Last weekend we did a whirlwind trip to Sokcho in order to climb Mt. Seoraksan before the masses arrived for viewing the fall colors. Once that happens, all hell breaks loose and you end up taking 3 hours just to take a bus from town to the mountain (usually it's about 20 minutes drive). Since we aren't into all that traffic and insanity we find late September/ early October the perfect time of year to actually do the hiking and climbing in the area because it's not too cold and not too hot and there aren't too many tourists.
Of course, you certainly don't need to climb anything if you go so Seoraksan, you can just hang out in the valley and eat a nice lunch or take the cable car to the to of one of the peaks. Don't feel like you need to put yourself through the hell that is a mountain of stairs. Smart people just grab a cappuccino and sit by the river, or take a quick spin around the temples. We are not smart people so this is how our day went.
Once we were stuffed and caffeinated we headed into Seoraksan and started the hike. Of course, about 10 minutes into the park we stopped off at a cafe for another caffeine fix before charging up the mountain.
Personally though, I think the best part of climbing the mountains in Seoraksan is that you are suffering together. Equally miserable as you hike through beautiful scenery and take in the stunning views. Then you get to complain about how much you hurt for three more days creating a truly bonding experience you will remember for ever.
And when you are finished with the hike you can get more coffee... where you can talk about how pretty it was and not really that hard at all. Which is a totally lie but feels true after you have survived.
Before leaving Sokcho we made one last stop in an area called Sokcho Food Town near "downtown" and stuffed ourselves with some delicious meat. The perfect meal at the end of a long days hike. We needed all the help we could get for the 4 hour drive home that night. These types of trips are brutal, but totally worth it.