Sokcho is a really gorgeous seaside town on the East Coast of Korea. It is accessible by bus from Seoul Express Bus Terminal, the bus takes approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes, depending on traffic. You will arrive at Sokcho Express Bus Terminal. A ticket costs ₩20,300 one way and there are lots of bus times to choose from throughout the day. For an extra ₩6,000 you can upgrade to a premium bus which offers reclining seats, wireless charging and a screen to mirror your phone with.
If staying with a group I would recommend With U Hotel & Guesthouse. We stayed in a hostel dorm and it was great. We all had privacy screens, our own lockers beneath the bed and the beds were super comfy!
If staying with your significant other or your family, you can also stay here in a regular room. The options for this are really affordable for a double room and for a family room.
The common room downstairs is great as it has a Foosball table, a pool table, a projector and lots of board games. The accommodation is right by Express Bus Terminal so if you’ve arrived by bus it’s extremely convenient, it’s also a 4 minute walk to Sokcho Beach.
Address: 3993, Donghae-daero, 24892 Sokcho, South Korea
Book it here on Booking.com.
Things to Do
Seoraksan National Park
This is a must-do if you’re in the area. Many people choose to hike all the way up to the top but we took the cable car instead. To get here, you can take the 1 bus all the way to the cable car entrance. Visibility was pretty poor and we couldn’t really see much as it was a rainy day but during Autumn/Fall the surrounding area is covered in orange/red/yellow foliage so I would suggest going at that time of year. The cable car costs ₩11,000 per person for a round trip.
Address: 1137 Seoraksan-ro, Seorak-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
This was a lot of fun, it was ₩50,000 for 1 hour between 6 people. You can bring food and drinks onto the boat. You are also given fish food to feed the fish. A small motor controls the boat and you are in control of where you go around the lake. It’s a nice way to spend some time with friends, you must wear a life jacket while on board.
Address: Dock in the Lake Park, Seorak Serano, Misiryeong-ro 2983 beon-gil, Jangsa-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do.
Cheoksan Hot Springs
There’s two parts to this Hot Spring Hotel and Spa. One is a foot-bath, which is perfect for soaking your feet after a long day of hiking. The second is a Jimjilbang (korean spa) which has outdoor hot spring baths. We chose to go to the jimjilbang and it was great, had plenty of different temperature baths, I loved going into the 42 degree outdoor bath and then plunging into the ice cold water afterwards. It’s so refreshing. Ticket was ₩9,000.
Address: 327 Gwangwang-ro, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
It’s not the best beach on the East Coast but it’s still nice, the sand is a little bit coarser than other beaches so if you have sensitive feet wear swimming shoes. There aren’t many seaside restaurants/bars or cafés so I would suggest you bring food or buy snacks from Gs25 or 7/11. We were here during a stormy time so you weren’t allowed to swim in the sea, but I have heard it has great waves for surfing and other water sports.
Address: 186 Haeoreum-ro, Joyang-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Food & Drink
Bada Jeongwon Seaside Garden
I loved this place, it was a little further out from downtown Sokcho but it’s definitely worth the trip. It’s a massive building, there is a cafe, restaurant and outdoor garden. They serve coffee, teas, ades and bakery items in the café. The restaurant serves pizza, pasta and seafood. and it has lots of opportunities for insta-worthy photos.
I would suggest that you grab a table on the beach (you may have to watch the tables from afar first and watch if someone is planning to leave to nab one). You can spend hours here just chilling out, it’s a great place to come to hang for the day.
Address: 31 Beorikkae-gil, Toseong-myeon, Goseong-gun, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Lotte Resort Rooftop 9
If you’ve read any of my other guides you may have noticed that I’m a sucker for a nice rooftop bar in a fancy hotel. This place was nice but since the visibility was so poor the view out to the ocean was not as nice as it could be. I would suggest you go at sunset, order a bottle of wine and a cheese board. It’s definitely not cheap but it’s a treat, and you deserve to “treat yo’self”. Cocktails are ₩17,000 and bottles of wine start from ₩40,000.
Address: 9th Floor, Lotte Resort Sokcho, 186 Daepohang-gil, Daepo-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
The village of Cheongho-dong is now the hometown to many people of North Korean ancestry and is commonly referred to as ‘Abai village.’ Many elderly people fled to Cheongho-dong from North Korea during the Korean War. Hamheung Naengmyeon (cold sweet potato and buckwheat noodles) and Squid Sundae (squid stuffed with other seafood) are popular dishes to try here. While in Sokcho, the other foods to try are Red Snow Crab and Grilled Fish.
To get here you can take the Gaetbae Boat, it only needs to travel 50 metres and boat has no engine, so a boatman must pull the rope to move the boat. The cost of the boat is ₩500 per person.
Address: 122-1, Cheongho-ro, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Things to Note
Public transport is not as frequent and reliable as it is in the cities. If you have a car, you should have a much easier time getting around.
Breakfast and brunch restaurants are not common so I would suggest you head to E-mart and buy fruit, bread and other items if you want to have a plentiful breakfast.
Strawberry Picking is a popular activity in Korea, in Sokcho it is only available during the Korean strawberry season which is from December to June. But the best months are February and March. A good place to do this is 응골딸기, Address: 강원도 속초시 노학동 500-6.