Sokcho and Seoraksan

Sokcho (속초) is a city on the eastern coast of South Korea that is home to Seoraksan National Park (설악산 국립공원) and the beach. It is approximately 2.5-3.5 hours away depending on what bus you take and traffic conditions. Sokcho is the perfect city if you want to do some intense hiking and exploring, or just relax on the beach.

IMG_7550

Getting there:

You can take a bus from Dongseoul Bus Terminal (Gangbyeon Station) (동서울시외버스터미널, 강변역) or the Express Bus Terminal (Express Bus Terminal Station) (고속버스터미널, 고속버스터미널역). Tickets will cost you 17,200 Won each way. Most buses will take you to Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal (속초시외버스터미널).

Accommodations:

Sokcho offers a range of accommodations from hostels to hotels to lodges. It is helpful if you plan what you want to do ahead of time, so you can pick the location of your hotel accordingly. I stayed in Mr. Egg House, which is an adorable Hostel located 2 minutes from the intercity bus terminal. It is walking distance to a few secluded beaches as well. However, if you want to go to Seoraksan the bus ride can be up to an hour depending on which part of the park you will go to. If the only purpose of your trip is hiking in Seoraksan, there are plenty of lodgings close by.

IMG_7535

Activities:

My trip in Sokcho was 3 days/2 nights and this was plenty of time for me to accomplish what I wanted. I spend the first day relaxing at a secluded beach by the lighthouse. The second day I did a 10-HOUR HIKE through Seoraksan (I died a little inside but came back to life by the end). The last day I spend on Sokcho beach before catching a 4:00pm bus back to Seoul.

IMG_7576

The many trails at Seoraksan:

Seoraksan has trails differing in length, difficulty, and view. There are shelters all throughout the park if you are planning an overnight hike, but these must be booked weeks in advance. The trail I decided to take was from the part of the park at Osaek- ri (오색리). I took a bus to Osaek from Sokcho (40 minutes) at 8:50am and started hiking by 9:40. This trail is one of the most popular for tourists because it is the shortest way to Daechongbong Peak (대청봉). The way is very steep and it took me about 3 hours (plus blood, sweat, and tears) to reach the top which is approximately 5 kilometers. Many hikers go up and take the same way down, but if you are feeling adventurous, you can go down the other side of the mountain and take the 7-hour downhill hike to Seoraksan Park entrance. While after a few hours the hike was grueling, it was totally worth it. The trail takes you through the valley of the park and you see waterfalls, crystal clear ponds, huge rock formations, and chipmunks everywhere. It really was breathtaking. I recommend not doing this hike alone so you have some companionship and in case you hurt yourself. This is normally a 2-day hike but we did the 10 hours in one day, passing all the shelters along the way. Finally, do not forget to bring LOTS of water. There is water for sale at the shelters but nowhere to just fill up your bottles. :D

IMG_7579 IMG_7538

 

Article by Tara from the U.S.A.

Comments

  1. Hi Tara did you do the trek with a guide? Thanks, Lauren

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: