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Korea Trip Day 4

January 10, 2012 9 comments

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Korea Trip Day 5

After breakfast, we transfer to the breathtaking Mount Seorak National Park, ascent to the summit by cable car.  Walk up the impressive Kwon Kum Seong Fortress which commands an excellent panoramic view of the Outer Seorak region.

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MOUNT SEORAK NATIONAL PARK 雪嶽山國立公園

Seoraksan National Park was designated as a nature reserve by the Korean government in 1965 and UNESCO designated the area as a biosphere reserve in 1982.

Mount Seorak Entrance

Seoraksan is located on the east and center of the Korean peninsula, the reserve covers Injegun, Yanyanggun, and Sokchosi.  It is one of the most popular attractions for tourists and nature enthusiasts in Korea.

Mt Seorak, Crowded

The nature reserve cover an area of 163.6 square km and contains many notable high peaks measuring over 1,200 meters above sea level including the highest peak of Soraksan, Daecheongbong, which has an altitude of 1,708 meters.

Seoraksan is the 3rd highest mountain in South Korea, after the Hallasan volcano on Jeju Island and Jirisan in the south.

Seoraksan Snows in Winter, Temperature Can Go to -30 Degree.   

The Soraksan Nature reserve is valuable for its stunning natural beauty and rare flora and fauna.  There are more than 1,400 rare plant species, such as Edelweiss and over 2,000 animal species including the Korea bear, Mouse deer and etc.

It’s contains mountain ranges of dissected granite and is characterized by spectacular rocky hills and ridges. The magnificent natural beauty of Soraksan and the mountain ridges is due to these geographical features.

The mountain is named Seorak because  snow wouldn’t melt for long time, keeping the rocks in a permanent state of white.

White Color Mountain Peak.

The main season for Seoraksan national park is autumn.  The autumn colors in Seorak are considered amongst the most beautiful scenery in Korea.  The red and yellow forest is interrupted by white rocks and small mountain streams flows through it.

Korea in Autumn

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We Took This cable car up to the Gwongemseong Castle on Seoraksan, about 860 meters above sea level.

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Beautiful Scenery View from Cable Car.  There Are Variety of Trees and Bushes Grow on the Mountain.

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Giant Buddha View from Cable Car

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Once we reached the cable car station at the “top” of the mountain, it was then a short walk up towards Gwongeumseong.  The path along the route is well laid out with a sort of rubber matting, making the walk easy for those not suited to mountain climbing.

Long Staircase Going Up

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Maple Tree Leaves turning to beautiful  Golden and Red Color

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Mt Seorak Summit

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When get closer to the top, it scary because there’s nothing to hold on to.  If fall, it’s a long way down.   It makes you a bit dizzy to climb a sheer cliff like this.

Stunning 360 Degree View of Colorful Mountains and Blue Sky

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Some Great Views of the Surrounding Kwon Kum Seong Fortress.

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GIANT BUDDHA OF SEORAKSAN

The Great Unification Buddha, a 14.6 meter, 108 ton gilt-bronze Giant Buddha statue sits atop a 4.3-meter high lotus pedestal, called “Tongil Daebul”.

Giant Buddha of Seoraksan

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Giant Buddha

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Offering Items Are Available for Sale for Buddhist Who Wish to Pray to the Buddha.

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SHINHUNGSA TEMPLE

Next stop is the fascinating Shinhungsa Temple, a historical monument constructed during the Shilla era.  Located in Seoraksan National Park, about 10 min walk from the Sogongwon’s entrance.  Many tourists hiking Seoraksan up to Ulsanbawi (peak) pass by the temple.

This Way to Shinhungsa Temple

At the Temple entrance there are four guardian Cheonwang (king) statues (Jiguk Cheonwang with a sword, Damun Cheonwang with a lute, Gwangmok Cheonwang with a tower, and Jeungjang Cheonwang with a dragon), placed on either side.

Cheonwang Statues at The Side of Entrance

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Cheonwang Statues at The Side of Entrance

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Shinhungsa Temple (Buddhist Temple) in Seoraksan National Park

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Introduction of Shinhungsa Temple

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Shihungsa Temple View from Cable Car

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Beautiful Old Temple

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LUNCH TIME

Mushroom Steamboat Kimchi Lunch

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Surrounding Scenery of The Restaurant

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Rice Field in Korea

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Japan Sea

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YONG PYONG DRAGON VALLEY 龙平龙谷

Yongpyong is Asia’s Mecca for winter sports. Synonymous with the history of Korean skiing, and is recognized worldwide as a ski resort that is completely equipped with the latest hardware and software for skiing.

Yong Pyong Resort

Yongpyong having successfully hosted the World Cup Ski Competition in 1998 and 2000, as well as the Winter Asian Games in 1999.

In cooperation with Gangwon-do Province, it is in the world’s spotlight again as the main site for the Winter Olympics in 2010.

Cable Car Gondola to Dragon Peak of Yongpyong

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Beautiful Scenery on the way up to Dragon Peak

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YONGPYONG DRAGON PEAK 龙平龙峰

The reach the summit, take the YongPyong cable car from Dragon Plaza and 17 minutes of appreciating nature later, you will arrive at a 2-story Swiss style building at the peak of Mt. Balwang (1,459m).

“Dragon Peak” (Landing Point) At The Top of The Mountain

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“Sky Garden” Is Just Beside the Building

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This is the same peak that could be seen on the popular KBS TV series ‘Winter Sonata 冬季恋歌’, a Korean drama made famous by Bae Yong Joon 裴勇俊 and Choi Ji Woo 崔智友.

Winter Sonata Filming Site

The best experience of Dragon Peak can be had while breathing the fresh mountain air and relaxing with a warm cup of coffee.

The Sky Garden

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裴勇俊 and 崔智友

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DELICIOUS KOREAN KIMCHI DINNER

Traditional Style – Seafood Steamboat Kimchi Dinner

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WINTER SONATA 冬季恋歌 SHOOTING LOCATION

This is one of the shooting location of the Korean drama “Winter Sonata“.  The cafe Cheo-um filming site is situated inside the building, opposite the hotel where we stayed. It has been retained as a tourist attractions.

Winter Sonata Filmed In The Cafe

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Winter Sonata’s Cafe Cheo-um

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Filming was done in This Cafe some of the prop is on display

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Dinner Time

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Cafe Interior Design for the film Winter Sonata.

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Link: Korea (Seoul & Jeju Island) Trip Day 1

Link: Korea (Jeju Island) Trip Day 2

Link: Korea (Jeju Island & Seorak Waterpia) Trip Day 3

Link: Korea Trip Day 5

Link Korea Trip Day 6

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