First things first, why does Autumn get two names? Autumn and Fall. Which one do you use? Why are there even two? They’re interchangeable, sure, but still, it’s not like Spring gets another like Rainalot. Or Summer is called Titsalot. Or Winter is called Fallharder.
So then why does Autumn gets another name? If anyone wants to write in the comment as to why this is, let me know. I’m sure I can google it, but screw that, I rather spend my time thinking of a new name for Spring. Okay, ranting done. Or well, for now.
Seoraksan National Park Fall Colors
Anyway, back to the point of this post. Last fall (I’m lazy so I’m gonna go with the shorter spelled version..), I had the pleasure to visit the Seoraksan National Park (this will help you get the time schedule for the buses) in South Korea during the time when the leaves were changing their boring green colors to the more vibrant fall colors. Along with two other friends, we departed from Seoul to the city nearby Seoraksan called Sokcho.
The bus took about 4 hours, from 10pm til 2am, and Sokcho itself is quite a small town. Funny enough, you can actually get a boat here to go to Russia. From the center of town, we took a city bus to the park, which was about 30 minutes away. Your hotel/hostel can tell you which bus to take. There really is only one, so you can’t miss it. It was a brisk fall morning so before you go, check the weather and temperature. It is definitely colder up atop.
Once we got to Seoraksan, we were immediately greeted by the beautiful fall colors. There’s actually many different hiking options you can choose to do. Some even allow you to stay overnight in the park. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the equipment for that, so instead, we did the Ulsanbawi Rock Hike. The hike itself took about 4 hours overall, 3 hours up and 1 hour down. Along the way though, you can see some pretty impressive sights. The first of which is a giant buddha statue. Against the backdrop of the fall foliage, it was breathtaking.
The hike itself was actually not that hard. I was completely out of shape, and even I managed to do it, so I’m sure everyone else can do it too. In fact, you’ll see a lot of old and young Koreans making the hike. Which brings me to the first detraction: TOO MANY DAMN PEOPLE. We went at the peak of the foliage, which meant the rest of the 50 million Koreans decided to go as well. It definitely took away from the serenity of the park, but alas, what can you do? Koreans are known to have a very active outdoor life.
The rock itself does give you a pretty good view of the entire park in its entirety once you get to the top. Seeing an entire landscape covered in the fall colors really is mesmerizing. There’s even some park workers there offering you hot cocoa or coffee or some crap like that, and then take a picture for you if you wish. Remember to wear your hiking shoes. I was looking for the infamous “I’ll hike in heel” Korean girl, but alas, everyone was sane that weekend.
One last note before I shower you with my awesome photos. There is a small small restaurant in Sokcho that, for 15k won, gives you an all you can eat Korean BBQ. They had all 3 meat (chicken, pork, beef), multitudes of seafood, including shellfish, just regular fish, and even squid. Suffice to say, my three friends and I had a frigging feast. And soju. So drunk. Oh good fun drunk. It’s called 왕십리구이한마당, and is on Rodeo Street. Small place, but it’s easy to find enough . If lost, feel free to ask for directions. Koreans can be quite friendly!
I will give Seoraksan National Park a B+ rating. It is definitely something you should do if you live in Korea at least once, preferably during the fall colors, but you’ll have to deal with the crowd. I don’t know how it is during the other seasons, but I imagine rainalot might be pretty for the blossoming flowers. But really, it’s beautiful. So go see it. Take lots of picture. And bring a jacket. Until next time, TTP out. (P.s., I’m only including a few photos below. If you want to take a look at more of them, head on over to my 500px portfolio. Look, just click on this link! http://500px.com/ttp. AND NO FOLKS, it’s not dangerous there.
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