Thursday, November 19, 2009

Korean mountains

Before I am heading back to Bangkok tomorrow, we decided to go on another trip within Korea. Since, as a Swiss, I am eternally bound to mountains and the sea, the choice was easy.

We boarded a bus to the East coast town of Sokcho, from where we could access the supposedly most scenic mountains in South Korea: the Seoraksan range.

It doesnt require a lot of description I think, the pictures do the talking. The mountains, even though of course not as high as Swiss mountains, or even the Himalayas, are beautiful. All the more beautiful because from the top, the sea and Sokcho itself are visible too!

Thai people visited the Seoraksan area too and wrote many messages on plates. I didnt actually really see many Thai people around but they might not be so interested in going up the mountain, as we did. Who knows....but they must have been cold for sure!

One thing I like the most about Korea right now is the soft, organgey winter light. Somehow, I have the feeling the sun is going to set any moment from about 2pm. Because the sun is so low and setting slowly, it casts spectacularly long shadows for several hours.

The sunsets are slow and even though the sun seems weak and not very bright, it still provides for some warmth. Winter hasnt quite arrived yet in Korea, but I surely like the weather now!

The is the sunset in Sokcho city. The city is surprisingly pretty. It sits on a lagoon and has a large harbour, which is still intensively used for fishing. The city centre's main artery is a neat and cute road with many lights and a surprisingly large amount of women's fashion.

Surprising because I didnt really see many people shopping at all...but then again it is really low season at the moment. Apparently most people come here during the summer months (it's only a 2.5 hour ride away from Seoul) and around the festive season at the end of the year.

On our last night, we also went to this cute harbour, which serves Korean sashimi. We had some but I wasnt impressed. The fish seemed all tasteless and chewy. Apparently this is how it should be though...

In general I really love Korean cuisine. A lot of vegetables, which are always included in the meal and dont just sit on a plate idly like a piece of broccoli in Western cuisine. Plus, I cant get enough of the Kimchi (fermented cabbage with chilli). To end the day, we had stuffed Octopus. Yummy!

Today, we are off to some souvenir hunting. My Thai friends all love Korea, so I suppose I need to bring them something besides all the creams they ordered me to buy here. (Korean brands in Thailand are extremely expensive whereas here they appeal to the mass market and are a lot cheaper)

Later on we might even have a look at the gay clubbing scene. I am not sure if that's a good thing, judging from how good-looking Korean guys have proven to be so far. I hope I can still find "mine" among all these guys and that the boyfriend still has a heart for this "average farang" as opposed to all these handsome Koreans.

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