Arriving at Seoraksan National Park, we were all mesmerized by the colour of the trees (which gave the illusion of red, hot balls of fire) and the untouched natural beauty that surrounded us. There was a distinct crispness to the air as we watched the sun rise higher over the yellow, orange and red trees you couldn’t help but know it was going to be an amazing day. We were greeted with a giant Buddha and were then treated to traditional Korean food for lunch in the form of Bimbibap, seaweed soup and of course…Kimchi. Some of which we happily ate, some of which we…didn’t.
We took the cable car up to one of Seoraksans many mountains and trekked up to the peak. The views were spectacular from the top despite the blustering, cold wind and dizzying heights. We arrived just in time to see the sun setting over the rugged peaks of UlsanBawi which made for some stunning photos. On our return to the cable car we discovered a tiny temple in the mountains where we sat and chatted with a very friendly Korean Monk who welcomed us in and chatted to us in Konglish. (Mixture of broken English and Korean.)
Back down the mountain and back onto our reliable (ahem..) bus, which brought us to our accomodation for the night. AFter 2 hours meandering our way around the mountain, we were dropped off in the pitch dark on the side of the road. The pension, apparently, was too remote for the bus to drop us all the way so we walked the last kilometer.For the second time in one day we were blown away by what we saw.
The pension was situated overlooking a flat calm river, with bbq’s and picnic tables dotted alongside the riverside. Our cabin had a rustic feel to it with a giant, king sized four poster bed, 2 cherry blossom trees and underflooor heating that was like heaven to walk on.After a feed of spicy beef and a few hours of drinking games involving copious amounts of Soju, a brave few decided to brave the Korean winter and jump, fully naked, into the icy waters of the river below. Skinny Dipping in Korea, in November…strictly for the brave but highly reccomended, and a taste for what was to come in the Korean Jimjilbang the next day… (to be continued..)