[KTravel] Summer Beach Destinations

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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!

Scenic coastline of Donghae, Korea’s East Sea

The East Sea (Donghae), 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 Haedoji (Sunrise) Festival. Though these festivals usually take place in the wee hours of 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.


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 (parking lots, campsites, and 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 sushi at one of the local fish markets.

One of the biggest draws of Sokcho Beach is that it is located near the Sokcho Express Bus Terminal, making it easy to find for even first-time visitors. Festivals held at Sokcho Beach include the Haedoji (sunrise) Festival on January 1 of every year, and there are many 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
  • ☞  Beach swimming period: July 8 – August 21, 2016
  • ☞  Facilities: Shower, changing rooms, auto camping sites, volleyball court, small soccer field, jokgu(Korean foot volleyball) field, outdoor stage, parking lot, beachside walkway


Gyeongpo Beach in Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do


Gyeongpo Beach is the largest beach on the east coast, and is only about a kilometer away fromGyeongpodae Pavilion, which is 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 that can be found nearby for leisure walks. Beach activities such as banana boating, jet skiing, and waterskiing are also well-favored. In addition, the annual Summer Beach Art Festival is held between the end of July and early August, featuring various cultural events and folk performances for all.

  • ☞  Address: San 1, Anhyeon-dong, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
  • ☞  Beach swimming period: July 8 – August 21, 2016
  • ☞  Facilities: Shower, changing rooms, camping ground, auto camping, drinking water fountain, parking lot, walking trail


Naksan Beach in Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do


Naksan Beach is one of the top beaches in Gangwon-do, located northeast of Seoul, drawing more than a million visitors each summer. Its sandy beach runs along clean waters and is bordered by rows of pine trees. In addition to its natural beauty, Naksan also has a variety of activities such as banana boating and jet skis, adding a little variety to the typical beach experience.

The beach is also a top pick for those who are interested in Korea’s traditional culture, as it is close toNaksansa 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, Ganghyeon-myeon, Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do
  • ☞  Beach swimming period: July 8 – August 21, 2016
  • ☞ Facilities: Shower, changing rooms, camping ground, first aid tent, toilet, parking lot


Guryongpo Beach in Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do


Guryongpo Beach is about 24 kilometers away from Pohang and 1.5 kilometers from Guryongpo-eup. The beach is lined by thick groves of pine trees on one side and affords a wide-open view of the coast out towards the sea. Thanks to the gentle slope of the ocean floor and the clean sea water, 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 girl, Guryongpo-eup, Nam-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
  • ☞  Beach swimming period: June 25 – August 21, 2016
  • ☞  Facilities: Shower, changing rooms, public toilet, drinking water fountain, parking lot

Eco experiences at Seohae, Korea’s West Sea

Beaches along the West Sea (Seohae, Hwanghae, or Yellow Sea) are easily accessible from Seoul and are therefore extremely popular among citizens and travelers who may not have a lot of time on their hands. The beaches of the West Sea are also great places to catch the sunset, and many have tidal flats teeming with small marine life.


Eurwangni Beach in Incheon


Eurwangni Beach, located near Seoul and Incheon International Airport, is a popular west coast beach. Aside from its gorgeous views and white sand, the beach’s shallow water provides the perfect place for children to go swimming. Nearby amenities include a number of lavish resorts and restaurants serving 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, not to mention a great way to impress your date!

Beachgoers can also rent a fishing boat or rent a fishing rod to fish off the side of the pier. The beach holds a sea festival year with a diverse beach related events including swimming, beach wrestling, and more.

  • ☞  Address: 15, Eurwang-ro 13beon-gil, Jung-gung, Incheon
  • ☞  Beach swimming period: July 1 – August 31, 2016
  • ☞ Facilities: Shower, changing rooms, first aid tent, toilet, student camping ground, fields, training center, parking lot
  • * During beach swimming period, a fee of 5,000 won will be charged per day for pitching tents.


Daecheon Beach in Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do


Daecheon Beach is the biggest beach on the west coast, and is known for its shallow and calm waters. The sand at Daecheon Beach is especially soft and easy to wash off because it is composed of tiny bits of eroded shells.

Daecheon Beach is also home to one of the most well-known festivals among international visitors in Korea—the annual summer Boryeong Mud Festival. In the winter, the beach draws large crowds again as locals and tourists flock to the shores for the annual winter Sunset Festival.

  • ☞  Address: 123, Mud-ro, Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do
  • ☞  Beach swimming period: June 18 – August 21, 2016
  • ☞  Facilities: Shower, changing rooms, camping ground (fees applicable), drinking water fountain, cooking area, snack bar, parking lot


Muchangpo Beach in Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do


Known for its scenic coastal drive, clusters of pine trees, and beautiful sunsets, Muchangpo Beach is regularly visited by vacationing families throughout the year. The 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 times a month (around the 15th and 30th days of the lunar calendar). The exposed sea floor makes a path about 1.5 km long that reaches all the way from the beach to Seokdaedo Island. With the varying tidal scenes at the beach, a dense pine forest can be found; along with the glowing sun set, it is almost beauty all over.

  • ☞  Address: 10, Yeollinbada 1-gil, Ungcheon-eup, Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do
  • ☞ Beach swimming period: June 25 – August 15, 2016
  • ☞ Facilities: Shower, changing rooms, camping ground, drinking water fountain, parkling lot, auto camping site

Emerald waters and rays at Namhae, Korea’s South Sea

There are countless numbers of islands (and therefore, beaches) along the South Sea (Namhae) of Korea. Each beach has its own local flavor, meaning that there are almost limitless options for visitors willing to travel a little further from Korea’s capital. 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.


Jungmun Beach in Seogwipo-si, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province


Jungmun Beach inside of Jeju Jungmun Resort is a unique beach made 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 GardenCheonjeyeon Waterfall, and displays of the traditional houses of Jeju Island. Various events are held along the beach and in the complex throughout the year

  • ☞  Address: 3039, Saekdal-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
  • ☞ Beach swimming period: July 1- August 31, 2016
  • ☞ Facilities: Shower, changing rooms, camping ground, first aid tent, parking lot


Hyeopjae Beach, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province


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 long walks along the water’s edge. Once you get into the water, you’ll be pleased to discover that the water is so clear that you’ll be able to look down and see your toes!

A pleasant beach with plenty of space, Hyeopjae is all the more beautiful because of the black basalt rocks to one side and the view of Biyangdo Island stretching out in the distance. Overnight visitors to the beach are welcome to set up tents on the sand or in the adjacent grove of trees.

Hallim Park, a major tourist attraction, is only 5 minutes away on foot, and is well worth a visit. Landscaped with an abundance of subtropical plants and topiaries, the park is also home to lava tubes, which are natural wonders that also serve as a cool escape from the summer heat.

  • ☞  Address: 2497-1, Hallim-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
  • ☞  Beach swimming period: July 1 – August 31, 2016
  • ☞ Facilities: Shower, changing rooms, parking lot, snack bar, water fountain, observatory


Haeundae Beach in Haeundae-gu, Busan


Haeundae Beach is perhaps the most well-known beach in the country, transforming into a sea of red beach umbrellas in the summer months. The waters are shallow and there is little change in tide. The sand at the beach is coarse, which makes brushing yourself off at the end of the day a breeze. Since Haeundae Beach is located right in the city of Busan, it is extremely popular and is always packed with vacationers, so make sure to get there early if you want to grab a spot.

The beach is famous for its view of the sunrise and moonrise as seen from Haewoljeong Pavilion. 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. Yet another attraction of the Haeundae area is its natural hot springs.

Haeundae Beach is also extremely well known for its many cultural events and festivals that are held throughout the year. It is a popular location for many festivals such as the Haeundae Sand Festival that is held in the summer; Busan International Film Festival in the autumn and the New Year Festival and Polar Bear Swimming Contest that are held in the winter.

  • ☞  Address: 264, Haeundaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan
  • ☞ Beach swimming period: June 1 – August 31, 2016
  • ☞ Facilities: Shower, changing rooms, first aid tent, toilet, parking lot, convenience store, internet rest areas


[full credits to Korea Tourism Organization]

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