Sokcho (속초) Gangwon-do
Naksando Beach - Adam Gregory

In most guide books about Korea, Sokcho (속초) gets written off as a deteriorating, somewhat pathetic city with little to offer domestic or foreign travellers. However, such a negative portrayal of this lovely city can often be chalked up to the writer’s lack of imagination. Sokcho is a city squeezed in between the jagged peaks of Seoraksan National Park and the bubbling East Sea, on the North East Coast of Gangwon Province. While the natural beauty alone should be enough to attract people here, there are plenty of other reasons to visit.

Some of the best things to do in and around Sokcho involve simply just observing the beauty of the area, and its charming people. Lazing about on Sokcho Beach is a fantastic way to spend a weekend. It is clean, family (and foreigner) friendly and, even on busy days, is not uncomfortably crowded. Unlike larger beaches and beach towns in Korea, this beach is free of sand-hogging umbrellas and offers a friendly environment to tourists. There are hundreds of hotels, motels, pensions and minbaks lining the beaches which are clean, simple and inexpensive; perfect for a weekend where you intend to stay outside.

Sokcho can be one of the best places in the country to get to know Koreans. The people around the area are charming, kind and helpful and they have a fantastic collective sense of humor. Combined with the unparalleled natural beauty of the coast and National Park, Sokcho is the perfect spot to spend a relaxed, fun weekend or an extended stay.