Sunny Byeonsan and Rocky Chaesukgang
I had to get out of the rainy season in Seoul which has somehow lasted weeks longer than it usually does so I headed down south where the rainy season has apparently finished up. We rented a car jumped in and headed down to Jeollabuk-do. I told Jae-oo I wanted a beach and I wanted some rocks and off we went. Originally I thought Incheon would be enough for me, but when the forecast said typhoon rains would be coming we decided to head a bit further south to stay out of the path of the rains.
We ended up with Byeonsan Beach (변산해수욕장) as our destination. Luckily, we went on Monday and Tuesday so the crowds were minimal.. Since it was a long weekend and everyone had Monday off for Independence Day loads of people were there over the weekend but they left Monday and we came so our side of the highway going down was fairly easy to navigate and smooth going. Byeonsan is located in the Buan area of Jeollabuk-do. Online it says it only takes a 3 hourish bus ride to get to Buan and then a 30 minute bus from there to Gyeokpo to get to the beach so a total of four hours. It took us about five but that was mostly due to the hour it took just to get out of Seoul. In a car, unfortunately, I can’t use that nice bus lane that speeds up the exit from Seoul.
The waters on the west side of the country tend to be a bit muddier than the east side in my experience, but other than not being able to see my feet in the water the ocean was cool and the swimming was nice. The water isn’t deep at all and I made Jae-oo rather nervous with how far out I was willing to go. I could still touch the bottom though so off I went into the unknown waters. The beach was lined with fir trees and and as the sun was setting and the tides were going out people gathered to dig up the goodies left over from the ocean.
The next day we headed to Chaesukgang (채석강), a large rocky cliff just at the next beach over. We went in the morning while the water was still at low tide and could walk all the way around the cliff. The layers created by the sea in the rocks made for some fun pictures and a nice jaunt for the day.
The remainder of the day was spent swimming, getting some sun and watching as the tide quickly came in and people were trying to catch their shoes before they drifted away. Then there were some people that just never came back from their swimming while I was still there and though I tried to be the nice stranger and I moved their shoes and their keys further and further back from the rising waters I eventually had to leave and couldn’t protect their things any longer. I can only assume their keys were lost in the tides and the four teenagers in black shirts that came together were berated by their parents when they walked home with no keys to the car. Or some other stranger continued in my mission to save the car keys and shoes after I left.
전라북도 부안군 변산면 대항리 567
567 Daehang-ri Byeonsan-myeon, Buan-gun, Jeollabuk-do, Korea
Amenities: parking lot (free), shower booths, changing rooms, campground, water fountain, snack bar
전라북도 부안군 변산면 격포리
Gyeokpo-ri Byeongsan-myeon, Buan-gun, Jeollabuk-do, Korea
Parking: Available for a minimal fee.