Monday, June 17, 2013

Vacation to South Korea | Part II: Seoraksan & Jeju Island

Seoraksan: Top of Ulsanbawi
Jeju Island

Jeju Island: Women Divers

I knew when I hit the Korean peninsula that I wanted to do something different.  Sure, Seoul was an enormous city chalk full of culture, tradition and modernity, but my most vivid experiences are those off the beaten path--well at least for a Western tourist.  So to balance a short trip to the Republic, trips to Seoraksan or Seorak Mountain and a short flight to Jeju Island were in order.  I needed a nature fix in between days spent Seoul.

Seoraksan was a sight.  The precipice of Ulsanbawi, one of the trails we ended up hiking, jutted out into the hazy sky as our Korean 'Rexton' car made it's way to the hotel.  Day one was a hike to Biryong Falls, disappointing falls, but a fun time on the trail.  That evening we grilled beef and pork Korean BBQ-style under a black sky and the singer at the restaurant dedicated a song to the group. Gotta love Elton John dedications.  Day two we made our way up to Ulsanbawi and on wobbly legs made our way down the trail to hop into the cable car for one last look at what the locals call "Dragon's Ridge".  Before we left we hit the tiny sea village of Sokcho and tasted the local fare.  Raw octopus isn't that bad!

Jeju Island greeted us with three straight days of rain/mist/spittle.  Turns out that even fewer people know English on the little island and my Korean vocabulary and phrases were not getting any better. We pushed through it.  Hiked on the Eastern side of the island, ate some fried chicken and walked a lot!


 Jeju Island:  Black Pork Alley

  Jeju Island:  Famous Oranges

Jeju Island:  3rd time getting 'Chimack'- Korean Fried Chicken and Beer


Jeju Island: Seongsan Ilchulbong

Jeju Island: Women Divers

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