Trip Start Aug 28, 2009
48Trip End Sep 28, 2010
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Where I stayed
I could get a ferry to Ulleungdo from either one of two ports, and opted for the one slightly further afield as was easier to reach from Suwon. Pohang was approximately four hours away by a direct train, and I could leave late on the Sunday afternoon before boarding the 10am ferry the following morning. Unfortunately when I arrived at the train station I discovered the train was fully booked, forcing me to postpone my trip by a day. It didn't really bother me too much, as I was feeling quite lethargic and it was raining quite heavily
The view south of Suwon was pretty much identical as that to the north, with hundreds of tower blocks along with a few rice fields and wooded hills. Just as the urban sprawl began to thin out it became dark, so from Daejeon south I couldn't see anything.
I arrived in Pohang around 11pm, and was met by a taxi driver asking me where I was headed. I mentioned the name of the hotel I'd booked, the "Manstar Motel", at which he struck up a conversation with a couple of other nearby cabbies. They were talking for a while, and I picked up the word "Manstar" a couple of times, but after a while it seemed like they'd forgotten I was even there. I waited about a minute, and then found the original cabbie who got my attention. On asking in English which taxi I should get he pointed to one some 50 metres away with another driver. Certainly a very different situation than was common in South East Asia, with moto drivers willing to take you somewhere before thinking about where it was.
It was fortunate I had my guidebook with me, as the taxi took me to the "Manhattan Motel" rather than the Manstar. I contemplated just jumping out there, but upon remembering I'd booked the Manstar on account of it being in such close proximity to the ferry terminal I showed him the map and we soon found our way there
I rose early the next morning and picked up a little breakfast before going for a short walk along Bukbu beach. It was virtually deserted, although somewhat attractive given the huge steel works not so far away. Soon after I made my way onto the ferry terminal where I picked up my reserved ticket and had my passport checked as I chatted with one of the custom guards before boarding the boat. I was pretty excited too, as from what little I'd read about Ulleungdo in my guidebook and online it looked absolutely amazing. I'd soon know.