Sokcho; the last major city on South Korea’s east coast before the DMZ. It is an international port, the gateway to Seoraksan National Park, and home to a small community of North Korean refugees. Spending a full two days exploring Sokcho and the attractions around it was an awesome experience. Here is a list of four great things to do in Sokcho!
Explore Abai Village
A small island community of North Korean refugees lingers in Sokcho’s Abai Village (아바이마을). Though many residents have moved away from the tiny fishing village, a core group of several hundred remain. The island is a maze of well-preserved homes and seafood restaurants.
Up until recently, the only way to access the island was via the Gaetbae Boat (갯배)–a small raft pulled along a cable. Though a new bridge makes access by car possible, visitors can still pull themselves over on the raft.
Eat Some Abai Sundae
Abai Village has several claims to fame. My personal favorite is its unique take on sundae, a classic Korean dish. Normally, sundae is beef or pork intestines stuffed with all manner of goodness. In Abai Village, the fishing families have concocted a squid variety known as Abai sundae (아바이순대). Instead of stuffing intestines, they just use a squid. The result is salty, hearty, and delicious.
Hike in Seoraksan National Park
Several weeks ago, I wrote about my experience in Seoraksan National Park. It really is one of the most beautiful places in all of Korea. There are phenomenal hiking trails, stunning views, a magnificent Buddha statue, and so many more things to see.
Visit the Goseong DMZ
While the DMZ in Seoul may be a touristy and bustling affair, the Goseong DMZ is decidedly more mellow. It’s a little difficult to reach if you haven’t got your own transportation, but don’t let that dissuade you. It’s absolutely worth a visit, if only for the stunning views of the coast with North Korea in the background.
There you have it! Four awesome things to do in Sokcho. What do you think? Did I miss anything? Let me know your recommendations below.
If you need a place to stay, I’d recommend The House Hostel. The manager, Mr. You, is delightful and is one of the most helpful people I’ve ever met. All the directions to Seoraksan and the DMZ (in their respective posts) are courtesy of him. The location is perfect and the facilities are well-maintained.