Road trip to the East Sea of Korea

I had a chance to go back to the the East Sea in this calm winter, where I have been for a surfing this summer. My lifestyle in this country where everyone lives in a small land area is not at all typical Korean. In order to avoid crowded seaon and enjoy the nature, I visit the East Sea in the winter season. I’d like to introduce the East Coast of Korea with some photos I took via mobile phones through this posting.
Tunnels toward the East Sea of Korea
Various tunnels toward the East Sea of Korea
The east coast of Korea must go through the Taebaek Mountain, a large mountain that separates the Korean Peninsula by East and West. Just a few years ago, it was hard yet fun to cross the mountain roads, but now it has gotten very easy by getting through the tunnels. Somehow I felt a little boring … By sacrificing the fun of crossing mountain road, I could save two hours.  Maybe on top of that the cars do not have to suffer from rough roads anymore…But in return I lost huge fun. As we drove multiple tunnels we saw lots of tunnels with interesting lights. Maybe they did it on purpose to soothe the feelings of drivers passing by.
The first place to arrive in the evening was Sokcho’s central market, which is an old traditional market. It is a place where most people are looking for a variety of food. There are still some old places as well as new in this market. I like it better because I can still enjoy old scenes which reminds me of the past memories.
Street Food in Korea
Street Food in Korea

Now it’s time to buy variety of food to fix a dinner…. In addition to regular food, Koreans seem to have a lot of interesting street food. Maybe this is because we live in a small congested place or simply there are a lot of people with good cooking skill. Anyway, if you go to Korea, if you eat only the food from tour guidebooks such as bulgogi, ribs, bibimbap, you will end up missing the big fun.

 

Street food in Korea plays very important role when traveling
Street food in Korea plays very important role when traveling

 

The Sokcho fried chicken shop I found while buying food doesn’t prepare snack food in advance.The owner sticks to the principle of making it upon receiving the order. There are other stores who have been rich by preparing food in advance and sold with volume, but the owner did not want this by sacrificing the deep flavor. Somehow I saw myself in him so I decided to wait for 30 minutes to buy his stuff.  The owner commented that it tastes as good even after it got cold but it’s best to eat while it’s hot. I definitely honored his comment.
Koreans seem to travel to eat. If you go to highways, there will be a huge rest area every 30 km and you will find all kinds of food
Next day, I saw very disappointing things. Unlike beautiful scenes of mountains, I saw  a lot of ugly restaurants ruining the scenes. If I had enough resources, I would’ve bought them all just to remove them.
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Restaurants are in the way of beautiful view of mountains

We went to Sorak mountain by a cable car.

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Maybe we all are chasing our shadows

I went to the nearest temple after a ticket purchase. There was a place where you could purchase a piece of roof tile and write your wishes by donating $10 to the temple. I read them carefully and found most people wanted “admittance (at work or at school)”, “success” and “family happiness”. This might be true for all. Suddenly I felt that maybe these wishes might be the shadow I see(in the photos above) but I will not be able to catch it.

Temples at Mt. Sorak
Temples at Mt. Sorak

Temples in the Mt. Sorak are traditional wooden buildings. Unlike regular houses, they applied various colors. I felt history in the crack of wooden buildings.

 

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Mr. Sorak from a cable car
Mr. Sorak from a cable car

 

I wonder how the view of the mountains taken in the cable car will look in other countries. It is also strange that the shape of the mountain varies from country to country …

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We came down from the mountains and went to the sea … A winter season is my favorite. While Sea of East moves slowly and heavily, I feel depth of stability when I see the winter sea.

Sokcho seafood is very popular.
Sokcho seafood is very popular.

Time to enjoy delicious sea food while enjoying winter sea view. When you go to Sokcho, you don’t need Michelin Guide. You will realize this when you see almost all people in any restaurants have a happy face.Since I couldn’t take those moments, maybe you have to see it for yourself.

 

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After the meal, we all enjoyed coffee in a nearby cafe, and we decided to cherish this moment…. Since these people are in the security domain, I had to take it in under exposure for security reasons.

 

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Now it’s time to go home … But we were hungry again, so we’ve stopped by the famous Chicken Rib place.

Chicken rib barbecue (Dakgalbi) is very popular in Chun-cheon area.
Chicken rib barbecue (Dakgalbi) is very popular in Chun-cheon area

When we came home, our doggie had a look as if it’s saying “Did you guys enjoy without me?”

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