The Korean coastline has one of the best kept summer secrets enveloping the peninsula. With three quarters of the country surrounded by the East Sea, Yellow Sea and Korean Strait, there’s no reason not to head to one of these beautifully and mainly untouched beaches this stay-cation. Here are our top three tips:
Daecheon Beach is nestled on the West Coast of the country and is famous for its mineral-rich mud. The Boryeong Mud Skincare Center is a must for visitors who come from all corners of Korea to slather themselves in the mud, believed to contain therapeutic treatments for many a skin disorder.
The beach itself does have white sands and some of the clearest waters found around Korea’s coastline. The local Jogak Sculpture Park and Dol Stone Park offer visitors a cultural escape from the beach but with waters so clear, it’s not really necessary.
Beach areas remain open until August 21 with official swimming hours operating between 9am-11pm. Daecheon has a number of restaurants and coffee shops dotted between the neighboring motels and convenience stores for an uninterrupted weekend break by the sea.
The biggest draw for the town is, of course, the annual Boryeong Mud Festival. Taking place between July 15-24 this year, expect flocks of visitors to enjoy ten days of sun, sea, mud and more. The locals tend to offer anything and everything mud-related so prepare for mud games, mud cosmetics and mud mud more. Evenings will be filled with music and fireworks so best get cleaned up for dinner.
From Seoul Central City Bus Terminal, take an express bus to Boryeong (보령).
From Yongsan Station or Yeongdeungpo Station, take a train to Daecheon Station. From Boryeong Bus Terminal, take a bus bound for Daecheon Beach. (10min intervals) Homepage: www.boryeong.chungnam.kr
(Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Probably the most famous beach in Korea, every knows Haeundae. The southern coastal beach, which spans more than 1.5km of clear sandy beach, is a firm choice for any season.
The beach town of Haeundae is perhaps most famous for their annual film festival in October. However, during the summer, discover another side to this bustling sea town. With cultural events held all year round, the summer embraces visitors with numerous games and activities in its Folk Square hub while sun bathers can enjoy a bigger swimming area, available until August 31. Busan also operates longer hours on the beach, opening from 7pm-9pm between July 11 -24 for extended night-time activities.
The city itself has many other attractions along the coast, including the Sea Life Busan Aquarium and the Goeun Photo Museum. Visitors can also enjoy a trip to the Paradise Casino for a bit of a flutter or simply enjoy the outdoor market which is on hand for some weird and wonderful food delights.
The city has also developed the Haeundae Special Tourist Zone. Enter the zone for a plethora of leisure activities and food offerings. Busan has its own share of seafoods – octopus being the local specialty which can be enjoyed at any of the numerous outdoor eateries available between the station and beach area. Be sure to visit the center for your one-stop guide to Haeundae.
Train Directions: Regular KTX service from Seoul Station (line 1 and Line 4) to Busan. Take the subway to Haeundae Station (Busan Subway Line 2), Exit 5 and walk straight for about 500m.
Homepage: eng.haeundae.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Jeongdongjin prides itself on the beach’s proximity from the station. And it’s not wrong. Rock up on the platform a mere five and a half hours from Cheongyangni Station and there’s the sand, sea and sunshine to your east. Jeongdongjin has over 250 meters of lush sand with three main swimming areas and also spots for banana boat and jet-ski rides.
The town itself stretches across a main strip with numerous restaurants, coffee shops and convenience stores at the ready. Joengdongjin is naturally famous for all of its seafood with shellfish a local delicacy as the huge mussels and oysters on offer can do no wrong.
The town also offers some recreational activities with a railway museum, the Sculpture Sunrise Park and the tourist train all popular with daytrippers. Jeongdongjin is also renowned for its famous sunrise (a must-see for New Year’s Day), as well as the fully operational sea train that rides up and down the coast with its gimmicky coastal-facing seats.
Jeongdongjin hosts many motels and hotels with the famous Sun Cruise Resort and Yacht perching precariously on a beach front hill. The local center for Gangneung and Mount Goseong are also great options for weekenders for a tranquil and relaxing trip away to the East Coast.
Train Directions: Regular trains from Cheongnyangni Station (Line 1) to Jeongdongjin Station.
Bus Directions: From Gangneung Intercity / Express Bus Terminal, take Bus No. 109. Get off at Jeongdong and walk 300m.