Mt Seorak

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Today was really such a long day for me. We had to reach Gwanghwamun at 8 am, so I woke up at 6.30 am in order to get ready. It turned out that WK came much later than we had agreed on and I was really so worried that we would miss the bus as it would leave exactly at 8 am. Thankfully, we really managed to arrive at the meeting place at 8 am SHARP and after paying 5000 won, we got onto the bus. Honestly I didn't mind paying the 5000 won because it was cheaper as compared to taking the public transport there. My peeve was that they didn't mention on their websites (in all languages) that we had to pay for it. I was under the impression that it was free. -.-'''

I've been living in Seoul for such a long time that the countryside of South Korea really blew me off with its tranquility and the freshness of the air. The countryside really does look like it was straight from a Chinese painting.

Our trip to Mt Seorak took about 3 hours of bus-ride from Seoul. Since I woke up really early, I ended up sleeping most of the time while on our way there. To be honest, I think we really chose a good day to go to Mt Seorak despite it being a weekend. Mt Seorak on weekends is really crowded, but why a good day? Because the weather was noticeably much warmer as compared to previous days, though the temperature will drop back to single digits on Monday. Had we chosen to go last week, we would have just frozen our butts off.

What greeted us when we first entered after paying 3500 won for the ticket to get into Mt Seorak.

Very mystical isn't it? The whole place just felt like a Chinese wuxia period drama, especially when the mountain peaks were shrouded in clouds.

We were greeted by pretty autumn foliages that were on Mt Seorak. In fact, I think this is the best time to visit Mt Seorak, especially with the myriad of colours exploding nearly everywhere. Had we gone next week, I think the trees would have been bare. You can actually tell who are Koreans and who are tourists just by the way we dress. From what I learned in Korean class, Koreans really take hiking seriously, so when they go to mountains like Mt Seorak, they are really decked out in full hiking gear and attire (those colourful waterproof jackets, hiking sticks (???), hiking shoes). And I do see a number of elderly people hiking. My hats off to them because the paths were really very uneven and filled with rocks. WK and I nearly slipped a few times because the rain probably just stopped before we came so the rocks were really super slippery. That's when the hiking sticks come in handy, which we unfortunately do not have. Anyway, not like I can do hiking in SG anyway LOL. For one, the weather's too uncomfortable for me to do exercise and two, no mountains in SG. -.-'''

A red tree...

The giant Buddha which is very near the entrance.

Interesting signage haha. Love all the "???" on it. I think they don't know the suitable words for it, or maybe it just can't be translated into Chinese. ;P

Since our bus would leave at 4 pm, WK and I just decided to hike up one course. One, because we were out of time and two, because both of us haven't exercised in such a long time. The 2.3 km 비선대 (some fairy rock LOL) trail left us quite tired LOL. We decided to have seafood pancake at some random resting stop before continuing on our course. Thanks WK for the treat HAHA! ^^

Seafood pancake for 13 000 won! It was really very hot and crispy. Perfect for such a nice weather. It would have been better had we ordered makgeolli to go with it heehee.

When we finally reached the end of our trail, we were really rewarded with some truly spectacular views. OK the views we got along the way were very pretty too! We decided to hike back to our meeting point because it was about time and that was when it started to rain. Thankfully it only rained after we finished our couse, and of course, the weather turned really cold.

When we reached the end of our trail, this was what we saw!!!

Mt Seorak itself felt very surreal and Chinese-fairytale-like. I really felt as though I was in a Chinese period drama because the mountain peaks cannot be seen. They were all obscured by the clouds LOL. And yup, I was imagining all the Chinese warriors fighting in the forests admidst falling leaves. Damn drama and romantic HAHA!

Imaginary warriors having their swordfight here.

Waterfall~~~~ The water here was super duper clear to say the least.

Walking back...

Mandatory shot with the autumn trees. How can you not take such pictures when the autumn foliages are so damn pretty?!

Mandatory me shot HAHAHA.

Anyway, thus began our 4-hour journey back to Seoul. Our journey dragged on for 4 hours because while we reached Seoul relatively quickly due to the lack of traffic, we were met with SEVERE traffic jams in Seoul itself LOL. It turned out that people were holding protests zZz...

I suggested to WK that since we were at Gwanghwamun, we should pay a visit to Admiral Lee Soon-shin's and King Sejong's statues. The bus very coincidently decided to drop us off at Gwanghwamun Square because of the severe traffic jams, so we really got to where we wanted to be at without having to walk much.

Admiral Lee!

King Sejong. Thanks to Tree With Deep Roots, it really kick-started my whole Korean journey, culminating in me studying Korean proper here in the Land of the Morning Calm. No words can really express my gratitude to him.

It was getting really late, like almost 9 pm and we didn't have dinner, so both of us decided to visit Lotteria for dinner. Haha, since I had coupons from Lotteria which entitled us to free things if we spent 10 000 won and above, we decided to go there. We ordered this Hanwoo Couple Set which cost 11 900 won but it turned out that the coupons could only be used if we called for delivery. -.-''' Stupid us didn't read the terms and conditions at the back zZz. But anyway, that marked the first time I ate hanwoo. Hanwoo is actually Korean beef. It's as prized as wagyu over here, and in fact, it's supposedly more luxurious than wagyu 'cos it can only be exclusively found in Korea, nowhere else. The meat was really dae to the bak man! I seriously don't mind eating it everyday but hanwoo here is !@#$% expensive like toot HAHA. I guess I shall just return to SG and force my mum to buy me more wagyu lol...

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