When we were in Mt. Sorak, we have plenty of opportunities and time to observe the many local Korean tourists. We observed the following observations (just opinions) - confirmed by some foreigners who have lived in Seoul.
1) Korean honeymoon couples were identical clothes like inseparable twins.
2) There is a strong homogenity, Korean women in same hiking groups, have same hairdo, wear same color and thickness of lipstick, similar patterns of sweaters.
3) Many elderly Koreans are physically very fit and tough. They can outhike me anytime.
4) Loud arguments or open fist fights may happen between men and women especially after a few rounds of soju (alcoholic). So do not be surprised.
We were there in autumn, the changing color of the foliage added an incredible amount of beauty to Mt. Sorak. I have not been there during other seasons but would recommend autumn as a great time to be there.
From the postcards, the winter scenes are beautiful too but the hiking at the trails at that time would probably be icey and dicey. For skiers, winter may be another reason to visit.
Favorite thing: Unlike most bean curd in asia, here in Sockcho city, they like it uncurdled. It taste different from the curdled ones and is sort of bland but you must taste it since it is a specialty here! cost is 3,000 won an order with free kimchi and is available everyhwere!
Map of Mount Sorak National Park are located in Strategic Areas and are written in Korean and English but I would suggest that you can just get free brochures with the maps included at the ticket booth before buying the entrance tickets to save you time plus you can plan your mode of exploring the park!
Fondest memory: the free maps and the large maps around the mount sorak park
Favorite thing: Mt Sorak National Park is known for its famous autumn colours and the best time to experience it is from mid October to early November. However, you must be prepared for the huge crowd during this period who are there for the same purpose. I managed to catch some autumn colours during early Oct 2005 and the photos are at the travelogue section of this VT page.
Favorite thing: If you want to leave a message at Mt Sorak National Park, you can do it traditionally by writing them onto black tiles as shown in this photograph. The place to do this is just next to the giant Buddha statue near to the park entrance.
Favorite thing: One of the most fantastic experience was seeing the clouds blown by the strong wind, creating a beautiful effect of dancing clouds. This phenomenon lasted for a few hours & I was lucky to be able to watch it at the hotel room's balcony.
Favorite thing: The giant buddha statue at the park entrance is not to be missed if you are at Mount Seoraksan National Park. Apparently, this buddha statue is very famous in South Korea and many Buddhists actually make wishes by lighting huge candles (can be bought from the shop next to the statue) and placing them at the containers at the bottom of the statue.
Tel] 033 - 636 - 7362
- Adults: 5,000won (Middle Schooler and over)
- Children: 3,000won (4yr. ~ Elementary (13yr.) 3 and below, free)
Favorite thing: This is a Specialty of Sokcho City so I would Recommend that you Try It. Is costs 12,000 won an Order (with rice and lots of kimchi) and is available everywhere!
Soraksan National Park is a beautiful place and we had a lovely weekend exploring the park back in 2001.
We're going back this weekend so hopefully have some more pics and tips soon.
Favorite thing: If you take the cable car or go for one of the many treks in the park, there are many chances for you to view the mountains and the beautiful landscape from up there.
Favorite thing: One of the good memories of the trip are the beautiful flowers, thanks to the cool and humid weather of the mountains.
Favorite thing: Because of the moist and cooling enviroment of the forest, you can see fungus growing on trees and rotten wood on the ground.
Fondest memory: There are several ancient temples & hermitages situated in the mountains which add to the mystique of the place.