Summer Splash: Beach Destinations and Water Parks!
If you’re planning on vacationing in Korea this summer, be sure to check out at least one of the following beach destinations! Korea is surrounded on all three sides by water, giving it plenty of beaches in a variety of shapes and sizes that offer a welcomed escape from everyday life. Since most beaches in Korea officially open in June or July and close towards the end of August, visitors have only a few months to splash around in the water and soak up the rays. But don’t worry if you miss out on the official summer beach season, as there are plenty of sightseeing activities that you can all year round!
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Map of major beaches in Korea
Scenic coastline of Korea’s East Sea
The East Sea, known for its clear waters and expansive, white sandy beaches, is one of the most popular summer vacation spots in the nation. People come from far and wide to catch the stunning view of the sun rising over the East Sea, and most beaches in the area even hold an annual Sunrise Festival. Although these festivals only take place on New Year’s Day, the sight of the sun slowly peeking over the ocean’s horizon is a mesmerizing sight any day of the year.
Guryongpo Beach in Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Guryongpo Beach is about 24 kilometers away from Pohang and 1.5 kilometers from Guryongpo-eup. Thanks to the gentle slope of the ocean floor and the clean seawater, Guryongpo Beach is a favorite vacation spot for swimming enthusiasts. The beach is also popular among fishermen, many of whom troll their lines in Yeongilman Bay.
Address: 6, Homi-ro 426beon-gil, Nam-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Sokcho Beach in Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Sokcho Beach is well known for the picturesque pine trees that stand proudly along its white sandy coast. One of the perks of this particular beach is that there are many tourist attractions in the surrounding area, including Yeongnangho Lake and Seoraksan Mountain, one of Korea’s most famous mountains.
Given the beach’s range of facilities and nearby accommodations, Sokcho Beach is a convenient place for a weekend trip. Visitors can even rent a fishing rod and go fishing at nearby Jodo Island, or walk towards the pier to get some fresh hoe (sliced raw fish) at one of the local fish markets.
One of the biggest draws of Sokcho Beach is that it is located near Sokcho Express Bus Terminal, making it easy to find for even first-time visitors. Festivals held at Sokcho Beach include the Sunrise Festival on January 1 of every year, and other events that take place during the beach swimming period between July and August for all visitors to enjoy.
Address: 190, Haeoreum-ro, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Gyeongpo Beach in Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
Gyeongpo Beach is the largest beach on the east coast, and is only about a kilometer away from Gyeongpodae Pavilion, famous for its sunrise view. Perhaps the most striking characteristic of Gyeongpo Beach is its fine powdery sand, which is perfect for barefoot walks along the beach. There is also a beautiful pine tree forest nearby for leisure walks. Beach activities such as banana boating, Jet Skiing, and waterskiing are popular as well. In addition, Gyeongpo Summer Music Festival is held every evening between the end of July and early August, featuring performances from famous bands and hip-hop groups for a beachside party atmosphere.
Address: 514, Changhae-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
Naksan Beach in Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do
With a sandy beach stretching over 1,810 meters, Naksan Beach is one of the top beaches in Gangwon-do, drawing in countless visitors each year. The beach runs along clean waters, bordered by rows of pine trees. In addition to its natural beauty, Naksan Beach also has a variety of water activities such as riding on a banana boat or Jet Ski for those looking for more adventure.
The beach is also a top pick for those who are interested in Korea’s traditional culture, as it is close to Naksansa Temple and Uisangdae Pavilion, which was built to commemorate Great Monk Uisang. As an added bonus, the pavilion is also one of the best places in the area to view the sunrise.
Address: 59, Haemaji-gil, Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do
Eco experiences along Korea’s western coast
Beaches along the western coast are easily accessible from Seoul and therefore extremely popular among citizens and travelers who may not have a lot of time on their hands. The beaches of the western coast are also great places to catch the sunset, and many have tidal flats teeming with small marine life.
Daecheon Beach in Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do
Daecheon Beach is the largest beach on the west coast, and is known for its shallow and calm waters. The sand on the upper shores of Daecheon Beach is especially soft and easy to wash off because it is composed of finely eroded shells. Closer to the shoreline, the sand is hard packed. These two varieties of sand allow visitors to enjoy both leisure walks and sand scrubs. Daecheon Beach is also home to the annual Boryeong Mud Festival. In the winter, the beach draws large crowds again as locals and tourists flock to the shores for the annual Sunset Festival.
Address: 123, Meodeu-ro, Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do
Eurwangni Beach in Jung-gu, Incheon
Eurwangni Beach, located near Seoul and Incheon International Airport, is a popular beach, both for its gorgeous views and clean white sand. The beach’s shallow water also provides the perfect place for children to go swimming. Amenities nearby include a number of lavish resorts and restaurants that serve fresh seafood. Having dinner outside on the terrace of one of these restaurants is the perfect way to watch the final rays of sunlight as they disappear over the horizon! Beachgoers can also rent a fishing boat or a fishing rod to fish off the side of the pier. A variety of beach festivals take place at Eurwangi every summer.
Address: 15, Eurwang-ro 13beon-gil, Jung-gu, Incheon
Muchangpo Beach in Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do
Muchangpo Beach is particularly famous for what is known as the "Moses Miracle," a natural phenomenon in which extreme tides reveal the seafloor for only a few short hours two or three days a month (around the 15th and 30th days of the lunar calendar). The exposed sea floor makes a path about 1.5 kilometers long that reaches all the way from the beach to Seokdaedo Island. The Muchangpo Mystic Sea Road Festival celebrates this occurrence every year in August or September, with the exact timing varying each year. The beach is also known for its scenic coastal drive, clusters of pine trees, and beautiful sunsets.
Address: 10, Yeollinbada 1-gil, Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do
Emerald waters of Korea’s southern sea
There are countless islands, and therefore beaches, along the southern coast of Korea. The South Sea is also home to Jeju Island, a favorite tourist site in Korea. Islands in the South Sea provide visitors with vastly different experiences from those along the east or west coast. Each beach has its own unique style, meaning that there are almost limitless options for visitors willing to travel a little further from Korea’s capital.
Haeundae Beach in Haeundae-gu, Busan
The slope of Haeundae Beach is shallow and there is little change in tide, making this beach perfect for swimming. The beach is famous for its views of the sunrise and moonrise as seen from Haewoljeong Pavilion atop Dalmajigogae Hill. Haeundae’s Dalmaji-gil Road, which is located between Haeundae Beach and Songjeong Beach, is another recommended spot for a romantic view of the moonlight glistening off the water’s surface.
Haeundae Beach is also extremely well known for its many cultural events and festivals that are held throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy Haeundae Sand Festival in summer; Busan International Film Festival in fall; and the New Year Festival and Polar Bear Swimming Contest in winter.
Address: 264, Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Hyeopjae Beach in Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Hyeopjae Beach is one of the best beaches on Jeju Island for swimmers, since the waters are shallow with no sudden drops. Tiny shells in the sand give the beach a silver sheen and make for a firm feel that is perfect for walks along the water’s edge. Once you get into the water, you’ll be pleased to discover that the water is so clean that you can clearly see your toes!
Hallim Park, a major tourist attraction, is only 5 minutes away on foot, and is well worth a visit. The park is landscaped with an abundance of subtropical plants and topiaries, and serves as a cool escape from the summer heat. A pleasant beach with plenty of space, Hyeopjae is all the more beautiful for its view of black basalt rocks to one side and Biyangdo Island standing out in the distance.
Address: 329-10, Hallim-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Jungmun Saekdal Beach in Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Jungmun Saekdal Beach within Jeju Jungmun Resort is a unique beach comprised of a gradient of black, white, red, and gray sand, as well as the famous black volcanic stone of Jeju Island. To the right of the sandy beach is a natural cave that was created by coastal erosion. Rare plants flourish near the cave, offering a convenient spot for some eco-focused sightseeing. The waves and tides can be rather rough along Jungmun, so while conditions are great for wind surfing, Jet Skiing and other water leisure activities, non-swimmers and young children are advised to stick close to the shoreline under the careful watch of lifeguards.
Jungmun Resort is also home to an aquarium, Yeomiji Botanical Garden, Cheonjeyeon Waterfall, and a cluster of traditional houses typical on Jeju Island. Various events are held along the beach and within the resort complex throughout the year.
Address: Jungmungwangwang-ro 72beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
One of the first things people think of when summer comes to mind is fun in the water, whether it is at a river, lake, or the beach. It’s not easy, however, to fully enjoy those activities within an urban area. This article will introduce Korea’s top water parks designed to let you get your fill of water fun within the city, as well as a few other options great for overnight trips.
Water parks in the Seoul metropolitan area
Caribbean Bay, a water park located just outside of Seoul in the city of Yongin, holds the titles of both the first and the largest water park in the country. Caribbean Bay can accommodate up to 20,000 people, and has five themed zones that include indoor pools, outdoor pools, spas, water rides, water slides, and many other amusement facilities.
The most popular attractions at the water park are the exciting wave pool, with waves reaching up to 2.4 meters high, and the Mega Storm, a 355 meter-long exhilarating water slide that offers an adrenaline rush that you can’t get anywhere else. Visitors looking for even more thrills can try out the Aqua Loop, rushing down at speeds of up to 90 kilometers per hour before ending with an 18 meter drop!
Address: 199, Everland-ro, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do
Onemount Water Park
Onemount Water Park in Gyeonggi-do’s Ilsan features an indoor water park on the fourth and fifth floors of the building, along with outdoor facilities on the seventh story rooftop! From here, visitors can look down on the various slides and attractions in the park, as well as the nearby Ilsan Lake Park. Most of the attractions for children are on the fourth floor, and rides for adults are located on the seventh floor.
One of the most popular rides is Sky Boomerango, a ride that starts from atop a tall tower. Riders get in a two-person tube to shoot down before being launched into the air off a ramp to fall into a water pool at the end. In addition, the next-door attraction Cola Ride is another must for thrill-seekers, which will give you an unforgettable memory of free falling thanks to its near-vertical 10 meter-high slide.
Address: 300, Halluyworld-ro, Ilsanseo-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do
Sealala Water Park
Located in Mullae-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Sealala Water Park is a place where Seoulites can enjoy water fun any time of the year. Although it is not as big as other water parks in Korea, it boasts an exotic Greece-themed décor and offers easy access via subway. The place is famous for its 140 meter-long lazy river, beach pool where visitors can splash around, 20 meter-long speedy water slide, and 32 meter-long mat slide. It’s also a perfect spot for family with children, as Aqua Kidsland within the water park offers kid-friendly attractions such as kids’ water slides, piano fountain, and more.
Address: B2, Yeongdeungpo SK Leaders View, 164, Mullae-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
Historically frequented by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty, the hot springs of Icheon are well known for their excellent water quality. Located in this famed hot springs city, Termeden is a hot spring resort complex that is popular for its high-quality water and luxurious facilities. Although the park has various pools, spas, and slides, one of the most famous attractions at Termeden is the bade pool. The themed hot spring pools are highly recommended, with natural ingredients such as ginseng, rice, and honey added in each spa to provide various unique health benefits. Termeden has recently undergone a renewal and is scheduled to reopen in July 2019.
Address: 984, Sasil-ro, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
Woongjin Playdoci Waterdoci
Woongjin Playdoci Waterdoci, located in the metropolitan city of Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do, is an indoor theme park open all year round, regardless of the weather! In addition to water park standards, such as a wave pool, lazy river, and water slides, the park also includes a kids’ zone with rides perfect for small children, and a spa zone for people looking to relax. The spa zone offers bade pools with a variety of water jet massage options that help ease fatigue and provide health benefits to the skin. Adults and kids alike are bound to get their fill of fun with the seasonal event pools and outdoor Sunny Park during the summer.
Address: 2, Jomaru-ro, Bucheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
Overnight trip to regional water parks
Splas Resom is a popular water park year round, thanks to the use of 49°C Germanium-rich water in their 20-some spa pools. The exhilarating Master Blaster is a thriller-ride that propels you down a three-story water chute in just four seconds. The spa has recently undergone a renewal and will open again June 29, 2019.
Address: 45-7, Oncheondanji 3-ro, Yesan-gun, Chungcheongnam-do
Seorak Waterpia is one of the most popular summer retreat destinations on the East Coast. With the stunning scenery of Seoraksan Mountain serving as a backdrop, this place offers the latest in water amusement facilities and hot spring water spas. If you are looking for fun and thrills, check out the water slides and wave pools. Popular rides in this action-packed park include World Alley, a 260 meter-long water slide with a sharp drop and a 360-degree turn, Torrent River, and Family Raft.
Address: 88, Misiryeong-ro 2983beon-gil, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Vivaldi Park Ocean World
Vivaldi Park Ocean World is situated among the beautiful ancient forests of Hongcheon in Gangwon-do. The water park has an Egyptian theme throughout, and contains replicas of the Sphinx, pyramids, obelisks, and other decorative touches. The park is divided into Indoor Zone, Wave Pool Zone, Extreme Zone, Dynamic Zone, and the Mega Slide Zone with each section offering amusement of its own. The Indoor Zone has various pools and slides, a jjimjilbang, and a therapy center. At Surfing Mountain in the Extreme Zone, people can experience exciting thrills with waves as high as 2.4 meters.
Address: 262, Hanchigol-gil, Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do
Free shuttle bus for international visitors!
- Bus schedule: 08:00 at Hongik Univ. Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 8 → 08:10 at Sogang Univ. Station (Gyeongui-Jungang Line), Exit 2 → 08:40 at Dongdaemun History & Culture Station (Seoul Subway Line 2, 4, 5), Exit 3 → 09:00 at Konkuk Univ. Station (Seoul Subway Line 2, 7), Exit 5 → Arrive at Vivaldi Park at 10:40
- Online reservation required at least two days in advance
- Shuttle bus reservations: www.daemyungresort.com (English only)
Gimhae Lotte Water Park
Gimhae Lotte Water Park in Gyeongsangnam-do features custom-designed, Polynesian-themed water slides and pools. The water park boasts some of Korea’s largest pool facilities, including the 135 meter-long outdoor wave pool, 38 meter-long indoor wave pool, and a huge 118 meter-long Tornado Slide, among other attractions. A special treat at this water park is the zip line, available for an additional fee. Riders fly over 389 meters at a fast speed straight towards the wave pool for a trip that is both trilling and refreshing!
Address: 555, Jangyu-ro, Gimhae-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
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