Seoraksan & Sokcho

Fanny

Getaways in South Korea are pretty common as all cities are connected via buses or KTX. It is pretty easy to go somewhere for a weekend and just explore. I head a lot about Seoraksan national park and it’s natural beauty and decided to give it a try.

We went to Sokcho for the weekend and decided to go hiking on Saturday. It is usually better to go hiking early to enjoy it the most and recommended to head there around 9 anyway because of the trails’ duration time. Seoraksan is one of the most beautiful mountains landscapes I have ever seen and I hike pretty often. It is the highest point of the Taebaek Mountains in Gangwon and is part of UNESCO heritage. On Saturday, we did the trail for Ulsanbawi Rock peak, which is around 3 hours, and the Biseundae Rock peak, which is about 2 hours. The first one, Ulsanbawi Rock has a lot of hiking upward 45 degrees. Lot of rocks with some wood planks added for the trail and around the middle until the end that is where the fun disappears. It’s all about stairs. Stairs for over an hour, rock- shape or in metal. The final hike for the peak of the rock is truly something.  I don’t recommend that hike for people who would recognize themselves as beginners or have never hiked before.

Fanny 6-1.JPGHowever, the view at the top is truly incredible. You can see the rest of the park – full of mountains and rock peaks- and to the other side is vast sea.

When we got back we visited the gift shop and you can also a huge Buddha statue located in Sinheungsa temple, close to the park entrance. There is the cable car that takes you up a mountain and you can walk around there.  We also did another easier trail of 2 hours through the forest that led to Biseundae Rock.  It felt really freeing and refreshing to escape the city and enjoy nature like that.

At night, we went to the Central Market of Sokcho, near the Rodeo Street – there is a statue of a bull on the plaza, hence the name-. Rodeo Street is the main street with lots of clothing stores and cafés. Central Market has all the food stalls and mini- restaurants.  First night, we had these boneless chicken pieces in a sweet & spicy sauce. Second night, we had chicken galbi – the spicy one- and third night we had tteobboki and budae jiggae (kimchi and sausage stew).  The three dishes are pretty spicy but taste amazing.

Fanny 6-2There are two lakes in Sokcho that you can walk by; Yeongnangho Lake and Cheongchoho Lake. Near by Cheongchoho lake is the expo tower that you can go to the top and enjoy a nice view on the sea, the city and the mountains from Seoraksan. There is also Abai village, which appeared on the show 2 days 1 night, which is apparently home to many people of North Korean ancestry. There you can enjoy sundae and hamheung naengmyeon, popular dishes of the village. You can also visit the lighthouses near the sea.

Overall, it was a really great trip and 2-3 days were enough to see a lot and enjoy the hiking.

Fanny 6-3

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