Monday 20 July 2015

Local food at Seoraksan National Park ~ Sokcho

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Seoraksan National Park in Sokcho-si is the main reason people flock to the Gangwon province. The national park is where Mt Seorak is located and there are multiple peaks and valleys that attract local and foreign hikers. Here are the hiking courses in different difficulties.

Even if you have no intention to go for a hike, take the cable car up midway then continue up the stairs to the ruins of Gwongenseum Fortress on Mt Seorak. There is also a steep climb all the way until the peak which I didn't climb.

I sat at the plateau and watched the girls climb up to the peak. Yes, that peak straight ahead. Don't underestimate it because there are no handrails and proper steps. I wasn't taking the risk of falling off a mountain after taking a drowsy-causing flu pill.

On the cable car ride down, you'll see Singheusa Temple and the 10 meter high Bronze Jwabul Statue. We decided to have lunch before visiting the temple. There are many shops in the national park serving local and western food.

After settling for a place which serves local fare, we ordered a bibimbap and a seafood pancake.

Pickled onions and kimchi which I didn't touch. Fill up the provided water bottles and bring them to your table.

We were surprised at the size of the seafood pancake and the amount of squid on the top. The squid was fresh and not overcooked while the pancake crispy and delicious with the dipping sauce.

The bibimbap however came as a slight shock. There wasn't a single type of vegetable we recognized and it seemed to be made of wild shoots and ferns. Overall, there wasn't any vegetables with a particularly strong flavor so it was still pleasant tasting and refreshing. I'd like to stick to the city bibimbap with slightly more normal vegetables though.

The beansprout soup was rather tasteless.


Here's a summary of what we ate during our trip, click the image below for a larger view.

Kindly compiled by my extremely efficient travel finance manager, the excel sheet for the above image is available here.