164807 20131105_163612There were clams in it. Myungje told me the clam name in Korean is bajilak. There were several types of banchan (side dishes) served with the stew and rice, but I only ate the kimchi and tofu. It was very tasty. The other two were green pepper and something red with suspiciously chili seeds in it. The rice was yummy.

I love the meal! The ajumma is a great cook. While I was eating, another ajumma came and they shared stories. Then another two ajummas came to eat. There was a big flat screen TV and it was showing Running Man rerun. It was a pleasant dinner time at 5 PM in the afternoon. I finished the sundubu in 20 minutes…kekeke.20131105_170956With a full stomach, I walked 300 m to the hotel while enjoying the sunset.

20131105_172822I took a bath and then transferred 300 photos, 200 of them were taken at Seoraksan that day. I was ready to sleep at 9 PM. I was tired to the bone but it was one of the happiest day in my life ^_^.

Biryong Falls

5 Nov 2013

My last stop at Seoraksan was Biryong Falls. The path to the falls located between the bus stop and the entrance office. Biryong means Flying Dragon because it looks like a dragon flying upwards to the sky – according to the article in Visit Korea website.20131105_153944The path leading to the falls is on the right side if you’re walking from the entrance office to the bus stop. After descending a few steps, you’ll see a wide stone bridge and you’ll be able to see the cable car on the right side.IMG_7806 IMG_7801 IMG_7809 IMG_7807When I was crossing the stone bridge, I heard the sound of people laughing and talking from under the bridge. I took a peek and there was a group of aunties (Ahjumma) having a picnic there. ^_^

It was around 2 PM, the trail to the falls was 2.7 km – according to the sign post. The sun was shining but the trail to the fall was in shade. It was cold and quiet. I saw a group of nuns walking in front of me, but they disappeared when I was busy taking picture.IMG_7804IMG_7802IMG_7812IMG_7813IMG_7816IMG_7817IMG_7821IMG_7822

I was alone in the woods for about 1 km walking. I was amazed to see a toilet building inside the wood (and later I found out that everywhere in Korea, it’s easy to find clean public toilet in tourist attractions area).IMG_7824 IMG_7825 IMG_7826



Beyond these steps, you’ll see the creek leading to the falls. Near the fall, I fell because the stone that I stepped on was a bit slippery. An elderly lady was worried but I told her that I was fine.

From the creek there was an uphill climb to the falls. I decided to stop at the creek and took pictures. The group of nuns was walking back from the falls when I was taking picture of the creek.

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There wasn’t enough light in the afternoon at the falls. I suggest that if you want to see it, do it in the morning.

The view on the way back to the bus stop was beautiful.IMG_7833 IMG_7834 IMG_7835 IMG_7836 IMG_7837 IMG_7839

I took a peek at the group of ladies having picnic under the bridge and they were ready to leave too.IMG_7838IMG_7840IMG_7842IMG_7846IMG_7849IMG_7850At 4 PM, I was back to the the bus stop. The bus was just arrived but it was full. So I stood all the way back to the hotel.

Afternoon Walk

5 Nov 2013

After lunch with the squirrel, I walked back to the entrance office. Not much to tell, only lots of pictures along the way. Here they are:


IMG_7734 IMG_7736Toilet signs at Singheungsa Temple:

IMG_7737 IMG_7738  IMG_7740 IMG_7741 IMG_7742 IMG_7743 IMG_7744 IMG_7745 IMG_7746 IMG_7747 IMG_7748IMG_7750 IMG_7752IMG_7753IMG_7754IMG_7756IMG_7757IMG_7759IMG_7760IMG_7761IMG_7762IMG_7763IMG_7771IMG_7790IMG_7792IMG_7793IMG_7795IMG_7798 IMG_7799IMG_7800My last destination in Seoraksan was Biryong Falls and I will tell you the story in the next post.


Yeppeun (예쁜)!

5 Nov 2013

From the Bronze Jwabul, I continued walking to the temple. It’s easy to find because there are signposts with cute monks like this:IMG_7668There is another bridge, made from white stone, parallel from the wood bridge:IMG_7671 IMG_7674 IMG_7676The trail to the temple were covered with colorful leaves. On the road side, there were many stacks of rocks made by the visitors. It is believed that stacking the rocks will bring you good luck.

IMG_7677 IMG_7679 IMG_7680 IMG_7681IMG_7683In front of the temple’s gate, there’s a tree with yellow leaves. There’s a family of 4 with 2 little girls walking in front of me. I heard the little girl said “Yeppeun!” excitedly while gathering the leaves. It means “Pretty” or “Beautiful”. Her mother just laugh at her antics and gave her a plastic bag to store the pretty leaves .IMG_7684IMG_7686  IMG_7687

The Sinheungsa Temple was build around the year 590 ~ 658. The temple complex has several wooden structured buildings. It’s one of the many Korean National Treasures. Most visitors to Seoraksan will make a stop at this temple because it’s only a short walk from the  entrance office and also for praying for the safety of the hike.IMG_7685 IMG_7688 IMG_7689 IMG_7692 IMG_7691 IMG_7690  IMG_7693 IMG_7694From the temple, I decided to walk to the hiking path that lies outside the temple’s wall. It was so quiet and peaceful. You can hear the wind, the birds and insects having a ball there.

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Walking in the woods around the temple was heavenly, especially for those who loves seeing the colorful autumn leaves.

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There were also panels here and there with educational information, sadly, it’s in Korean. I guess it explains the usage of a type of tree, such as this one:IMG_7707IMG_7709IMG_7710 IMG_7711 IMG_7713 IMG_7714 IMG_7715 IMG_7716 IMG_7717 IMG_7718

Inside the woods, I found a big flat rock and I chose that place to eat my Gimbab lunch.20131105_125004

It’s so refreshing to have a picnic there, among the beautiful autumn leaves, watching other people passing by…..and….I even had a guest there…’s this cute little squirrel:IMG_7723 IMG_7720