The Staircase

Sokch'o Travel Blog

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The staircase

Sokcho is on the east of the Korean penisular and is the gateway to the Seoraksan National Park, possibly the most popular NP in Korea.  The weather is not brilliant so instead of taking the cable car to a viewpoint we walk the path to the summit of Ulsanbawi recommeded as one of the best day walks in the park.

The first hour is a gentle uphill stroll, the next 30 minutes becomes progressively steeper until we are at the foot of the enormous rock that caps the mountain.  From here the path becomes a metal staircase bolted to the rock face.  Though sturdy it is not the place for anyone who suffers vertigo and the walk back down in particular is a little scary.  At the top, 870m above sea level, we are rewarded with excellent views across the park and back down to Sokcho and the Sea of Japan - known in Korea as the East Sea.  For a Tuesday it is surprisingly busy here, which proves just how popular hiking is in Korea.  Koreans also clearly like their hiking gear, everyone apart from us is dressed in co-ordinated lightweight hiking clothes.

We are staying in one of the cheaper hotels just inside the park, comfortable but for the mosquitos.  There are a couple of expensive hotels nearby, the best is the Kensington, which to add authenticity to its English character has imported an old London Routemaster bus which now stands in the hotel driveway.

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The staircase
The staircase
Julie at the summit of Ulsanbawi
Julie at the summit of Ulsanbawi
London bus at the Kensington hotel
London bus at the Kensington hotel
Budda in Seoraksan NP
Budda in Seoraksan NP
Temple roof in Seoraksan NP
Temple roof in Seoraksan NP
Sokch'o
photo by: Riz7