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Beach getaways to beat the summer heat

Source : Korea Tourism Organization

If you’re planning on vacationing in Korea this summer, a visit to one of its many beaches is an absolute must! Korea is surrounded on three sides by water and has plenty of beaches in a variety of shapes and sizes that offer a welcome escape from the summer heat, which can reach temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius. 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 Korea’s beach culture. Don’t worry though if you can’t visit during the summer season—there are plenty of beachside festivals, water sports, and events all year round!

Donghae (East Sea)- sea of beauty

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 only 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 Mt. Seoraksan, 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 a weekend trip. Visitors can even rent a pole 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 only 500 meters from the 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 the Sokcho Beach Festival, held mid-July to early-August of every year.

The East Sea (Donghae),

-Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (Gangbyeon Station, Subway Line 2) → Sokcho
(Travel time: 2hr, 20 min / first bus: 06:25 / last bus: 23:00)
-Seoul Express Bus Terminal (Express Bus Terminal Station, Subway Line 3, 7, 9) → Sokcho
(Travel time: 2hr, 40min / first bus: 06:30 / last bus: 23:30) After exiting the Sokcho Express Bus Terminal, turn left and go straight 500m

Seohae (West Sea)- eco-experiences along the coast

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-si 

Eurwangni Beach, located near Seoul and the Incheon International Airport, is one of the most representative beaches of the West Coast. Aside from its gorgeous view 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 disappear over the horizon, not to mention a great way to impress your date!

Beachgoers can also rent a fishing boat or rent a pole to fish off the side of the pier. The beach holds a sea festival every August with swimming, beach wrestling, and other events.

the West Sea ((Seohae, Hwanghae or Yellow Sea))

-By Train: Hongik University Station (Subway Line 2) → Transfer to AREX (Airport Railroad) → Get off at Incheon International Airport Station, Exit 3 → Take Bus 202, 302, or 306 from in front of the airport (travel time: 20min) → Get off at Eurwangni Beach
-By Bus: Take Airport Limousine Bus 6002 from Exit 4 or 5 of Hongik Uni. Station (Subway Line 2) → Get off at Incheon International Airport Station, Exit 3 → Take Bus 202, 302, or 306 from in front of the Airport (travel time: 20 min) → Get off at Eurwangni Beach

Namhae (South Sea)- emerald waves & local flavor

There are a countless number of islands (and therefore, beaches) along the South Sea (Namhae). 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 a vastly different experience from those along the east or west coast.

Haeundae Beach in Haeundae-gu, Busan-si

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’s little change in tide. Sand at the beach is rough, 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 moonbeams glistening off the water’s surface.

Haeundae Beach is also extremely well known for its many cultural events and festivals that are held throughout the year. The Haedoji (Sunrise) Festival and Polar Bear Swimming Contest are held in the winter; the Haeundae Sand Festival and Haeundae Beach Festival are held in the summer; and the Busan International Film Festival is held in the autumn.

Yet another attraction of the Haeundae area is its natural hot springs. It is even said that Queen Jinseong of Silla completely recovered from a disease after bathing in one of the area’s hot springs.

Haeundae Beach is perhaps the most well-known beach

-Seoul Station (Subway Line 1, 4, AREX, Gyeongui) → Busan KTX: travel time: 2hr, 40min / first train: 05:30 / last train: 23:00 Saemaeul train: travel time: 4hr, 40min / first train: 06:10 / last train: 22:15 Mugunghwa train: travel time: 5hr, 20min / first train: 05:50 / last train: 22:50)
-Busan Station (Subway Line 1) → Transfer to Subway Line 2 at Seomyeon Station → Get off at Haeundae Station (Subway Line 2) and go out Exit 3 or 5 (travel time: approx. 45min) → Go straight towards the beach (10min on foot)
-From Busan Station Exit 12, take Bus 1003 at the bus stop to the right (in front of the Samsung building) → Get off at Haeundae Beach (travel time: 53min) and walk 130m

*Article from Korea Tourism Organization

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