Tuesday, 9 October 2012

My Very First (Almost) WhiteOut Experience @ Sorak





Seoraksan is the highest mountain in the Taebaek mountain range ( also considered the backbone of the Korea peninsula ) in the Gangwon province in eastern South Korea, as well as the third highest mountain in South Korea after the Hallasan volcano on Jeju Island and Jirisan in the south. It was named Seorak ( or Sorak ) because the snow would not melt for a long time keeping the rocks in a permanent state of white. In November 1965, the Seorak Mountain district was designated as Natural Monument preservation area. Following by December 1973, it was designated as Park preservation area, as well as in August 1982, the Biosphere preservation district by UNESCO.
The best way to explore the entire Seorak Mountain is by taking the Seorak Cable Car, riding up and down, viewing the fascinating rock formations of the Gwongeumseong region and Sogogwon area, Jeohangnyeong and Ulsanbawi Rock to the north,  as well as to the northeast, downtown Sokcho and the East Sea comes into view. The cable car ascends at relatively high speed with some excitement, safety is assured and the entire scenery can be enjoyed entirely. Nonetheless sometime it may cause you wait in line for approximately 2 to 3 hours during the peak season ( summer vacation and fall foliage seasons ) and during the weekends. However we were fortunate enough as being there during wintertime ( off-season ) where the cable cars can be boarded without waiting, yet we were extremely unfortunate to come across to a bad weather condition during the time, we have been told that the operation had been suspended under such condition, it was too windy, blizzard and almost whiteout to obstruct our cable car ride, what a disappointment :-(

This was our hotel < Sorak Park Hotel & Casino >, which would accommodate us overnight. It has heavenly magnificent surroundings, simply in misty white entirely,  everything completely covered by a thick layer of brilliant white snow-cover. Amazing scenery....

Somehow we needed to get off the coach right in front of our hotel, which it ought to be sending us a further journey, due to the bad condition of the blizzard...The path was totally submerged by a feet thick layered-snow, which absolutely obstructed the coach from moving forward, and yet half of the wheels have been sinking into the snow-cover. For the sake of the bad weather condition, we needed to go on foot by our own. 

However the walking journey ain't tiring or exhausted regardless of the distant and heavy snowing, perhaps the beautiful scenes along the route and the freezing cold weather made us feel great instead of bad. In fact, we've never had enough of taking photos of such awesome white and fascinating scenery for the reason that it was the very first time me and my honey experienced the snow back in Jan 2008, it has to be an incredible & exaggerate excitement to us ( However we have been experienced numerous of snowing circumstances ever since, where we would have to be begging the God for not snowing anymore to alleviate our journey ^^ ).

Incessant snowing caused our winter coats wet, wet and getting wet....

Yet a long way to go....We were not complaining any for the beautiful scenes to die for along the path...The shrubs and everything else were coated by brilliant white snows....Amazing!

My honey's coat has pretty much covered by snowflakes...

Eventually we reached the parking area where our coach supposed to be sending us, however we did enjoy the walking journey regardless...

Apparently the snow didn't seem to be stopped, yet it was getting heavier...

There was an array of shop lots, where we could finally have ourself to answer the nature calls and grabbed something warm..haha..

An amazing scenery surrounding us, brilliant white of the snow, thick snow-layered path & meadow, snow cover all over the leave less woods & shrubs, treetops, twigs, trunks, thickets, just name it....to form an extraordinary magnificent painting-like scenes, a reverie landscape that seems so unreal...or it was just an imagination of a dream...so remarkably enchanting!

Wanna have a natural shaved ice???

Totally immersed and surrounded by a brilliant white snows....amazing!

We reached < Seoraksan National Park>... The formidable brown bear is the significant statue at the entrance.

Wish to lie on my back completely shrouded with smooth white snow-cover, within the bosom of this natural landscape...Look! How happy am I...hahaha.

My honey was going to buy a cup of hot drinks from the vending machine...

Oh! My feet as well as the half of my legs were entirely submerged into a thick layer of snow....

Look at those thousands twigs of the woody plants shielded above me, looks fascinating~

Entering the < Sinheungsa ( Buddhist Temple )> of < Seoraksan National Park >.


Bronze Buddha of Sinheungsa ( Buddhist Temple ) near the main entrance to < Seoraksan National Park >. So imposing, grandeur and divine....

The snow didn't seem to be stopped nor even close, and we were enjoying the increasing snows to the max though...

Can we pass by the bridge??? What a extremely thick & sturdy snow-layered coating the path...

Please walk carefully follow the stream of people, don't be misstepping and falling down to the river..hahaha...In fact there was no river stream under the bridge, for all has became frozen entirely.

Heavenly....

As I've told, the river stream was totally frozen..This was the sight of the river from the bridge. Awesome! 


Entering another shrine...

Wow! The snow was getting heavier....almost whiteout!!! However I like it :-)

Scenes from the shrine....or heaven???

Shaking the snowflakes coated the twigs of the shrubs...so fun!!!

My little snowman....

Right after having our steamboat dinner which within the vicinity of our hotel and < Seoraksan National Park> ( merely the midpoint of the distance of both destinations ), yet the snows constantly increasing....

Yeah! Reached our hotel  < Sorak Park Hotel & Casino >, it looked amazingly gorgeous and splendid during night time, simply another vista & perception compared with morning.

It was freezing when we were going out to the next stores which was within a walking distant for grabbing some snacks, the weather never seemed to be warmer but getting colder regardless of day or night.

Taking photo in front of the gaudy neon lighted-board of the stores...

Haha...While we were entering the store, we spotted a big fat adorable cat of the store owner lied on its stomach on the table, for whom has a Chinese word in red color writing on its forehead which means < King >. We had been observing it quite a time, since the owner couldn't speak well in english, we didn't ask the reason why the cat has the chinese word on his forehead, we kept continuing our shopping, and the meanwhile, the owner suddenly passed his cat into my bosom to let me hold it, what a friendly owner we met. I love the cat, it's so adorable, tamed and docile, it seemed so enjoyable reclining on my chest...however it was kinda heavy that I couldn't stand long cuddling him. :-)




Sorak Park Hotel & Casino
74-3 Seorak-Dong, Sokcho-Si, Gangwon-Do, 217-120 Sokcho
Kang-Won-Do, South Korea
( Located 500 meters from Seorak National Park, in the tourist area of Sokcho. With a decor of Northern Europe, offers beautiful mountain views and free parking. )







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