We got up bright ass early to leave at 6:30 a.m. for Chuncheon. First plan on the list: rail biking along the mountains!
The scenery was beautiful and the weather was absolutely gorgeous. We rode in a 2-seat rail bike and peddled along in a line of other rail bikes through tunnels, over hills, and along riversides. Some of the tunnels were filled with twinkling lights while others had bright neon strobe lights and blasted Psy’s “Gangnam Style.” At the end of the trail, we got dropped off to explore for a little before we took a train back to the starting point.
For lunch, we ate a notoriously famous Chuncheon dish – dakgalbi. This dish was a chicken stir-fry with cabbage and tteok. While aprons were not mandatory to wear, I thought it was our duties as “tourists” to wear some!
We planned on going to the hotel and then Jade Garden, but complications landed us at our hotel around 4 p.m. So, we took this opportunity to head over to Nami Island. We took a ferry to get to the island and took our time exploring.
In the end, we got to watch the sunset and take our time weaving around paths, sculptures, and ponds.
Off to Jade Garden! We had all of our gear and headed out to Chuncheon station where we’d take a shuttle bus to the garden. HOWEVER, we arrived at 9:45 a.m. and the next shuttle bus didn’t arrive until 10:45 a.m. We found out that it would take 45 minutes to walk to the garden from the station, so we tried it out…this led to us walking in the wrong direction for a solid 10 minutes. We walked back to the station, frazzled, and just stuck it out and waited for the shuttle. In the mean time…I found a tree frog! A few ajummas were pretty fascinated by my fearlessness (I guess it’s not normal to enjoy holding frogs BUT I DO). I couldn’t catch a pic because I was so mesmerized by its sticky hands. Finally, the shuttle arrived and we got to Jade Garden around 11 a.m. We had around one hour to explore the gardens before heading to Sokcho.
The garden was so beautiful! It was a shame we had to leave so quickly. We took a taxi back to the station, took our 2 p.m. bus to Sokcho, and made it to our room for the night. This room was an Airbnb private room rented out by the nicest elderly couple ever! The mom was so kind and immediately hugged/complimented us. She asked a lot of questions about us and how we met, etc. I was pretty nervous to share an apartment with them, but they made sure we felt at home. Since Sokcho is a city that borders the ocean, we really wanted to swim. However, the dreary and slightly rainy weather got in the way.
We went to the ocean anyways since it was very close. As expected, the water was freezing! We went to the jetty and found some FAT starfish with tiny legs as well as some crabs. At night, we went out to the fish market to have some famous chicken for dinner alongside street foods (hotteoks and hot dogs). We parked ourselves near the seaside and watched some late night fireworks before heading back to our room.
Coming next week: Naksansa – my favorite destination from my stay in Korea!