Saturday, November 27, 2004

Trip to Korea - Part 4

Day 5 - Tuesday 26/10/2004

Woke up early today because it was freezing cold and it's raining heavily! I had to use two blankets yesterday nite. We packed up and lug our luggage down to the lobby and waited for the rest. When the rest arrived, we lugged our luggage into the bus and went for breakfast at the hotel (Daemyung Sorak Condo). We had buffet style breakfast.

Breakfast at Daemyung Sorak Condo. I see lotsa cakes in the background XD

After the breakfast, we are on our way to Mt. Sorak. Michael, our local tour guide informed us that it was 0'C yesterday nite. Haiya, no wonder so cold ler... Summore sleep next to the sliding door... =P Nice experience though. Hee hee...

The raining slowed down and the sun was out. That's great! Warmth of the morning sun... Ahhh.... =D We reached Mt. Sorak about 8:30am. There were a few ajumas around selling raincoats. I see alot of other people buying the raincoat and bought the raincoat at 3000 Won = about RM10. I put the raincoat and after walking about 5 mins, my shoe got wet. Decided to remove the raincoat when we reached the cable car station and will use my trustee umbrella (luckily I brought the umbrella with me).

The station was packed with children. Guess that they are having their 'lawatan sambil belajar' trip. The children when up first. We waited for about 20 minutes for our turn.

Mt. Sorak cable car station (Dunno what the temperature here means. 14'C for the top station and 21'C for the current station?)

Ready to get into the cable car

The cable car ride was about 5 mins. We arrived at the top station and we can see nothing. It was really misty and everything is so blur.

Misty and blur. Use the bino to see what?

We hiked up Mt. Sorak. Michael cautioned us to not step on the leaves because they are slippery. It wasn't easy because on one hand I had to hold on to the rail and on the other hand I'm holding the umbrella. The walkway is small and the 'lawatan sambil belajar' children are coming down. Had to let them through. We managed to reach near the peak of Mt. Sorak after 20 minutes.

Signboard of other mountains around. Can't see them though.

Peak of Mt. Sorak

Can't go up to the peak though because it's was too slippery and too steep. Also, there was no railing. The authorities prevented us going any further eventhough some of the guys want to reach the peak.

Mt. Sorak National Park is the most beautiful national parks in Korea, but we can't see anything today =( The hang around here for about 45 minutes, taking photos and waited for the mist to clear. After 45 mins, we decided to go down and the mist started to clear. Caught these pics:

Mountain and trees

Autumn trees

Tree with red leaves

Coffee shop in the middle of the mountain?

Autumn trees

We arrived back at the station and we had their potatoes. These are Korean potatoes and are small in size. They are steamed and deep fried. Add the sauce and some salt. Mmmmm.... they are absolutely delicious and it's hot! (just right for the cold weather) ^_^

Hot delicious potatoes anyone?

After enjoying the potatoes, it was time to go.

Going down. Look at the trees - it's green, orange, yellow and red.

From the bottom station, we walked about 10 mins to reach the Shinheung Temple. There we saw a giant Buddha.

Giant Buddha at the Shinheung Temple.

After visiting the temple, we walked back to the bus and caught some photos on the way.

The couple tree

Beautiful trees

We headed to another filming side of 'Autumn In My Heart'. Haven't watch it yet.

This is the beach where alot of Koreans couples hang out. The beach was a lil rough today. Also the filming place of Autumn In My Heart

The famous shop selling Autumn In My Heart souvenirs

Picture of the shop owners, their son and the two movie stars

The signboard where they filmed Autumn In My Heart

Crossing the river manually by pulling the string

We crossed the river, using these boats. They boats can carry about 35 people maximum and they are not engine powered. There is a string attached to the boat. The boatman uses a steel stick to pull us across the river. We were given extra sticks and we pulled the boat back to the original position. After the short exercise, we headed for lunch. We are having vegetables with meat for lunch but some opted for the vegetarian meal.

Vegetables with meat

Vegetarian meal

After lunch, we drove about 3 and half hours to our next destination. Midway we had a toilet stop and I took this pic.

Beautiful scenery (near North Korea border)

After 3 and half hours, we arrived at the Chungju Lake. We're gonna take a lake cruise here. Earlier on the bus, Michael already informed us to empty our bladder before boarding the boat because there's no toilet on the boat. Also he mentioned that the ajumas just finish their work and their main entertainment for the day is to dance and join the cruise. Some ajumas would also drink soju (Korean traditional wine) and would pull you to dance with them! Yikes!

Walking down the steps to the floating jetty at Chungju Lake

We walked down the steps and we immediately the loud music. The music was kinda traditional, catchy, fast beat and the ajumas and aggosis already dancing at the floating jetty. Their dance has no form, just dance only... luckily no feng tau =X (Imagining old aunties feng tau, that would be weird... hehehe... XD) BTW, no one dared to go near them.

We waited for a while and other tour groups began to arrive and it's getting a little crowded. After a short while, the boat arrived and the boat can easily pack 200 people. No problems =D The cruise was about 1 hour. Check out the pics:

The sunset



Male Tortoise Mountain (Doesn't look like oo kui also)

Female Tortoise Mountain (Female oo kui???)

The moon

Most of us was on the top of the boat (it's cold mine you because the boat was moving fast!) watching the beautiful mountain sceneries while on the ground deck, the ajumas and aggosis are dancing like mad and pulling people to dance with them. What an experience just to watch them dance.

After the lake cruise, we have to climb all the way back up to the bus. Then, we headed to Aquaworld. We checked into the hotel (Korean tatami style again) and Michael asked us to put on our swimming gears because we are going swimming and also to join the hot bath. The head cap is a must and some of us to rent it.

Aquaworld Hotel

Aquaworld Information Counter

I expected Aquaworld to be like Sunway Lagoon since it was so heavily advertised on TV and there is so many people in it. I thought it was huge but actually it's small. The whole place is indoor and we have the whole pool to ourselves because it's a weekday and it's 7 pm already. We went to the swimming pool with the water jet massaging area. The girls were giggling while being massage by water and the guys was enjoying the nice massage.

BTW, cameras are strictly prohibited in Aqualand bathroom.

There were a giant hot tub, which is 35-36'C. They have 4 smaller ones. Lemon water tub 38'C, Coffee tub 40'C, Hot spring tub 42'C and Mineral water tub 25'C. Yes, all these tubs can be used by both gender and we can go in with our swimming gears. The hot spring was the best, it's hot and relaxing! But no one tried the mineral was tub because it's too cold. Some jump inside it and straight away jump out of it. I just have to try it! I jumped inside it and it's freezing cold (from 42'C to 25'C cold or not?) Waited for a while for my body to adjust to the temperature. Since no one was there I submerged my whole body in it! =P (Imagine swimming in a pool full of mineral water... and mineral water is not cheap leh... wahahaha...)

After the bath, we went to the sauna to dry ourselves. The sauna is quite big. Can fit about 30 or more people.

After sauna, we go have to the locker rooms (guys and girls separate rooms, btw photos are prohibited in Aquaworld). We saw another pool. This one is the hottest, about 52'C. Alot of people was in it naked! Mostly are Koreans, the old, middle aged and the young ones all naked in the pool. And some of them are walking here and there in the locker room bare naked. None of us dared to join them, because we have to strip naked and we were rushing to go for dinner. We quickly got changed and we went straight for dinner.

Later a girl asked me whether there was any changing room in the male room because there is no changing room in the girl's locker room. So I asked her how she changed her clothes. She replied quick quick change lor... I also asked her whether the all the woman walk here and there naked... She said not only woman, old aunties and young ones too. Woot woot... nice to know that =P My conclusion, Koreans are more open minded and they are used to it.

In the bus, Michael asked us how the experience was? Everyone said good. He asked again whether anyone went for the hottest pool? Everyone just kept quiet. I guess no one went into that pool =P

Then, Michael asked a funny question. If there is an earthquake or fire, and everyone is running outside of the building, which part should you cover? (we were given a small towel when we enter Aquaworld). Most of the people said the private part. Michael gave us a better suggestion, cover your face. Why? Because if you cover your private parts, reporter can still take a picture of your face and your face would be all over the newspaper the next day. If you cover your face they can just see your private parts but they do not know who you are. Wahaha.... this is so hilarious and got everyone laughing. What a great tip!

For dinner, we had mushroom steamboat. Mushrooms... my favourite! Yum yum! After dinner, Michael showed us the green toothpicks. These green toothpicks are edible if you wanna eat it after picking your tooth. Tried eating it. First it tastes nothing and later it starts to taste horrible. I don't recommend you guys trying to makan the toothpicks.

Mushroom steamboat

Toothpicks which are edible

After dinner, we headed to the fruits night market. The fruits here are very fresh.

Fruits night market

After buying some fruits, we went back to the hotel about 10 pm. Watched some TV and went straight to dreamland... zzz.... Slept next to the window again... Cold and nice.... wahahaha.....

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