As we sailed into the port, we had a wonderful welcome from the town of Sokcho, South Korea, with dancers, women in traditional costumes, and dignitaries from the town.

Ladies dressed in traditional wear in Sokcho, South Korea.
Local dancers and mascot in Sokcho, South Korea.
Young traditional dancer in Sokcho, South Korea.

Once off the ship, we had to go through customs because we had left Japan and entered South Korea. The process took a little time, but it was well organized.

Central Market Area

The town offered a free shuttle bus to the central market area where we walked around. There was a big fish market and other stores around, but nothing terribly impressive. We roamed several of the side streets, but they were mostly residential. There were no parks in the area, and it was very hilly, so we didn’t wander too far from the market.

Central market shops in Sokocho, South Korea.
Live crabs at Sokcho central market.
Dried fish at the Sokcho central market.

This stop did not seem to be developed for tourists, which we usually appreciate. However, since it was our only stop in South Korea, we did not purchase any local currency, and none of the local shops accepted credit cards. Unfortunately, we did not contribute to the economy here.

Sokcho, South Korea central market sign.
Shop in the central market in Sokcho South Korea.
Shops in the central market area of Sokcho, South Korea.

DMZ

We hoped to see the DMZ (the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea). The ship offered an excursion to a viewing platform, but you could only see the mountains from there; it was not the location we had hoped to be able to travel to. The area we wanted to go to was better served by Seol, South Korea, and we didn’t have enough time to go on a private tour there.

Back to the ship

After looking around for a bit, we caught the bus back to the port and returned to the ship.

We really didn’t get a good feel for Sokcho as our time here was limited.

Port view in Sokcho, South Korea.
Small lighthouse near the port in Sokcho, South Korea.
Traffic sign in Sokcho, South Korea.