Coastal sunsets and Sandy Beaches in Taean-gun
Summer vacations and weekends away conjure up for most images of beaches and ocean waves lapping on shores and boats. In Korea, there is no lack of coastline and a weekend away can take one to the mud flats of the west coast, the thousands of islands of the south coast, or the white sand beaches of the east coast.
This summer, try the west coast: take a trip to Taean-gun for something a little off the beaten path. Situated just a couple hours southwest of Seoul in Chungcheong-do, this county is known for sunsets and beach fun, and is easy enough to get to.
Taean Haean National Park has around thirty beaches to choose from, perfect for the traveler looking for either a quiet respite from the city or a party on the beach. Highlights of the region include but are not at all limited to:
This 3.5-kilometer- long beach lined with pine trees is perfect for the person hoping to camp out and hunt for shellfish and other sea life at low tide. There are also pensions, minbaks, and some nice hotels, too; yet they’re all spaced out comfortably, so the beach isn’t likely to be overrun and busy. The amount of space one can find here is a huge draw. While many popular beaches are swarmed with visitors in the summer, Mongsanpo is a little more low key and perfect for the person looking to get away, to rest and to relax with the beautiful ocean in view.
Address: Sinjang-gil, Nam-myeon, Taean-gun, Chungcheongnam-do
Amenities: changing rooms, shower booths, restrooms, water-supply area, campsite and auto-camp site, basketball court, volleyball court, nearby pensions, minbaks, and other places to stay as well as cafes and eateries.
Website: www.mongsanpo.or.kr/ (Korean only)
The “road of pine trees and sand” is a course that was opened up in 2011 and winds 12.7 kilometers from Mongsanpo Beach down to Deureunihang Port passing by Cheongpodae Beach, Baeksajang Beach, Sambong Beach, and Gijipo Beach.
There are a few different courses that make up the whole. The one starting at Mongsanpo is an estimated four hours walk south, but if the meander leads to short swims at the beautiful beaches previously mentioned, it could take quite a bit longer and that’s okay.
This road is the way to enjoy the scenery, enjoy the landscape, and get in some exercise, too. Stay at Mongsanpo for the night, then walk along Solmoraegil the next day with a few dips in between, while moving further south to the next spot in the beautiful national park.
Sambong Beach, just a bit south of Mongsanpo, offers markedly different views from the gentle slope of the aforementioned beaches. Sambong, just south of a port, has three major rock formations and a pebbly surface to walk on at the northern end.
The sand dune nearby is a must see. Camping is also available just behind this beach, which might be best enjoyed by walking along while scooping up clams and other sea life.
Walk a bit south, though, and the lighter sand and clear ocean views are sure to make any traveler swoon. This beach also offers ample space to spread out and enjoy the currents.
Address: Changgi 6-ri, Anmyeon-eup, Taean-gun, Chungcheongnam-do
Amenities: parking, camping, restrooms, shower rooms
Anmyeon-do Island Recreational Forest
This forest, which should be visited in the morning before the crowds come to eat lunch, is full of 120-year- old pine trees that were once managed by the royal family of the Goryeo Dynasty. The massive trees provide shade to rest under and a cool breeze before you head back to the beach for another dip in the afternoon waves.
This park is gorgeous and the towering trees remind us that we are only a small part of this huge, huge world.
Address: 3195-6, Anmyeon-daero, Anmyeon-eup, Taean-gun, Chungcheongnam-do
Amenities: convenience store, restrooms, picnic tables/benches, parking
Hours: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Adults: KRW 1,000
Teenagers: KRW 800
Children under 13: KRW 400
One of the most popular beaches in the region, Kkotji is said to be one of the best places to view the sunset in Korea. The 3.2-kilometer- long beach gently slopes out into the water like many of the beaches on the west coast and offers a view of two stones jutting up into the sky.
This view, with the sun setting between the rocks, is why people flock to the area. The rocks, lovingly named Grandmother Rock and Grandfather Rock, also provide a chance to weave a tale to newcomers of a wife turned to stone while she awaited the return of her husband from war.
This beach is for the traveler looking to join the crowds, sit under a rainbow umbrella next to hundreds of other rainbow umbrellas, and eat the good food from the numerous vendors that sit nearby awaiting the arrival of the thousands of tourists.
Address: Seungeon 4-ri, Anmyeon-eup, Taean-gun, Chungcheongnam-do
Amenities: parking, shower rooms, restrooms, restaurants, umbrella rental
This summer take a trip away to Taean-gun and enjoy some of the amazing views within Taean Haean National Park: from beaches to sand dunes, towering pine trees, and rock formations, it’s all stunning.