Summer vacations and weekends away conjure up for most images of beaches and
ocean waves lapping on shores and boats. In Korea, there is no lack of coastline and a
weekend away can take one to the mud flats of the west coast, the thousands of islands
of the south coast, or the white sand beaches of the east coast. This summer, try the
west coast: take a trip to Taean-gun for something a little off the beaten path.
Situated just a couple hours southwest of Seoul in Chungcheong-do, this county is
known for sunsets and beach fun, and is easy enough to get to. Taean Haean National
Park has around thirty beaches to choose from, perfect for the traveler looking for either
a quiet respite from the city or a party on the beach. Highlights of the region include but
are not at all limited to:
This 3.5-kilometer- long beach lined with pine trees is perfect for the person hoping to
camp out and hunt for shellfish and other sea life at low tide. There are also pensions,
minbaks, and some nice hotels, too; yet they’re all spaced out comfortably, so the
beach isn’t likely to be overrun and busy. The amount of space one can find here is a
huge draw. While many popular beaches are swarmed with visitors in the summer,
Mongsanpo is a little more low key and perfect for the person looking to get away, to
rest and to relax with the beautiful ocean in view.
Mongsanpo Beach (충청남도 태안군 남면 신장리)
Sinjang-gil, Nam-myeon, Taean-gun, Chungcheongnam-do
Amenities: changing rooms, shower booths, restrooms, water-supply area, campsite
and auto-camp site, basketball court, volleyball court, nearby pensions, minbaks, and
other places to stay as well as cafes and eateries.
Website: www.mongsanpo.or.kr/ (Korean only)
The “road of pine trees and sand” is a course that was opened up in 2011 and winds
12.7 kilometers from Mongsanpo Beach down to Deureunihang Port passing by
Cheongpodae Beach, Baeksajang Beach, Sambong Beach, and Gijipo Beach. There
are a few different courses that make up the whole. The one starting at Mongsanpo is
an estimated four hours walk south, but if the meander leads to short swims at the
beautiful beaches previously mentioned, it could take quite a bit longer and that’s okay.
This road is the way to enjoy the scenery, enjoy the landscape, and get in some
exercise, too. Stay at Mongsanpo for the night, then walk along Solmoraegil the next
day with a few dips in between, while moving further south to the next spot in the
beautiful national park.
Sambong Beach, just a bit south of Mongsanpo, offers markedly different views from
the gentle slope of the aforementioned beaches. Sambong, just south of a port, has
three major rock formations and a pebbly surface to walk on at the northern end. The
sand dune nearby is a must see. Camping is also available just behind this beach,
which might be best enjoyed by walking along while scooping up clams and other sea
life. Walk a bit south, though, and the lighter sand and clear ocean views are sure to
make any traveler swoon. This beach also offers ample space to spread out and enjoy
Changgi 6-ri, Anmyeon-eup, Taean-gun, Chungcheongnam-do
Amenities: parking, camping, restrooms, shower rooms
Anmyeon-do Island Recreational Forest
This forest, which should be visited in the morning before the crowds come to eat lunch,
is full of 120-year- old pine trees that were once managed by the royal family of the
Goryeo Dynasty. The massive trees provide shade to rest under and a cool breeze
before you head back to the beach for another dip in the afternoon waves. This park is
gorgeous and the towering trees remind us that we are only a small part of this huge,
Address: 3195-6, Anmyeon-daero, Anmyeon-eup, Taean-gun, Chungcheongnam-do
Amenities: convenience store, restrooms, picnic tables/benches, parking
Hours: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Admission: Adults: KRW 1,000; Teenagers: KRW 800; Children under 13: KRW 400
One of the most popular beaches in the region, Kkotji is said to be one of the best
places to view the sunset in Korea. The 3.2-kilometer- long beach gently slopes out into
the water like many of the beaches on the west coast and offers a view of two stones
jutting up into the sky. This view, with the sun setting between the rocks, is why people
flock to the area. The rocks, lovingly named Grandmother Rock and Grandfather Rock,
also provide a chance to weave a tale to newcomers of a wife turned to stone while she
awaited the return of her husband from war. This beach is for the traveler looking to join
the crowds, sit under a rainbow umbrella next to hundreds of other rainbow umbrellas,
and eat the good food from the numerous vendors that sit nearby awaiting the arrival of
the thousands of tourists.
Kkotji Beach (꽃지해수욕장)
Seungeon 4-ri, Anmyeon-eup, Taean-gun, Chungcheongnam-do
Amenities: parking, shower rooms, restrooms, restaurants, umbrella rental
This summer take a trip away to Taean-gun and enjoy some of the amazing views
within Taean Haean National Park: from beaches to sand dunes, towering pine trees,
and rock formations, it’s all stunning.
Story by: Hallie Bradley
Hallie Bradley is a writer, educator, editor and more who has lived in Korea since 2006.
Check out her website TheSoulofSeoul.net for more articles on culture, Korean
traditions and the life of her growing multicultural family in Korea or follow her on
Instagram @thesoulofseoulblog for photos along the way.