Sokcho City is the nearest city to Mount Sorak National park and is usually the starting point for a tour of the Park. Sockho is actually above the 38th parallel and was part of North Korea before (after the war, North Korea Captured kaesong and Onjin peninsula from the south and the South captured Sokcho and the Surrounding areas). It is also the starting point for the Mount Kumgang Tour in North Korea (better views than sorak they say!). Besides Sorak Park, it also has golden sand beaches and numerous hot spring resorts like Hanwa Waterpia, Sorak Waterpia, (Daemyung Sorak Resort in Just inside the border of Sokcho to Kosong-dong!).
When taking the high road through the mountains (instead of the low-level expressway) you get a great view at the mountain crest.
There's a rest stop built there, with lookout platforms providing a spectacular view out over Sokcho to the East Sea.
Leave your hat in the car! It's very windy, and you'll lose it!
At the enterance of Shinheungsa Temple (Seoraksan National Park) is the "Tongil Daebul," the Great Unification Buddha Statue. The 14.6-meter gilt-bronze Buddha statue sits on a 4.3-meter high pedestal made of the same metallic substance and weighs 108 tons. The giant structure represents one important wish of Korean people -- the reunification of the country divided for over half a century.
Seoraksan National Park was designated a Biosphere Preservation District by UNESCO in 1982 (the only one in Korea). It is a wonderland mixture of rugged granite peaks, bubbling waterfalls, deep caves, thick forest and historic Buddhist temples, including Shinhungsa. Since then, the movement to protect Seoraksan gained momentum. Seoraksan can be divided into three parts: Outer-Seorak, Inner-Seorak, and South-Seorak.
Take a hike to the Piryong Falls which will approximately take about 2 hours and 45 minutes at a relaxed pace. The falls is closest one to the entrance. Piryong Pond has been created by some whirlpools of the waterfalls. The pond's length is 15 meters and the width is 20 meters.
This is the most beautiful temple of Korea's east coast. Founded in 671 AD, it's well known for its statue of Gwaneum, the Goddess of Mercy. Completed in 1977, it stands over the coast. The gardens here are absolutely gorgeous.
Apart from the seafood, there's nothing really much to do here. So use this little town as your base to explore Mt Sorak and its hot springs. It's better to stay here as the food here is great and the accomodations are a lot cheaper. Also, there's some drinking joints in town.
The beaches in Sokcho are nice. Great for lounging on...
Lots of convenience stores and restaurants nearby.
The 7th century Shinhungsa temple is the main temple of the area known as Outer Soraksan Mountain. It is a mere 5-10 minutes from the Park entrance and is said to be the older Zen temple in Korea.