Thursday, June 14, 2012

11 Days Korea Trip 2011 Free n Easy - Day 6, Samcheok

6 Dec 2011 (Tues)


We left the motel early around 6am and had breakfast at the convenience store again. Actually the purpose of coming to Samcheok was for 3 objectives : to experience the Rail Bike Ride, to visit the Penis Park and to take the Samcheok Sea Train.

We went back to the Samcheok Express Bus Terminal to take Bus 23 or 24 to the Samcheok Ocean Railbike ( 삼척해양레일바이크). The journey was about 25 minutes. It is best to ask the counter people where to take the bus and which berth to board the bus. As the bus driver to reconfirm and it is best to show them the desination place in Korean words.

Finally reached there, but got a shock as the place we alighted didn't look like a tourist attraction place. I was wondering did the driver told us to alight at the wrong place;
We asked around for direction and glad that we got help;
The place still looked very isolated;
First sign that we were on the right track;
It was my wife's idea to come to Samcheok Ocean Railbike to try the rail bike ride. It was shown on one of those TVB tour variety to Korea show on TV. You may download a map of Samcheok. In case you still have no idean what is this rail bike ride;
Seems like we were too early and the counter was not opened yet;
We decided to ride from Gungchon Station to Yonghwa Station as we could continue to visit the Penis Park which was nearer to Yonghwa Station. You can read up read it's website as I've put the link earlier.

The ticket was 30,000 won per person for the 4 seater rail bike;
I guessed we were the first to arrive here as the place was empty. We were taking the first ride at 8.30am as we have a tight schedule to follow;
Last photo before the ride starts. Don't know why photo taking is not allowed inside the rail bike.
But who cares, we still take photos inside;

Yes, all 4 seats can cycle too;
Here is how it looks like inside. The journey is about an hour and actually there is no need to cycle all the way, at certain part you can let go and it will go by itself. You just have to try and error;
Probably because it was Winter, they had this plastic wrap round the vehicle which I didn't like it;
View of the beach along the way;
There were various themes that we went thru in the tunnel. First the Olympic theme;
Next the Fantasy Theme;
Here is the video of what's inside this Fantasy Theme tunnel, enjoy the laser show;
Festival Theme tunnel;
Inside the tunnel, video;
Ending soon;
Finally, our legs sure felt tired;
What's she seeing?
Out of the building;
The surrounding was rather quiet and not much to see and go about;
Look at the mountain in the background. The white part was actually the snow which we didn't quite believe when we were there. Later when we were back in Seoul from Samcheok, we realised that it started snowing there;
We were lucky that the staff at the Samcheok Ocean Ride gave us a ride in their car to the Penis Park (Haesindang Park) as there wasn't any taxi in sight. The ride was about 25 minutes and we finally reached the Penis Park. Here the entrance to the Penis Park;
So why is there a Penis Park in this place? Here is the legend : 
Legend of Aebawi and Haesindang – There once lived a young maid who was engaged. One day, the maid took her husband’s boat out to sea to harvest seaweed. Her husband dropped her off at a rock that was at a distance from the beach. After promising to pick her up later, he returned to the beach to do his work. Later, the weather changed, and brought with it strong winds and pummeling waves. The man couldn’t rescue his wife and she ultimately drowned. Since then, the village people caught no fish and some said that it was because of the dead maid. To soothe the spirit of the dead maid, the village people made several wooden carvings and held religious ceremonies on her behalf. After a while, the fish slowly returned and the villagers were able to live comfortably again. The place where the maid died was named Aebawi Rock and the building where the religious ceremony is held twice a year was named Haesindang. The ceremony is still honored today as a traditional folk event. (Credit : Visit Korea site)
Those with weak knee problems like me, be careful, there were many steep steps here;
Entrance fees to the park, Adult - 3,000 won, Teenager - 2,000 won and Children - 1,500 won.
And watching it in action;
A good view from the top;
Actually the Penis Park was not that big and at the top was the Samcheok Fishing Village Folk Museum and the entrance fees were included for both;
See the rather shaky video I had filmed;
Remember the legend of the Penis Park? Here is the Korean version in the museum;
Oh no, they have these in the museum too;
Out of the museum finally;
We had to walk all the way down the park and took us about 20 minutes to walk out of the place to take a bus;
See the tangerine tree behind the bus stop;
Again going to take the Sea Train was my wife's idea after watching a travel show from HK TVB. It was about an hour journey by bus from this Penis Park bus stop to Samcheok Sea Train station. We booked our tickets there as online ticket site is all in Korean words;
You may read up about the Sea Train over here and here. We took our train from Samcheok to Gangneung though you can take from Gangneung to Samcheok too. Since Penis Park is near Samcheok, so we start from Samcheok Station;
There are only 3 departure times from Samcheok to Gangneung. We took the 11.50am departure train;
Tickets for adult 15,000 won and students 13,500 for 36 seaters. We paid 43,500 won for 3 of us;
Look at the structure in the background. Looked like some kind of cement factory or what was that?
Our tickets were for 36 seaters in cabin No.2 (website said Train 2);
What so special about this Sea Train is that the seats are arranged facing the large windows so that tourists can have a good view of the outside;
It is best to get some snacks and drinks into the train as the journey to Gangneung is about an hour;
You can see the monitor above the window showing the train front (in fact the train seating and this monitor like the submarine ride in Jeju);

Don't throw away your tickets after boarding, they checked our tickets;
I guessed we had to love the outside scenery as that was what we got to see during the hour journey;
I don't know why this train assistant walked in this manner;

Golf, anyone;
They have rail bike here too?
I'm impressed. Wind and Solar powered;
We alighted at this stop to take a short break;
Along this coast, there were many such camouflage sentry post;
A warship?
Finally reached the Gangneung Station;
So the whole Sea Train journey was 1hr 20 mins. We took a short walk to the Gangneung Express Bus Terminal;
The express bus journey cost more as this one had lesser seats in the bus and more comfortable and the journey also a bit longer. Adult 20,600 won and student 10,300 won, total for us 51,500 won;
The waiting area was rather small;
Had a quick bite;
The bus that would took us back to Seoul;
After seeing all these snow by the side of the road, I realised that what I saw at the Samcheok Ocean Rail Bike station was actually snow mountain from afar;
The color of such houses really stand out among the snow;
A short toilet break;
There was even snow at the side of the petrol kiosk;
Finally arrived in Seoul Express Bus Terminal after 2hrs 45mins journey. Nothing  beats eating Korean type of Yong Tau Fu style in cold weather;
And drank the soup after that;
We were dead tired so we had early dinner and back to hotel to sleep;
Just the dumpling and roll cost us 11,000 won;
Bought some snack from these 'funny' guys in Insadong before going back to Hotel Biz Jongro for our last night there. Remember them, we are back again;


Anonymous said...

Hello, thank you for sharing the information of your samcheok trip.
I need some help from your experience.
As mentioned, you've had booked samcheok sea train from korea website? You know korean?
What about your accomodation in Samcheok?

Hope to hear from you soon, thanks. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi There
Thank you very much for the comprehensive write up on your trip to Seoul. We are planning a trip to Seoul in December and is keen do the sea train & cycling trip.

Could you please advise if we need to purchase the sea train ticket in advance. How do we travel from Seoul to the sea bicycle place? Your advice is appreciated.
Thank you

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