Seoraksan National Park is the most beautiful park in South Korea. It is located in the northeast of the country and is ideal for taking some nice walks. But you can also visit some special caves, waterfalls and temples here. Are you here in the autumn? Then you can enjoy the beautiful autumn colors and take the most beautiful pictures. Seoraksan National Park is therefore definitely not to be missed during your trip through South Korea. Let’s go to Seoraksan…!
What would you like to know about Seoraksan National Park in South Korea?
- History of Seoraksan National Park – This is what you need to know …
- Accommodation – Where to stay?
- Sightseeing in Seoraksan National Park – What to see and do?
- Transportation – How to get there?
History of Seoraksan National Park – This is what you need to know …
Seoraksan National park is named after the highest mountain in this area, Seoraksan. With a height of 1708 meters, this makes it the third highest in the country, after Mount Hallesan on Jeju Island and Jirisan in the south. Since 1965 it has been a nature reserve and it received the designation of National Park from the South Korean government in 1970. Unesco added the title of Biosphere Reserve in 1982, which means it is a nature reserve where biodiversity and genetic values are protected. Here you will find 1,500 animal species and more than 1,000 different plants in an area of 163 hectares. An extraordinary park therefore …!
Accommodation – Where to stay?
Before you visit this beautiful park in the northeast of South Korea you should first know where you can stay. For example, there are a number of access roads that lead to In principle, there are a number of options.
Sokcho: This town of 80,000 inhabitants northeast of the park is more or less the main gateway to Seoraksan. From here, buses leave to take you to the entrance, which we know by the name of Sogongwon, in just over half an hour. Want to stay overnight in Sokcho? Then check here for the possibilities.
Sogongwon: This is the most touristy entrance to Seoraksan National Park. I myself also chose this place and stayed overnight at The Red House. Advantage is that you can walk to the entrance, because it is located 1.5 kilometers from this hotel / hostel. The disadvantage is that there is little to do in the area except for a few small restaurants and stores. If you want more crowds, then Sokcho is a better option.
Baekdam Village in the northwest of the park is another gateway to Seoraksan National Park. Here you can hike to Baekdamsa Temple, but it is also possible to do a Temple Stay, a unique experience in South Korea. Check out the Temple Stay website for more information. Buses to Baekdam Village, also called Yondae-Ri leave from Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal.
Oseak is another option. This is the closest route to Seoraksan, but the climb to the top is steep and takes about 7 hours up and down. In addition, the options for a shorter hike are limited. What is nice about this part of the park is that after a hike you can relax in one of the hot springs that can be found there.
Sightseeing in Seoraksan National Park – What to see and do?
As I mentioned earlier, I stayed near Sogongwon. This turned out to be an excellent choice, because from here I spent two days doing beautiful hikes in the area. Below is a brief description of these walks and an interesting third option for people who are not too good on their feet or who like to walk a lot …
Towangseong: After you pass the entrance, turn left at one of the first possibilities. This is also called the walk of the three waterfalls, the Biryong Falls, the Yukdam Falls and the Towangseong Falls. It’s a relatively short hike, but after the second waterfall, it gets steeper and you walk up a lot of stairs in particular. In the end, of course, the view from the top is beautiful and well worth the effort. Going there and back takes about 2 hours.
Ulsanbawi: An absolute must is the hike to the top of the Ulsan Rock, also called Ulsanbawi. It is one of the highlights of a visit to Seoraksan National Park and from the top you have an insanely beautiful view over the park and the city of Sokcho. From the entrance you pass the large Buddha and come along Sinheung-Sa, a temple complex dating from 652 AD. The start is fairly flat and after visiting a temple cave, the climb up to the 873 meter high Ulsan Rock begins. Up there, the view is magnificent. The hike there and back takes about 4 hours.
Cable car: Another option is to use the cable car. This is located at the beginning of the park and if you don’t want to climb too much, but do want to enjoy the beautiful view, this is a great solution. On top of the mountain you can take a small walk. The use of the cable car does, of course, incur additional costs.
Finally, in Seoraksan National Park you can do more hikes than the ones described above. Are you a really good hiker and do you want to climb Seoraksan? This is possible from all three access roads and spending the night in a sleeping hut is possible. Reservations in advance are mandatory. Check the website of Korea National Park Service for more information.
Transportation – How to get there?
The best way to get to Seorakasan National Park from Seoul is to take a bus to Sokcho via Seoul Express Bus Terminal (Seoul Gyeongbu). From Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal, you can then find another bus to the three gateways to Seoraksan described earlier. For Sogongwon, catch bus 7 or 7 1 just outside the Terminal.
Next destination in South Korea?
Looking for your next destination in South Korea? Heading south, visit the cultural city of Gangneung. Or visit the quaint coastal town of Jeongdongjin, best known for the remarkable Sun Cruise Resort, a hotel shaped like a cruise ship. Or head even further south and visit Samcheok and Haesindang Park, South Korea’s Penis Park. For the west, catch a bus to the capital Seoul.
Do you have more tips, ideas or comments about the beautiful Seoraksan National Park in South Korea? Then feel free to leave a comment below.