Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sokcho City Tour

KwandongAlex was excited about riding a double-decker bus and I was excited about being a tourist in my own town again.  Here are our adventures.

First, the schedule, below, is already wrong.  In a larger sense, it was always wrong, as the bench was built in front of the information -wrong planning.  More practically, there are now two courses and two buses, rather than one covering the whole route.  The double decker covers points north and along the coast, while the single level bus -still very nice- goes inland and to Seoraksan.
Both leave Expo Park, near Expo Tower and the main entrance to the lake-side park.  I think both buses start at 9:00am, but we caught the second tour.  The inland bus departs at 10:22 and the double decker at 10:30.  The third tour starts at 12:50.
Here, we are on Sokcho Bridge, looking down at the human powered ferry.
The tour went through a fish market near the lighthouse and people could ask for a stop, but none did so we headed on to Cheung-kan-jeong, a pavilion north of Sokcho proper.

We spent twenty minutes there which was just enough to see the pavilion and jog (I'm not kidding) the riverside walkway and still have time for a bathroom break before climbing back aboard the bus.  Next stop, Youngnang Lake Resort.

I debated getting off the bus there and eating and looking around for the two and a half hours until the next bus would arrive.  There is plenty to do there but perhaps not 150 minutes worth.

The next stop was the inter-city bus terminal.  Soon thereafter, I saw a woman balancing what looked like wall paper on her head as she walked comfortably down the street.
Soon, we were back at Expo Park.

Although I have described it as a double decker bus, they cheat a little to make it so.  I am not that tall but couldn't straighten up on the first level, which was quite small.  The engine filled the back third or so of the first floor.  Youngman buses: German technology, Chinese prices.
We didn't ride the other bus as the route looked long for the little guy to just sit.  Also, the first bus had been comfortable and the driver skilled enough, but the roads were narrow and required a lot of swaying and sudden stops - not great for a youngster who gets car sick.

Oh, the fee for a day was 5,000 won.  We could have gotten off the bus and reboarded as often as we liked.  There were the two courses and the buses run five times a day.  Most of the passengers were women in their late fifties and older, although I don't know how well the tour has been advertised

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