Backpacker in… Sokcho

I backpacked through several cities out of Seoul during Fall Break of 2017 – Daejeon, Chungju, Andong and Sokcho, finally returning to Seoul to complete the loop. One of the most beautiful cities in South Korea that is easily accessible from Seoul is Sokcho. It is a city that is near the East Sea, but has beautiful landmarks too such as Seoraksan.

For now, I will let the photos speak…

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Where did we stay? — Inn-so Guesthouse! It’s located slightly on an incline hill, has the perfect facilities. We stayed during Chuseok.

How do you get around Sokcho? Mostly by bus. Local bus schedules are hard to read on Naver Maps, so I usually try and decipher local bus times at any bus stop. The hard part is understanding where you are, which direction and stop you’re looking at.

Did you know that… You can top up your T-Money card at any major convenience store at no extra charge? I certainly didn’t know! However, please be aware that you cannot top up your T-Money card at a family-owned convenience store or a small store.

Sokcho is very near the beach so that means swimming…? I’m not sure, but I certainly didn’t see locals swim. Some areas of the beach are quite deep, and do watch out for the strong waves! If swimming is not your thing, just hang around and people-watch. If you’re a hiker (wannabe) like me, Seoraksan is the best place to go — there are quite a few buses that drop you directly at the entrance of the National Park.

Seoraksan is one of the only (if not the only) National Park that requires you to pay your way in. It’s 3,500 won (I think!) — imagine how much money they are making! No fear, this is for a good cause because the park is beautifully maintained to a pristine condition. That doesn’t mean that you can litter anyway you like!

Overnight hiking is possible… but you need to be prepared. It is cold out there if you’re planning to hike the highest peak. Do not attempt to hike it within a day unless you want to get altitude sickness. Pack proper clothing and a good amount of food. You might (or might not) be surprised at how many stuff the ajussi and ajumma pack their food and of course their makgeolli…

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The night of Chuseok – locals were out and about, lighting up firecrackers and lanterns. It was a windy night.

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We hiked the Ulsanbawi Rock – quite terrifying for me, because I have a slight fear of climbing exposed rocks. Nonetheless, the view was beyond words. You can see the East Sea from your vantage point. Be careful because losing your footing almost guarantees death if you fall through the fences. Also, do take note of the weather forecast – it is a lightning prone area. Please prioritise your safety over anything else!

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As it was Chuseok, many shops were closed. However, most were open the next day. If anything, there was always McDonald’s (yay for chocopie!).

I really miss South Korea right now. Dreaming of my next destination already… Time to work hard and save! 🙂

Where do you think should be my next destination? 🙂

Love,

Nazira

 

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