Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 2 - Nami Island & Mt. Seorak Near Seoul

October 23, 2009 (Friday)

Breakfast at the hotel consisted of a bowl of udon, salad, sweet ham and grape juice. I couldn’t wait for our jam-packed itinerary to begin. We will be touring Nami Island, Mt. Seorak and Shinheungsa Temple on the same day.


While en route, the tour guide talked about a typical Korean family. In Korea, she said, wives or women are often discouraged to travel even in Asia because they will never cook again. By never cooking again, imagine the ideal being a full-time homemaker stay-at-home mom cooking for the family and tending to the family’s needs after the husband’s and children’s office and school hours. Since experiencing the modern world, women travelers have began to choose to compete with men in the workplace and follow their dreams in a traditional Korean society. The first son also lives with his parents in Korea.


We were to ride the Nami Maid that will take us to Nami Island.


For avid Korean drama series watchers, Nami Island is the filming location for the popular Winter Sonata. Prior to boarding the Nami Maid, we had fun taking pictures of the festive decorations near the dock. 



The Nami Maid had a funny and creative name and it was the only way to get to Nami Island.


The view and other things kept us busy for the whole ride.




Alas! The boat docked after a while and I went trigger-happy with everything in Nami Island. 


We don’t have autumn in Manila but I loved the autumn-ness of the scenery in Korea. 


Everything was picture perfect. We came to the right place at the right time. 




What’s good about South Korea is that it has the 4 seasons so you might probably see something different every time. I felt like I was a part of “Autumn Sonata” in the whole one hour that we were there. 



The stretches of green, red and yellow were very inviting.






I would walk all the way to the tip of the island from the entrance, scout the buildings for art and go to the other side where they filmed most of the series if it wasn’t for the warning bell that the bus would leave us if we don’t get back to the meeting point on time.



Lunch was another round of raw meat in a big pan full of veggies. This time it was Chicken Galbi.


We were grouped together in a crowded restaurant full of (I think budget and satisfied) tourists. We had fun mixing everything though.


We were on the way to Mt. Seorak in no time.


It was located near the DMZ zone (the demilitarized zone was a tourist spot in Korea, it is the border that separates North and South Korea where the South Korean men may be stationed as part of their 2-year compulsory military service requirement, they carry real guns). In the bus, the tour guide told us a Korean tale about a bear, a tiger and of man’s creation. Both animals wanted to be human and approached the son of the ruler of Heaven. Their wish will be granted if they can endure staying in a cave where there is no sun for 90 days and eating only garlic and mugwort. The bear endured the challenge and became a woman while the tiger grew impatient and left the cave (and he has been wandering ever since). Click here to read more about the tiger.


The bear statue stands proudly in the entrance of Mt. Seorak National Park as a symbol of strength and perseverance. Or because you might just find an Asian Black Bear, together with pandas and musk deer, in the wild in this tentative UNESCO heritage site.

Seoraksan (I am guessing san is for mountain) / Mt. Seorak / Mt. Sorak (I will explain the spelling later in my Seoul trip) is the 3rd highest mountain in South Korea. The literal translation is Snow Peak Mountain.


The park was huge and we had to take a cable car to the mountain. It was a cold but short walk to an allowable visitor area up Mt. Seorak.


Again, I had fun taking pictures amidst the fog and the cold.



There was still time to visit the Shinheungsa Temple near the entrance of park by the time we got off the returning cable car. We passed by this view on the way to the temple.


Dinner was inevitably hotpot again, this time it was seafood boiled in hot soup. Didn’t I tell you it was the same thing, only different versions?


I laughed at my little side joke. I only ate a little and decided to convince my roomies on a midnight snack.

First, let me tell you about our super cool resort, Daemyung Resort Sorak.


There are 2 amazing sleeping options available in our doubles room – sleeping in a regular bed or sleeping in a mat on the heated floor!


We had a huge, huge space for both options, a dining table, plus a bathroom and a kitchen! There was also a supermarket, gaming room, pool and spa in our super big hotel. Korean families and friends would stay in resorts like these, enjoy the facilities, hike Mt. Seorak and enjoy the many things to do near the area.

There is no better way to end the cold day than cooking ramyeon and having fruits in our own bedroom with friends!



Special thanks to my dear friends for the memories, the good company and the pictures!

Read more about Seoul in Korea (you can find Busan in the labels):
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 1 - On The Way to Seoul, Incheon & Songdo City
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 2 - Nami Island & Mt. Seorak Near Seoul
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 3 - Mt. Seorak & Everland Near Seoul, Dongdaemun Market in Seoul
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 4 - Seoul City Tour - Kimchi-making, Hanbok-wearing, National Folk Museum, Cheongbuk Palace, Myeongdong, Drawing Show at Hyehwa, Banpo Bridge
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 5 - Lotte World (tour ends here), Seoul Tower (start of our extra day), Teddy Bear Museum, Myeongdong in Seoul
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 6 - Hyehwa, Gangnam, Insadong in Seoul
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 7 - Sinchon, Korean Universities in Seoul
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 8 - Namsangol Hanok Village, Namsan Stairs, Nanta in Seoul
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 9 Part 1 - Deoksugung Palace, Doldam-Gil, Tteokbokki Street in Seoul
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 9 Part 2 - Cheonggyecheon Stream, King Sejong Story, Samgyeupsal, Coffee Prince Cafe
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 10 Part 1 - Making Kimchi in a Korean Home, Korean Hospitality at its Best, Korean Grapes & Persimmon, Kimchi All-You-Can, The Peppero Story at the Supermarket, Ramen Eaten 3-Ways, Pojongmacha
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 10 Part 2 - My Best Foodie Experience in Seoul!
Unforgettable Seoul '10 Day 11 - Bossam Day, Incheon International Airport Activities