Well-known for its preservation of folk culture, Andong sounds like the place to go for a better understanding and appreciation of Korea's past. However, I was hesitant as we don't have the luxury of time anymore unlike our undergraduate days. Travelling back and forth add up to 10 hours which is equivalent to 1 day wasted on the train! In the end, I decided to go with my interest and I'm glad we made the trip there in the end. The train ride was also a good rest for us to recover from yesterday's climb.
First we took a bus from Sokcho to Gangneung.
Upon arrival at Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal, we went round asking where's the gicha station.
It was quite a distance away and since we got a train to catch, we took a taxi there.
Purchased our train tickets and asked the lady at the counter what's nice to eat in the vicinity.
She recommended this shop that is just across the road from the train station. We had absolutely no idea what they were selling. Menu is in Korean and there are no pictures. Win, lose or draw in the air didn't work. In the end we looked at what the man behind was eating and it turned out to be seafood bean sprout soup (5,000W/serving) served with great variety of side dishes! Cheap and good. Recommended.
We took the opportunity to rest our jelly legs during the 4 hr 20 min train ride. Look at the group of ajuma eating potato chips and watching the world pass by. Envious huh?
A section of the railway track was built along Jeongdongjin Beach, which runs parallel to the East Sea. Jeongdongjin Train Station, ladies and gentlemen, is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the train station situated closest to the sea. Take that!
Korea has an immobile cruise called Sun Cruise Resort located on top of the mountain.
Dinner was Andong specialty jjimdak that's only served in large size at 22,000W. We bargained 14,000W for a smaller portion and the ajuma kindly agreed! Jjimdak refers to hot simmered chicken with vegetables, potato, carrot, glass noodles and chilli. Taste like my parents cooking! Nice man! I had a great time watching the swimming finals (Guangzhou Asia Games) in the small cosy shop with the locals who thought we were from Andong University and was surprised to hear us go "Park Tae Hwan!" hoho.
If you're looking for bread or pastry in Andong, try the bakery located at the end of Jjimdak Street. Their donut and cake (right photo) are relatively cheaper and taste about the same as Mammoth.
Fruits are essential to prevent us from falling sick when travelling.
There are no hostels in Andong, only motels. Munhwa was recommended by the tourist info centre. It was cheaper than the others but I find it a little spooky. The corridors were poorly lit and there was a red spotlight on the ceiling in our room. What on earth was it doing there? To ward off evil spirits?? Gosh...