Situated on the north eastern coast of South Korea, many visitors often give this coastal city a miss when they come to this part of the country. Many have only one aim - to head to the nearby hill resort -Seoraksan.
We were pleasantly surprised with what Sokcho has to offer when we decided to leave Seorak-dong and spent a couple of days there on September 22, 09.
We desperately wanted a change from the regular, and pricer kimchi based stuff they offered at Seorak-dong, thus Sokcho easily become the obvious choice when it comes to looking for a more delightful choices of Korean food and value for money.
We found the harbor to be a seafood paradise.
If raw squid sushi catches your fancy, then head to the Marine Police base across from the City Hall. There, twenty something squid stalls are operated by mostly women. They will sell you 4 giant squids from W10,000, but you need to bargain hard.
Apparently September is the peak harvest season for squids. The locals too come in full force to fish for squids and you can watch them engage in their favorite past time not far from these makeshift stalls.
When you have agreed on the price, they will net the squids fresh from special water tanks and slice them into pieces using knifes and special squid shredder. All these are over in just a few minutes.
The dish come with tiny onion cuts and green chilles on top of the servings and a packet of spicy red sauce which is extra W1000, and there you'll have your fresh squid sushi. You eat Sokcho sushi by taking the cut squid in a paper cup and mixing it with the hot sauce.
There are also unforgetable seafood delights at the edge of the port near the lighthouse and the Sokcho pavillion. The building housing the sushi foodstalls are located opposite the pathway to the pavillion and it is a short walk from the large parking area to the far end near the massive tidal breaker.
You can order the meals from many fresh seafood sellers downstairs and you enjoy the meals upstairs overlooking the inner harbor.
The services are fast and friendly and you know it is a good place to enjoy food when the locals head there too.
Anyone who loves seafood should seriously consider making a stop at Sokcho.
Miss Kim Chol Yeon from the local tourist office who mans the tourist booth just outside the Sokcho Express Bus Terminal is a great help if you have just arrived in Sokcho and need information.