Thursday, June 17, 2021

Seoraksan, South Korea’s ‘Snowy Peaks Mountain’

It is said that Seoraksan translates to ‘Snowy Peaks Mountain’. With my limited Chinese knowledge, I found out that 雪嶽山 in chinese means ‘Snow Huge Mountain/Alps’, I couldn’t agree with both translations more. The name fits this beautiful mountain name perfectly.

I did a trip to Seoraksan in 2002 and was so excited to know that we will be taking the cable car up, it being a winter season makes it even more interesting as the view will be splendid. We soon learn that the cable car trip has to be cancelled due to heavy snow (safety issue). We were told that we get to see the Gwongeumseong Fortress and from the summit the view covers East Sea, Ulsanbawi Rock and Towangseong Falls. I guess I just need to repeat my Seoraksan then.

Located in Gangwon Province in South Korea, Seoraksan National Park is one of the most popular nature path for both local and tourist. This is due to its majestic view, spectacular rocky ridges, and its flora and fauna. What is not to love right (and yet I did not manage to visit the top due to the heavy snow when I was there, repeat trip mebbe?). This 3rd largest Korea mountain has a safe hiking trail that is often visited by nature lover for a weekend getaway.

For history hunter out there, well Seoraksan was designated by the UNESCO in 1982 as a biosphere reserve (listed as a tentative World Heritage). Before that, in was noted as the first Korea national park named under the National Park Law. This wondrous site is said to record a rare plant such as Hanabusaya Asiatic and Abios Nephrolepis including 822 vascular plant species. It is no surprise how the Korea government took great care in its conservation. You know what they say right - We Do Not Inherit the Earth from Our Ancestors; We Borrow It from Our Children. And the Korea took this rather seriously too, kudos.

And if nature and UNESCO doesn’t fit your bill, there’s always architecture/wellness for you to indulge yourself in - Paektamsa (Buddhist temple) and Shinhungsa (Buddhist temple - believed to be the oldest Seon temple in the world).

The most important question for me is : When is the best time to visit Seoraksan (as this will be my next plan) and this is what I plan to my trip.
·  Early Autumn is the best time according some, alternatively mid October to early November
·  Weekend trip will be crowded with locals and tourist
·  Will opt to depart from Seoul on Friday evening and stay in Sokcho (near the near Sokcho Express Bus Terminal)
·  I plan to do the Gwongeumseong Fortress Course (1.5km one-way). I basically need to do a 10 min hike the stairs to reach the peak of the fortress to admire its beauty, the whole walk would take 2 hours or so.

So how now, anyone wanna join me.

Operating Hours
Winter season : 4.00am - 12:00pm
Summer season : 3.00am – 2.00pm

Cable Car Fee (round trip)
Adults : ₩10,000
Child : ₩6,000
Infant : Free

How to get to Seoraksan National Park
A 3 hours car ride from Seoul or via public transport – take a bus from the Seoul Express Bus terminal or Dong Seoul terminal to Sokcho city. This will take approximately four hours. From Sokcho, take the local bus number 7 or 7-1 to Outer Seorak (Oeseorak), this ride will take around 30 minutes.

For Lily Riani Travelholic travel blog under the collaboration with KTO Superstar Friends Program 2021. #ImagineYourKorea #KTOSuperstarFriends

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