It’s that time of year again: beach season! Beaches all around Korea are “officially” opening for swimming, camping, grilling, and other beachy activities. We’ve lived in Jeollanamdo for a year and a half now and we have done our fair share of beach camping around the province. We’ve noticed, however, that there is a lack of English resources about the beaches here in the southwest corner of the country, so we’ve decided to put together a list of the most popular and largest beaches in the area with a couple of hidden gems thrown into the mix too.
7. Ungcheon Beach – Yeosu
This man-made beach in Yeosu easily made our list of top beaches in Jeollanamdo. Located in the middle of the city, Ungcheon Beach has all the conveniences you could hope for with some killer views of the bay and surrounding neighborhoods. There is camping available for 20,000/night in the tree line and the waters are great for swimming. Since it is in the city, it is easy to get to and has everything you could need nearby including marts, restaurants, and other forms of entertainment such as hiking and a new CGV movie theater. You can rent kayaks for free if you have a Yeosu address on your ARC card and there are also sailboat tours of the bay! The downside? During high tide, the beach gets really narrow. But since there is so much else going on in the area, you can easily find other things to do than play in the sand.
6. Jangdeung Beach – Yeosu
We couldn’t make this list without throwing in one of our favorite secluded beaches. Just 27 km away from Yeosu, Jangdeung beach is the perfect place to escape the crowds and hang out with friends. Even though there are camp sites (which are typically free), bathrooms, and a small mart in the village above the beach, this beach stays pretty deserted even in peak beach season. With views of the surrounding islands and not a soul around, this place is our favorite get away from the city. Buses will take around an hour to get here, or you can get a taxi to take you for around 30,000 won.
5. GAGYE BEACH – JINDO
Gagye Beach is the famous beach where the Jindo Sea Parting Festival occurs. Twice a year during low tide, the water parts to reveal a thin strip of land joining Jindo and Modo Island for about an hour. Hundreds of people come and walk across during the festival. Gagye Beach itself is a great place to hang out during the summer. Camping is available in the tree line above the water and there are plenty of bathrooms, shower facilities, and a couple of marts to get you by while there.
4. Yulpo Beach – Boseong
Boseong already offers so much with its amazing green tea fields dotting the landscape as far as the eye can see, but did you know they also have a pretty awesome beach as well? When we visited the tea fields last year, we mistakenly got on a bus that took us to the beach instead of the train station. We decided to just go with it and discovered that the beach was actually quite nice. There are hotels and pensions nearby, but camping is also available. They have a lot of marts and different kinds of restaurants around so there is no need to worry about bringing a lot of stuff. During the month of July, the beachfront waterpark opens up, but it is mostly a place for families with kids. Buses come to the beach once every 40 minutes or so and taxis are hard to catch, so just be wary!
3. Myeongsasipri Beach – Wando
This beach is possibly one of the most popular amongst the foreigners in Jeollanamdo. It isn’t the easiest beach to get to, but it is totally worth it to take the time to get there. We recently camped here with friends for the first time and loved it so much that we went back alone this past weekend. Even though it is difficult to get to, once there you will find plenty of marts and restaurants to keep you happy and fully stocked for the weekend. There are also plenty of camping and shower facilities all covered by a beautiful pine tree grove which helps you escape the hot midday sun. The only downside to this awesome beach is the mass amounts of seaweed farms that dot the horizon of the ocean. During the day, many farmers collect the seaweed and lay it out above the beach to dry in the sun.
2. Ujeon Beach – Jeungdo
The western coast of Jeollanamdo doesn’t have near as many beaches as the southern coast does. Many of our friends living in Mokpo have complained of this many times. However, just an hour and a half drive out of the city will get you to Jeungdo Island, connected to Muan city with newly built bridges. The beach on Jeungdo is incredibly beautiful and is the second longest beach in Jeollanamdo. There are a lot of pensions around the beach, but the island remains very rural and undeveloped otherwise. There are not a lot of restaurants and only a few small marts, but the island does boast the status of being a slow city and there are wetlands to explore as well as a lot of salt farms.
1. Daegwang Beach – Imjado
This beach has been given the title of the longest beach in South Korea. It is located on Imjado Island just a short 20 min ferry ride from Jido Island, which is accessible to the mainland via bridge. This island is also very rural with just a few scattered villages and farms. Like Jeungdo, Imjado also has a number of salt farms. The only other attraction Imjado has to offer is their Tulip Festival in late April. There are a few small marts that offer the bare basics, but it is best to plan ahead and bring your own supplies.