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“Superb natural scenery”

Seoraksan National Park
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$80.00*
and up
Mount Seorak and Nami Island Day Trip from Seoul
Ranked #1 of 41 things to do in Sokcho
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed March 2, 2013

CYC ( 2013. 2. 3 )
There was the best place with superb natural scenery in South Korea. Seoraksan ( Mt. Seorak) was given us different feeling at each season, so I recommand go there at each season. This Mt.Seorak makes my eyes comfortable, my nose fresh, my feeling calm. There is good for walking, climbing Mt and enjoying landscape. If you feel some of Korean mountain, I'll recommand.

Thank CanisHan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"cable car"
in 217 reviews
"south korea"
in 35 reviews
"the bus"
in 32 reviews
"beautiful view"
in 17 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 16 reviews
"giant buddha"
in 11 reviews
"last stop"
in 9 reviews
"fall colors"
in 6 reviews
"day trip"
in 22 reviews
"strong winds"
in 7 reviews
"natural beauty"
in 7 reviews
"main entrance"
in 9 reviews
"peak season"
in 7 reviews
"sinheungsa temple"
in 15 reviews
"avoid the crowds"
in 6 reviews
"great hiking"
in 8 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 11 reviews
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453 - 457 of 809 reviews

Reviewed February 23, 2013

One of the interesting and best places I've ever been to is Mt. Seorak. It is the third highest mountain in South Korea located in Sockcho City in the province of Gang-won along with the Taebaek mountain ranges. Nobody recommended this place for me to see and I relied mostly on Internet research for directions and feedback. The bottom line is, I really wanted to experience winter hiking in South Korea and I preferred doing it in one of the country's best national parks.

Sockcho is a very nice city so it is recommended to tour the place for two days, at least, so you can maximize your trip to Seoraksan National Park and other places you want to visit. In my case, I only spent a day in Mt. Seorak because I was traveling by myself. There are many hike trails in Mt. Seorak that you can choose from. If you're the type who simply wants to enjoy the scenery with your family and kids without much difficulty, just choose the Gwongeumseong Fortress. Upon entry to the National Park which costs KRW3,500, head straight to the cable car station. You'll need to pay KRW9,000 for the round trip cable car ride. The cable car ride was about 15 minutes. Upon arrival at the observatory deck, you will just trek for 30 minutes and you'll get to the peak effortlessly. That's what I did first during my trip. The view up there was fantastic and breathtaking. I was expecting to see snowy mountain ranges and it did not disappoint. The beauty of the scenery was stunning. When I climbed, there were not too many people probably because I did it on a weekday morning. On weekends, it can get really crowded especially during peak seasons (autumn, spring). The hike up there was easy and any hiking experience is not required for that matter. Also, you have the option to climb the highest rocks in the fortress if you really wanna be on top. It could be steep but there are ropes attached to the rocks so it's still generally safe. For this hike trail, you'll spend roughly about 1.5 to 2 hours depending on how long you want to stay at the summit and also in consideration is the queue for the cable car ride.

If you are on the more adventurous side, you might wanna try the Ulsanbawi trail. It is a great hike for beginners and even for advanced hikers who have limited time exploring the site. The view was also great there. It takes two hours to reach the peak of Ulsanbawi (3.5km trek). The last 600 meters of the trek was the hardest and steepest part. Don't look down if you have fear of heights but don't miss the views while climbing. It is the best! Note that even if the trail is steep on the last few hundred meters, it is still safe because there are staircases that make the otherwise inaccessible Ulsanbawi an easy climb. Along the way to Ulsanbawi, you'll also get to pass by the Sinheungsa temple, Bisondae rock, and giant Buddha. If you're climbing this trail, just be sure to bring snacks and water to keep you energized. Anyway, there are food stalls along the way if you don't want to bring anything heavy. Winter climbing requires you to be properly geared because of freezing temperature and strong winds. You would also wanna consider bringing ice crampons for your rubber shoes because it can be really slippery on the trail path. I had to buy an overpriced ice crampons along the way because I slipped once and almost slipped a hundred times again. But that's just during winter.

I definitely enjoyed my experience at Seoraksan National Park and it is worth every penny spent. It's not so expensive after all. I'll definitely go back to the park and try the highest peak in Mt. Seorak -- Daecheongbong Peak. It is 1,708m high and requires 6 to 7 hours of hiking. I guess for now, my day trip was enough and fulfilling already. See it for yourself!

Getting There

If you're coming from Seoul, just go to either Seoul Express Bus Station or DongSeoul (east) Bus Station and get on the bus to Sokcho City. I took the bus from DongSeoul Bus Terminal (Gangbyeon Station, line 2 Exit 4) which I think offers a faster route. The one-way ticket to Sokcho costs KRW16,100 and the travel time was only two hours (I thought it would take 2hrs 40 mins). Get off at the Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal and wait for bus no. 7 or 7-1. The bus stop is just outside the terminal beside the parked buses, so when you get out of the terminal, turn right and walk about 5 meters. Prepare an exact fare of KRW 1000 for the bus ride. It will take 30 minutes to get to Seoraksan National Park, which is also the last stop. From there, just walk your way to the National Park.

Returning to Seoul

If you do not know where to alight from Seoraksan Park to downtown Sokcho, just tell the driver (of bus no 7 or 7-1) to drop you off at the Sokcho bus terminal. You need to specify whether it is the Intercity bus station or the Express bus station because there are also two stations in the city. Like I said, my option was the Intercity bus station that stops at the DongSeoul Bus Terminal.

20  Thank TheSoloTraveller12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

We went up the peak by riding the cable car. Almost 5pm when reached the top and we heard the monks' chant for prayers. We thought there is a temple at the top but it is actually at the ground level. There was a slight snow storm so unable to take any photos but we do enjoy the view.

1  Thank Nashitah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

My wife and I arrived in Incheon International Airport at 8am. After clearing immigration we took the train, then the inter-city bus to Sokcho. After lunch in Sokcho, we took the city bus to Seorak Morning Inn which was our place of stay for the next four nights. By 3pm we were on our way to acquaint ourselves the surrounding areas where we stayed and the general Park area.

The second day, we walked the Ulsanbawi trail. We started at 7am and finally return to base at about 3pm. This is not the normal time if one is just hike up and down this trail, because I spend a considerable time photographing it took much longer than normal. It's a challenge just to hike this trail. The trail is well marked with either raised wooden platform with rubber mats or cement paths. There is a part almost at the half way point where straight, almost vertical metal stair case is built onto the side rock face. There are no breakpoints along this straight stair case for safety just in case if a climber would slip and fall. I shudder to think if anyone would loose their footing as I constantly looked up while holding onto the railings and climbing the metal stair case. On that day, it was drizzling heavily and this added to the danger with the wet surface on metal steps. Otherwise, hiking this trail should pose no problems. We met many elderly Korean grandparents hiking this trail. To both my wife and I, reaching the top of the trail was an anti-climax. The marked trail ends below the apex of the mountain and the space is rather small. In my estimation, it could probably accommodate about 20 people. Since that day was a drizzling heavily and strong winds were blowing across that small space, we quickly made our way down. From a photographer's perspective, it was a wash out. I would like to have another opportunity to photograph from the rock face of Ulsanbawi.

The third day we walked the Biryong trail. This was a much easier and shorter trail in comparison to our previous day's hike. Again, we took longer than the normal time as we spent a considerable time photographing the changing colours of autumn among the foliage. Although it did not drizzle, but the weather was fickle.

I would highly recommend visiting this Park during autumn. The locals invited us to visit the Park during winter which I do intend in the future.

4  Thank Steven_Teo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 29, 2013

Always wanted to see a mountain filled with snow. And our trip to Seoraksan did not fail me. Every penny spent was well worth it! We had an amazing view of the mountains. :)

2  Thank yourfaveRiezes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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