If you find yourself working as a teacher in the interior of South Korea and have yet to experience a summer here: get ready. A wall of heat and humidity unlike anything that you’ve ever experienced in your life is coming.
While you’ll likely have an A/C unit in your apartment (you DO have one right?) and hopefully some at work (private hagwons may, but public schools often do not), eventually you will have to step outside to head home, go grocery shopping, or meet your friends at the bar.
The soul-stealing muckiness will have you doing the unthinkable: cursing the sun and praying for a rainy day to cool things down (don’t laugh, because you will!) However, it isn’t all bad: on your weekends, South Korea’s robust transport network will allow you the opportunity to flee the furnace-like interior and get to the coast, where a variety of surprisingly awesome beaches await your overheated body.
While the most famous strips of sand in the country lie within the urban environment of Busan, or on the fairytale island of Jeju, the West Sea beaches of in the Boryeong area are considerably less crowded (by Korean standards), of which Daecheon Beach is the most popular.
For those not wanting to travel to the opposite end of the country to get in some time on a sun lounger, Daecheon is a tantalizing alternative. When I taught in South Korea in the Cheonan/Asan area in 2013, I went on a weekend adventure to this place to see what it was all about, and I was suitably impressed.
What follows is a guide of how to get there, what is worth doing, and sights that I found amusing and/or delightfully weird. Hope you find it useful!
Daecheon Beach Guide
If you are coming down from Seoul on the KTX, you’ll have to switch to the ITX, which is slightly slower of foot at a pedestrian 180 km/h, but you’ll have a much better opportunity to witness countryside scenes like the ones pictured above, instead of having go by in a blur of green and blue.
As fun as the journey to get to Daecheon Beach was, it was time to get out there and explore everything this uniquely Korean beach town had to offer…
Korea is renowned for its drinking culture, and with numerous stands just like this, Daecheon Beach is no fortress of temperance either!
Being a marine nation where the ocean is never that far away, seafood can be easily found throughout much of Korea, but with the port of Boryeong being close by, there is a particular abundance of dishes from the sea along the main streets of this resort town.
Being the official opening day for Daecheon Beach, a lively party atmosphere reigned through the town. This meant that midway games were available, and being the manly man that I am, I decided to put my shooting skills to the test.
Apparently I need to work on my aim before this Ebola thing morphs into the zombie apocalypse, because I missed on all my attempts, hitting 2 sixes and a four (the guy manning the game felt sorry for me and nailed an 8 at point blank range so I could look better to my friends … gotta love the “saving face” culture here!
After a long day of exploring the beach and the surrounding town, a perfect end to the day with a sunset that would surely mark the start of what would be an excellent summer in this delightful beachside town in South Korea.
How to get to Daecheon Beach:
From Seoul – If you’re coming from the big city, taking the ITX from Seoul station all the way to Boryeong would be best if you don’t like the idea of transferring trains. If you’re pressed for time though, you can take the KTX to Cheonan-Asan, and then make the lengthy walk from the bullet train platform to the slower ITX (bear in mind you’ll have to buy a 2nd ticket here to continue onwards).
Also, the ITX shares the platform with Seoul subway Line 1, so ensure you are facing the proper track, lest you miss your train!
About the guest poster…
James Shannon is a freelance writer and social media specialist roaming the world in search of exciting experiences, be it through exotic cuisine, an amazing alpine hike, or through the acquisition of new skills and perspectives. His goal is set boots down on all seven continents by the time he is 40 years old, with #3 (South America) coming up in the New Year. You can follow his ongoing adventures in world travel, outdoor adventure, and life fulfillment on his blog, The Pursuit of Excitement, or via his social media accounts on Facebook or Twitter.
Daecheon Beach History
Daecheon Beach, located in the South Chungcheong province of South Korea, is a beautiful and popular destination for tourists and locals alike. With its 3.5 kilometers of white sandy beach and clear blue water, it’s no wonder that it attracts so many visitors every year. The beach is especially popular during the summer months when the weather is warm and perfect for swimming.
One of the most famous events that takes place at Daecheon Beach is the annual Mud Festival, which has been held since 1998. The festival started as a small local event, but it has grown in popularity over the years and now attracts thousands of visitors from around the world. During the festival, visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as mud wrestling, mud sliding, and mud baths. The festival is a unique experience that has become a major attraction for both locals and tourists.
Aside from the beach and the festival, there are many other attractions in the surrounding area. The nearby Seongjusan National Forest is a great place for hiking and enjoying nature. The forest is home to a variety of plants and animals, and visitors can explore the hiking trails that wind through the forest. The views from the top of the mountain are breathtaking and well worth the effort it takes to get there.
Another popular attraction in the area is the Boryeong Mud Museum. The museum is dedicated to the history and science of mud, and visitors can learn about the different types of mud and their various uses. The museum also features interactive exhibits where visitors can make their own mud masks or participate in a mud painting workshop.
Food is another highlight of the area, and visitors can sample some of the delicious seafood that the region is known for. There are many restaurants in the area that serve fresh seafood, and visitors can choose from a variety of dishes such as grilled fish, sashimi, and seafood stews.
For those looking to relax and unwind, there are many spas in the area that offer a range of treatments, from traditional Korean massages to hot springs. Visitors can also browse the local markets, where they can find a variety of souvenirs and handicrafts.
Daecheon Beach and the surrounding area offer a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. From the beautiful beach and the famous Mud Festival to the hiking trails, museums, and delicious food, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
How To Visit Daecheon Beach: Transportation Guide
Daecheon Beach is a popular destination in South Korea, known for its long stretches of white sand, clear blue waters, and picturesque sunsets. Getting to Daecheon Beach is relatively easy and convenient, with various transportation options available.
One of the easiest and most popular ways to get to Daecheon Beach is by train. The nearest train station to the beach is Daecheon Station, which is on the West Coast Line. From Seoul, visitors can take the KTX train to Iksan Station, and then transfer to a local train to Daecheon Station. The journey takes around 2-3 hours, depending on the train. Visitors can also take the train from other major cities in South Korea, such as Busan and Daegu.
Another option to get to Daecheon Beach is by bus. There are express buses that run from Seoul, Busan, and other major cities to Boryeong Bus Terminal, which is located near Daecheon Beach. From there, visitors can take a local bus or taxi to the beach, which takes around 15-20 minutes. Buses are a great option for those on a budget, as they are often cheaper than trains.
Visitors can also choose to drive to Daecheon Beach. From Seoul, it takes around 2-3 hours, depending on the traffic. The journey is relatively easy and straightforward, with well-maintained highways leading to the beach. Visitors can rent a car from various rental companies in South Korea, but it’s important to have an international driver’s license.
Once visitors arrive at Daecheon Beach, they can easily get around on foot or by bicycle. Bicycles are available for rent near the beach and are a great way to explore the area. Visitors can also take a local bus or taxi to nearby attractions such as the Mud Festival venue or the Boryeong Mud Museum. Taxis are a convenient option for those who want to get around quickly and comfortably.
Overall, getting to Daecheon Beach is easy and convenient, with various transportation options available. Visitors can choose to travel by train, bus, or car, depending on their preferences and budget. Once they arrive, they can easily explore the area on foot, by bicycle, or by taking a local bus or taxi.
Boryeong Mud Festival: Information For Visitors
The Boryeong Mud Festival is an annual summer festival held in Boryeong, a city in South Korea. Originally established in 1998 to promote the local mud cosmetics industry, the festival has since grown into a major tourist attraction, drawing a significant number of local and international visitors each year. The festival is centered around the use of Boryeong mud, which is renowned for its mineral-rich properties and benefits for the skin.
The festival offers a range of activities and events for visitors to enjoy over two weeks in July. The festival activities include mud wrestling, mud sliding, mud painting, and mud baths. Cultural events and live music performances, as well as food vendors selling traditional Korean street food, are also available. One of the most popular activities is mud wrestling, where participants compete against each other in a pool of mud. Another popular activity is mud sliding, where visitors slide down a giant slide covered in mud.
To fully enjoy the festival, visitors are advised to wear clothes and shoes that they do not mind getting dirty, as the festival is focused on the use of mud. Visitors may also opt to wear swimsuits to engage fully in the mud-related activities. With the festival taking place in the middle of summer, it is essential to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen to protect the skin from the sun’s rays.
Accommodation options for visitors are plentiful, with various hotels, guesthouses, and camping options available in Boryeong and nearby cities such as Daecheon, a popular beach destination.
The Boryeong Mud Festival presents a unique and exciting opportunity for visitors to South Korea, highlighting the importance of Boryeong mud to the local cosmetics industry. The festival is rich in culture, with live music performances and traditional Korean street food available. Visitors are encouraged to dress appropriately and plan ahead, as the festival is known to draw a significant crowd. With a range of activities available, including mud wrestling, mud sliding, mud painting, and mud baths, the festival provides an opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the unique experience of Boryeong mud.
Where To Visit Next: Other Beaches In South Korea
South Korea is home to many beautiful beaches that visitors can explore after visiting Daecheon Beach. Here are some of the top beaches to visit in South Korea:
- Haeundae Beach: Located in Busan, Haeundae Beach is one of the most famous and popular beaches in South Korea. With its soft white sand, crystal-clear water, and vibrant atmosphere, Haeundae Beach is a must-visit destination for beach lovers.
- Gyeongpo Beach: Located in Gangneung, Gyeongpo Beach is a peaceful and tranquil beach with a long stretch of sand and calm waters. The beach is also known for its scenic bike path, which runs along the coast and offers stunning views of the ocean.
- Naksan Beach: Located in Yangyang, Naksan Beach is a secluded and picturesque beach with rocky cliffs, turquoise waters, and black sand. The beach is popular among surfers and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
- Jeju Island Beaches: Jeju Island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in South Korea, including Jungmun Beach, Hamdeok Beach, and Hyeopjae Beach. Each beach offers a unique experience, from the crystal-clear waters of Jungmun Beach to the white sand and turquoise waters of Hyeopjae Beach.
- Gwangalli Beach: Located in Busan, Gwangalli Beach is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. The beach offers a stunning view of the Gwangan Bridge and is known for its vibrant nightlife and street food scene.
These are just a few of the many beautiful beaches to explore in South Korea. Each beach offers a unique experience and showcases the natural beauty of the country. Visitors can easily travel to these beaches by train, bus, or car, making it easy to explore different parts of South Korea.