Last Thursday was Budda’s birthday. Since it is regarded as a national holiday in Korea, we had a three-day weekend! Not wanting to waste our precious time in Korea, Jared and I researched many different things to do, and we finally settled on a road trip/camping trip to what many people regard as the most beautiful place in Korea–Seoraksan National Park.
In the weeks to come, I’m going to post more detailed and specific information about our trip, but for now I’m going to give you a brief (yet somehow lengthy) overview.
We set out with our friends Derik and Amanda after work Thursday night. As you can see, our route had us follow the coast along the way. We drove from the green pin (home), until we reached the coast (Pohang). The next day we would arrive at our destination–Seoraksan National Park (red pin).
We found an absolutely gorgeous place to camp the first night!
The next morning we packed up camp and got back on the road. We took our time, and made several stops along the way… One which included Haesindang Park. This was definitely not your typical park. Before I go into detail, I’ll tell you about the Legend of Auebawi and Haesindang. There was a virgin woman in the village who was pledged to be married to her fiancé. He dropped her off on a rock by the sea while he went out for his day of fishing. There was a big storm that day and the man was not able to get back to his woman. She drowned in the water, and from then on the fishermen could not catch any fish. One day the man peed in the sea, and the fish came back. The legend says that the woman was upset because she had never seen a penis. The village-people then started sculpting penises to honor the woman so that she wouldn’t make the fish go away. (I’ll try to keep my photos from this stop appropriate… If that’s possible?)
We stopped in the quaint little town of Samcheok for a bite to eat. I definitely want to return to this lovely place someday.
We made it to Seoraksan late that afternoon. After finding the park, we set out to find a place to camp–this proved to be very difficult. After over an hour of searching, we came upon this little spot. We were exhausted, and it was the perfect place to rest up. We even threw our hammocks up!
The next morning we headed to the bus station to pick up our friend Sandra, and then we headed off to the park. Being a holiday weekend, the park was quite crowded. We were able to do some hikes, and explore some of the beauties of Mt. Sorak. Since there was an infinite wait for the cable car ride to the top of the mountain, we decided to save that adventure for the next day.
That evening, we noticed it was getting a little cloudy. We checked the weather forecast, and sure enough–nothing but rain for the next 24 hours. After exploring numerous options, we eventually settled down in the Seoraksan Youth Hostel on the outskirts of the park.
Our room was brightly decorated. It was a nice stay, and we basically just camped indoors! What was the highlight of our hostel stay? Being able to take a shower!
We woke up to the sound of rain… and we heard that sound for the rest of the day. We bought some ponchos and headed to the park!
We still took the cable cars to the top of the mountain, but with the rain and the fog, we couldn’t see much.
On a non-rainy day, this picture would have been of a magnificent view.
Due to the weather conditions, we left the park early and headed to an indoor attraction–the Seokgong Ceramic Museum. We thoroughly enjoyed looking at the ceramic masterpieces in the museum.
That concluded our trip. We dropped Sandra off at the bus station at 4 o’clock and made it home by 10pm. It was a fantastic weekend filled with many great memories.
We have many adventures coming up; so stay tuned!