Summer Vacation Part 2

Seoraksan is one of Korea’s most popular parks and it’s easy to see why.  Its  impressive crags are among the tallest in the country and the lush valleys are beautiful year-round.  Located just 20 km west of Sokcho, Outer Seorak is really easy to get to by bus.  There was a stop right outside the guesthouse David and I were staying in, and it only took about 30 minutes to get to the park entrance.  Thankfully, after a few days of solid rain, we woke up to the sun shining and a brilliantly blue sky which made for an extremely beautiful day.

We decided to hike the popular Ulsanbawi trail because we heard the view from the top, especially on a clear day, was simply amazing.  It certainly proved to be and the hike wasn’t too difficult.  The ascent was gentle until the last few kilometers, followed by about 800 stairs leading to a breathtaking view.  If we hadn’t had so many things on our to-do list during our two week trip, I think we would have spent a few more days exploring the rest of the park.  Perhaps I’ll make it back to witness the red, orange and gold bursts of color that cover the park in the fall.

Giant Buddha near the entrance in Outer Seorak.

Giant Buddha near the park entrance in Outer Seorak.

Seoraksan National Park

David, testing the water at Seoraksan.

Seoraksan National Park

We couldn’t have asked for a better day to explore Seoraksan. With July and August being the rainy season in Korea, we were lucky to have such beautiful weather.

Seoraksan National Park

Seoraksan National Park, somewhere on the Ulsanbawi route.

Seoraksan National Park

The granite peaks of Ulsanbawi.

View from the top of Sokcho and the East Sea.

View of Sokcho and the East Sea.

Ulsanbawai,

Ulsanbawi, Seoraksan National Park

We made it up the 800 stairs

We made it up the 800 stairs!

Seoraksan National Park

Seoraksan National Park

There are snack bars and places  to eat on the trails

There are snack bars and places to eat along many of the hiking trails in Korea. They seem to appear out of nowhere and I keep wondering how they haul all the supplies and equipment up the steep, narrow trails.

Seoraksan National Park

Sinheungsa Temple nestled on the mountainside in Seoraksan National Park.

Korean rooftops and craggy peaks.

Korean rooftops and craggy peaks.

Outer Seorak

Outer Seorak

We enjoyed haemul pajeon and makgeolli after the hike.

We enjoyed haemul pajeon (a savory pancake with seafood and green onions) and makgeolli after the hike, both of which are popular “snacks” sold near hiking trails. Makgeolli is a traditional Korean alcoholic beverage made from rice and is typically served in bowls.

 

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