Korea destinations – Seoraksan and Mureung

Odaeyang Hoetjip is a restaurant recommended by the Korea Tourism website, specializing in seafood. They’re located right by the beach.

The recommended combo meal doesn’t come cheap, at 200,000 Won (S$235). It is probably good for 4 adults, and with just 2 adults and 2 kids, it was really too much food for us. Nevertheless, it was a good meal.

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The crab was sliced such that you can easily pick the flesh
20 dishes
20 dishes
Covers the entire table
Covers the entire table
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Sashimi, a bit tough, unlike the Japanese version

At the end of the meal, you’re served a casserole of seafood soup, with the fish bones from the sashimi thrown in. The soup was so good we finished it, despite being already so full. Unbelievably tasty.

Seafood soup
Seafood soup

Seoraksan National Park is popular among Korean nationals, and it is also one of the destinations tourists are usually brought to. Depending on the weather, the cable car may not be running. My objective was to go on a short hike, and i gave the cable car a miss. The Biseondae trail is the easiest and beautiful nevertheless.

Multi coloured trees can be seen even in spring/summer
Multi coloured trees can be seen even in spring/summer

The first half of the trail is not so exciting, but as soon as you cross a bridge, you get views such as these:

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You might see one of these squirrels who are very accustomed to people
You might see one of these squirrels which are very accustomed to people

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Biseondae, huge rocks
Biseondae, huge rocks

At 2pm, we arrived at Matsu, an Italian restaurant that is voted top in Sokcho on tripadvisor. They were open, and we were the only customers.

Matsu pork cutlet
Matsu pork cutlet
Crab cream spaghetti
Crab cream spaghetti

All the main dishes come with soup, garlic bread and coffee/dessert. It was tasty, huge-portioned and unbelievably good value (S$35 for everything).

Chuam beach is full of odd  shaped rocks, the most famous of which is the Chotdaebawi, which translates as candlestick rock.

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The Chotdaebawi is quite impressive in that it survived the elements and stands tall.
The Chotdaebawi is quite impressive in that it survived the elements and stands tall.
Chuam beach
Chuam beach
Duck prints
Duck prints

Dinner was not pre-planned, and it turned out quite well. We have been hoping to try grilled beef, and lo and behold, there was a restaurant specializing in Korean beef mere steps away from the hotel.

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Marbled beef, grilling in progress
Marbled beef, grilling in progress
They also served cold noodles. There is a mixed version, whereby you're served dry spicy noodles together with a bowl of soup. You decide when you want to have the soup version by pouring the soup into the noodles when you had enough of the dry version. It was very nice.
They also served cold noodles. There is a mixed version, whereby you’re served dry spicy noodles together with a bowl of soup. You decide when you want to have the soup version by pouring the soup into the noodles when you had enough of the dry version. Very tasty!

The next morning, We managed to experience the local style Korean breakfast at a random shop (something like Hong Kong’s Cha Chan Teng). It was quite affordable by Korean standard – 3 items came up to KRW 9500 (S$11). Most restaurants in Korea offer free coffee, and this one was no exception.

Korean style rice roll and spicy ramen
Korean style rice roll and spicy ramen
Pan fried dumplings
Pan fried dumpings

The Mureung Valley is probably little known compared to Seoraksan, but the trail here (there’s basicaly just one) easily trumps Seoraksan’s Biseondae trail. See for yourself:

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The Yongchu fall is also quite pretty
The Yongchu fall is also quite pretty

It should take no more than 3 hours to do the 5km return trip. We were not tempted to do lunch at the park entrance, where there are many restaurants. Instead, we took a chance and drove to the nearest residential area. It turned out to be a good choice.

It took little deliberation to choose a traditional looking shop. They specialized in pork bone soup. Koreans are well known for their double boiled

soup.

Pork bone soup
Pork bone soup
My better half demonstrating the flaky piece of meat taken off the pork bone
My better half demonstrating the flaky piece of meat taken off the pork bone

Korean soups are very often pepperish, and I’m not a pepper person, but being double boiled, it was certainly good enough for me to lap up every last bit. The best part was the price – only 7000 Won (S$8.20) per bowl.

This restaurant is located near GPS coordinates 37.486074 129.10889, and there are a few other options around here as well.

Pork bone soup
Pork bone soup
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