Gangneung’s Sungeut Beach is a Perfect Summer Getaway in Korea
The beaches on the northeastern shores of Korea always stun me. The white sands and the emerald blue clear waters that lap against the shore are so dreamy.
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It’s a wonder that anyone lives in a city NOT on a coast in Korea when the kind of beauty that exists in Gangneung is out there. This past weekend, we took three days and went out to Sungeut Beach. It’s a bit smaller than the other popular beaches in the vicinity and doesn’t offer the numerous cafes and restaurants of the areas surrounding, but that meant it was perfect for our first trip to the coast of the season. It’s just between the popular areas of Jumunjin and Gyeongpo Beach so we could easily navigate to those areas if we felt the need.
Sungeut Beach, though, was beautiful and lacked the crowds that most of the northeastern beaches get in the summer. Sure, it’s also a bit early for the crowds. The water is a still a bit chilly but that didn’t stop us… or anyone else that WAS there, from taking a dip and dipping our toes in the water. The water that was so clear just beckoned and we answered the call. We dug our toes in the sand, built whatever the little one was musing over and looked for seashells, sticks and other beachy finds.
My first reaction to feeling the water was to jump with joy and squeal with delight as you can see.
While the weather the previous week in Seoul had been rain storm after storm after downpour after downpour, as soon as we hit the road, the skies cleared and we were met with blue skies and the bright rays of sunshine on arrival. We donned our beach clothes and enjoyed every minute of the weekend on the shore. While Sungeut Beach is rather small, it does have all of the amenities that we needed. There was umbrella rental as well as plastic lounge chairs and large wooden platforms that could be used for sitting on, laying on or eating on without fear of getting sand everywhere. There was a bathroom and changing room and a lifeguard on duty. There was a small convenience store as well as the larger CU just across the street and there were tubes to rent too. There was also a parking lot for people passing by to stop over to see the fun as well. On the southern end is a cool modern look-out for people to climb up for views and fishermen perch on the stones that jut out to catch their meal for the night presumably.
In the evening the second day we donned some of our threads from our recent trip to Hawai’i for a family portrait fun. You get a tripod and this is what happens after all. Actually, there seems to be this newish trend on Korean Instagram for people to hashtag when they’ve taken a photo themselves. It’s a little different than the standard “selfie” using a selfie stick or just a hand but they set up a shot with their tripod, step in and get some pretty awesome photos. This summer, I’ve noticed more and more couples and solo adventurers taking part. I don’t mind jumping on in and doing it too and there were a few other students and others around us doing similar photo sessions… though maybe not in bright Hawaiian threads like us. My Hawaiian dress is actually a retro find from my grandmother’s closet. She went to Hawai’i twice, once in the mid 70’s and once in the early 80’s and she bought this dress on one of those trips. When I was in high school, I found her closet of amazing dresses that she wasn’t ready to part with but didn’t have a place to wear and got a few. This is one of my favorites to wear to the beach because it’s just so perfect. I wish they still made things with this quality. While we found numerous Hawaiian shirts and little dresses like the one our daughter is wearing, we found nothing of similar quality to this Hawaiian dress that my grandmother purchased some 40 years ago. It’s so perfect for the beach though.
Sungeut Beach provided a great family getaway location and Mint Cloud Pension was the perfect place to stay. The pension owners are extremely nice and helpful and provide a great place for that weekend away. The rooms are modern and interesting with a chandelier and a bathtub in the main room for that evening soak or some bubble bath fun for the kids. The room is a split room so there is a staircase that leads to a floor above with a mattress to sleep on. Downstairs there is also a fold out mattress that would be a little less comfortable than the actual bed mattress upstairs but you could still sleep on it. Could easily fit four or more in the space. In the evening, guests are welcomed outside to grill up some dinner. You can rent the grill for W5,000 and head down the street to stock up on meat, lettuce and other sides and enjoy a little grill out with the other vacationers.
Don’t miss your chance, check out Gangneung and pensions soon because as soon as summer vacation really hits, everything gets booked up fast! Gangneung is THE place to go in the summer.