From Seoul to Mount Seorak (Seoraksan) and Sokcho
Day Trip or 2D1N to Mount Seorak (Seoraksan)
We were planning a day trip from Seoul to Mount Seorak (“Seoraksan”) until we found out about the travelling time. It is about 6 hours to and fro. Accounting for Baby Evangeline’s 7:00PM bedtime, we will only have 3 to 4 hours to enjoy Mount Seorak.
Subsequently, we decided to break up our trip into two days, with a night stay at nearby Sokcho. This gives us extra time to explore Sokcho too! However in the end, we decided to (so reluctantly) give Mount Seorak a miss. We reckoned Evangeline might be too tired from all the travelling to endure such a long ride. I heard how beautiful this national park is in autumn! Oh well, it’s better to let go than deal with a cranky toddler.
Still, hope my research on Mount Seorak and Sokcho will help you!
Image Credit: Klook
From Seoul to Sokcho
Sokcho is a 2.5-hour drive away from Seoul. Leave Seoul early in the morning and you will reach Sokcho in time for a yummy seafood lunch! Sokcho is a seaside city and the most popular gateway to Seoraksan national park.
Take the express bus from Seoul to Sokcho. Board the bus from either bus terminal:
- Seoul Express Bus Terminal (Subway Line 3,7,9; ExpressBusTerminal Station)
- Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (Subway Line 2; Gangbyeon Station).
Try to be there earlier in case you get lost and miss your bus as a result.
More about bus terminals in Seoul: english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/TRP/TP_ENG_5_2.jsp
The bus from either bus terminal will bring you to Sokcho Express Bus Terminal (Address: Sokcho 1418, Joyang-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, Tel: 033-631-3181).
This is different from the Intercity Bus Terminal where you take the bus to Chuncheon, for the ITX train to Nami Island. These two bus terminals are a distance away, so take note when booking accommodation in Sokcho.
Booking of Ticket
Good to buy a two way ticket in advance to secure the seats. However, if you are going on a non-PH weekday, it’s likely you will get a ticket on the date of travel.
Online Purchase or Check Bus Schedule: www.kobus.co.kr/main.do (Choose language on top right)
- From: Seoul (Gyeongbu Line); or Dong-Seoul
- To: Sokcho (under Gangwon region)
- Three types of bus: Economy, Excellent, and Premium Gold. ‘Excellent’ has wider legroom, while ‘Premium Gold’ has large seating area with tables, and individual TV monitors.
Ticket Fare (Adult, One Way)
- ₩13,800 – ₩19,600 (S$24, US$17.60).
- Price differs due to date of purchase, departure time and bus terminal.
- 10% OFF for Advance Booking (48 hours), Group Booking (5-10pax), Round-Trip, Back-Seat Booking. Applicable to ‘Excellent’ bus only.
From Sokcho to Seoraksan
After a night stay in Sokcho, we can now set off early to Seoraksan and beat the crowd from Seoul. :)
If you have a group of four, you might want to consider a comfortable taxi ride from Sokcho to Seoraksan National Park. But be prepared to fork out ₩13,000 to ₩15,000 (S$13.40, US$18.50).
Otherwise, you can take the local bus. From Sokcho Express or Intercity Bus Terminal, take the local bus, bus no. 7 or 7-1 for ₩1,100 (S$1.40, US$1). Travel about 30 to 45 minutes and alight at the last stop, Seorak-dong Sogongwon bus stop.
Get to the top of Seoraksan: Cable Car
After alighting from the bus, get your admission ticket to Mount Seorak at ₩3,500 (S$4.30, US$3.20) , Near to the park entrance is the Seorak Sogongwon Cable Car (설악 케이블카) station. For non-serious hikers, take the 10-minute round trip cable car ride up Seoraksan. From Seorak-dong Station (at the foot) to Gwongeumseong Station (at the top).
Once you exit the station, take a easy 10-minute hike up the Bonghwadae, which is the top of Gwongeumseong Fortress, a former site of a castle. Apparently, both young and old, even ladies wearing heels, can easily conquer this hike. For those who prefer a more challenging hike, you can always find more hiking trails at the foot of the mountain.
- Round Trip (one way ticket unavailable)
- Adult: ₩10,000 (S$12.30, US$9.00)
- Child (3 to 13 years old): ₩6,000 (S$7.40, US$5.40)
- Below 36 months: Free
- Hours: 9:00am – 6:00pm (departs every 10 – 15 minutes)
- No advance ticket purchase is available, so you have to get the tickets on-site. During peak period, be prepared to wait for an hour or more after purchase for the timing on your ticket.
In any case, enjoy the breathtaking journey up the cliffs of Seoraksan!
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