SUMMER: The Vacation Season
The hot summer of Korea runs from June to early September. Half of the annual rainfall occurs during the monsoon season, which starts in late June and last through July. Med-July through mid-August is the hottest period of the year.
Haeundae is Korea’s largest public beach, a 1.5km-long stretch of fine sand and shallow water. The beach is also lined by a row of high-rise buildings. Neighboring cultural spaces include Busan Aquarium and the galleries in some of the surrounding buildings. A good place to stroll about is Dongbaekseom, home of the architecturally pleasing Nurimaru APEC House.
- Website : http://sunnfun.haeundae.go.kr
- Location : 264 Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan
- How to Get There : Take the bus No.1003 from Busan Station and get off at Haeundae Beach stop.
Along with Haeundae, this is one of Busan’s leading beaches. The beach is fronted by the beautiful Gwangan Bridge, a 7.4km span linking Namcheon-dong and Haeundae. A popular sunset spot, the beach is popular at night when Gwangan Bridge is lit up. It is a good spot for culinary tourism, with Milak-dong Raw Fish Center and a street lined by restaurants nearby.
- Website : www.suyeong.go.kr/gwangalli/main.asp
- Location : Area round Gwangan 2-dong, Suyeong-gu, Busan
- How to Get There : From Busan Seobu Bus Terminal go to Sasang Station, Subway Line 2, and take the subway to Gwangan Station (Exit 5).
The area of Gangwon-do’s most famous beach, Gyeongpo Beach consists of both Gyeongpoho Lake and the seaside beach. The beach itself is 1.4km long and is surrounded by 4km of pine forests. Both the seaside and lake are lined by a bicycle path ― bike rental shops can be found near the lake. Two-person and four-person bikes are also available.
- Website : www.gntour.go.kr/sea/beach_01_01/page/main.jsp
- Location : Area around San 1, Anhyeon-dong and San 1, Gangmun-dong, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
- How to Get There : Take the bus No.202 from in front of Gangneung Express Bus Terminal and get off at Gyeongpo Beach.
The crescent-shaped beach stretches 0.6km below Jeju Island’s Jungmun Tourism Complex. It is sometimes called “Jinmosal,” a reference to its four kinds of sand: black, white, red and gray. The best place to view the beach is Swiri Hill in the garden of the Shilla Hotel in the Jungmun Tourism Complex, so named because it was a filming location for the git 1999 film Swiri.
- Location : Area around Saekdal-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
- How to Get There : Take the bus No. 600 from Jeju Int’l Airport and get off at Korea Condo and walk to the beach.
The best-known beach on Jeju Island’s western coast, this beach not only has shallow water and gentle inclines, but is also blessed with great ocean water, making it a popular destination. On a clear day, the white sand and jade sea along with the distant island of Biyang-do just off the coast add to the scenic beauty.
- Location : Area around 2497-1 Hyeopjae-ri, Hallim-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
- How to Get There : Take the bus No.100 from Jeju Int’l Airport and get off at Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal. From there take the westward bound circle bus and get off at Hyopjae Beach.
Located at the west coast in Chungcheongnam-do Province, clamshells blend into the white sands of this beach that stretches to 3.5km. A cruise boat also sails in the shores off Daecheon Beach, offering visitors a view of white pebbles that line the ocean floors.
- Location : Sinheuk-dong, Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do
- How to Get There : From Daecheon Station or Boryeong Intercity Bus Terminal, take a bus bound for Daecheon Beach (10mins intervals). Get off at Daecheon Beach Station.
Lined with pine trees, 4km stretch of white sands and shallow waters of 1.5m – 70m, the Naksan Beach is one of the beaches in the East Coast that receives a great number of visitors during every summer.
- Location : 1, Jucheong-ri, Ganghyeon-myeon, Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do
- How to Get There : From Seoul Express Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take an express bus heading for Yangyang Intercity Bus Terminal. Exit out to the right and take Bus 9 and get off at Naksan Bus Stop (6 stops away). Walk towards the beach for around 400m (6mins walking distance from the bus stop).
It is located southwest of Yongyudo Island near Incheon International Airport. Being crowded with visitors all year round, the beautiful white sandy beach is also one of the few astronomical observation areas among the suburbs of Seoul.
- Location : 717-12, Eurwang-dong. Jung-gu, Incheon
- How to Get There : Incheon International Airport (Airport Railroad), Gate 2A (1F). Take Bus 302 or 306 and get off at Eurwangni Beach
Caribbean Bay is part of the Everland theme park, whereby one not only can enjoy swimming and water amusement rides, but also relax and enjoy the spa treatment all year round. The amusement park is being equipped with various facilities, including indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, sauna and water rides.
Gimhae Lotte Water Park
This is one of the largest water parks in Korea opened by the Lotte Group. The Gimhae Lotte Water Park is “Polynesian” themed and equipped with water rides, wave pools and tornado slides, promising a fun adventure for its visitors. It is also one of the must-visit vacation spot for travelers to Busan.
Busan Haeundae Sand Festival
Held at Haeundae Beach, this festival heats up the Haeundae seaside just before the start of summer with a variety of sand-related events and exhibits. The World Sand Sculpture Exhibit features film-related works by famous domestic and international artists. Other programs include a Children’s Sand Olympics, a beach circus festival, and Korean wrestling.
- Period : 4~9 June, 2014 (4 days)
- Website : http://sandfestival.co.kr
Boryeong Mud Festival
The Boryeong Mud Festival is Chungcheongnam-do’s leading festival, making use of the fine mud powder produced by removing impurities from the high-quality mud of the mud flats near Daecheon Beach. The festival is centered on fun, featuring large-scale mud baths, Korean wrestling in the mud, and mus slides. There are mud-related beauty programs such as mud self-massages and mud pack treatments, and a variety of mud-related products for sale.
Hwacheon Tomato Festival
The Hwacheon Tomato Festival is one exciting fun-filled experience. The festival includes a singing contest, folk plays, various hands-ons experience programs and unique events focusing on tomatoes, Hwacheon’s representative vegetables. The main event during this festival is “Find the Golden Ring”, whereby participants will go in search in a puddle of tomatoes and stand a chance to win a 262.5g golden ring.
- Website : www.tomatofestival.or.kr
- Period : End of July (TBC)
- Location : Sports Park in Sanae-myeon area, Hwacheon-gu, Gangwon-do
A bowl of noodles in chilled broth, naengmyeon was originally a winter dish. Two of the most popular forms of this dish are Pyeongyang Naengmyeon, in which buckwheat noodles are served in a chilled radish broth, and Hamheung Naengmyeon, in which chewy sweet potato noodles are mixed with a tangy seasoning. Originating in the northern regions of Korea, it can now be enjoyed anywhere in the country.
This Korean summer favorite is made from shaved ice and sweet red beans, and is sometimes served with milk, fruit, rice cake, jelly, and cereal sprinkled on top. There are variations of the dish, too, including gwail bingsu (served with fruit) and nokcha bingsu (served with green tea powder).