What A GREAT DAY! The clouds have cleared and I am in a lovely location at the seaside, with Seoraksan National Park in the background. It is quiet and relaxing here. I ate well and had a pleasant walk after I got to the hostel around five o'clock.
I am at a hostel in a village near Seokcho, northeast South Korea on the East Sea coast near the North Korea demarcation zone. It was a comfortable bus ride and it took a lot less time to get here than expected. I found some company and had some great conversation.
The place is called Daepohang and it is on a route between Seokcho City and the national mountain park. I walked along the dike and looked out at the Sea of Japan before. The water was calm as the sun set behind me. Looking toward the sea was a pleasing vista with all the raw fish restaurants and fish markets and fishing boats. Then I had a wonderful meal.
I had "mul hwoe", which is a cold raw fish dish. The strips of raw fish are served in a sweet sesame seed vinegar broth with shredded Asian pear and cabbage. It is really refreshing and tasty. It is served with a bowl of rice plus many side dishes. There were some unusual side dishes including some roasted egg plant, boiled acorn squash, and sliced apple with raisins in a creamy dressing.
Besides raw fish, this area is also known for snow crab. It is the best kind of crab in the world because of its delicate texture and flavor. It is served in many ways, among them as boiled legs in the shell. I want to try crab soup tomorrow for lunch.
It is just a short walk to the sandy beach from here. As tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and hot, I want to go there in the morning and stay out to have lunch.
I met a really super guy on the bus. We greeted each other shyly at first at the bus station, then again at the first rest break. He was traveling solo. He is blond, fit and handsome. We ended up sitting together for the last leg of the trip. He is a scientist from Slovenia on tour following attendance at a conference wanting to spend time hiking on Seorak Mountain. We got along well and seemed to share some tastes and opinions. Since I had already booked a bed here at this marine hostel and he intended to stay in the mountains and spend two days hiking, we parted company soon after arriving to the bus terminal in the city. It turned out that we could take the same city bus and I got off first. I doubt that we'll see each other again, but he knows the name of my hostel and he might come over here because he enjoys eating fish. That would be nice.
All in all, it was a good idea to come here. I am glad I made this plan and got out of Busan.