It’s my 4th day in Korea; we’ve already talked about
“Nami Island” before, and today I will talk about my trip to “Sinheungsa”,“Sokcho Teddy bear museum”, and “High1 Ski Resort”. Today schedule isn’t quite tight, but we should get ready and leave for our fist destination at 06:00 a.m. because today’s third destination the “High1 Ski Resort” is quite far (located in Jeongseonn-Gun, about 2 – 2.5-hour land travel. from where I am now).
The first destination today should be riding a cable car to “Kwongeumsung Fortress Hill” but due to the bad weather we’re not permitted to ride a cable car, so we change our direction to “Sinheungsa”. Hoping that it will get better for the next several hour.
Sinheungsa sometimes spelt Shinheungsa, is a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. It is situated on the slopes of Seoraksan National Park in Sokcho, Gangwon Province, South Korea. If you are hiking Seoraksan up to Ulsanbawi (peak), you’ll pass by the temple on the way. Note that there are other temples with the name Sinheungsa located in Seoul, Samcheok, and Icheon.
One of the main attraction here is The Great Bronze Buddha, with 14.6 m / 48 ft in height, 108 ton in weight. This statue also called “Tongil Daebul”. Sits atop a 4.3-meter/15-foot high pedestal, of the same material, making the total height 18.9 m /62 ft, excluding the lightning rod and Nimbus.
The lotus pedestal is flanked with 16 delicately engraved panels and the forehead of Tongil Daebul is adorned with eight 8-centimeter/3-inch stones of amber, with a single piece of jade in the centre that is 10-centimeter/4-inch in diameter.
“Tongil Daebul” sits with legs crossed and half-closed eyes in meditation, his lips displaying a perceptible smile. A flowing robe with gentle folds, revealing the right shoulder, drapes the Buddha’s robust torso.
The hands of Tongil Daebul are positioned in the mudra symbolising the “enlightened one”.
I didn’t climb to Ulsanbawi because today is the coldest day ever (-18 °C) with a high wind blow through my face. It would be great if you bring a face mask or neck warmer with you, at least, it will cover your nose and lips from the crazy cold wind.
While waiting for any good news from the cable car, we continue our journey to the second place “Sokcho Teddy Bear Museum”. This is the same teddy bear museum with what you found in “Seoul Tower” and “Jeju Island”. The things that made every teddy bear museum different from one another is Its theme and what activity that the teddy bear portrayed.
In Sokcho, the theme of its teddy bear museum is “farm”. This Teddy Bear Farm Gallery offers a glimpse into the unique lifestyle of Sokcho through teddy bears. Half of this teddy bear museum was under construction when I came, and some displayed artwork is a little bit dusty especially the one with a glass case. It would be wonderful when the construction is finished, and the artwork displayed correctly 🙂
There’s no good sign that we could ride a cable car to Kwongeumsung Fortress Hill, so we spend some more times in teddy bear museum till the lunch time. For lunch, we had this Seafood hot pot since I’m not a fan of seafood I’ll pass.
The next destination and the last destination today will be The “High1 Ski Resort” in Jeongseonn-Gun. High1 is a multi-cultural leisure resort consisting of High1 Resort, Ski Arena, Hotel, Gangwon Land Convention Hotel, Casino, Hotel, Valley and Mountain Condominium.
The ski arena offers a 4.2-kilometer-long slope for beginners that runs from the summit of Mount Jijangsan (alt. 1,345m). The ski resort has a total of 18 slopes, three gondolas, and seven lifts.
If you are new to this, they won’t let you ride any of its gondolas, because it leads to the Jupiter or Zeus ski arena that made for extreme professional ski player.
What you could do is practice your technique here in this 4.2-kilometer-long slope potato flat beginner ski arena.
This ski field also has food courts and coffee shop inside, so you could wait or maybe warmth and relaxed inside, it also have a ski and winter equipment shop where you could buy gloves, hat, neck warmer, etc.
Although I already rent my ski jacket, pants, and gloves, I decided not to do the ski because I had back and leg injury problems (dislocate bones in the past) so it would turn out bad if I slipped or trampled in a hard way. So I just stroll around for a while and waiting in the cafeteria.
Before I closed today’s post, Here’s some Tips & Tricks for you who planning to visit this three places:
- It’s open for public every day. The admission fee would vary on your age and job, here’s a table to help you:
19 or over
13-18 / Military Personnel
Group (30+ Person)
* for children and age 6 or under & people in age 65 or over the admission fee are free
- There are several ways to go here:
Bus: From Sokcho city, take the city bus and get off at the entrance of Mt. Seoraksan (10mins interval, 20-25 min ride) and walk 10-minute.
Taxi: From Sokcho city it takes ± 15-20 min to the entrance of Mt. Seoraksan.
- It’s quite cold here in Mountain soak, so it’s better if you wear a proper “Winter Essentials” with you.
- If you by any chance didn’t wear proper winter clothes you could feel warmth yourself in a small shop near the Great Bronze Buddha statue. This shop has an electronic heater and gives you a free herbal tea to help your warmth your body. This store also sells a natural stone / fragrant wood Buddhism bracelet that you could buy as a souvenir for your family or friends.
- And if you feel hungry, you could buy some snacks and food near the entrance gate. I bought a traditional coloured rice cake filled with red beans paste. It has an interesting texture but taste a little bit weird.
Sokcho Teddy Bear Museum:
- Sokcho Teddy Bear Museum open almost Every day (except
Tuesday) from 10:00 a.m. – 18:00 p.m. (They open every day in July-August).
- The admission fee would be:
- Adults: 5,000 won
- Youths: 4,000 won
- Children : 3,000 won
*Free admission: children under the age of 3 and younger.
*Group (20 people or more) the price would be -1000 won from the original price.
High 1 Ski Resort:
- It’s quite big ski arena, so you might want to grab a map in the information and ski board rent centre inside.
Map available in folded mini booklet form, with two language version (Korean and English). When you were renting a ski board here, you have to give your id (local id card, student card, or passport), and you’ll receive half of the renting ticket. Remember not to lose the small piece of this ticket, because you need it when you return the board.
- If you are planning to go here “solo” but didn’t have any idea how to go, what to do and where to stay, this web might be helpful for you. You could find a detail information about accommodation, event/festivals, attractions, food, etc. in Korea, so it might give you some clue about where to visit, when, and what to expect.