Sokcho Trip Reflections

Sokcho Trip Reflections Header

Although my Sokcho trip wasn’t exactly a trip of enlightenment, I still ended up learning quite about Sokcho and myself. Some were observations and some were realisations I made during the trip. Some reflections only reiterated what I’d already knew about myself. All in all, this solo trip has taught me some things, and the experiences I’ve gained on this trip will be cherished.

Solo Travelling Speculations

  • Travelling alone is not an issue with me. The only problem is that there are certain restaurants I’d feel horribly uncomfortable eating alone at, like Korean BBQ places.
  • I really enjoyed all my time alone; exploring and visiting new places at my own pace felt so lovely!
  • Someone asked me how’d I get my photos taken if I were travelling alone, and I found that not to be an issue because I don’t even like getting my pictures taken!
  • In fact, during all those times when I was stuck in my room, I had no problems finding things to keep myself occupied. Let’s just say I’m thankful I had my Chromebook, haha!

Transportation Thoughts

  • Sokcho buses are not as frequent as Seoul buses, nor are they as crowded!
  • I had a tendency of second guessing myself with the buses, but a part of it was because I couldn’t hear the damn announcement due to the buses going fast. The other part was that the bus stop names on Naver map didn’t match up with the ones on the actual routes!
  • Sokcho buses do not use T-Money cards, so I had to resort to paying my fares the old-fashioned way!
  • When in doubt, always ask for directions! And don’t always rely on a map, especially when you’re directionally-challenged.
  • Going “hiking” on Seoraksan made me realise that I lack the skills of a mountain goat.
  • It’s a good thing I like walking because I did a lot of that on this trip! In fact, my stubbornness really kicked in while I walked a lot. I conquered evil staircases of doom and even rebelled against the rain that wouldn’t stay away.
  • However, all the walking I did in the rain made me realise one thing: I hate walking in the rain!
  • Which made me glad my bags and my shoes were waterproof! Thank goodness I invested in a new bag and a pair of Columbia Sports shoes!

Food and Dining Deliberations

  • Going to a coastal countryside as a non-seafood eater is quite difficult. I really missed having access to a variety of Korean food that I get in Seoul like bibimbap and kimbap.
  • A lot of the restaurants here are ones where you sit on the floor and eat.
  • Convenience stores are my lifesaver with comestibles. I know they aren’t as economically cheap, but when you’re out in the countryside with no car, they are definitely a convenience!

Nature Impressions

  • I did discover my fondness for mountains and nature! Just didn’t realise how much I appreciated it until I reached Seoraksan.
  • I finally know what that “sea/ocean” smell is. It smells really fishy, haha!
  • The sound of the waves really relaxed me.
  • Unfortunately, people who litter on beaches were aplenty. Some parts of the beaches in Sokcho were just nasty. Then again, there really isn’t a lot of public trash cans, which is a lot like Seoul in that aspect!

General Sokcho Observations

  • Sokcho, like Tokyo, gets lighter and darker quicker than Seoul.
  • Some ahjummas are loud in Sokcho as they are in Seoul. Actually, they are loud everywhere. And just as pushy, too. Even the ahjumma on the phone taking my pizza order was all bbali bbali!
  • Sokcho countryside is like Gwangju countryside, where everyone is more “open and friendly” than Seoul. Kind of like living in a small town in the US.
  • The city and its vicinity wasn’t crowded for this time of the year, and I really enjoyed the lack of crowds here. Going back to the crowds in Seoul did not appeal to me at all.

Final Reflections

  • Apparently I no longer need a separate camera to take photos. My cellphone was good enough and more convenient!
  • I’m very glad I know Korean to get by in an area that’s not as English-friendly as Seoul.
  • With that said, Sokcho is NOT ready for the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics. Even my pension hotel host agreed with me.
  • Sokcho being in-between a mountain and a sea gave the city a very unique feel.

Thank you Sokcho, Seoraksan, and the East Sea for this amazing trip! If I were to ever retire and choose a place to live out my life, Sokcho is currently my number one choice.

Comments

  1. A city in between a mountain and the sea – three of the things I love in one place! I’d love to visit someday.

    I really hate seeing litter on the beach. T.T I don’t agree that the lack of trash cans is sufficient excuse. People should hold on to their trash until they see a bin.

    • Yeah, I don’t agree either, but the lack of trash can is also a major inconvenience ~_~; It’s a problem Korea in general has, and they are working on having more trash cans . . .

  2. It smells fishy! Greatest observation because it is so true! And oceans are so loud! It’s great. My state is next to the coast, so I totally get you.

    Yay for independence!

    • It was loud, but it wasn’t that loud when I was about two-three minutes away from the coast :) I really wouldn’t mind living near an ocean/sea now, though. As long as it’s not near the Yellow Sea, though.

  3. I enjoy travelling alone but, yeah, I would not want to eat out alone. No thank you.

    • I don’t mind eating alone in some places, but a KBBQ joint is where I draw the line.

  4. Sounds like such an awesome trip! Sounds like the nature parts would be super relaxing!

  5. Definitely my own cup of tea, this trip that you had taken! We’re very similar in the facts that we don’t mind traveling alone and very attentive. I haven’t ever been to Korea but that’s on my bucket list 100%. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • I hope you’ll get to visit Korea! It’s a great place :3

      And woot for solo travelling! I need to do it more! :D

  6. Hahahaa I am mentioned in this post :3 I’m glad to have seen a photo of you in the last one though! Of course you’d like at least one photo hehehe.

    It’s nice to reflect on the place you visited after your trip, I know I did that a lot with my last trip, which was to Beijing and Hong Kong in 2013.

    Ohhh you don’t eat seafood? Yeahh I can see how that can come in the way when you visit a coastal town where they thrive on fish! I recently went on a red meat fast and it’s been difficult because the US thrives on red meat, haha.

    The countryside is always a nice place after retirement and I think being in it makes us feel more friendly because we are less stressed! That’s why everybody knows everybody in the country, it’s a whole big community! City rudeness really just comes from stress and it’s best to realize that then you can lift it and not be rude even when stressed!

    <3

    • Yeap, I mentioned you, hahaha! XD

      I never thought about stress contributing to city rudeness, but it makes sense because the city life is much faster than the countryside. Thanks for bringing that up and making me think!

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