Summer trip to Sokcho

Talk about a late post! It’s winter already and I’m just posting about our summer vacation ;p Oh well, life happens. Here goes…

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Our trip did not get off to a good start due to confusion at the bus terminal. It was a busy Saturday morning and the bus terminal was unlike any other I’d experienced before.  After buying our tickets we walked to our gate where there were attendants yelling out bus numbers and destinations, passengers waiting to hear their bus numbers and lining up quickly to get the best seat.

It was all happening way too fast for us to catch on with our basic Korean.  We kept walking up to the bus attendants, thinking our bus number had been called, but they kept telling us to “wait.” After about 20 minutes of waiting I went to the bathroom and when I came out three minutes later our bus had already loaded and left! Yikes!

Luckily, one of the bus attendants felt sorry for us and exchanged our bus tickets and personally helped us onto the next bus. He was surprised that we were waygookin 외국인 (foreigners) because I guess I look Asian enough to pass as Korean, and well, Mike IS Korean. After our little fiasco we arrived at Sokcho three hours later. Whew!

We stayed at a cute little hostel called ‘The House.’

We had our own private bathroom and continental breakfast. Since it was the off-season we got a great price.  Fall is actually  the most popular time to visit Sokcho because of it’s famous hiking and beautiful fall scenery. I liked that we went in the off-season though, because it wasn’t very crowded. What a change from Seoul! I really enjoyed the marketplace, little family-owned coffee shops, and tasting the local cuisine.

At the market, we noticed people were standing in a long line at a small shop and wondered why. On my foursquare app I noticed that there was a popular place for hoddeok 호떡 (korean style donut with cinnamon and nuts) which was on the Sokcho top 10 list. I realized it was THE famous donut shop! It was teeny and very busy. We got in line.

After about 15 minutes it was finally our turn to taste the famous donuts. Hands down, these were THE BEST hoddeok (호떡)I’ve ever tasted. We went back a second time during our 4-day stay.

What else did we eat?

Well, Sokcho is famous for its stuffed squid sausage. The filling was delicious! Like a pork meatball, or lumpia filling. We also got to taste our favorite corn-flavored rice wine…We love our makkeoli and corn flavored is the best!

The best meal of the trip however was at the clam barbecue restaurant. Unlike in the states, in Korea, restaurants usually specialize in and serve only one or two things. At the clam barbecue restaurant there were clams in tanks in front so you could see just how fresh they were. We paid one price and they gave us an assortment which we cooked at our table.  There was even a grilled casserole with shellfish, cheese, and tomato sauce. It tasted like pizza. Yum!

Mike was sick the first day and a half but we managed to visit a famous Buddhist temple overlooking the ocean, and stayed an extra day just to spend lazing at the beach. One thing I noticed in Sokcho was that there were so many couples! Coincidentally, the city is also famous for a Korean drama, “Autumn in my heart” that was filmed on location. We kept seeing signs for the drama everywhere.  One night we were treated to a fireworks display at the port. The moonlit city with the ocean and fireworks  was very romantic. No wonder there were so many couples…

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