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Naksan Provincial Park/South Korea

Introducing Naksan Provincial Park

This small coastal park (670 2518; admission free; 24hr), 12km south of Sokcho, is famous for the temple Naksansa (672 2448; adult/youth/child W2500/1500/1000; 5am-7pm). A 15m white statue of Gwaneum, the Goddess of Mercy, completed in 1977, looks out over the East Sea from atop a small, pine-covered rocky outcrop. Overnight temple stays are normally possible, but the temple is closed to overnight visits for rebuilding following a 2005 fire. The pavilion, Ulsangdae, is a good spot to watch the sunrise.

Down below the temple is Naksan Beach, popu­lar in summer, with motels, minbak (private homes with rooms for rent) and restaurants. Beach camping (per site W2000-4000) is possible in July and August.

Euisangdae Condotel (;672-3201; www.euisangdae.tc.to; r W40, 000) has not a speck of character, but not a speck of dirt either. It’s clean, friendly, reasonably priced and is right on the beach too. Rooms have kitchenettes and most have balconies. There’s sometimes noise on the beach at night, so light sleepers should ask for an upper-floor room.

Hotel Naksan Beach (672 4000; www.naksanbeach.co.kr; r from W117, 000; ) offers upmarket accommodation with either Western or ondol-style rooms, plus restaurants, a nightclub and a seawater sauna (nonguests/guests W6000/4000; 5:30am to 8pm).