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Getting There

There is a tiny international airport at Yangyang (YNY), 281-1, Dongho-li, Sonyang-myeon (tel. 033/670-7312 or 7); there are flights from Busan (once a day) and Jeju-do, as well as charter flights from China, Japan, or Taiwan. Check with China Southern Airlines (www.csair.com), Jeju Air (www.jejuair.net), or Korean Air (www.koreanair.com) for flight info.

There are no rail lines that will take you directly from Seoul or Busan to Seoraksan, but you can take a bus. The closest train station is at Jeongdongjin. From there, you can take a bus to Sokcho. There are local buses from Jeongdongjin to Sokcho seven times a day which cost W1,700. Buses also go to Samcheok three times a day. Airport limousine buses run three times a day from Yangyang and go to various places, including Naksan, Sokcho, and Tongil Park. Fares range from W1,000 to Naksan to W6,400 to Tongil Park.

From Seoul Express Bus Terminal, 19-3 Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu (tel. 02/535-4151), or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, 546-1 Guui-dong, Seongdong-gu (tel. 02/446-8000), take a bus to Sokcho city. Buses from Seoul Express Terminal start leaving at 6:30am in 30- to 60-minute intervals and stop running at 11:30pm. Buses from the Dong Seoul Terminal depart daily every 1 1/2 hours from 7am to 7pm. The trip takes about 4 hours from either station and costs anywhere from W12,800 to W20,700. There is a 20-minute rest stop after about 2 hours. From Sokcho, take bus no. 7 or 7-1 for Seorak-dong and it will take you to Outer Seorak (Oeseorak). The local bus costs about W1,000 and takes about 30 minutes.

Driving from Seoul, now that the Yeongdong highway (road 50) is completed, it takes only about 3 hours to get to Seoraksan (sans traffic, of course). If you can spare the time and prefer to take more scenic routes, opt for one of many mountain roads that wind around the terrain of Gangwon-do to Seoraksan. Once inside the national park, you'll have to hoof it.

A South Korean travel agency, Exodus DMC (tel. 031/907-8044, ext. 5; fax 031/907-2393; exodusdmc@koreabound.com; Mon-Fri 9am-6pm), offers 3-day/2-night trips from Seoul to Mt. Seorak, which includes a stop in Hwajinpo, a coastal town where North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung and his family, including his son, current North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il, used to spend their summer holidays before it became part of South Korea.

Getting Around

Since much of Seoraksan is protected natural preserves, there are no buses running through the park. However, buses from nearby towns will bring you to the park's entrance. From there your best bet is to walk or take a taxi to the sections you'd like to see. You may wish to rent a car to give yourself maximum freedom to get around. I suggest renting a car in Seoul and driving here. If you wait until you're in the area, you can rent a car at most of the higher-end hotels or from Seorak Park Rent-a-Car (the Gangneung branch, tel. 033/651-8006, or the Gangwon branch, tel. 033/652-4266).

Visitor Information -- The official Seoraksan National Park Management Office website is at http://english.knps.or.kr/Knp/Seoraksan/; or call tel. 033/636-7702 in Sokcho, tel. 033/672-2883 or 033/462-2554 in Osaek, or tel. 033/463-3476 in Inje. There is a tourist information center (tel. 033/639-2689) at the Sokcho Express Bus Terminal, which is open daily from 9am to 6pm, but closed in January.

Fast Facts

The closest "village" to Seoraksan is Seorak-dong, a man-made, hypertouristy enclave of hotels, motels, restaurants, and souvenir shops.

Banks, Foreign Exchange & ATMs A veritable tourist trap, Seorak-dong is the most convenient, though not the most economical, place to get your money exchanged (at the currency exchange desks of high-end banks). You're better off looking for ATMs, which are fairly easy to find.

Post Office The post office (Mon-Fri 9am-4:30pm) is at 46-119 Seorak-dong, Sokcho-si (tel. 033/636-7002).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.