Sokcho has a population of around 84,000. It's quite a sleepy city and is known as a gateway to Seoraksan National Park, which is a 30 minute bus ride from the central hub. Autumnal tinted leaves blanketing Mt. Seoraksan in fall attracts a myriad of visitors in the fall and the beaches along the East Sea are popular in the summer. Also, the DMZ is located an hour north by bus, from the central hub. The city has many beaches and areas to view the East Sea.

Hot spots to visit

Abai Village

Abai Village is a small enclave of Sokcho, officially named Cheongho-dong. Evidently, many North Koreans from the Hamgyeong province (wikipedia) moved here during the Korean War (1950-1953) and since many of them were older, the village was named Abai, which seems to mean either "an aged person" or "grandfather" in the Hamgyeong-do dialect. Abai Village still retains a majority of ethnic Koreans from the North.

Seoraksan National Park

Seoraksan is the highest mountain in the Taebaek mountain range. The main season for Seoraksan national park is autumn. The autumn colours in the area are considered amongst the most beautiful in Korea. The red and yellow forest is interrupted by rocks and small mountain streams flow amidst this. The Yukdam waterfall and the Biryeong waterfall are located on the left side of the valley, about a forty minute walk from the main car park. Ulsanbawi is a rock formation in the Seoraksan national park. The shape of Ulsanbawi is unique in the area.

Yeongnangho Lake

Take a bike ride around Yeongnangho Lake The lake funnels into the East Sea and takes about an hour on bike to get fully around the lake. Some stops along the way include Bombawi, a rock shaped like a crouched tiger which offers views of downtown, pagodas and temples.

Sokcho Beach

Only "open" from approximately July 10 - August 20, but still worth a visit when the beach is "closed", but you can still get on the beach.

Expo Tower

One of Sokcho's must-sees, is the Expo Tower, Expo World, and Expo Excursion Steamer. These were constructed for the 1999 Gangwon International Tourism Expo. The Expo tower rises 73.4 meters high with an observatory.

DMZ - Korean Demilitarized Zone

About an hours bus ride north of Sokcho is the De-Militarized Zone between North and South Korea. The DMZ cuts the Korean Peninsula roughly in half, crossing the 38th parallel on an angle, with the west end of the DMZ lying south of the parallel and the east end lying north of it. It is 250 kilometres (160 miles) long, approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) wide and is the most heavily militarized border in the world.

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