On the bus to Samcheok
Jon arrived in Korea! We planned somewhat of a couples retreat with Andi and Aaron and went to the east coast of Korea. We rode a bus from Seoul to Samcheok on Saturday morning. The rain from monsoon season had finally stopped and it turned out to be a really nice day.
We all got a late start to the day so we didn’t arrive in Samcheok until about 4pm. We spent some time at Samcheok beach just relaxing. Aaron was all about swimming even though the water was still pretty cold. It wasn’t nearly hot enough for me to get it, but we all enjoyed hanging out there.
Aaron and Andi braving the water.
We then had a seafood dinner together. Quite interesting of a dinner, but not too bad.
Cook your own sea creatures.
We went to information when we got there to try and figure how we were going to do the things we wanted to do and where we could stay. The two main attractions are Haesindang Park (or better known as the Penis Park to foreigners) and Hwanseon Cave. Unfortunately both are about a 40 minute bus ride away from the center of Samcheok in opposite directions. We decided our best bet would be to stay close to Haesindang Park and check it out in the morning then head back to Samcheok and go to Hwanseon Cave. The guy at information told us that there wouldn’t be any hotels in the fishing town so our only option would be a minbak. A minbak is where a Korean opens their home for guests to sleep on the floor. The guy at information told us we would be able to rent the whole house for 200,000 won. We all looked at each other and just told him that was too much and we weren’t looking to spend that much. The woman immediately counter offered and gave us a new price of 100,000. We decided at this price we would at least look at it because any hotel in the area would be at least 50,000 a room, and we wanted two rooms.
Well, it was a good thing we took this minbak! We took the bus from Samcheok center to this very small fishing town. Another man got off at the same stop and helped us call the owner of the minbak and helped us find it since it was dark out. Korean’s often go out of their way to help out. When we walked into the minbak we were pleasantly surprised by how nice it was. It was a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house and one of the rooms even had a bed. They had a ridiculous number of blankets and floor mats to sleep on and the Korean couple showed us everything we could use throughout the house and in the kitchen.
The house where we stayed.
The living room of the house.
After we put all of our things in the house we decided to head out and explore and find a convenience store to buy some things to make for breakfast. Most of Korea has convenience stores or some lights shinning brightly in the street even late at night, except for this small fishing town. We saw a man walking so we decided to ask him where the nearest store was. He actually spoke English really well and decided to show us where the convenience store was. Unfortunately it was already closed by 9:30pm. That is when our new friend, Mr. Kim, decided to drive us 7km away to the nearest open store. Everyone seemed a little hesitant to take him up on this offer except for Aaron, but we all went along with him. Korea is an amazingly safe place and very often you will get people bending over backward to help you. This was one of those cases. After a long day of traveling we headed to bed. After all, we had a long day planned for tomorrow as well.