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Friday, October 16, 2009

Day 105: Seoul - Sokcho - Mount Sorak

Autumn was finally here and to mark this great season, we were heading to the most famous mountain in Korea, Mount Sorak.

Took an early bus from the Seoul Express Bus Terminal, the journey took us 3.5 hours to Sokcho.

It's a 'business class' bus, only three seats per row.

Halfway to Sokcho, the bus stopped at the rest station and we had our first view of autumn leaves.

The leaves had turned red!

Initially I was worried that the leaves would still be green eventhough we went during the predicted peak autumn period. But so far so good!

The halfway journey to Sokcho was pretty impressive, we passed by mountain after mountain and when it was getting nearer, the beach came in sight one after another.

A small town along the coastline which is very popular during summer. It is also the gateway town to Mount Sorak.

We arrived at the Sokcho Express Bus terminal in the afternoon, left our luggage at a nearby hotel and walked to the beach.

A mosque-like motel near bus terminal.

Sokcho Beach

A deserted beach.

Love tree

We had a quick instant ramen for our lunch, couldn't find anything else except the convenience store.

From here we had a half an hour walk to Abai Village.

The Abai Village is across this Cheonghodaegyo Bridge.

Abai Village is a fishing village, made famous by the Korean drama Autumn in My Heart. No comment on the drama, I haven't watch it. :P

Saw many fishing activities around here. The past fishing villages that I had been too, I could just see the boats and nothing else.

These two fishermen just came back from the sea.

The starfish caught by the net were thrown away and left to die. :(

Shop of the lead female character in the series.

Gaetbae boat becomes an instant tourist attraction because of the drama. The ride is a labour intensive way to get across to the other side. Each passenger only pays 200 won (so cheap!) per trip but they need to help out if they want to reach the destination faster.

This is not entirely a tourist stuff after all, those that ride this boat doesn't look like a tourist to me.

Daepohang Port
Love this vibrant port. The snack vendors, fishmongers, and seafood restaurants are all gathered here.

Daepohang Port

Vendor selling tempura prawns: 10 small ones for 4,000 won or 2 big ones for 3,000 won. Ojingeo sundae (stuffed octopus) for 4,000 won.

The process of drying fish.

Dried fish for sale.

Fish market

We had our 'teabreak' in the fish market.

Ojingeo sundae, only available in Sokcho. Must try!

A dozen of grilled prawns (8,000 won)

The ojingeo sundae was so yummy!!

From here it was only 10-20 minutes by bus to Sorak. We stayed at a minbak (guesthouse) at the foot of Mount Sorak.

Dolgamja House

Staircase to our room on the second floor.

Our room was nice and clean with a small pantry and private bathroom, considering I only paid 30,000 won per night!

Our minbak is located near the hanok (traditional house) village. It was love at first sight when I saw this village while trying to find our guesthouse. And the air was so fresh!

Many persimmon trees around here.

A thief caught in the act!

Became greedy, trying to take home the pumpkin. Just kidding. :P


Grapevines along the wall.

A hanok

Vegetable garden

The mountain view

During sunset

Going to conquer Mount Sorak tomorrow!

We had our dinner opposite the guesthouse. There were only two restaurants in this area, and this one sucks big time. My worst Korean food ever!

Tasteless dried fish soup, I couldn't recall its Korean name.

Very salty dwenjang jjigae (soybean paste soup)

Luckily we had the ojingeo sundae earlier, if not I would be deeply regretted if I only had the ramen and this sucky dinner.


Anonymous said...

Hi :)..

Thank you for your travelling blog. I've kept coming back here for infos on your trip to Korea. It has been really helpful.

Need your advise on the contact booking for Dolgamja guesthouse at Mt. Sorak. I went to their site and they only have phone booking & what is the rate for a single room/ 1 person ?

Hope to hear from you ..many thanks !

Irene said...

It's best to call them and ask about the rate. We asked our Seoul hotel receptionist to book for us. The owner doesn't really speak English.

Anonymous said...

hello just read about your trip to mt. and my friends are planning to visit on oct. end and we want to ask if its possible to have a day trip there or should we stay overnight. we will be coming from incheon airport and we have not plan w/c goes first.Only dong seoul bus station has direct bus going to mt. sorak. can u indicate where we can take the express bus much easier. thanks

Irene said...

Day trip is possible but it's best to stay overnight. If you like to do hiking, there are many tracks available which you can't do all in one day.
I don't know which bus to take from incheon.

Anonymous said...


Love your korean blog. helps a lot in my planning:)
May I ask is sokcho bus terminal near to mount sorak ? Is there additional bus I need to take from sokcho to mt sorak? thanks and cheers!

Irene said...

From Sokcho bus terminal, take the local bus to Mount Sorak. It probably takes about half an hour to reach there.

Anonymous said...

i wish to stay in the guesthouse. unfortunately I tried email them but to no avail. any suggestion how i reserve the rooms? thanks

Irene said...

Last time we asked our hotel receptionist to book for us.

WoAiJiaFei said...

Hi there,

I know it's been awhile since you went to Mt. Sorak. In your blog, you mentioned upon arrival at Sokcho, you parked the luggages at nearby hotel while you wander around. Was it pre-arranged or by kind gestureour? I was thinking of doing the same while i tour around Sokcho before heading into Sorak area.

Appreciate your advise.


WoAiJiaFei said...

Hi there,

I know it has been a long while since you've been to Mt Sorak. Need your advise about how you park your luggage at nearby hotel (presume it was only temporary) while you wander around Sokcho town. Was it pre-arranged with the hotel?

Appreciate your advise.


Irene said...

We just tried our luck.

deb said...

Hello! I am interested to go to Dolgamja Minbak. Could you tell me how to go? I am coming from Seoul. Please email me at (:

Anonymous said...

hi irene..

may i know how to go to mt sorak from it to take bus from dong seoul terminal? how much bus cost? really hope you can reply me..

thxs in advance =)

Alid Abdul said...

Hey I'm googling about Soeraksan and found your site. I wanna ask, is that mosque in Sokcho or in Seoul.

Really need your answer coz I'll be there (Sokcho) during Qurban day.

thank you so much

Irene said...

That is not a mosque, but a motel that looks like mosque.