Yeongdeok is a place that I want to visit from years ago, and I still want to visit again (read about Yeongdeok here). But I did also want to visit a National Park, especially since it’s the summer.
I saw a photo of Sobaeksan National Park, the ridge right at the top after a 21km+++ walk, and decided one day we shall be there. In the end we went to Juwangsan National Park. Both parks are considered since they are “near” to Yeongdeok; “near” meaning about 3 change of buses that would take ~3, 4 hours. The logistics from either National Park to Yeongdeok was crazy. It literally drove me nuts trying to get information from one “village bus stop” to another. Eventually we did it, from Juwangsan National Park to Yeongdeok, and it couldn’t have been done without the friendly bus stop auntie/ uncle bus driver/ random passengers whom are so ever helpful. I don’t think I remember the route if I have to do it again 🙂
Anyway, the long story cut short – after I had back pain about 3 weeks before our trip, I didn’t have confidence I could do the walk up to the ridge. And if that’s the case, maybe this is not the best time to be at Sobaeksan. Juwangsan has shorter, flat routes so we cancelled our reservation for Sobaeksan, and decided to wait till the trip itself to see if I am well enough for Juwangsan. On the day of arriving in Seoul, we thought if we can get a room in Juwangsan, we would go (since it’s the weekends and rooms might be fully booked in the summer). The helpful owner of Seoul Sieoso Hotel helped us call the pension that we found, but they don’t have a room for Saturday. In the end, he even searched for another pension and gave them a ring. They have a room and so we decided on the spot to make a reservation and head down.
But before that, we had gamjatang, probably one of our many favourite korean meal. A quick stop at the supermarket to grab food for hiking too.
동원집 Dongwon jip for pork bone stew; thanks to happydalki’s recommendation. It’s near to our Seoul Sieoso Hotel where we left our luggage there; and it opens as early as 9am. We needed an early lunch before heading to the supermarket. I did mention we visited the supermarkets about 11 (or 12? was it 13?) times in the entire 20 days 😉
Yakult is nice, whether as a drink or sweet or coating for nuts. It’s surprising that just after 2 meal of army stew instant mee, we thought we have enough of instant mee for the trip hah. But it must have been an achievement to enjoy the soju – grapefruit or ginger flavour is nice; the outdoor soju pack is great too though I wish they have all the soju flavour in outdoor pack. Should have gotten that chips back too. And all those perilla leaves.
Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to 주왕산정류장 Juwangsan Bus Terminal; 4.5 hours. We slept really well throughout! But Dong Seoul Bus Terminal was crazily hot in the summer.
The pension owner asked that we text him upon arrival; so we were waiting at the bus terminal for him to pick us up. It’s walkable to his pension, as we discovered on our second day. A straight walk, for about 20 minutes?
Our room for the first 2 nights. Interestingly, the owner (whom had been working in Seoul until a few years back) told us that he is the probably guy in Juwangsan whom speaks English! That’s so lucky for us. Anyway this room is in the older pension; he has a newly built pension and cafe 10 minutes car ride away.
After our early meal of gamjatang, we had kimbap at the bus terminal. And we cooked this for dinner!
Snacks, and the best soju – grapefruit.
Breakfast the following morning; noodles meant to pack for hiking.
to be continued…