Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Saturday, September 05, 2015

How To: Mt. Sorak via Dong Seoul Bus Terminal

This is another long-due post as the actual trip was on February 21st, 2014. To get to Seorak-san, u need to get to Sokcho first. Sokcho is the town where Seorak-san National Park is located. U can take the bus at either Seoul Express Bus Station or from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal like we did.

To get to Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, head to  Line 2 (Green Line) Gangbyeon station (Exit 4) and u'll see the bus terminal building across the street once u leave the subway. There is an English bus terminal name on the building itself.

Head to the 2nd floor for the express bus counters. Look for the counter with "Sockcho" written on top. To the right is the next departure time for each destination. 

Tips: The destinations are written in Hangul but on the counter, the destinations are written in both English and Hangul. So u can just match the correct Hangul from both board.
To get to Sokcho, u need to take the bus Yeongdong Line at platform 6. There are 2 types of busses: Express bus or non-stop bus. The one we took was the non-stop bus. 
Fare: KRW17,200
Distance: 184.6km
Duration: 2hrs 20minutes

- Non-Stop Bus : Direct Bus to final destination (no stops)
- Express Bus : Buses that may or may not have a few stops between the final destination
Once u got the tickets, head down to Platform 6. Although we reached the bus station an hour earlier (since the info we googled said the 1st bus out is 6am but apparently it's 7am during winter time), the bus is already there. It's a comfortable 3-seater bus with leather seats. So the 2hrs+ journey  will be over in a jiffy.
In Sokcho, we arrived at a bus station. Note that there are 2 bus stations here: Sokcho Intercity Terminal and Sokcho Express Bus Terminal. We arrived at the Express Bus Terminal [Dongbu Express]. Upon exiting the station, u will see a Tourist Info Office on the left where u can get a map of Sokcho. U can also ask for directions there (we didnt hahaha!).

To get to Seoraksan Mt., u can take either bus 7 or 7-1. I'm not sure if there are other buses but these 2 are the obvious choice based on the timetable below.
To get to the bus stop, turn right (from the bus station). DO NOT CROSS THE STREET (we made the mistake crossing and were told by the bus driver that we're on the wrong side. Luckily we managed to run crossing the street back before the correct bus arrived. We took the 7-1 bus.

Voila! After 20minutes, we arrived safely at Seoraksan carpark and a 5-min walk brought us to the ticket counter.
Entree ticket (adult): KRW3,500
Cable car (adult): KRW9,000 - buy at cable car station

Here's an interesting photo. We went during late Winter and the weather info indicated that it snowed the day before. So u can compare how much it snowed.
We spent 2hrs here and headed back to the same bus station on the same 7-1 bus.
Now, to get back to Seoul. We didnt buy the ticket once we arrived in Sokcho since we're not sure how long we'll be at Seoraksan. So we pretty much gambled our way there. Seeing that they bus from Seoul was only half full, I guess it's not a peak time then. There is a schedule pasted on the counter but unfortunately the lady there didn't speak any English. But we just told her "Seoul" and she gave the next available bus to us; which was at 2.20pm. We had 1.5hrs to wait!
From the schedule above, DongSeoul station is at the lower table and BOLD IN RED (match the name from the earlier bus ticket). Seems there were only 6 trips back to DongSeoul daily. Phewwww! We reached an hour late from the previous trip but it's better early than late. Believe it or not, we got the same exact seat number LOL!
Anyway, to kill our time we had our lunch there as well as people-watching :)

I definitely need to come again and spend more time here. WIth different season (maybe Spring or Summer), there are plenty of things to do!

LInk to Seoraksan National Park (English) -