South Korea

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  • Day210

    Temple stay & autumn leaves in Seoraksan

    October 6, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Our first stop from cycling is in Seoraksan, one of the many national parks Korea has to offer. Following the recommendations of Hilshien and Auke, we want to spend the night in a temple (Like in China, mountains being considered holy places, they are as much visited for worship than for hiking). So we leave our bicycle and luggage at the bottom and start hiking at the end of the day.

    We arrive at a temple complex a bit late, among many other tourists/pilgrims (who themselves came by bus...). Between the tea/coffee shop, the souvenir shop, the praying halls, it takes some time to find the right person to talk to. Then we find out that staying overnight is much more expensive than we thought ! But upon seeing our sad faces, the monks offer us a discount. We can stay and eat three meals of monks' food at a reasonable price. The room is small but tidy and comfortable (korean/ japanese style : mattresses to unfold on the floor). It feels good to have a shower and to sleep in a warm environment, after several humid camping nights...

    The following morning, we hike up to a viewpoint, enjoying the autumnal landscapes. Golden/ red leaves, old mossy trunks, fast moving clouds. The korean hikers seem to be serious about their gear, equipped with good brands from head to toe. The older folks are also in good shape and walk a swift and steady pace. It is among a sea of clouds that we reach the peak. From there we can see the "Yellow Sea" and the eastern coast of Korea : our next destination !
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    Marie Laure Gillette

    Superbe photo

  • Day9

    Where Mountain Goats Dare

    September 8, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

    We can see the top cable car station from our table in the dining room. It was a windy night and we don't know what the weather will be like today. We decide to walk up to the National Park and see what's there. It's only a short walk to the National Park entrance gate where we pay an admission and are told that everything is closed because of the weather. We can go as far as the temple but that's it. We shrug and continue on in.

    The first area we pass consists of a group of standing stones, Stupa, which mark the resting place of ashes of monks. We then come across a small pagoda before coming to the base station for the cable car. Looks like it's running. Before I even open my mouth Richard has the tickets in hand and ten minutes later we are on our way up. We rise quickly; these peaks are dramatic and almost vertical. At the top station we discover we are at 800m elevation which seems astonishing since we can see the sea from here; after all we are only about 15 minutes up the road. We leave the observation deck and strike out on a trail for a few hundred metres that ends up at an open rocky expanse that falls away dramatically into the chasm beneath on one side. No guard rails here; just an obligation to keep your wits about you.

    We return to ground level then follow a path towards the temple. This follows and crosses the rocky stream in several places and passes a large bronze Buddha statue. The temple is ornately decorated and houses three golden Buddhas seated on a raised platform. There is a natural spring nearby that has had a font built over it so visitors can easily scoop water from it.
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  • Day55

    Südkorea - Seoraksan National Park #1

    June 28, 2017 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Gestern haben wir den Seoraksan National Park besucht - die Wanderung war ziemlich anstrengend, aber es hat sich mehr als gelohnt! 😊💪🏼
    Der Nationalpark ist wirklich unglaublich schön und man sollte ihn auf jeden Fall besuchen, wenn man in Südkorea ist 😊 Übernachtet haben wir in der kleinen Stadt Sokcho, welche etwa 2,5h entfernt ist von Seoul.Read more

  • Day5

    Seoraksan Nationalpark

    October 11, 2018 in South Korea ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    Heute ging die Tour zuerst in den Seoraksan Nationalpark.

    Der Seoraksan (Seorak-Berg) ist einer der Hauptgipfel des auf der Koreanischen Halbinsel liegenden Taebaek-Gebirges. Er ist mit 1708 Metern Höhe der dritthöchste Berg Südkoreas und für seine außerordentlich zerklüftete Felslandschaft bekannt.
    Der Seoraksan-Nationalpark (설악산국립공원) ist ein Nationalpark in der südkoreanischen Provinz Gangwon-do. Zu dem Park gehört neben dem Berg Daecheong (1708 m) auch der Baekdamsa- und der Sinheungsa-Tempel sowie einige Wasserfälle. Wegen seiner beeindruckenden Natur gehört er nicht nur zu den beliebtesten Nationalparks in Südkorea, er ist auch ein von der UNESCO anerkanntes Biosphärenreservat.
    Der Tempel Sinheungsa befindet sich am Haupteingang des Nationalparks. Neben den wunderschönen Tempelbauten ragt vor allem der Tongil Daebul, der Große Budda der Wiedervereinigung, heraus.

    Wir haben also zuerst den Tempel Sinheungsa besucht. Die Architektur war sehr beeindruckend, auch hier gab es, wie in den vorhergehenden Tempeln, die wir besichtigt hatten, Bereiche, die für den Publikumsverkehr gesperrt waren und in denen Mönche noch immer ihren religiösen Tätigkeiten nachgehen. Besonders beeindruckt hat mich in der Tat die große Budda-Statue, die ihr auch in den Bildern wiederfindet.
    Anschließend ging es mit dem Cable-car, der Seilbahn hoch auf den Berg. Oben angekommen galt es noch einige aus Felsbrocken bestehende Stufen zu erklimmen, bevor der dort wartende Anblick einem glatt den Atem verschlug. Wild zerklüftete Berggipfel auf der einen Seite, ein weiter Blick ins Tal bis hin zum Meer auf der anderen Seite. Es war so windig, dass es einen fast den Gipfel hinunter wehte, die Temperatur war dementsprechend so niedrig, dass ich wirklich froh war, einen relativ dicken Pullover angezogen zu haben.
    Die Farben des beginnenden "Indian summer" durch die Rotfärbung der Ahornbaume war ein unbeschreibliche Anblick.

    Nach dem Besuch des Seoraksan ging es dann erst zum Mittagessen in einen kleinen Ort in der Nähe, wo wir ganz traditionell koreanisch am Boden sitzend ein leckeres Gericht zu uns nahmen, bestehend aus einer scharfen Brühe mit Eiswürfeln, in der sich neben verschiedenen frischen Gemüsen und Nudeln auch Streifen verschiedener roher, frischer Fische (Sashimi) fanden.

    Anschließend ging es weiter zum Hwajinpo Beach. Hier war Pflichtprogramm angesagt:
    Der Besuch des Ferienhauses des ersten koreanischen Präsidenten, Rhee Syng-man, der von 1948 bis 1960 an der Macht war, sowie des ehemaligen Ferienhauses von Kim Il-Sung, des nordkoreanischen Diktators, der hier vor der Teilung Koreas in Folgesle des 1950 ausgebrochen Koreakrieges mit seiner Familie seine Ferien verbrachte. Schöner und für mich persönlich interessanter fand ich allerdings die umgebende Landschaft.

    Nach diesem Besuch beschlossen wir den Tag mit einem leckeren, koreanischen Barbecue in Sokcho.

    Jetzt ist es 20:30 Uhr in Sokcho, am Japanischen Meer in Südkorea. Wir sind müde und gehen gleich ins Bett. In Deutschland ist es gerade 13:30 Uhr und ich wünsche euch allen noch einen schönen, erfolgreichen Tag.
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  • Day54

    Seoraksan National Park

    June 8, 2016 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Had a good day today doing a lot of hiking around the park, although a lot of it was walking up steps.

    Met some crazy Russians and walked around the park with them. 'Do not enter' doesn't apply to Russians, and they always want to swim everywhere.

    Day started off really misty, as you can see from the great view behind us from the top (there is supposed to be a good view). It did clear up a bit more later in the day.

    Very tired after it though, fitbit said I did the equivalent of 313 floors and 10 miles.
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    Svetlana Shchapova

    Hello, from crazy Russians ;)

    Hywel Johns

    Hello crazy Russians! Did you enjoy the beach in Busan? How was the rest of your trip?

    Svetlana Shchapova

    The best end of our trip was templestay in meditation center near Incheon and 108 prostrations in 4 a.m. But,as I see you have more interesting trip:)

  • Day7


    October 30, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Avui hem fet una mica de trail pel parc nacional de Seoraksan. Els colors dels arbres eren espectaculars. Hem caminat fins una cascada i fins una roca gran. Després de caminar 10km hem anat a Sokcho a dinar una barbacoa de peix que estava boníssima. A la tarda hem fet un vol pel mercat i hem tornat a l'hotel a veure el Senyor dels Anells. Demà anem a Pohang i Gyeongju!Read more

  • Day10

    (Not) Fitting in With the Locals

    September 9, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

    I ache. I actually took paracetamol last night because I ached so much and you all know how much I hate to take anything at all. So we are looking forward to checking out the Cheoksan Foot Spa and Hot Springs today. We check out the London bus in the hotel carpark on the way out, as bizarre as that sounds. It has a Beattles soundtrack on perpetual loop playing inside.

    It is a ten minute drive down the road and if you don't know what you're looking for you would never find it. Situated almost directly below a motorway overpass the Cheosak Foot Spa is free to get in, simply pay a small fee to use the towel and seat pad. There are two water courses, one has a smooth surface and the water is hot; the other is cold but the surface consists of concrete-set river pebbles protruding at just enough height to make it punishing to walk over. We are instructed to wash our feet before entering then blissfully soak in the hot water course, variously walking and just sitting with feet soaking. I attempt the cold water course but it's so brutal I can only stand it for a short time. Richard manages longer.

    Across the road is the Cheoksan Hot Springs public bathhouse. It is separated into male and female sections. There are three pools of different temperature, a sauna and a couple of dozen shower stations; some standing, some sitting. Stools are provided as well as bowls for dousing water over yourself. There are about a dozen women inside, many appear to be friends and take it in turns to scrub each others backs. Some have brought the entire bathroom of product with them and are attending to every aspect of bathroom ritual from leg-shaving to brushing teeth while seated on the stools. The warm pool is a very cosy 39˚C while the hot is a little too scalding for me at 43˚C. The cold has a pull-cable that opens a rosette of fire-hose nozzles of icy water from above. And it is all nude. I come out feeling very relaxed.

    We head into Sokcho as we have seen a place called Sokcho Eatery Town on the map and want to check it out. Whether it is because it is Monday or what we don't know but the location we pinpoint doesn't appear to have very much going on, so we go a bit further and find a small fish market area. Richard likes the idea of having crab but after choosing one which gets put on the scales, I ask how much and we decide perhaps not. We find another place and choose a fish. After a bit of hand signals and props we agree to have it pan fried. It's simplest. The side dishes or Banchan, are a bit different here and it's the first time we've been given wasabi as well. There is lotus root, a corn salad of some kind in mayo, sweet potato, and I am pretty certain one of the others was on the breakfast buffet this morning and labelled as balloon flower. The fish was delicious! And the meal was a third of the price of the crab!
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  • Day6

    Hoch hinaus im Saeroksan Nationalpark

    September 15, 2016 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Frisch und ausgeruht ging unsere Tour heute los und nach dem Frühstück am Fuß des Seoraksan Nationalparks sind wir auch frohen Mutes los marschiert. Die erste Etappe von ca. zwei Kilometern war in den angegebenen 40min zu schaffen - zwar anstrengend, aber ok.
    Die nächsten 800m hatten es dafür umso mehr in sich! 😰 - das war nämlich der hauptsächliche Anstieg die 1300m hoch zum Gipfel des Rocks.
    Manche behaupten sogar, es sei einer der anspruchsvollsten des Nationalparks. Aber hey, wir haben es geschafft 💪 und wurden mir einer atemberaubenden Aussicht belohnt, für die es sich absolut gelohnt hat! 🌄
    Aber den Rückweg und den Abstieg hat uns trotzdem nichts erspart - und so sind wir den selben Weg mit schmerzenden Füßen und zitternden Beinen wieder hinunter...
    Das war auch schon unserer Zeit im Nordosten von Südkorea und so haben wir uns abends schon wieder auf den Weg nach Seoul gemacht, auf dem wir das Glück hatten einen Luxusbus erwischt zu haben! 😁
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Sŏrak-tong, Sorak-tong, 설악동

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