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Catching a Pokemon & Enjoying the Seascape, Sokcho

Many Things to See and Eat...A Popular Travel Spot Gratifing All Five Senses, Sokcho
Tourists are flocking to Sokcho in Gangwon Province to catch a cute pokemon, Pikachu, a popular animation character. Although Pokemon Go, an augmented reality game that became a mega-hit worldwide, has not been formally launched in Korea yet, a rumor has it that one can collect pokemon in and around Sokcho, so vacationers with handheld devices have swarmed the city. Many travel agencies have jumped on the chance to release game-related travel packages and the city administration is welcoming tourists by introducing spots where pokemon characters appear more frequently. In this issue, Korea AgraFood would like to introduce you to must-sees and must-eats of Sokcho, a tourist destination enjoying a rapid rise in popularity thanks to Pokemon Go.

● Tourist Attractions
 

* Abai Village Ferry
The Abai village ferry, known as “gaetbae” in Korean, is a means of transportation connecting two neighborhoods, Jungang-dong and Cheongho-dong, in Sokcho City. Made famous by the Korean TV drama Autumn Fairy Tale, the ferry is operated by a ferryman who pulls a metal chain with a hook to move the ferry forward. Passengers on board can also pull the rope if they would like to try. The ferry runs from 4 am to 11 pm, with a one-way fare of 200 KRW for an adult and 100 KRW for a child.
 

* Seoraksan Cable Car
Taking a ride on a cable car is a good way to view charming Seorak Mountains in a short span of time. The attraction is so popular that during the vacation season and on the weekend, one may have to stand in line for two to three hours. The experience is worth such a long wait, however: a beautiful scenery of the mountains and its famous peaks, such as Ulsan-bawi, the Sokcho City, and vast East Sea can be viewed from the cable car. After disembarking from the cable car and hiking for 20 to 30 minutes, visitors arrive at Gwongeumseong, a fortress from which they can see the outer lines of Seorak Mountains, called Oeseorak.

 

* Sokcho Lighthouse Observatory
The Sokcho lighthouse observatory offers fabulous panoramic views of Sokcho, the East Sea, and Seorak Mountains. It takes about five minutes for an adult to reach the observatory by climbing a vertical stairway. Extra caution should be taken as the stairway is very steep. The observatory is composed of an image hall and a promotion hall. Through the binoculars installed in the observatory, visitors can enjoy an unobstructed view of the sea and surrounding areas. Entrance is free of charge.

 

* Other Tourist Attractions
Other charming attractions of the Sokcho area include Sokcho Seorak Sunrise Park, Daepo Port, and Dongmyeong Port. At the sunrise park, located on a forked road stretching to Seorak Mountains, tourists can visit Sunrise Square, stroll on the Walk for Couples, Walk of Happiness, and Walk of Love, and look at variously themed sculptures and an illuminated fountain. Halibut and flatfish caught by local fishermen are processed at the Daepo and Dongmyeong ports. You can enjoy diverse fresh marine products in numerous live fish and sushi restaurants clustered in the ports.

● Must-Eats
 

* Sokcho Dakgangjeong
Sokcho dakgangjeong (sweet and sour chicken skewers or nuggets) is a popular snack of the Sokcho area. It is made by seasoning crispy fried chicken with a sauce made of grain syrup and hot pepper. The chicken is crispy outside and soft inside. The taste of the dish varies from store to store based on how chicken is fried and what special ingredients are added. Tourists can try different tastes of the same dish and even have some delivered to their homes as the chicken remains crispy even after cooling.
 

* Abai Sundae and Ojingeo Sundae
Ojingeo sundae (stuffed squid) is made by stuffing a cleaned squid with chopped dried radish, carrot, onion, and perilla leaves. With its pleasant chewiness and clean taste, this highly nutritious dish makes a good meal. Abai sundae (North Korean-style sausage), which is famous as a food of displaced North Koreans, contains more vegetables than other types of sundae. The dish is served in many restaurants in and around Abai Village in Cheongho-dong and at the Sokcho Tourist and Fishery Market across from the Abai Village Ferry dock.
 

* Grilled Fish
As befitting of a city skirting the sea, Sokcho delights its visitors with various types of grilled fish. Many restaurants off the coast offer grilled dishes made with fresh-caught fish such as Spanish mackerel, saury, sand lance, sailfin sandfish, and toothfish. Sauces served with the fish enrich its taste.

* Travel Tips / Spots Where You Can Frequently Encounter Pokemons
If you are going to Sokcho to capture Pikachu and other characters of Pokemon Go, make sure to visit the following places: Sokcho Expo Park, Sokcho Beach, Sokcho Express Bus Terminal, Sokcho Jungang Market, Yeongrang Lake, and Naksan Temple.

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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