It's time to say goodbye to Seoul for now, and head to the eastern seaside town of Sokcho.
Sokcho-si / South Korea 38.20833/128.59111
There's no train connection, I took the bus instead. It's an easy 2.5 hour ride with a quick break at a rest stop in between.
The 2.5 hour ride provides a perfect timespan between the check-out time of the old hotel and the check-in time of the new one, and after checking in, I explored the surrounding neighbourhood.
The center part of Sokcho consists of a lake, connected to the sea. A park surrounds much of the lake, and a harbour-front the remaining parts.
During my wander around the "kake", I ate Jjajangmyeon and Hotteok.
Jjajangmyeon is a black-been noodle dish, and it looks like it tastes sweet, but it's actually not at all.
Hotteok is a filled pancake, fried in butter and filled with sugar and in my case seeds/nuts and oreo crumbles. Note that two Hotteok is too much Hotteok :P
Seoraksan National Park
The next day I woke up early to catch the bus to Seoraksan National Park, a park close by the city, about 45 minutes by bus.
The park consists of multiple trails and a cable car to the top of Jibseonbong, which I did first, as it was the first thing I came across.
This peak had the most people around, as it was an easy 10-minute climb from the cable car station.
It was a nice place for the first of two Gimbab rolls I took along with me for brunch. Gimbab rolls are like sushi rolls, but Korean and usually with meat/ham instead of fish, and spicy, as is everything in Korea.
After spending a little while at the top, I took the cable-car down to figure out what to do with the remainder of the day.
There are trails at opposite sides of the river, so you have to choose right at the start. I opted to go to the lesser-traveled Cave as it looked cool.
The first part wanders along the river, but at a steady incline none the less. After a while I reached a bridge with a manned gate, that will only allow you access to the remainder if the conditions are right (e.g. not too late, no poor weather etc.).
From the gate it's basically a climb straight up with a never-ending trail of stairs and steps. (The trail is marked advanced for a reason). So time to energise with Gimbap.
But once you reach a platform near the cave, the views are breathtaking. (or it might have been the climb).
Unexpectedly the cave contained a Monk, and a little shrine.
After paying my respects (and some donation money, anyone making that climb every day deserves it). I headed back down.
Back at the bridge I opted to take another trail along the river, instead of going back. The idea was to find another place to eat some Gimbab with a nice view.
The plan went along great, until this little friend decided to visit my lunch spot. I noped out of there and headed back to the park entrance, it was starting to rain and my feet needed some rest.
Back at the cable car I treated myself to a delicious kimchi-filled pancake.
A day off
Today is a day off, I had some things to arrange for the Vietnam part of the trip and book the various transport methods to get me to my next destination tomorrow. Also my feet, legs and knees needed some rest.
Lunch consisted of Bahn Mi, and for dinner I had Tonkatsu Udon.