Destination: Jumunjin Beach (Gangneung, Gangwon-do)
Not far from the northern border, Jumunjin Beach could be considered one of many beaches along Korea's east coast. As the peak season hasn't yet started I'll refrain from predicting its future popularity, but a Sunday afternoon in mid-June left more than enough beach for the Lady in Red and I.
After arriving, we found our way to the adequate public facilities and changed. A shower building offered some non-salty water for 2,000 won, but wasn't yet open. Expect it to be open by July 1st, the official opening of the beach.The highlight of the beach was easily the clear waters - we could easily see the ripples in the sand at the bottom of the water, along with the shells and seaweed:
A bit of trash along the sand (not pictured) was a reminder that this particular part of the beach hasn't seen a lot of attention. Plenty of shells for the souvenir seekers, though.
Some more walking north along the East Sea / Sea of Japan led us to a few benches.
This wasn't the only lookout point - and being on the northeast tip of South Korea, it would be a pretty decent place for the north to invade. Note the gun racks.
A bit more walking and we came to a lighthouse and the continued beach. With no barriers on the sand to speak of, it was quite possible to take that long walk along the beach, or along the road that hugged the sea's curves. Either way, there's plenty of coast to take in. Not far from this picture were a couple coffeeshops and restaurants if you needed a break from the sand and surf.
While it's a bit remote, the clear waters and decent facilities merit a trip; other beaches may promise the crowds and plenty of tourist-friendly attractions, but this area is one to visit for the 'off-the-beaten-path' folks.
Directions to Jumunjin Beach: Take a bus to Gangneung (from Seoul's Express Bus Terminal, buses leave every 15- 30 minutes; about 3 hours and 15 minutes travel time). Once at Gangneung, take a bus to Jumujin (1,800 won, 20 minutes travel time, comes frequently). From there, a short taxi ride to 주문진해변 (Ju-mun-jin hae-byeon) will get you to the entrance.
Ratings (out of 5 taeguks):
Ease to arrive:
Worth the visit:
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