Tag Archives: Sokcho

The world’s stupoidest man climbs a mountain

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I can be a real dickhead sometimes, but it seems that I’m dopiest when I decide to walk somewhere that I shouldn’t walk. I tried walking up Hobart’s 1200m Mt Wellington after an all-night drinking session and ended up vomiting in a bush and being attacked by a deranged Polish dude. I tried circumnavigating Slovenia by foot and ended up rooting my ankle to the point I’ll probably need to have a robotic one put in. And for my latest and greatest trick, I spent six hours walking through the pouring rain in Korea. Mensa, have your certificate back.

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Cable car to nowhere…

Seoraksan National Park, near Sokcho on the neartheast coast, is famous for its mountains and diverse flora and fauna, and apparently quite beautiful. I was planning to head out there yesterday but, due to a few clouds hanging around, I decided to put my plans back ago. Great idea, that one. I woke up to the sound of driving rain, but headed out there anyway, figuring things could only get better.

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Buddhist temple, but where are the Buddhists?

That’s like taking Rebel Wilson home from a nightclub and telling yourswlf she’ll probably look better with her gear off. In fact, the rain hasn’t stopped for a minute in the past 16 hours. Faced with either heading out into the wilderness or sitting on my arse, I chose the former. I bought a bright blue poncho that made me look like a kiddie fiddler and started marching up Ulsanbawi, one of the tallest peaks in the park. It’s meant to be a four-hour return trip, but with rivers of sludge pushing me back down the mountain, it took far longer. I was wet and miserable, I could see nothing around me, I looked stupid, but still I pushed on.

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There are at least four trees in this photo

Incredibly, I wasn’t the only person walking around the park. There were hundreds of Koreans stalking the bottom of the park, and I passed half a dozen people as I climbed further into the clouds. It was a perfect day to sit inside and watch as many episodes of Shameless (the proper one, not the shit American remake) as possible, but all these people were out and about in nature. I guess we’re all fools.

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That’s a fuckload of stairs!

Along the trail is a massive (and very impressive) Buddha statue that sits guard over the forest. With the view out over the mountains largely obscured by the conditions, it was this monument that was the most impressive thing I saw all day. Many people come just to visit the big fella, but for me there was only one goal – the top of the mountain, way up there amongst the murk.

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A man worshipped by millions… and Buddha!

When I got to the peak, the clouds and rain were so thick that I could barely see my hand in front of my face, and I could’ve been 50m above the ground, not 750m. If I’d been smart I would’ve taken a photo of myself at the bottom, fucked off to the pub for a beer, and then bragged to anyone who would listen about making it all the way to the top. But no, I had to spend a few hours trudging through rain so that I could get to the top and see bloody nothin’.

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Look at the view!

Oh, and if you’re wondering, this is what the view from the top looks like when the entire area isn’t enveloped in a monsoon. Yeah, it’s a little better than what I saw, but whoever took the photo probably has a small penis and isn’t nearly as cool as me, so fuck ‘im.

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 I didn’t get to experience the beauty of the park or see all the wonderful things, but I did have an adventure. I slogged through a torrential downpour for hours and still made it to the top of the mountain, and that’s all that really matters. Maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better about the missed opportunities that happen all too often while travelling, but bad conditions and getting chased by weirdos and bus rides from hell are half the fun of it as far as I’m concerned. But if it could stop raining for five minutes, that would be sweet.

It’s raining in Sokcho, so I had sex with all of their statues

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I love travelling. It’s heaps of fun and beats the shit out of sitting in an office or being a hippie who spends all of his/her/its time fighting for gay marriage and transgender rights and crap like that. But things don’t always go to plan when out on the road, and things to have to change. That’s been the case during my time in the town of Sokcho, in the northeast of South Korea.

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I love Sokcho thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much

I came here to visit the nearby Seoraksan National park, which is apparently lovely and has all sorts of mountains and trees and animals and rivers to explore. It was a great plan, until I woke up this morning to find it absolutely pouring outside. The idea of swaggering around in the bush all day sounded as inviting as performing oral sex on Susan Boyle, so I had to come up with an alternative. I figured there’s a whole town out there just waiting to be checked out, so why not just start wandering and see what I find? It turned out to be a great idea, because there’s plenty to see and do around here.

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Under the bridge downtown, I gave my life away

It turns out Sokcho is actually a delightful little city (there are 85,000 residents, but it’s a tourist mecca, so it’s more built up than that number would suggest). There are beaches, lakes, mountains and restaurants. It has a relaxed feel far removed from the mayhem of Seoul, and character that the capital is desperately lacking. The main part of the city can be walked around easily, and it’s a pleasant stroll through the winding streets, past fisherman and tanks full of crabs.

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Checking out Asia’s finest crab restaurants

There’s a little hand-drawn ferry close to the centre of town that leads to a village full of weird North Korean outcasts. After having my heart broken by Kim Jong-un, I didn’t want to risk being hurt again, but it’s apparently a delightful place to visit, with some sort of squid-sausage delicacy that must be tried. I guess I’ll go to my death bed wondering what that tastes like, because I can’t imagine any set of events that would lead to me willingly eating a squid-sausage served by weird North Korean outcasts who live under a bridge.

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It’s a ferry nice place to visit

I made it up to Sokcho’s lighthouse, which is a symbol of the city and provides a great outlook over the beaches and buildings. Well, it does in good weather. Even with the rain coming down, it’s a very pretty city, with the jagged mountains in the distance and all sorts of neon lights flashing everywhere. Sokcho has a real personality that makes it an awesome place to visit.

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This is where the Lighthouse Family live

I do worry about the sorts of characters who rock up here, though. I found a sign for something called the ‘Romantic Road’ that had a very unusual message. I can only imagine that German incest advocate Josef Fritzl used to enjoy holidaying in Sokcho before he was locked up.

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They have a similar sign in Tasmania

And then everything went wrong. I was strolling along, minding my own business, when a giant fish caught my eye. I knew I had to have sex with it, so I raced over and had my wicked way with the scaly scamp before racing off into the gloomy arvo before anyone could catch me.

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We have lots of fins in common

Not far up the street was a statue of a dragon, with what appeared to be a man practicing felatio beneath it. Once again I was overcome by passion, and wasted no time making love to the metal hunk, while Koreans looked on in horror.

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His technique is incredible

As the day slipped away, my afternoon of depraved statue raping caught up with me and I was in desperate need of a snack. I thought about having some fried prawns, or a bucket of crabs, but then I saw something that changed my life forever – a Dagwood Dog where, instead of batter, the sausage was encased in hot chips. I bought one, smothered it in tommo sauce and mustard, and bit in. Nothing compares to that first bite. Seriously, that thing was fucking grouse and I would crawl through barbed wire to get another one.

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I can die happy after tasting heaven

Feeling full and happy, I floated back to my hotel, but on my way back I came across something curious. A statue that caught my eye, one that needed to be molested. I looked around to make sure nobody was watching, then unzipped my trousers and sped over for a moment of lustful thrusting. I got in position, threw up my thumb as the international symbol of romance, and just as I started having fun I heard a whistle. A little policeman in  a funny hat was running down the street, so I re-pantsed and got the fuck out of there before I could be thrown in a roach-infested Korean jail. I’m sick, I know it, I need help – but sex with statues just feels soooooooo gooooooooooooood!

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