|Sokcho is less than an hour from the border!|
We went to Seoraksan (6/1) with our friends Megan and David while they were in town. All the blogs I found were no help at all. Should have asked my Korean friend, Donghyuk, for help in the first place!
GO BY BUS!
DO NOT GO BY TRAIN.
I read so many blogs about people traveling to Seoraksan by train. They ended up spending over six hours traveling since there isn't a direct train to Sokcho. Luckily Donghyuk is amazing and helped us find all the right buses and we got there in less than half that time! (okay... if you don't count the Cheonan to Dong Seoul bus).
Cheonan to Dong Seoul W6,000'ish
Buy your bus tickets from the same terminal where you buy Incheon Airport bus tickets.
This is about an hour bus ride. We stayed at a jimjilbang near the Dong Seoul bus terminal and took a super early bus to Sokcho the next morning. It's definitely possible to do both bus rides in one day but we started on a Friday night.
If you want to find a jimjilbang just ask around. There are four super close to the bus terminal.
The bars near the station are NOT foreigner friendly. David was given a simple finger X by the bartender the minute they made eye contact at the door. Tried THREE different places, all fails. We had to sit at the 'picnic' tables outside of a convenient store to enjoy our Friday night beverages. NBD.
Warning: This area felt really weird. All the bars were stuffed with business guys... no women. I was eyeballed a lot, and Megan, too. I had to show my wedding ring to one guy that winked at Patrick and said the Korean word for prostitute. Grandpa taught me that word!
FYI the subway station is directly across from the bus terminal. If you miss it you're blind. I can't remember the name but we used that subway line on the way back to Cheonan instead of taking another bus from Dong Seoul. Pit stop in Gangnam for my visiting friends! ^^
Dong Seoul to Sokcho W17,500
(deluxe express bus!!! 2 hours and 40min)
Ask for the fastest bus. I literally said 'fastest express' since there are three buses that go to Sokcho and some aren't as direct and take longer. One woman was too shy to help me but the next woman was fine. I don't think the language barrier is too bad here. This place is not as foreigner friendly as the rest of Seoul. We survived though!
Our ticket said Sockcho kkkk and I think we took a 5:30am bus. I don't remember! It was so early and we didn't sleep much because the jimjilbang was more like a partybang. I think the buses leave every hour for Sokcho.
This is the ticket counter at the station in Dong Seoul.
Walk out of the bus terminal and turn left. The motel we stayed at is next to the terminal. Can't miss it.
W30,000 per night. W5,000 per person after 2 people. So we paid W40,000 for four people. The woman at the counter gave us a key to a room so we could look around before paying. It was pretty nice. Thick mats on the floor (compared to jimjilbang mats, much thicker) and good pillows and nice fluffy pink comforters.
Once we paid we were given two extra mats and 2 sets of blankets. So that's three mats and four comforters. We just made our own mattresses with all the extra stuff. Free toothbrushes, toothpaste and hair stuff provided. Fan + aircon, TV with lots of Korean junk to watch. There were even English channels! This place was pretty exciting.
We were able to check in before noon and needed to check out at noon the next day. It was a great deal! Also you will sleep like a baby after hiking! You won't think twice about not sleeping on a Western style bed.
There are places to stay closer to the park in Seorak-dong, but I think they're a little more tourist priced.
Bus to Seoraksan National Park
Jump on the 7-1. The bus stop you need use is on the same side as the bus terminal. It sits right outside of a really good coffee shop. I rode this bus four times and it only felt like 5 minutes each time. THIS PLACE IS SO BEAUTIFUL!
IMPORTANT: Sokcho city buses accept cash and Cashbee ONLY. No T Money. It's around W1,600 per ride. Some are W1,200.
You will ride from Sokcho to Seorak-dong. Get off at the last stop inside Seoraksan Nat. Park!
I will add Seoraksan pictures on a separate post. You can find millions of Seoraksan pictures on Google^^ Here are three from our trip.
|The bus to Sokcho from Dong Seoul will give you a twenty minute break after an hour. The scenery gets better and better the closer you get to Sokcho!|
|This was taken right before we climbed the rest of the stairs to the Geumganggul Cave (금강굴).|
|Sokcho is magical! Tons of seafood and the typical beach stuff: |
mini bikes for rent, fireworks for sale, dead carnival, etc.