Seoraksan National Park
If you’re like me and were born in a big city, you’ll constantly try and find a way out to a smaller town or a National Park for some hiking. My time in Seoul was no different, after 3 days I needed to get out and explore some mountains and that is how I found myself in Seoraksan National Park in Sokcho (East of South Korea).
How to get there:
Getting to Sokcho from Seoul isn’t difficult but it does take two hours on an intercity bus followed by a forty-five minute local bus ride in Sokcho to the National Park.
- You will need to buy a one way ticket from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Sokcho, and buy the return ticket at the bus station in Sokcho.
- Take Line 2 (Green line) of the Metro to Gangbyeon and get out at Exit 4 (sign is in yellow) or just follow the signs to Dong Seoul Bus Terminal.
- Once outside, cross the road and enter the bus station.
- Locate a ticket office (there are many ticket offices, so just ask) and purchase a ticket to Sokcho (one way 17,300W)
- The bus will take 2 hours including a quick toilet break stop.
- Once you arrive at the bus station in Sokcho, exit out of the main entrance. There is a tourist information centre to your left and a bus stop slightly further on your right.
- You need to take bus number 7-1 (seven dash one) to Seoraksan National Park (It’s the last stop) The cost of the bus is 1,200W in exact change.
- Once you arrive at the park you must pay 3,500W to enter but then you are free to check out the temples, statues, hike or take the cable car to the top (for an extra cost)
- (Prices correct for January 2017)
I decided to head to Sokcho with a few friends that I had made at the hostel in Seoul. We decided to get up early and head to Dong Seoul Bus Terminal only to find that the earlier buses had been sold out and the next available bus was at 11am, which was disappointing as we were only heading to Sokcho for the day and planned to return to Seoul in the evening. Nevertheless, the bus ride was fairly quick and as soon as we got to Sokcho we made sure that we bought our return ticket to avoid getting stranded in Sokcho later on. We then found the local bus stop and were on our way to the National Park.
The National Park itself is stunning and although we didn’t have time to do the 10km hike to the peak of the mountain due to time constraints, we did manage to see the Buddha statue, the Temples, and a steep 4km hike to the waterfall and observatory. The views were simply spectacular.
If I were to do this trip again I would plan to stay in Sokcho for at least two to three days. Sokcho is a coastal city and it is simply beautiful and staying longer would also enable you to do the 10km hike to the peak.
Sokcho and Seoraksan National park are not to be missed if you’re already in Seoul!