Impressions from Seoraksan National Park
Seoraksan National Park, in Hangul: 설악산국립공원 and in the revised romanization of Korean: seoraksan-gungnipgong-won, is one of twenty-one national parks of South Korea. It was incorporated on 24th of March 1970, back then it was the 5th national park overall, and it is governed by the Korean National Park Service. The park comprises an area of 398 square kilometres and lies in the North-East of South Korea on the coast of the Sea of Japan. The UNESCO declared it a tentative World Heritage site in 1994 and it has been popular with tourists ever since. With 1,708 metres Daecheongbong is the tallest peak within the boundaries of the national park, but there are several others which feature altitudes of 1,200 metres and more. Mark it on your map if you love nature because it is well-known for spectacular rocky hills and ridges, beautiful landscape and lots of hiking trails. Its rare flora and fauna features over 2,000 animal species and 1,400 plant species, e.g. lots of pine trees, among them the Dwarf Stone Pine which can only be found here in South Korea. Several landmarks are also located in the national park, e.g. Sinheungsa, a Buddhist temple which features an impressive Bronze Buddha called "Tongil Daebul" or Baekdamsa, another Buddhist temple. Sokcho, only a twenty minute drive by bus number 7 away, acts as a gateway and is also very popular with tourists due to its hot springs, excellent fresh fish and beaches.