Yangyang-gun: Paradise at Naksan Beach
After scouring the internet sites for pensions in Gangneung last week and coming up nil, I decided to focus my search on pensions near beaches to the north and south of the ever famous Gyeongpo Beach for this past weekend’s trip to the coast. Hoping that the beaches in the vicinity would be just as beautiful I came upon a pension with a room on Naksan Beach (낙산해변) and booked it as quick as my little fingers could get it done.
The beach was all that and more.
Four kilometers of white sand make up this beach that is lined with pine tree forests providing shade along a boardwalk when the sun becomes too hot to bear. Swing-sets and benches are spaced sporadically along the side walk at the back of the beach and from morning to evening the clear blue water sparkles in the sunlight. Even though it was the last weekend of the summer high season there was plenty of space for everyone to spread out and claim a good plot of sand for themselves. Of course there were the clumps of umbrellas you have to pay for and the groups of tents set up by families, but wander this way or that and there was sand, sand and more sand with hardly a soul in sight.
If you are looking for crowds, the partying concerts and the fireworks run amok, the north end of the beach is where you should head, but just a bit south and there’s nothing of the sort. While we expected crowds for this “last weekend” of the summer, they just weren’t to the extent that you’d find in Busan’s famous Haeundae or in Jeju this time of year and that suited us just fine. Party central at the north end of Naksan Beach also provides all of the carnival games you could want to play and some carnival rides too if you want a little action. There is also a CU, GS25 and two 7/11’s all in one corner so if you have a favorite convenience store, no worries, yours is there. If you’re looking for some good coffee not of the convenience store variety, head to Cafe Le Mer Bleue which sits among the many Korean sashimi restaurants.
Not only is this beach one of the best I’ve seen and lacking the normal beach paradise crowds to boot, there’s also the gorgeous Naksansa Temple nearby and Seoraksan National Park is just a short half hour bus ride away.
It would behoove any visitor to enjoy the beach, but also take a gander around the area of Yangyang-gun because it’s really a spectacular weekend getaway destination.
Naksan Beach (낙산해변)
강원도 양양군 강현면 해맞이길 59
59 Haemaji-gil Ganghyeon-myeon Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do
From Seoul: From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal OR Gangnam Express Bus Terminal, take a bus to Yangyang Bus Terminal. (takes about 4 hours) From the Yangyang Bus Terminal, catch bus number 9 OR 9-1 in front of the terminal to Naksan.
Amenities: camp site (open from the beginning of May to the end of August), restrooms, shower rooms, changing rooms, drinking fountains, parking