VIDEO| Paddleboarding in South Korea

Photo by Kyle Haney
Photo by Kyle Haney

VIDEO| Paddleboarding in South Korea

by Kyle Haney
GLOBETROTTERKYLE.COM

It. Has. Been. HOT!

You know, when you move to Korea, people warn you about “monsoon season”, bugs the size of your hands, and fish markets in Busan but, what they forget to mention is just how HOT it can get here! With temperatures consistently above 90 degrees lately, I’ve been dying to get into a body of water to cool off.

If you watched my Gyeryongsan National Park video, then you saw how I jumped into the river to finish off a wicked hike and I’ll be honest, I’ve been itching to do it again ever since! So, I figured I’d take my new High Society inflatable paddleboard out and find a place to do just that.

One of the Facebook groups I follow mentioned a camping spot that was directly on a river about an hour’s drive from my apartment. As the weekend rolled around, I loaded up my SUP, some suntan lotion, and of course, my exploratory boonie hat. I set sail for the Namhangang River in the Wonju-si, Gangwon-do province where a large, calm river snaked between the Jansan and Binyangsan Mountains.

As I pulled up to a parking lot with nobody in it, I parked the beater and set off to find a place to enter the water. Within minutes, I found a small, sandy beach that looked as though it was perfect for launching from so, I unpacked my paddleboard and began inflating–thank God I brought water because I was DRIPPING with sweat as I attempted to pump air into my SUP under the hot, Korean sun.

What transpired was one of the more relaxing weekends I’ve had in a while! If you’ve followed me for even a month, you know my “go-to” thing to do on the weekend is hike or explore–rarely do I take time to be still or simply enjoy something small in front of me. Paddleboarding changed that for me as I got out to the middle of the river where I had nothing left to do but just: be. I ended up taking a beautiful nap for about 20 minutes on the peaceful Namhangang River lol!

I was abruptly awakened from my nap as thunder barreled down the valley, warning me that I should probably seek shelter soon. Though the afternoon was short, it was much needed and appreciated. I paddled back to shore, took a quick plunge to cool off, and headed back to Osan.

If you’re interested in visiting this spot, drop me a comment or shoot me an e-mail and I’ll give you the exact location!

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