Guests on cruises to Sokcho arrive to a coastal city in northeast South Korea, a must for anyone who wants to experience the natural beauty and culture of the country. Part of North Korea until the late 1940s, Sokcho is now a buzzing fishing hub. Dock at Daepo Harbor on the Sea of Japan (East Sea). Soon after you get off the ship, make your way through a maze of eateries and street vendors clustered around the cruise port. Snack on seafood in all forms— shrimp, crab, squid, and fish, deep-fried, pickled, raw or dried. Visit Sokcho Central Market, a lively, traditional marketplace for an authentic taste of life in Sokcho. If you see sundae on the menu, don’t expect ice cream. Sundae is a popular street food made from Korean blood sausage. Vegetarians should try soft tofu dishes, another specialty in the area. Wash it all down with makgeolli, a milky rice wine. Dramatic scenery surrounds the city. Seoraksan National Park’s serene forests, jagged granite peaks and crystal-clear streams are only 30 minutes by bus from the cruise terminal. Amble an easy trail or embark on a strenuous three-hour trek to the Geum-gang-gul cave temple. If you want a more relaxing experience, take a cable car ride to the top of Mt. Seoraksan to admire endless views of cliffs and coastlines. Before your day in Sokcho is complete, pop into Sokcho Beach near the port to unwind amid golden sands and turquoise surf.