If you are looking for a gorgeous place to getaway, then head east to Sokcho City. This incredible city offers gorgeous ocean views as well as some of the best hiking in Korea. Start your day early if you want to tackle Seorak Mountain, the third highest mountain peak in Korea, in time to see the sunrise.
The most popular trail on this mountain takes you 2.25 miles to the peak of Ulsanbawi. Start at the main entrance to the park where you will see a giant bronze Buddha. Next, you’ll pass by two Buddhist temples and through a beautiful forest. Take a moment to rest at Heundeulbawi Rock. On this flat-topped rock there are hand-carved ancient poems. This first half of the hike is suitable for beginner hikers. However, from this point to get to the peak will require a bit more work. While not dangerous, you will get a lung workout as you climb a steep and narrow staircase over 800 steps. If you prefer something less strenuous, this mountain offers a cable car for a small fee that allows you to reach the peak in mere minutes.
Back in Sokcho City, head to the beach to relax. These beaches are beautiful and quiet, the perfect place to unwind after you hike. Sokcho is known for excellent seafood. For adventurous eaters, Sokcho’s specialty, octopus soondae, is a must try. This popular entree is served in bite-sized pieces of octopus, pork, glass noodles, and vegetables mixed together. For something less intimidating, get the crab ramen.
Before heading back home, spend some time walking through the Sokcho market. This bustling market sells everything from fresh seafood to clothing and souvenirs.
Danyang is a gorgeous city known for scenic views and variety of landscapes. Located east of Pyeongtaek, Danyang features small rural communities situated in the valleys between sprawling hills and mountains. It is a popular spot for paragliders to fly over to see the beautiful views. This time of year it is especially wonderful as the trees and flowers are beginning to bloom.
The city’s main attraction is Gosu Cave, discovered in 1970 and newly renovated in 2016. It is believed to be at least 150,000 years old. This cave spans 4,265 feet and has narrow walkways. It features limestone rock formations and more than 120 stalactites and stalagmites, some longer than 30 feet. Before you start exploring the cave you can visit the interactive museum to learn all about how the cave was formed and then excavated.
While you are spelunking through the cave take notice of the beautiful rock formations and you will quickly understand why it is referred to as the ‘underground palace’. Keep your eyes peeled to see cave pearls and cave coral. Try to spot some of the famous rock formations such as the lion, octopus, and eagle.
Above ground once again, head to Chungju Lake. Hop on one of the ferries that traverse the lake to see the ‘Eight Scenic Wonders of Danyang’ including Oksunbong Peak, resembling a bamboo grove, and the tortoise-shaped cliff called Gudambong.
Danyang is the perfect place to visit the natural beauty of Korea. ITT is heading to Danyang in May; learn more on pages 9-10.
Visit ITT for more info on scheduled trips or call at 784-4254