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Beaches Worth Visiting in Korea

Thursday, September 29th, 2011
haeundae beach

Korea, surrounded by the ocean on three sides, offers a great variety of beaches. If travelers are to spend their summer vacation in Korea it is an absolute must that they visit one of its beaches. Due to the fact that temperatures rise to 30 degrees Celsius or more during the months of June, July, and August, most beaches around the nation open in early July and close towards the end of August. Yet despite summer being an ideal season to visit, tourists could still enjoy festivals, water sports and sunrises at beaches all year around.

East Side

The East Side has a simple coastline, clear waters and expansive beaches with white sands. The sunrise over the East Sea is well known for its spectacular beauty, and most beaches in the area hold a Haemaji (sunrise greeting) festival every year. The sunrise festival takes place on New Year’s Day, but the sun slowly emerging over the ocean horizon is a sight to see throughout the year.

Sokcho Beach, which is famous for its expansive white sands and clear waters, is also well known for its spectacular views against the backdrop of pine groves. There are many tourist sites nearby including Mt. Seoraksan, which give tourists the chance to easily visit other places as well. This is a great vacation site as it has various visitor facilities (parking lots, campsites, etc.) as well as lodging. In addition to swimming in the ocean, tourists can enjoy ocean fishing in Jodo Island. Next to a breakwater is a fisheries market where tourists can indulge themselves in fresh raw fish, but the biggest benefit Sokcho Beach has to offer is its convenient transportation. It is close to the Express Bus Terminal (about 500 meters) and it is so easy to find that even foreigners unfamiliar with the area will have no problem sighting it.

Gyeongpodae Beach is the largest beach on the east coast and is about a kilometer away from Gyeongpodae, which is a famous site for viewing the sunrise and moonrise. The greatest pride of Gyeongpodae Beach is the coast, which is covered with fine, clean sand. The sand quality is quite nice, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a hot sand bath or a walk, barefooted. Another of Gyeongpodae Beach’s assets is that there are a wide variety of things to enjoy in addition to swimming. Tourists can tour Gyeongpodae Beach in the Gyeongpo tourism carriage and enjoy recreational sports including banana boating, jet skiing and water skiing (When the beach is open from early July to the end of August from sunrise to sunset.). Every year, at the end of July, a Summer Beach Art Festival is held. Many cultural events such as folk performances and the Ocean Art Festival lure the people’s attention.

Naksan Beach is a famous site on the east coast along with Gyeongpo Beach. The beach boasts clear waters, thick pine groves and various facilities including lodging complexes and convenience stores. The quality of the sand is also good, making it a great beach to visit. Naksan Beach is also popular since it’s located close to Mt. Seoraksan, a national park; Uisangdae Pavilion, where the view of the sunrise is breathtaking; and Naksansa Temple, where the huge white statue of Gwaneum is situated. There is a wide array of seaside events in the summertime, but the largest event of all is the sunrise celebration on January 1.

Guryongpo Beach’s name comes from the myth of nine dragons that appeared from the ocean and flew up into the sky. The beach is characterized by its crescentshaped coastline and charming pine groves behind the beach. Although the beach is not especially large, the view of the coast is beautiful and there are many facilities for visitors, which gets very crowded during the holiday season. This area is especially popular among those who want to enjoy swimming and fishing since the waters are clear, and people can enjoy fishing off the rocks along the seashore as well.

West Side

Most of the beaches on the West Side offer convenient transportation. When leaving from Seoul, tourists can enjoy a day trip, making the West Side an extremely popular place among travelers who don’t have much time on their hands. In addition, most of the beaches on the West Side have foreshores, allowing tourists to enjoy the ecological marine life, and appreciate the beautiful sunsets.

Eurwangni Beach is lined with pine trees and has beautiful rocks and stones on either side of its white sands. It is a popular day trip destination because of its close proximity to Seoul and to Incheon International Airport. The water is quite shallow, so even children can enjoy swimming in the sea, and there are various unique lodging facilities available. Tourists can also rent a boat and sail out on the water or fish from the rocks along the edge of the seashore. However, the beach has many shells in the white sand, which means it’s not an ideal place to walk around barefoot. At Eurwangni Beach, there is an annual sea festival every August that allows people to enjoy swimming in the sea and wrestling on the beach.

Daecheon Beach, which is the biggest beach on the west coast, is known for its shallow waters and calm waves, making it the perfect place for a family getaway, since even children and seniors can enjoy a day at the beach. The sand at Daecheon Beach is especially soft because it is composed of shells that were eroded into sand over time, and the sand washes off easily.

The upper portion of the beach has fine, soft sand while the lower portion of the beach is composed of firmly packed sand, allowing tourists to enjoy both a stroll along the beach or a sand bath. As the biggest beach on the west coast, it offers various visitor facilities, as well as a park, and holds various events such as the Daecheon Beach Festival and a yacht race. There is a mudpack house located on the far west side of Daecheon Beach where tourists can enjoy Boryeong mud, which is famous around the world.

Muchangpo Beach, which was the first to be opened on the west coast, is where tourists can enjoy a special experience referred to as the “Miracle of Moses.” The sea parts twice a month (around the midpoint and last day of the lunar month) on Seokdaedo Island. Tourists can catch seafood such as turban snails and octopus while walking along the dry path in the middle of the sea. Tourists can also watch traditional fishing on the foreshore, where people use the rock piles for catching fish. Muchangpo Beach, which offers many exciting and enjoyable activities, has shallow waters and the water temperature is just right, making the beach a great place to go swimming. The glow of the setting sun at Muchangpo is known as one of the eight spectacular sights of Boryeong-si. The sight from the breakwater is especially beautiful.

Byeonsan Beach, which is one of the three main beaches on the west coast along with Daecheon and Mallipo Beach, is a beautiful gem that is part of Byeonsanbando National Park. Byeonsan Beach has a long stretch of fine sand, and the average depth of the water is only one meter. The beach is a perfect place to take a dip in the sea since the waters are calm and warm. One of the most notable characteristics of Byeonsan Beach is that it offers breathtaking scenery. The white sands and green pine groves are especially picturesque. It is lacking in only one regard: despite the fact that the beach was opened in the 1930s and has been around for a long time, there is not much lodging or tourist facilities nearby. However, there are mountains and other beaches nearby, so tourists can easily find a place to stay not too far away.

South Side

There are a countless number of islands in the South Side. Each beach has a different atmosphere according to the characteristics of the island on which it is found. It is where Jeju Island, a favorite tourist site in Korea, is located, enabling travelers to enjoy a beautiful sight of the ocean that differs from the landscape on the eastern or western coast.

Jungmun Beach, which is located right next to the Jungmun Tourist Complex, has a uniquely elongated sandy plain. Towering over the black, white, red and gray sand called jinmosal and the white sandy beach, which is curved like a bow, are the stunning black rocks of Jeju Island. Thanks to its breathtaking scenery, it is a popular place for filming movies, television dramas and commercials, and also as a romantic destination. To the right of the beach, tourists can see a natural cave and a cliff, which is covered with various rare plants, enabling them to observe the local ecosystem. The current is swift, making it a good place to enjoy water sports such as jet skiing and windsurfing. During the summer season, a Beach Film Festival and a Summer Festival is held.

Hyeopjae Beach is a great place for novice swimmers because the waters are shallow and the coast is very gently sloped. The silver-colored sands are filled with shells and the emerald ocean waters are so clear that the ground can be seen from above water like a watercolor painting. The sight is all the more beautiful because of the black basalt on one side of the sandy plain, and the view of Biyangdo Island from the ocean. The sand is relatively firm, making it just right for a stroll. Tourists can also set up a tent and enjoy camping in the forest grove behind the beach.

Haeundae Beach, which is one of eight popular spots in Korea, also remains the country’s premier beach. Its waters are shallow and there is almost no change in the tide. In the summertime, this place gets so crowded with many vacationers that there is almost no room to stretch out, and it is very popular among foreigners. The white sands of Haeundae Beach are rough, which makes it easy to brush off of one’s body. The beach is also famous for the sunrise over the horizon and the sight of the moonrise from Haewoljeong Pavilion. Haeundae’s Dalmaji Road, which is located between Haeundae Beach and Songjeong Beach, is a great spot from which to enjoy an elegant view of the moon. There are many hot springs nearby, enabling visitors to ease away their fatigue after swimming in the ocean.

Sangju Beach, the biggest beach on the southern coast, has all the ideal features: good sand, clear waters and beautiful groves. Fascinating rocks and stones add to the beautiful landscape, and the beach is cozy since it is sheltered by Mt. Geumsan. Visitors can enjoy both mountain hiking and swimming in the ocean. The silver-colored sand on the beach is exceptionally soft, making it a pleasant place for a barefoot stroll. The thick pine groves that surround the white sand are also the pride of Sangju Beach. The beach has many tourist facilities including a shopping center and lodging, and on one side of the sandy beach is a campsite that is popular among youths.

Korea’s beaches offer visitors a chance to cool off, have fun in the water, and enjoy some beautiful scenery. Korea is surrounded by water and so there are plenty of good beaches to choose from. Visitors to the west coast can watch the sunset over the vast tidal flats, while on the east coast you can soak up the sun on dazzling white beaches. Jeju Island’s beaches even offer you a taste of tropical paradise.

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