Seoul Day 4: Going to Seoraksan … Kensington Stars Hotel

We woke up this morning, a quick meal and all packed up to go Seoraksan National Park. We will be staying at the Hotel Kensington. It looks lovely and authentically British. It even has a London bus, a red one.
We took the metro to Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (Dong means East) and and bought our Express bus tickets to Sokcho City.

We had 1 hour to wait for our bus and L seems to look under the weather, so we sit it out at Baskin Robbins for a hot drink and people watching. Being the bus terminal where buses go to other cities, we definitely see more things. It wasn’t the glitz & glamour of the shopping belts. I see beggars. 1 even looked so drunk, there was actually an ambulance that took him away. Just like in Pasir Ris MRT station in Singapore, where you see military recruits booking out on weekends, I saw lots of soldiers here as well. A variety of military coats and uniforms, it was interesting. People walking extremely fast and jumping around while waiting the green light, trying to warm themselves up.

Our bus ticket to Sokcho. goodness, it was a challenge indeed. Not speaking or reading the language, just pure faith and courage to not worry too much about everything.

Our cute orange bus. Interior was not brand new and plushy but definitely spacious and very clean. The bus looked nothing like the express buses to Malaysia. It reclined, and had fake leather PVC seats and not plushy at all. However, it was extremely comfortable though. Very spacious and we really liked it as we can sit cross legged in it. L took a Panadol and slept through the journey.

The BBQ Chicken stall available at the stop.Not halal though. Do not assume that being halal in Singapore equals to it being halal elsewhere.

I had noticed they argicultural authorities spraying the bus after some toll stops. I thought they were just strict for the farming towns. (I later found out, it was HFMD or mad cow disease from the TV news.)

Heading to Sokcho city.

At the bus stop near the Ship Hotel. The bus driver stops the bus in the middle of nowhere and said Sokcho City. I asked him, bus terminal? I think he remembered me telling him I going Seoraksan. He prompted me to alight and motioned me to take my backpack down and followed him. He actually stopped the bus, took me down and pointed me to the opposite road, there is a little quaint bus stop. Nice of him to do that extra step, though we can barely converse with each other. Gamsahamnida..

Problem is, I had only oriented myself to change the bus at the Sokcho Express Bus Terminal. Do hope no problems locating the terminal for my trip back to Seoul in 2 days time. It was really scary at times travelling like this, and L just always switch herself off with the planning.

The bus stop surprisingly have a Sokcho Tourist Map board. And so we sat there waited for the 7 or 7-1 bus to take us to Hotel Kensington Stars. Cash only 1000 won each. 

Annyeonghaseyo to the bus driver, and I mentioned Kensington. There were quite a few motels along the way. I was hoping the driver will alerted us for the stop. He did not and the travel book did mention most will miss the stop and walk back. The driver simply tap his brakes at our stop and attempted to proceed on, but I saw the hotel name just in time and tweet the bell. It was a K jammed brake, in a Korean bus at the Kensington junction. I think he was actually prepared to stop, just wanted me to press the bell. Geez. We walked up the slope to Hotel Kensington Stars. This place is beautiful, clean air and lovingly quiet. Wish we had booked for 2 nights.

Room was old looking, reminded me of those Cameron Highlands or Genting deco.

Testing out the Miniature Smart filter on my NX100. A London red bus in the hotel carpark.

Another “Honey, I shrunk the kids” photo shot.

The hotel was decorated with music, stars and british in mind. No particular order. Pretty random. A library corner, bears, toy soldiers, music memorabilia and did I mentioned about the London bus. 2 of them!

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