Sokcho is a harbor city located in the far northeast of Gangwon Province, South Korea. The city belonged to North Korea from 1945 til the end of the Korean War, when the dividing line between the two Korean states was officially altered. For that reason, many of Sokcho population have relatives in the North.
Sokcho is most recognized for the beauty of its nature, including Seoraksan National Park, Sokcho beach, Lakes, Natural thermal and a lot more. The city is one of the most loved tourist attractions in South Korea and totally worth a visit.
Seoraksan is one of the 5 great mountains of Korea since long long time ago. Consequently, the mountain has way more than just a few historic sites and materials in addition to the magnificent nature of its own.
The name Seorak means holy and sacred and it has been sometimes called Seolsan, Seolbongsan or Seolhwasan throughout the history.
Seoraksan is 1,708 meters in height, ranked as the third highest mountain in South Korea. The mountain is renowned for the harmonious combination that a number of waterfalls and strange rocks and bizarre stones create.
There are various wild animals living within the mountain as well, including deer, bears, goats, foxes, otters, etc, and that's why the symbol of the mountain is a bear, cause bears have been traditionally regarded as a holy creature in the Korean culture.
Sinheungsa, a Buddhist temple within the park was established in 652 during Silla dynasty and hosts a number of national treasures as well as local government's treasures including Hyangseongsaji Pagoda, Buddha statues, etc.
There's a legend that comes along with the temple's history. When the temple was destroyed in Joseon dynasty (1644) all of the monks left and only 3 monks still stayed. The monks had the exact same dream one day where a half-god-half-human creature told them to reconstruct the temple then he would not let any evil spirits in the country. So that's how the temple was rebuilt and stays sacred til today.
Address : Buk-myeon, Inje-gun, Gangwon-do
Inquiries : +82-33-636-7700
Info Center : 10:00 - 17:00 (Closed on every Monday)
Admission Fee : Adults 3,500 KRW / Parking 5,000 KRW
If you are not a good hiker, just grab a cable car that has been running since the 70's. As you go up, you'll encounter a magnificent precipice of bizarre rocks around Kwongeumseong Rock / Fortress. You need to walk only about 200 meters to go all the way up to the summit.
The rock is situated on 800 meters above sea level and has a myth that Mr.Kwon and Mr.Kim established it as a fortress when a war broke out (To be specific, the Mongolian Invasion). That's why it's named Kwon-geum-seong. (Geum is the direct pronunciation of Kim's Chinese Character, Seong refers to a fortress)
Address : Seorak-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Inquiries : +82-33-636-4300
Opening Hours : 07:00 - 17:00
Admission Fees : Adults 10,000 KRW / Children 6,000 KRW
* Visit the official website of the national park and find out more.
Sokcho beach, one of the beaches in the East Sea coastline, is known for the clearest-blue water in addition to the romantic vibe of the surrounding area. The beach is most commonly visited by young Korean couples and has become a must-visit date spot.
The beach is not too big, quite small in size actually, yet still provides the most scenic view and crystal clear water. You'll be able to see lots of young buskers around in summer season, when the beach is most crowded. Plus, there's a free Wi-Fi provided by the local government, so one point won.
Address : Sokcho Hesuyokjang, Joyang-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Inquiries : +82-33-639-2027
Opening Hours : 06:00 - 24:00 all year round.
* Swimming allowed exclusively from 09:00 to 18:00.
Admission Fees : Free
As a part of Hanhwa Hotel and Resort, Seorak Waterpia is a massive spa / waterpark that offers 100% natural thermal full of calcium, magnesium, sodium hydrogen carbonate, etc. The spa is equipped with relaxing spa and baths as well as fun waterpark facilities, making it enjoyable for all of the family members, old or young.
Who doesn't want some hot spa after hiking or playing hard at the beach? Seorak Waterpia is the perfect place to relax, blend in with the nature and get some premium skin therapy. The spa offers various options to choose from, including open-air baths, jet spa, sauna, artificial wave pools, giant water slides and more.
Address : 88, Misiryeong-ro 2983-gil, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Inquiries : +82-33-630-5800
Opening Hours : Morning sauna 06 :00 - 10:00 / All-day 10:00 - 16:00 / Afternoon 16:00 - 20:30 / Night 19:00 - 20:30
* Some of the outdoor facilities not available in the winter season.
- All-day : Adults 55,000 KRW / Children 43,000 KRW
- Afternoon : Adults 46,500 KRW / Children 36,500 KRW
- Night : Adults 27,500 KRW / Children 21,500 KRW
- Sauna : Adults 12,000 KRW / Children 10,000 KRW
* Price may vary depending on the season.
* Visit the official website of Seorak Waterpia and find out more.