Autumn is happening now at the northern hemisphere countries. It might be funny to decide that autumn is my most favourite season of the year, despite the fact that I have lived in two season country for my whole life and only tasted autumn for twice. Moreover, both of it weren’t the peak of foliage. But still, I do love autumn for many sentimental reasons. I don’t think I need to write it now; all of those reasons, since you might have guessed, it was all about being broken hearted around the striking scenery, when sad love stories were least expected. Or…failed romance in the presence of most romantic and dramatic season. Truthfully, the other part of me now is thinking of writing about those reasons separetly. *grin* *evil grin* 😀 😀 😉
And speaking of autumn and its impressive dramatic scenery, I can not left out Sokcho, one of which places that I have visited during the season.
I touched about Sokcho couples times, however I still feel like sharing my mini guide about this stealer-of-my-heart-city. I do hope this gives a little bit enlightment about Sokcho, and of course throught my eyes and taste.
Panduan dalam Bahasa Indonesia di sini.
Located about 260 km northeast of Incheon International Airport, Sokcho is infamous for both local and international visitors. Seorak Mountain in all seasons might be the main reason for visiting this northern city, however Sokcho can offer more than that. As one of boarders of South Korea and its relative country, North Korea. Once was part of North Korea, Sokcho has its own history which affects its unique or distinctive culture, foods, customes, and many other aspects of life, compares to the rest cities in the South Peninsula. Moreover, Sokcho has long range landscape, from the impressive mountains to the striking ocean (Donghae) and all its resources. The whole packet which makes Sokcho blessedfully attractive and alluring. And it also has stolen littel part of my heart. One of few cities that I would love to visit again and again, if I have another chance to visit Seouth Korea.
Get to Sokcho
The most popular and also convenient way to get in to Sokcho is by bus, whether from Seoul or Incheon International Airport. There is no train serves Sokcho, neither airplane. The closest airport to get in to Sokcho is via Yangyang Airport, which is located few kilometers from Daepong-dong at south.
|Incheon International Airport||Sokcho Bus Terminal, Dong-myeon||300,000||2′ 40″||every 30 minutes|
|Sokcho Bus Terminal, Dongmyeon||Dongseoul Bus Terminal (Seoul)||17, 300||2′ 10″||every 30 minutes|
|Chuncheon||Sokcho Bus Terminal, Dongmyeon||13,400||2 hr||17 buses/day 06:15 – 20:00)|
No ferry serves from Seoul, but the Sokcho Port serves ferry from Zarubino, near Vladivostok on Russian east coast (from Wikipedia).
One thing that causes defect to my Sokcho trip was on how to get around the city. I mean, if we already get used to the convenient Seoul’s subway, roaming around Sokcho will be challenging because there are only bus and taxi. Taxi always is my last choice, as for bus, it passes only the city’s main road, and the frequency is kind of another challenge to your patient. So I think the city is the best enjoyed in slow pace. Not in hurry. Give your time, enjoy the ride.
This is one reason why I chose to stay close to the main bus terminal and any places that I attracted to spend my time.
Where to stay
Place for staying is something not to worry about. Plenty of hostel, hotel, and resort are available in Sokcho. Most of them are rowing close to the Sokcho beach in Joyang-dong, or in Dongmyeong-dong, Seorak-dong, Daepo-dong, and any other cities in Sokcho downtown.
“IT” things in Sokcho
Lots of!!. 😀 😀
I don’t think one day is enough or even days. Like I mentioned above, Sokcho is full of numerous interesting things to do; varied from scenery, foods, culture, and customs. However, here are the highlights from me.
8 Sceneries of Sokcho
When I was there, the city had promoted what it called, 8 sceneries of Sokcho. It consisted of 8 different places on how to see the best landscape of the entire Sokcho.
- Sokcho Lighthouse Observatory (Sokcho Deungdaejeonmangde)
- Sokcho Yeongnangho Beombawi
- Mount Choeng View
- Cheogcho Lake (Cheongcho-ho )
- Sokcho Beach, Jodo Islet View
- Daepo Oeongchi
- Seorak Sunrise Park
- Sangdomun Hakmujeong
Sokcho “IT” things according to district
Dongmyeong-dong, Geumho-dong, Jungang-dong, Gyo-dong
I mention Dongmyeong-dong first because I stayed there and it is also where the main intercity bus terminal lies.
All four of mention districts are the most crowd areas. The typical center of government where the important transportation lies, such as main bus terminal and international port for passangers. Besides that, those district are also filled with many raw fish restaurants complex, markets, hotel, hostel, resort. Hwangso (Ox) Plaza, Sokcho Fishery Market, and the popular Sokcho Lighthouse Observatory are also pasr of the district. I suggest to stay here for the accessibility.
I suggest visiting or even staying in Cheongho-dong for anyone who loves the sight of water like massive lake or limitless sight of the ocean because this district has East Sea (Donghae) as its east limit and striking Cheong Lake (Cheong ho) on its west. Adding to that, Abai fishers village is part of this area, including the whole tempting fishery product restaurants.
Giving similar feeling to Cheongho-dong, Joyang-dong has all it takes to be adored by the water lovers. It marks the south border of striking Cheongho Lake completed by being lied at the eastern coastal. Joyang-dong is the most favorite choice in summer, when Sokcho beach opens all its facilities, which can not be accessed in the other seasons.
Lies on the east coastal, Daepong-dong revolves around the East Sea (Donghae). Seorak Sunrise Park, one of 8 Sokcho’s best sceneries is part of Daepong-dong.
Domun-dong, Nohak-dong, Jangsa-dong
The three districts are located at the west and southwest of Sokcho. They all are lesser crowd; however still fill with daily staple facilities. All of them offer different yet interesting attraction such as Seorak Waterpia and numerous hotspring resorts. Balhae History Hall and Sokcho Municipal Museum Cultural Village of the Displaced which provides the history and culture of Sokcho, ranging feature of the city’s civilization that has developed over centuries. Adding to that, Haksapyeong Sundubu Maeul is also part of the Nohak-dong.
As expected from its name, Seorak-dong covers the area around the foot of Seorak Mountain. There are hotels close to the gateway to Seorak Mountain from Sokcho downtown.
Yeongnang-dong is dominated by the civilization, however the magnificent Yeongnang Lake along with Yeongnangho Beombawi, one of the 8 Sokcho’s best scenaries can be found in this district.
“IT” Foods in Sokcho
My most favorite part when talking about Sokcho. Like I mentioned above, Sokcho is one of cities in South Korea with wide range of culinary. From Sundubu jiggae for the mountain people in the west to the Abai sundae or fishery product of people from the east coast.
I wrote my seven choices foods of Sokcho here.
If you cannot try all of that seven foods like me, you might have at least this 4 dishes before leaving the city. Besides It cannot be attained outside Sokcho, even if you could have it, I quarantee, the taste might be different, I experienced Ojinggeo sundae (squid sundae) once at one flea market in Seoul, the taste was so bad and the price was costly. Not forget to mention it was lack of freshness. Totally not recommended. So much better have it in Sokcho.
Abai sundae & Ojingeo sundae (squid sundae)
Sundae is widely consumed in entire South Korea. However, what makes Abai sundae an highlight is the fillings and its origin. Abai sundae is originated from Abai village, a small fisher village at the east coast of Sokcho. The filling are various vegetables and sweet rice, stuffed in to hog intestines. When the Abai village people run out of hog intestine, they replace it with giant squid, and name it Ojingeo sundae.
Sundubu Jjigae (Soft tofu soup)
Meanwhile, at the opposite pole to Abai village, lies at the foot of Seorak Mountains, comes sundubu jjigae (soft tofu soup), which is appointed as one of the most representative traditional Korean delicacies. The tofu is specially made by using the processed saltwater.
For the love of Sokcho’s soft tofu, there is an area called Haksapyeong Sundubu Maeul (Sundubu Village Haksapyeong) in Nohak-dong, which is dedicated only for sundubu cuisines. Restaurants are rowing there, serving the most authentic sundubu in its originated city, Sokcho.
I think anywhere in the world has the same stuff when it comes to fried chicken, but South Korea, especially Sokcho. The city puts fried chicken on one level higher than the rest of the world. I had no idea about this, before I met few Soulitics who would not go back to Seoul until they brought with them boxes of Sokcho’s fried chicken for the love ones. (I even saw those boxes reached up to the Ulsanbawi peak).
There are plenty of restaurants that serve fried chicken in Sokcho, especially at the Fishery Market. There are two restaurants that win the heart of the people. Even though they said that kind of fried chicken was a late night snack, they would love to be in line since early morning, even before the business opened yet. What a love I do want to have! 😀
The most popular is the sweet (honey) spicy fried chicken. It is really good to have with beers and friends. Trust me! ❤
So, when life in Sokcho revolves around Donghae (East Sea), great seafood is highly expected. Just mention what kinds of fishery product you want to have, Sokcho has it all. From the raw dishes like sashimi, assorted boiled seafood, grilled fish, dried Pollack, and to whatever you are starving. Especially the east coast area, they all have it delicious and fresh from the ocean.
So, my mini guide about Sokcho stops there, at the food issue. ❤ 🙂
Please free to talk about this guide on the comment column.