Updated: 16 March 2017
We’ve just recently been to Sokcho and the awesome Seoraksan National Park (also known as Mount Seorak) and getting here wasn’t too difficult. Finding out how to actually get to Seoraksan from Seoul was a little bit challenging so I thought I’d whip up a few quick tips for those wanting to do it themselves.
- Catch a metro train to Gangbyeon Station in Seoul which is on Line 2 — the green line.
- Exit at exit #4 at Gangbyeon Station.
- Walk across the road into the bus terminal (known as Dong-Seoul Bus Terminal or the East Seoul Bus Terminal) and simply buy a bus ticket to Sokcho. The cost at time of writing was 17,300 Won and travel time including stops was 3 hours. Don’t get all wound up about whether to buy the express bus or not. Just buy a ticket for the next departing bus — there are over 40 departures per day to Sokcho between about 6am and 11pm.
- Note: The Dong-Seoul Terminal is a different terminal to the Seoul Express Terminal which is in Gangnam. If you catch a bus from the Seoul Express Terminal, the instructions below are more or less the same, but the departure point is in Gangnam (Metro Line 3 Orange). Buses from the Seoul Express Terminal are direct whereas buses from Dong-Seoul drop off along the way.
- Get off the bus at its final destination, the Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal. You have arrived in Sokcho! Walk to wherever your hotel is or catch a local bus direct to the national park or your hotel if it’s on the road to the Seoraksan national park (see next point).
- Walk out of the Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal and turn right. This is important. About 50-100m down the road is a local bus stop (on the same side of the road as the bus terminal). Wait here and flag down bus 7 or 7-1 when it arrives. Buses are supposed to arrive approximately half hourly, but they don’t necessarily run to time. (if you happen to arrive at the Sokcho Express Bus Terminal, bus 7 and 7-1 can transport you to Seoraksan or Sokcho centre — depends on which side of the road you catch it from)
- The bus costs 1,100 Won and needs to be paid in exact change. Pop the money into the plastic box as you enter the bus. Tell the driver where you need to get off and he will stop for you. Best to have the name of your hotel and address on a piece of paper in Korean characters! The journey will take around 40 minutes to most of the hotels along the road to the national park.
- Bonus tip: It’s bus 7 and 7-1 which plies the route from Sokcho to Seoraksan National Park all day, back and forth, meaning it’s also the bus you’ll use to get to the national park from your hotel when you’re ready to make that trip.
So there you have it. Seoul to Sokcho and Seorakson in a few easy steps!
P.S. I’ve been receiving a lot of emails asking if it’s possible to self-drive to Seoraksan. Yes it is! All you need to do is hire a car from Seoul and hit the road. It’ll take under 3 hours and you won’t have to stuff around with buses. I’ve recently been using these guys for hiring cars all over the world. They’re basically the skyscanner of car hire. You should be able to get a car for about $50 per day.
P.P.S. People have also been asking where to stay in Seoraksan. I stayed at cheap but decent Goodstay Smile Resort. I got a good deal on booking.com and paid about $35 per night –> Check current prices here.