Sokcho is an ideal location for vacationing, where Koreans flock to immediately as summer approaches. The destination is located on the east coast of the Korean Peninsula and occupies a large portion of Gangwon-do, where people come to enjoy sunbathing on long golden beaches as they gaze over the East Sea’s horizon.
Besides relaxing in the shade of the many pine trees, Sokcho is also famous for its food. Before heading out for water sports, make sure to fill yourself up with some various delectable seafood morsels you can only find at Sokcho Tourist & Fishery Market. Various delights found at dozens of food stalls, carts, and street vendors are addictively delicious and will cause you to come back for more.
Afterwards, take the opportunity to visit indoor places such as Seorak Waterpia and the Teddy Bear Farm, which are great places to keep away the scorching sun and heavy crowds. There is an old Korean saying that goes, “Eating before sightseeing,” which is truly the best way to enjoy Sokcho!
Food tour around Sokcho Tourist & Fishery MarketSockho’s traditional market is full of things to see, buy, and eat. Formed in 1953 as the Sokcho Tourist & Fishery Market, it was included on the Korea Tourism Organization’s list of “Best Traditional Markets for Foreign Tourists” last year. From fresh fishes caught off the coast in the Donghae Sea (East Sea) to dried fish and various vegetables, you can find fun in just looking around and watching the fishmongers bargaining with local market goers. The best part is that it allows you to really taste and experience the true folk atmosphere of Korea.
☞ Address: 16 Jungang-ro 147 beon-gil, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
☞ Directions: Take a local bus at the Sokcho Bus Terminal for about 13-18 minutes.
☞ Website: www.sokchomarket.com (Korean only)
Abai Village & Abai Village FerryAbai Village for safety, and settled down there after the 1953 ceasefire. With the aged population, the term abai, meaning “elderly man” or “grandfather” in the local dialect, ended up sticking as the areas’ nickname.
It is also well-known for being a filming location of ‘Autumn Fairy Tale (2000)’, where Eun-seo, the leading actress, lived as well as made a dramatic reunion with her love. Couples who like to remake their romantic scenes frequent the area, which tend to make their trips more memorable.
Abai Village is located between Sokcho Tourist & Fishery Market and the waterway connecting Jungang-dong and Cheongho-dong, with just about 50 meters between each side. Hence, visitors are required to take the Abai Village Ferry (also known as gaetbae in Korean), which is operated by a ferryman pulling ropes in the desired direction. It trudges along at slow speeds, but passengers can also try pulling the rope, making it a fun experience.
☞ Address: 122 Cheongho-ro, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
☞ Directions: From Sokcho Tourist & Fishery Market, go to Jungang-dong gaetbae ferry dock to reach the village.
☞ Fees (Abai Village Ferry): One-way 200 won / Round-trip 400 won
☞ Website: www.abai.co.kr (Korean only)
Seorak WaterpiaSeorak Waterpia is one of Korea's largest theme parks, offering a wide variety of outdoor leisure activities and hot spring facilities. Facilities at this waterpark include a spa, a wave pool, a stream pool where you can follow the current of the water, as well as exciting waterslides.
But what makes Seorak Waterpia special is the fact that they only use pure mineral water originating from Cheoksan Mountain, and is maintained at a temperature of 49℃. The water comes from a geological layer formed during the Mesozoic Era, and with the abundance of cations (sodium, calcium, and magnesium) and anions (chlorine, carbonic acid, and sulfuric acid), the mineral water is good for stress, neuralgia, arthritis, and geriatric-related conditions. In addition, there are outdoor leisure spa facilities, such as Lovers Bath, Rock Bath, Cave Bath, and sauna facilities like Prickle Bath, Wood Bath, Outdoor Bath, and more.
☞ Address: 88 Misiryeong-ro 2983 beon-gil, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
☞ Directions: From Sokcho Tourist & Fishery Market, take local bus for about 32-36 minutes.
☞ Operating hours (Ticket Office): 06:00-20:00
* Hours may vary during peak season (2016.04.30-2016.07.08).
☞ Fees: 30,000 won - 60,000 won (Based on admission for adults)
* Above mentioned fees are based on peak season (2016.04.30-2016.07.08). Fees are subject to changes according to seasons.
☞ Website: www.hanwharesort.co.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Teddy Bear FarmTeddy Bear Farm is adorned with cute teddy bears like those in a fairy tale kingdom. Teddy bears come in a variety of sizes from life size bears to tiny bears, including teddy bears depicted as mountain climbing on Ulsanbawi Rock, skiing, playing golf, and even riding the Abai Ferry from Abai Village to downtown! Also, the teddy bears have different postures and costumes recreating commonplace scenery of the Sokcho community.
Also, a demonstration of the fairy tale “Snow White” is displayed, and teddy bears are dressed in folk costumes from around the world. Visitors can purchase teddy bears at the gift shop, and there are also some learning programs for teddy bear fans.
☞ Address: 15 Haksapyeong 2-gil, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
☞ Directions: From Sokcho Bus Terminal, take a local bus for about 37-43 minutes.
☞ Operating hours: 09:30-18:00
☞ Fees: Adults 5,000 won / Teenagers 4,000 won / Children 3,000 won
☞ Website: www.teddyfarm.net (Korean only)
Seoraksan National ParkSeoraksan Mountain. Its natural sights are so beautiful that the mountain was designated a natural monument preservation area in 1965. Although the slopes are very steep, many professional and amateur climbers come to test their ability throughout all the seasons.
For those not into serious hiking, there is an alternative way to get up the mountain. The easiest way to go up is by taking a cable car that connects Sogongwon Park and Gwongeumseong Fortress. After hopping off the cable car, you only need to complete a 300m walk to reach the fortress. From here, you may catch breathtaking views of the Ulsanbawi Rock of Seoraksan Mountain. Also, a mere 10 minutes walk from Sogongwon Park will lead you to Sinheungsa Temple, which makes it a good trail for visitors to take a leisure walk.
☞ Directions: From Sokcho Bus Terminal, take a local bus for about 1 hour.
☞ Operating hours (Seorak Cable Car): 09:00-18:00
* Subject to changes according to weather conditions.
- Seoraksan National Park Cultural Heritage: Adults 3,500 won / Teenagers 1,000 won / Children 500 won
- Seorak Cable Car (Round-trip): Adults 10,000 won / Children 6,000 won
* Admission to Seoraksan National Park Cultural Heritage is not included for visitors taking the Seorak Cable Car. Separate charges applicable.
- Seoraksan National Park www.english.knps.or.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
- Seorak Cable Car www.sorakcablecar.co.kr (Korean, English, Chinese)
☞ Transportation: Seoul → Sokcho
Seoul (Gyeongbu/Yeongdong Line) Express Bus Terminal → Sokcho Express Bus Terminal (First Bus 06:00 / Last Bus 23:30, approx. 2 hour 30 min)
Dong Seoul Bus Terminal → Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal (First Bus 06:05 / Last Bus 23:00, approx. 2 hours)
☞ Ticket reservations:
www.kobus.co.kr (Korean, English, Chinese)
www.ti21.co.kr (Korean only)
☞ Sokcho Nearby Tourist Attractions: National Mountain Museum, Cheoksan Oncheon Jigu, Seorak Botanic Garden, Daepohang Port
☞ Sokcho Tourism Information Website: www.sokchotour.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian)
☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
*source : KTO(Korea Tourism Organization) www.visitkorea.or.kr
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