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!
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.
Images captured by you are really eyecatching. Your experience and these images are a perfect combo.
Nice view of Nature!!! I love south Korea specially their movies…. and dramas.. 🙂 🙂
Nice! Very inspiring and I have no doubt to take a trip to Daecheon soon..
Many of my friends are Korean and South Korea is a destination I always have wanted to explore, thanks for the heads up. No doubt when I am there, will drink some Soju on the beach!
Hi there! Great article and also an interesting beach! I too lived in South Korea for about a year and half and taught English there. Wow do I remember the humidity!
Currently I’m living in Brazil which is very humid but nothing compared to what I experienced in Korea. –Walking down the street completely soaked in sweat and miserable.
A trip to the beach is the perfect escape. We took a few beach weekends while living there. The beach culture is so different from what I’m used to, and I was amazed that so many South Korean’s do not know how to swim! They live on a penninsula, yet the majority of people don’t swim. I’m a water lover so it baffles me.
Thanks for the great article, and for making me nostalgic of my days teaching English in South Korea!
It’s quite clear that nobody who has been to S.Korea complains about the internet speed as the statistics show they’ve got the fastest in the world. Regarding the humidity, I didn’t know they’re on this latitude for high humidity! Thanks for informing us. It’s always good to know before you travel there. I hate such weather particularly in summer.
Indeed, the internet speeds are amazing. Downloads and uploads and HD streaming are a joy. The best time to visit Korea is in the spring or fall.
Daecheon Beach has a well fame as far I know & backpackers often like to enjoy in the beach. The way I welcoming all tourists enjoying this one & probably it’ll be a memorable spot too.
Daecheon is an interesting place, but I still prefer the Busan beaches. I went to a side beach really close to Daecheon and there was a really weird model shoot, with a bunch of 20-30 old Korean men taking photos of topless Korean girls. It was pretty weird.
Daecheon is a little empty for my taste, but worth a visit I guess.
Great post really! The rice fields were very fascinating that emphasized symbol of youth. What types of drinks they sold? Cocktails or Mocktails? Moreover, above all information and images were so informative & beautiful too.
Thanks James Shannon! I wish you’ll continuing your writing & sharing.
I just returned from Vietnam where we spent several hours in the Incheon airport each way awaiting our connecting flights. Unfortunately, the airport was the only taste of Korea I got. ‘Next time I’ll be sure to book a long enough layover to get out and explore a little. Maybe even go to the beach!
Busan and vicinity is also a great place to go the beach in Korea (for those seeking the best urban beach experiences in Korea), but Daecheon rules for not being so crowded as the ones in the south!
Definitely is important to know where the beach is especially when it gets so humid.
Definitely man … Korea is the worst for humidity in the summer time … same latitude as the American South, heat index close to the 40’s in Celsius (in the 100’s in Fahrenheit). A trip to the beach fixes that!