On this trip to Korea, my friends and I visited all the key places, including Hongdae, Myeongdong, Ewha and Gwangjang market. We also decided to take a trip up to Sokcho, somewhere perhaps not on everyone’s itinerary. Sokcho is a small town on the outskirt of Seoul with a 2.5h bus journey up. They’re famous for their seafood, being located by a beach and have many niche, artisanal shops that you won’t usually find in city areas. We stayed in a cute little hotel-like hostel, where many students stay for a short trip. They had a lounge area with board games and we saw many students order fried chicken back to chill and eat. We stayed a total of only 2 days and this was what we got up to.
Kyungbok restaurant 경북 식당
A simple restaurant serving basic Korean soups and dishes nearby our hostel, Kyungbok restaurant sells food for the locals with a menu in only Korean. We struggled a little to decipher what we wanted to eat but managed to order a kimchi soup, beef stew, sundubu jjigae (tofu stew) and my personal favourite, Doenjang jjigae (Bean paste stew). Our main dishes came with a wide variety of side dishes from kimchi to seasoned bean sprouts and fishcake. While I wouldn’t say it is a ‘must-go’, it’s definitely homemade goodness and a simple meal with lovely staff.
Beolbong restaurant 벌봉 식당
Unfortunately, I can’t find the exact address of this little shop, but if you chance upon it, do pay it a visit. This little shop tucked away in an alley just away from 88 Saengseon Gui, served a wide variety of dishes from Sundae stuffed with brown rice to stuffed squid and grilled fish. While the fishes aren’t cooked fresh in front of you like 88 Saengseon Gui ones as mentioned below, they are really well seasoned and delicious. We ended up at this shop because it was pretty late at night and 88 Saengseon Gui was closed, leaving our hungry stomach to suffer. I guess it was a blessing in disguise because the food here was great and we managed to have different types of amazing seafood in just 2 days.
88 Saengseon Gui, Sokcho
The freshest and best seafood grill I’ve ever had. This place is famous in Sokcho for their seafood, served raw on a grill and cooked right in front of you to charred, crispy perfection. The ahjummas and staff working there serve you the items based on pax so it saves you the struggle of ordering and allows you to eat whatever they deem the freshest and tastiest. The four of us at the table had such a wide variety of fishes and squid and had more than enough to eat after stuffing ourselves full. The price was also incredibly affordable, at 48000 won altogether ( <SGD $15 per person). This place is a definite must-go, I highly recommend it!
TIP: The crowd starts to flood in about noon time, so if you want to avoid the insanely long queues, try to beat the crowd by heading there for an early lunch. The restaurant also closes pretty early, about 9 pm, just to note!
Address: 71, Jungangbudu-gil, Sokcho, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Tel: +82 33-633-8892
Seoraksan National Park
Seoraksan national park is a pretty popular destination among tourists and is perhaps the main point of attraction that brings the crowd into this little town. It’s located in a national park with a cable car ride provided to the top if you aren’t into hiking. The cable car fee is 10,000 won per adult (~SGD $12) and is a 5 min journey with a stellar view. When you reach the top, you just have to track up a little more to reach the peak. At the peak of Seorakson, it’s common to find rocks stacked on top of each other to form a mini structure of sorts. People believe that the higher you stack the rocks and make a wish, the higher chance of your wish coming true.
TIP: When traveling to Sokcho, try to do so on a weekday that is not a public holiday. Unfortunately for us, we happened to travel up on a public holiday without knowing and a 2.5h journey became 5h.
Adress: 1085, Seoraksan-ro, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
강원도 속초시 설악산로 1085 (설악동)
Bus from Seoul Express terminal to Sockcho Intercity Bus Terminal
No.7 or 7-1 from sokcho terminal.
This is actually my 2nd time in Korea and it is also my 2nd time in Sokcho. The last time I went, I had seafood pancake at this very same store and since then till now (5 years ago), the standard has not dropped. When visiting Mount Seorak, be sure to spot this iconic seafood pancake store at the base, which cooks and plates giant seafood pancakes on the spot. They’re really greasy and probably not too healthy, but is the perfect comfort food especially in cold weather.
I hope you enjoyed this post and do let me know if you’re headed to Korea and want to check out these stops/ have any recommendations for my next trip! Have a lovely week ahead!
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