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My trip to South Korea with stay in Sokcho, Seoul and Busan

Oct, 18 || 2 Comments | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

view from seoraksan national park in Sokchoview from Seoraksan National Park in Sokcho

Welcome to Korea was the first which appeared after landing of my Fly Peach flight from Osaka Kansai Airport to Seoul Incheon Airport. Really welcome?

Welcome to Korea at Seoul Incheon Airport

I had to pass a little bit of time until I started writing this blog about South Korea. Was a couple of days really very upset about this country. On the one hand, I met really nice hosts like Callen and Lilly in Sokcho (Afterglow Hostel review) , (check also Agoda) and also very helpful staff in Busan but in the end I did not feel really welcome in this country.

My former room mate in Kyoto, Rimvydas,  joined my South Korean trip a little bit later in Seoul as well. Our anger started on one night in Seoul as we wanted to celebrate his birthday in a disco but was charged double the price as Koreans. After asking why we were rejected by the reason we are foreigners – no entry. Worse then in Busan, we wanted to go to the famous “Fix Club”.  First they sold us tickets to get in, but finally they denied us the entrance. The statement of them was unequivocally “NO FOREIGNERS”.  NO WAY to get in and the security appeared.

Thanks Korea for treating your guests like this. Never happened to me  in all this years in any other country. For us it was the sign to leave this country asap. I will not spend any more money in a country which I don’t feel welcomed. Decided also to cancel my trip to Jeju-Island. Meanwhile result that I also skipped my trip to Taiwan for this Ocotber.

However, I will not neglect to show you a few impressions from South Korea.

After my arrival at Seoul Incheon Airport my plan was straight heading towards Sokcho. I did some researches in the internet before that there is no direct bus from Seoul Incheon to Sokcho (so you have to go to Dong Seoul first and then change the bus to Sokcho). Fortunately there was a DIRECT BUS to Sokcho. About every 4 hours. So I boarded the 4pm bus and went straight to Sokcho. But convenience has it’s price, they ticket was 30’000 Kwon (about 30 US$). There was only one stop in Seoul Gimpo Airport after 30min.

direct bus from Seoul Incheon / Gimpo Airport to Sokcho

direct bus from Seoul Incheon / Gimpo Airport to Sokcho

interior from direct bus from Seoul Incheon / Gimpo Airport to Sokcho

intercity bus terminal Sokchoarrival at intercity bus terminal Sokcho

For my next day I explored the city by foot and visited Taepo Fish Market and Sokcho beach.

Taepo Fish Market in SokchoTaepo Fish Market in Sokcho

Animal Welfare at Taepo Fish Market in Sokcho?Animal Welfare at Taepo Fish Market in Sokcho?

Animal Welfare at Taepo Fish Market in SokchoAnimal Welfare at Taepo Fish Market in Sokcho?

at Taepo Fish Market in Sokchoat Taepo Fish Market in Sokcho

bull in Sokchobull in Sokcho

Sokcho BeachSokcho Beach

Next day I visited Seoraksan National Park (another UNESCO Heritage Site). From Sokcho just take the bus Nr.  7 or 7.1. The price is 1200 KWon one way and the journey takes about 45min to get there. Unfortunately there was a national holiday so the whole park was packed with Korean people.

bus to seoraksan national park in Sokchobus to Seoraksan National Park in Sokcho

queues before boarding the ropeway at seoraksan national park in Sokchoqueues before boarding the ropeway at Seoraksan National Park in Sokcho

view in Seoraksan National Parkview in Seoraksan National Park

climbing up to the peak in Seoraksan National Parkclimbing up to the peak  in Seoraksan National Park

climbed up 20min to the peak in Seoraksan National Parkclimbed up 20min  to the peak in Seoraksan National Park

beautiful view from the peak in Seoraksan National Parkbeautiful view from the peak in Seoraksan National Park

temples in in Seoraksan National ParkTemples in in Seoraksan National Park

After that 2 days and 3 nights my time in Sokcho was over and I went back to Seoul by bus. The ticket was about 17300 KWon to Dong Seoul and the journey was with a little bit of traffic about 3.5 hours. The buses from Sokcho to Dong Seoul leave about every half an hour.

Bus Ticket Office in Sokcho at Intercity Bus TerminalBus Ticket Office in Sokcho at Intercity Bus Terminal

My hostel in Seoul was in the Hongdae area. The Miso Guest House (review). Check here on Agoda or Very well located for many restaurants and bars and there is also the direct Airport link to Incheon and Gimpo.

Visiting Gangnam in SeoulVisiting Gangnam in Seoul

On one day we did the budget DMZ tour for 46000 KWon which was is not worth at all. The main attraction, the Joint Security Area (JSA) was left behind on that trip. So if you want to visit JSA you have to pay at least  about 90ooo KWon for this tour!

exchange bridge between South and North Koreaexchange bridge between South and North Korea

view to North Koreaview to North Korea

Third Tunnel of Aggression North Koreavisiting the Third Tunnel of Aggression from North Korea, unfortunately it was not allowed to take pictures in the tunnel

After Seoul I flew with Air Busan from Seoul Gimpo Airport to Busan Gimhae. The flight including luggage and fees was only 35000 KWon (special discount flight). Good Deal! Just had some difficulties at the Check-In machine :-D So I went straight to the counter. Everything fine then.

Air Busan Self Check-In machineAir Busan Self Check-In machine – no english just korean

As follows some pics from Busan:

Beomeosa Temple in BusanBeomeosa Temple in Busan

Beomeosa Temple in BusanBeomeosa Temple in Busan

The Directions to get there: Take the Subway to Beomeosa Station (Line Nr.1) and take exit Nr. 5 or 7, walk a little bit up the streets and board on of the buses (Nr. 90). The bus ride is only about 5 min.

Our hostel in Busan (The New Day Hostel review) check here on Agoda or was located in the famous Haeundae area – a 5min walk to the Haeundae Beach.

Haeundae BeachHaeundae Beach almost empty

Haeundae Beach at nightHaeundae Beach at night

Love Locks in BusanLove Locks in Busan

Haeundae Food Night Market in BusanHaeundae Food Night Market in Busan

Eels at Haeundae Food Night Market in BusanEels at Haeundae Food Night Market in Busan, delicious?

funny dinner with the Tourist Police in Busanfunny dinner with the Tourist Police in Busan

This was my blog about South Korea. In summary and my very personal impression about South Korea was disappointing (Country is expensive, food is bad,there was almost no interaction in the hostels and no activities compared to other hostels in other countires which I stayed). To cut a long story short: it was boring and nothing was going on and in the hottest clubs/discos there was no chance to get in because they don’t allow foreigners in it. But I will not only tell you the negative parts – all staff members or owners from the hostels in South Korea were very kind and helpful and I enjoyed a great day in Seoraksan National Park in Sokcho.

Finally we decided to leave South Korea and found a cheap flight from Busan to Thailand with Air Asia. So we see us next time in Thailand and from Koh Chang – Sun and relaxing :-) Due to the change of my itinerary, I will have a couple of days more in the Philippines.

Here find more inspirations on Tripadvisor Southkorea in general or here about Sokcho, Seoul or Busan.

As well more inspirations on Lonelyplanet about Southkorea.

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  1. Callen Lee says:

    It was nice reading your trip and stories. With my partner Lilly

  2. jamie says:

    Can advise more information of the directe express bus from airport to sokcho?


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