Bike Sokcho

Our lodging, The House Hostel offers free bikes to guests, so an afternoon of cycling was a must.  The port serves as the terminal for Russian ferries (the only one in S. Korea), and the signs in this area are in Russian and Korean.  One friendly local kept trying to welcome us and (unsuccessfully) strike up a conversation in Russian.  Nearby, there is (of course) a pagoda for resting and looking out over the harbor, with a lighthouse out at the end.  The squid boats Sokcho is famous for head out from here in the evening, and the bright lights they display to attract the squid can be seen bobbing on the horizon all night. There are lots of little stalls serving up squid and other seafood, including a whole street of crab restaurants with tanks outside filled to the brim. Following the coast up past Sokcho beach, you pass the Lighthouse Observatory, one of the stops on the Sokcho tourist circuit.

A little further north, cut over to find Yeongnangho Lake.  All the way around its 8 kilometers is a very quiet and peaceful bike trail, with some interesting stops along the way.   Along one shore are A-frame, brick rental villas, that look like fun party pads for families or a group of friends on holiday.  Around the other side, Bombawi rock is shaped like a crouched tiger. You can walk to the top where there is a pagoda with views of downtown, the lake and the harbor. This spot is known as one where a group of Hwarang (elite youths of the Silla period) stopped and admired the beauty of the area on their way home from a period of training. There are several other lookout points, monuments and small gardens and plazas along the way.

On the way home, we couldn’t resist stopping back at the harbor for a squid sausage and an order of tempura (potato, octopus, squid and shrimp).  An old lady passing by with her styrofoam cooler (being used to keep what was inside warm in this case) convinced us to add some sticky rice balls with local potato for 1000 won (a bit less than a dollar).

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About the author

Free-spirited traveler at peace on the slow road. Packs light and treads lightly. Tamara writes about the nomadic lifestyle and slow travel along with budget-friendly tips and destination guides.