Seoraksan National Park 설악산국립공원 & around Sokcho
First Foliage Forecast: 27 Sep 2019 / Peak Foliage Forecast: 16 Oct 2019
Park Entrance - Adult: 3,500 won / Teen (age 14-19): 1,000 won / Child (age 8-13): 500 won
Optional Cable Car Ride (return ticket only, 5 mins per way) - Adult: 10,000 won / Child: 6,000 won
Option 1 (preferred):
Departing from Seoul Express Bus Terminal 서울고속버스터미날
서울특별시 서초구 신반포로 194 (반포동) | 194, Sinbanpo-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul
Express Bus Terminal Station (line 3/7/9, exit 1 - Gyeongbu & Yeongdong Line).
Take the Express Bus bound for Sokcho (속초), arriving at Sokcho Express Bus Terminal. 2.5-3hrs, first bus@6:00, last bus@23:30, 36 trips daily, Adult: 17,900 won / Teen (age 13-18): 12,500 won / Child (age 7-12): 9,000 won.
Arriving at Sokcho Express Bus Terminal 속초고속버스터미널
강원도 속초시 동해대로 3988 (조양동) | 3988, Donghae-daero, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Upon arrived at the bus terminal, walk 100m towards the traffic light on your right (when facing the road), cross the road, turn left 20m to the bus stop and take bus #7/7-1 (1,100 won,30-40mins) to the park entrance which is the last stop. Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the taxi stand outside the bus terminal to the national park. 15-20 mins (15,000+ won) . There is an Information Centre next to this newer bus terminal, as well as a convenient store and cafe. A short 7 mins walk to Sokcho Beach.
Take the Non-Stop Bus bound for Sokcho (속초), arriving at Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal (refer as 'Sokcho Bus Station' by Sokcho locals) but some routes may arrive at Sokcho Express Bus Terminal instead. 2.5-3hrs, first bus@6:05, last bus@23:00, Adult: 16,700 won / Teen (age 13-18): 11,700 won / Child (age 7-12): 8,400 won.
Arriving at Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal 속초시외버스터미널
강원도 속초시 장안로 16 (동명동) | 16, Jangan-ro, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Departing from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal 동서울종합버스터미널
서울특별시 광진구 강변역로 50 (구의동) | 50, Gangbyeonnyeok-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul
Gangbyeon Station (line 2, exit 4). Note: Search for 'Ganbyeon' instead when using MetroidHD app.
www.ti21.co.kr (Korean only)
If you are staying South of Han River (e.g. Gangnam), Seoul Express Bus Terminal on the same side will be the obvious choice.
If you are staying North of Hangang River (e.g. Seoul Station, Myeongdong, Dongdaemun), there is not much time difference taking the subway to either of these bus terminals.
However, if you are planning to take taxi to the bus terminal especially during the peak hours, Dong Seoul Bus Terminal on the same side maybe a better option without the need to cross the Han River.]
Online Integrated Express Bus (www.kobus.co.kr)
Information on the number of seats available on departing date/time, bus grade and price.
Local Korean Mobile required for reservation.
Use 'Seoul>Dongseoul' for departing from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal and 'Seoul>Seoul Gyeongbu' for Seoul Express Bus Terminal to "Gangwon>Sokcho".
Seoraksan National Park, popular with locals and tourists alike, has one of the best topographic landscapes with awesome autumn foliage in the country.
The area is divided into Naeseorak, Namseorak, Oeseorak and Daecheongbong. It has a total of 30 imposing peaks spread across its territory with the highest Daecheongbong at 1,708m.
Hiking Trails at Seoraksan National Park
There are numerous 1-3 days hiking courses from different starting points at Seoraksan National Park.
Of which, here is an overview of the 1-day hiking courses from Seoraksan Information Center:
Gwongeumseong Fortress Course - 1.5km, 1hr 30mins (1-way), Low difficult with a bit of slope.
Biryong Falls Course - 2.4km, 50mins (1-way), Low difficult with a bit of slope.
Geumganggul Cave Course - 3.6km, 1hr 40mins, Low difficult with a bit of slope.
Yangpok Course - 6km, 3hrs 50mins (1-way), Low difficult with a bit of slope
Ulsanbawi Rock Course - 3.8km, 2hrs 20mins (1-way), one of hardest courses reaching height of 876m.
Cable Car Station & Cable Car Ride:
For majestic view of Mt. Seoraksan, take the cable car ride to Gwongeumseong (Gwongeumseong Fortress) Platform.
From there, you can walk up to Bonghwadae mountaintop (10 mins). 5 mins walk from Gwongeumseong platform will take you to Anrakarm Temple and its over 800 years old pine tree.
Summer at Seoraksan National Park:
Autumn at Seoraksan National Park:
Rest Area & Eateries:
Besides Seoraksan National Park, there are many interesting attractions to visit at Sokcho as well.
1. Sokcho Tourist & Fishery Market (formerly Jungang Market) 속초 관광수산시장 (구: 중앙시장)
강원도 속초시 중앙로147번길 16 (중앙동) | 16, Jungang-ro 147beon-gil, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Bus #7/7-1 stops here as well.
A traditional market that opened in 1953 and was included on the Korea Tourism Organisation list of 'Best Traditional Markets for Foreign Tourists'. The market has around 450 stores with its popular raw fish restaurants (+cook dishes as well!) at basement level and dak-gangjeong (sweet and sour fried chicken - MUST TRY!) take-away stalls at ground level. The market also sells many varieties of snacks (e.g. shrimp fritters) and freshest fruits. A visit to this market is highly recommended.
2. Abai Village (아바이 마을) & Abai Village Boat (아바이마을 갯배)
Hometown to many people of North Korean ancestry, fled here during the Korean War. The large number of elderly people in this village results in its nickname 'Abai' which means 'an aged person' in Korean.
From Sokcho Tourist & Fishery Market, go to Jungang-dong ferry dock to take the Abai Village Boat (also known as gaetbae in Korean), operated by ferryman pulling ropes to get to the other side of the water. 1-way: 200 won, Return: 400 won.
3. Sokcho Beach 속초해변
강원도 속초시 해오름로 190 (조양동) | 190, Haeoreum-ro, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
A short 7mins walk from Sokcho Express Bus Terminal is the beautiful Sokcho Beach where one can relax while waiting for the bus back. There are several interesting sculptures (e.g. dolphins), clear water view and superb quality sand along the 450m stretch of beach.
Separately, further away from the town center accessible by local bus #3/3-1, 35-45 mins (or 15mins by taxi) are Seorak Waterpia (water theme park@Seorak Hanwha Resort), Seorak Cinerama (filming site theme park@Seorak Hanwha Resort) and Teddy Bear Farm.
1. Near Seoraksan National Park (recommended) - There are a number of accommodations along the road near to Seoraksan National Park entrance. They provide a great stay experience with scenic surroundings and mesmerising sunrise/sunset over the slopes of Mt. Seorak. One can enjoy an easy walk to the park entrance and back to hotel conveniently after the hike.
2. Sokcho Town - Probably a more affordable option with more dining options and to do around the town after hiking at Seoraksan National Park. During the peak autumn foliage season in October, the road leading to the park will be jammed with traffic and public buses packed with people.
SPECIAL Hotel Recommendation
Kensington Hotel Seorak
The nearest hotel located on the road leading to the entrance of Seoraksan National Park (5 mins walk).
Charming English-style ambience.
Fairly large rooms with fantastic views. Watch sunrise over the mountains right from your room!
Brilliant buffet breakfast and dinner at its restaurant.
Bus 7 and 7-1 stop outside the hotel.
Best stay for avoiding the early morning & late afternoon traffic jam in/out of Seoraksan National Park!
Surrounded by nature, a place where you can really relax and chill-out.
Book Early! This hotel gets fully booked fast (& can get quite expensive) especially during the peak autumn season or weekends.
Other Accommodation Options at Sokcho
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