The Great Korean Road Trip – Day 4 – Taeanhaean National Park

Distance Traveled Today: 305km

Distance Traveled Total: 630km

Today the weather was looking good in the morning so we headed west towards the beaches of Taeanhaean National Park.  But first, a Ferris Wheel in the distance at Dangjin city caught my attention. In this little corner is a permanent fair of sorts, complete with carnival games, the before mentioned Ferris Wheel, and even a battleship transformed into
a “Marines Cafe.” A Thursday in the blistering heat is hardly the day to explore this place, but there were a few families here and there looking around, so I thought, what the hell. On to the main event though.

From my list of things to do in Korea, you may have noticed a sort of bias against natural sites in Korea. I am admittedly a big critic of Korea’s natural landscape, so one of the things I wanted to do on this trip was hit up as many National Parks as possible to get a balanced view. As a Marine National Park, Taeanhaean mostly consists of islands and a few beaches along the western coast. I’ve never been to any of the beaches in these neck of the woods, so wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I wanted to check out two to get a good contrasting perspective of the park. Hakanpo Beach was first. This beach is separated into three main parts. One accommodates car campers, another for people staying in one of the few resorts, and a first area for people who want to fish. I also found myself this little oasis in a corner of the beach.

Taeanhaean National Park
This small strip had no one on it. There’s another one on the other side of the rock.

Sinduri Beach is only 10 km away from Hakanpo. It’s main attaction is the only sand dune in Korea. To be honest, the dune itself was grossly overrated. However the beach was really nice. The hard sand makes for a very flat and non porous coastline, making the water very shallow for a long time. Outside of the main strip, towards the dune area, there can be up to a solid km or two of empty beach. I am sure it gets more crowded on the weekend, but on a weekday, it was perfect. The contrast between Hakanpo and Sinduri reminded me a lot of the constasts between Piha and Kare Kare on the west side of Auckland, New Zealand.

Taeanhaean National Park
This is towards the direction of people. Behind me is a good kilometer or two with no one in sight.

Crosby, yes the Kid herself, will join me this weekend, so I’m off for now.

Other stops – Gongseri Cathedral (t’was nice), the great frog pond at Sinduri.

A wrong turn took me to this frog pond.
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Julio Moreno

Julio is a California native who has lived abroad since 2009 as an expat in South Korea and New Zealand. He is especially passionate about experiencing other cultures and visiting as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites as possible.
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