Salt Water Tofu and Gramophones in Gangneung

Gangneung, Korea: Gyeongpo Lake Biking

After a day enjoying Gyeongpo Beach and all of the shellfish we could eat, we decided to head just behind the pine trees lining the sand and enjoy the lakeside for a day.

Bike rental shops and tents can be found easily, so we picked up a couple for W5,000 an hour each and went on our way. I should admit, we had ours for more than an hour and they didn’t charge us any extra, perhaps another great thing about visiting during low season.

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Gangneung, Korea: Gyeongpo Lake

Gyeongpo Lake (경포호)means “clear as a mirror” and was formed when the mouth of the bay was closed by sand and rocks brought in by the Gangneung, Korea: Gyeongpo Lake fake Cherry Blossom Treessea currents. This area is known to be a romantic destination for couples and the saying here goes “with the moon shining in the sky, it is reflected in the ocean, on the lake, in your glass and in the eyes of your lover.” The lake is lined with cherry blossoms in the spring which is rather romantic, but if you’re like us and go during the summer not to worry, you can still see cherry blossom trees. We had to pull over in surprise on the path when we realized that some of the trees were fake and outfitted to look like cherry blossom trees in bloom. Does that really keep the romanticism alive? Also around the lake are some quite humorous statues. For those people that want a more serious tone, there are also historical relics along the way to stop off at and enjoy as well.

The first stop for us was the Chamsori Gramophone Museum and Edison Science Museum (참소리축음기 에디슨과학박물관). This museum was first started in 1982 by private collector Sung-mok Son and is the largest Gangneung, Korea: Gramophone Museumgramophone museum in the world, without much competition I imagine. He has collected 4,500 phonographs, 150,000 phonograph records, 1,000 books and 5,000 other items from 20 nations around the world. His first gramophone was a Columbian G241 made in the 1920’s given to him by his parents in Wonsan, North Korea. When the family fled south, this gramophone was the only thing he took with him and now has a special place in the museum. His collection is rather spectacular and if you’re lucky, you’ll even be able to spot him enjoying his collection as we did. The Lonely Planet states that tours are only given in Korean, however, there are people on staff that speak English and are more than happy to accommodate foreigners. The first hall contains 30 music boxes and a circus organ, which were in use before the gramophone was invented. Some of them still work and if you ask politely you may get to listen. There are also 350 beautifully painted gramophones of all sizes to view and this is just the introduction. The second hall contains cabinet style gramophones made in the 1920s and 1930s and the third hall contains radios and TVs produced between 1920 and 1980.
Gangneung, Korea: Gramophone Museum

Connected to the Gramophone Museum is the Edison Science Museum, which focuses on Edison’s “three major inventions – the gramophone, the light bulb, and the projector.” The numerous light bulbs on display are a wonder Gangneung, Korea: Gramophone Museumand some still work today a century later making them even more spectacular. The whole place takes an hour to peruse and the staff is extremely helpful. It’s certainly a kitschy place to spend some time inside.

After the museum it was lunch time so, we headed to Chodang Sundubu Village to savor a local delicacy. This area is known for a very special kind of tofu that is made with salt water from the East Sea rather than salt mixed with water as in the rest of the country. The name of the food originates from a famous family in the 16th century named Chodang-Heoyeop. Heoyeop was the father of writer and poet Heo-gyun and poet Heonan-seolheon. There are numerous restaurants along the country road to choose from, but we opted for Chodang Halmoni Sundubu just around the bend on the right side. Anything made by a halmoni, grandmother, must be delicious, right?

Gangneung, Korea: Chodang Halmoni Sundubu, Saltwater Tofu

Chodang Halmoni Sundubu has more than twenty years of experience and follows the traditional recipe for their delicious meals. They start making the tofu at 4 o’clock in the morning for early morning customers and continue until 9 at night. Their menu is short and sweet with only three options: Chodang tofu, Chodang tofu set and hard tofu. We ordered the set and enjoyed. The server was extremely helpful and when asked happily explained how were to eat the tofu properly (in Korean, don’t expect too much English here). It was a delicious end to our time in Gangneung.Gangneung, Korea: Chodang Halmoni Sundubu, Saltwater Tofu Gangneung, Korea: Chodang Tofu, Saltwater Tofu, Food

We wrapped up our trip by hailing a bus while we were walking along a small road trying to find a bus stop. The bus driver happily opened his door, even though we weren’t at a specified stop, and dropped us at the station.

Gangneung was beautiful and the people were quite friendly and hospitable. We couldn’t have had a better time there.

Gyeongpo Lake


강원도 강릉시 저동

Jeo-dong Gangneung-si Gangwon-do, Korea

Directions From Seoul: Get a bus from Express Bus Terminal to Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal (~W20,000). From Gangneun Terminal, catch bus 202 (~W1,200) outside and take it to Gyeongpodae.

Chamsori Gramophone Museum


강원도 강릉시 저동 36

36 Jeo-dong Gangneung-si Gangwon-do, Korea

Phone: 033-655-1130


Gangneung Bus: 202, 202-1, 312, 313

Hours: 9:00am – 5:30pm


Chodang Halmoni Sundubu


강원도 강릉시 초당동 307-4

307-4 Chodang-dong Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, Korea

Phone: 033-652-2058

Hours: 6:30am – 9:00pm


Gangneung Bus: 206 , 207 , 229 , 230 , 230-1



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Gangneung, Korea: Saltwater Tofu & Gramophones: Gangneung, Korea is famous for beautiful beaches and for salt water tofu and it's a must eat. Also in the area is a random but cool gramophone museum and bike rental for some fun too. The perfect weekend getaway in Korea.

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8 Responses

  1. January 1, 2014

    […] and I headed to Gangneung, Korea, upon her suggestion, and found a spectacular beach there, some delicious salt water tofu and even a gramophone museum. What could be […]

  2. November 28, 2014

    […] Not only is Gyeongpo a gorgeous beach in the summer, in the winter it offers beautiful views of the sunrise. Traditionally, New Years is celebrated by welcoming the coming year by basking in the rays of the first sunrise on January 1st. If you haven’t been out to Gangneung yet, this is a great opportunity to celebrate the New Year Korean style as well as enjoy some of the areas other treats from their specialty tofu to their gramophone museum. […]

  3. December 5, 2014

    […] Not only is Gyeongpo a gorgeous beach in the summer, in the winter it offers beautiful views of the sunrise. Traditionally, New Years is celebrated by welcoming the coming year by basking in the rays of the first sunrise on January 1st. If you haven’t been out to Gangneung yet, this is a great opportunity to celebrate the New Year Korean style as well as enjoy some of the areas other treats from their specialty tofu to their gramophone museum. […]

  4. March 2, 2015

    […] Gyeongpo Cherry Blossom Festival (Usually mid-April): Gyeongpo has a 4.3 kilometer long walk around a gorgeous lake that is lined with cherry blossoms and that’s not the only thing worth a visit, the beach that sits just beyond the lake is gorgeous as well. There are various cultural events and flower exhibitions and if there’s extra time a pretty nice gramaphone museum nearby. […]

  5. August 18, 2015

    […] 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 […]

  6. December 10, 2015

    […] Gyeongpo is especially beautiful during the summer months when the beach beckons but in the winter the beach beckons for other reasons. The sunrise over the coast here and just to the north in Jeongdongjin are spectacular and traditionally the New Years is celebrated by welcoming the beautiful first sun rays of the year early in the morning. To start your year off right and in true Korean fashion, head to Gangneung to wish for a prosperous year and to have fun at the many events held at the same time. While there, don’t forget to eat their specialty tofu and visit their very quirky gramophone m… […]

  7. August 23, 2016

    […] departure. We took the opportunity to enjoy the clear blue water of Jeongdongjin Beach and have Chodang Sundubu for lunch. Chodang Sundubu is a salt water tofu dish that is extremely appetizing. I had it on a trip to Gangneung many years ago and now try to have it […]

  8. June 19, 2017

    […] All of the hubbub can be overwhelming and too noisy so a quick trip away to reboot and breathe some fresh salty air is usually what’s on my mind. This week a friend and I headed to Gangneung, Korea to find a beach, eat some salt water tofu and learn about gramophones. […]

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