is the highest mountain in the Taebaek mountain range (태백산맥) in the Gangwon province in eastern South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...
. It is located in a national park near the city of Sokcho
Sokcho is a city in Gangwon-do province, South Korea. It is located in the far northeast of Gangwon-do. Lying north of the 38th parallel, the city belonged to North Korea from 1945 until the end of the Korean War, when the dividing line between the two Korean states was officially altered....
. After the Hallasan
Hallasan is a shield volcano on Jeju Island of South Korea. Hallasan is the highest mountain of South Korea. The area around the mountain is a designated national park, the Hallasan National Park...
volcano on Jeju Island
Jeju-do is the only special autonomous province of South Korea, situated on and coterminous with the country's largest island. Jeju-do lies in the Korea Strait, southwest of Jeollanam-do Province, of which it was a part before it became a separate province in 1946...
Jirisan is a mountain in the southern region of South Korea. It is often considered one of the three most important mountains in South Korea , with Hallasan and Seoraksan being the other two....
in the south, Seoraksan is the third highest mountain in South Korea. The Daechongbong Peak
(대청봉) of Seoraksan reaches 1,708 metres (5,603 feet). The Taebaek mountain chain is often considered the backbone of the Korean peninsula.
The national park
Seoraksan National Park is a listed by the South Korean government with UNESCO as a tentative World Heritage site. The Korean government designated the area as a nature reserve in 1965 and UNESCO designated the area as a biosphere reserve in 1982. It was also the first Korean national park to be...
attracts many national and international tourists all year round, but the main season for Seoraksan national park is autumn. The autumn colours in the area are considered amongst the most beautiful in Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...
. The red and yellow forest is interrupted by rocks and small mountain streams flow amidst this. During the rainy season in summer—especially after a typhoon—these streams can swell.
Perhaps the most visited part of the mountain is the main entrance valley to the National Park, a fifteen minute drive from Sokcho city. The valley runs west to east with a paved road leading up to the park's entrance gate. This valley contains many beautiful sites and is well worth a day visit.
waterfall and the Biryeong
waterfall (비룡폭포) are located on the left side of the valley, about a forty minute walk from the main car park.
(울산바위) is a rock formation in the Seoraksan national park. The shape of Ulsanbawi is unique in the area. To reach the rocks you need to follow a hiking path and climb over 800 steps (it's actually 888 steps according to locals). On the way there, there are two temples and a spherical rock (Heundeulbawi
, 흔들바위) which is located on top of a larger rock. This rock is about 5 metres (16 feet) high and can be moved with some effort. Thousands of people have already tried to push down Heundeulbawi, but nobody gets further than waggling the rock.
According to the legend Ulsanbawi comes from the city of Ulsan
Ulsan , officially the Ulsan Metropolitan City, is South Korea's seventh largest metropolis with a population of over 1.1 million. It is located in the south-east of the country, neighboring Busan to the south and facing Gyeongju to the north and the Sea of Japan to the east.Ulsan is the...
in the south east of Korea. As Kumgangsan
Kŭmgangsan , Geumgangsan, or Mount Geumgang is a -high mountain in Kangwon-do, North Korea. Its name means "a firm heart in the face of truth". It is about 50 km away from South Korea's Sokcho in Gangwon-do. It is one of the best-known mountains in North Korea...
(금강산) was built, Ulsanbawi walked to the north as the representative of the city. Unfortunately Ulsanbawi arrived too late and there was no more room. Ulsanbawi was ashamed and slowly trudged back to the south. One evening the rock went to sleep in the Seorak area. Ulsanbawi felt it was so beautiful around there that it decided to stay for good.
At the end of the main valley is Biseondae,
a rock platform in a stream. Above the stream is a difficult to reach cave, which offers clear views of the surrounding rock formations.
A bit farther from the entrance is the Valley of a Thousand Buddhas (천불동계곡), the primary valley of Seorak Mountain, also sometimes referred to as Seorak Valley. The valley was so named because the rock formations that line its sides resemble a line-up of Buddha statues.