Sorak Mountain is located in the Northeastern region of South Korea. It is about a 3.5 hour drive from our home in Seoul. This trip was not very well planned, I didn't do much research and booked the hotel only 2 days out. We decided to go because A: Mnt Sorak is supposed to be BEAUTIFUL this time of year, B: it was an American holiday and C: we just bought a new van & had to try it out. (Our hooptie broke down weeks ago & we have been car less.)
First, the van. I SO DID NOT want a minivan again and I knew if we bought new, I would be driving it for years to come, and I DID NOT WANT A MINIVAN, I've been there and done that. I want a sporty little convertible BMW. Well, the minivan was practical, we could all fit in it and we needed a car. Hubby found this one and got such an amazing deal on it, we could not pass it up. I agreed to drive it for at least 5 years. (GAG) AND you know when we get to the states back to the states Hubby will get some cool little car & I will be jealous. Anyway, now that we have it, I am really digging it. I don't know why in the past I was so opposed to the built in DVD player for the kids, I guess because when I was a kid we had to ride sitting on someone’s lap (there were 10 of us children), and if we fought, well, we just had to fight it out. I don't know about you, but I CANNOT stand when my children fight in the car, especially while driving in Seoul, Korea, crazy driving capital of the WOLRD. Anyway, I have discovered that the inventor of these DVD players are actually magicians, this thing hypnotizes my children and I don't hear a word from them while it is on. I mean it is conflict, conflict, conflict, then the DVD player turns on and silence! What a heavenly invention. I would like to say thank you to whoever invented this. I am now good with driving this minivan for 5 years, as long as the DVD player works.
OK, back to Mount Sorak.
As I stated before, the drive was very nice, the children were so quiet and the country side was beautiful. I was driving, Hubby was the navigator, this works best for us, as I cannot read a map to save my life.
Our first stop was our hotel. We stayed at the Daemyung Condos. They offer the military 70% off their normal rate. From what I understand, this is a very nice hotel for Korea. Here are some shots of our hotel....
Explanation of pictures in order:
1. This is the bedroom, you sleep in traditional Korean style, on the floor.
2. Picture of the "beds".
3. Kids after making their beds.
4. Master bedroom, don't let the bed fool you, it was as hard as a rock.
Some interesting facts about our hotel:
· There were no closets
· There were no dressers
· I think the pillows were actually sandbags
· The floors are heated, not unusual in Korea. Most floors are heated, this is very nice, your feet don't get cold, I love it, that is until it is the middle of night, and everything suddenly becomes very HOT.
· No shower curtain
· No microwave, but they did have a rice cooker
I am not complaining, just telling you some things you may not know about the Korean culture.
Next we drove up some mountain, I’m not sure which one, but I do know it was beautiful. This next picture freaked me out. I did not like Boy 3 being on Hubby's shoulders while standing this close to the rail.
Our next stop was the Goseong Hwaamsa Buddhist Temple. I love the temples, they are so peaceful and have such amazing beauty.
You can't see it very well, but there is a huge bell and a huge drum in the structure to on the left side of the picture. See the big rock in the background? We hiked to it and up to it and then ventured off to the right.
This next picture is the inside of one of the shrines. Check out the details.
I just like this next picture, it is of the roof tops, (obviously) but what I like about it are the kimchi pots, that seem to be full and brewing the kimchi!
Taking a break...
Next stop on our little adventure was the BEACH! Yes, the mountains and the ocean are right next to each other. Very cool. The kids wanted to play in the sand, even though it was cold, we let them. Once they took their shoes off, all was fair game; they were headed towards the ocean. We kept saying no, but they kept heading that way. I knew they would end up soaked. (I was really just thinking about how my new minivan didn't even have 300 miles on it yet and now it was going to smell of the ocean) I was right; they all ended up very wet, and VERY COLD! Before getting in the van to leave, we made them take all their clothes off. (We had blankets in the van) Boy 1 was mortified.
The view from our hotel...
The next day on our way home, we stopped at a stream, where we had tons of fun....
And where Boy 1 fell in the water and got wet again. He had to travel home with no pants on...again.