At the Beach

Trip Start Dec 02, 2011
Trip End Dec 02, 2012

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Flag of Korea Rep.  , South Chungcheong,
Saturday, June 22, 2013

Today we spent a not terribly eventful day at Daecheon Beach (대천해수욕장) on the west coast of Korea. No one rescued from nearly drowning this time. We had an easy morning and arrived in the town around noon. Although this weekend nothing special was going on, Daecheon is famous for, among foreigners at least, the Boryeong Mud Festival. The Mud Festival happens in the summer and features loads of foreigners getting drunk and covering themselves in mud. I think it may have started out as a more traditional activity, but now it's basically just a giant party for foreigners.

It's really not my thing, and I was surprised to see the Daecheon train station covered in huge photographic murals of the festival. It was weird because the festival pictures were entirely filled with foreigners. Sure, there was an Asian or two among the hundreds of faces to be seen in the ads, but I'd be surprised if they were native Korean. Anyway, I'm sure the festival brings the city a ton of money, it was just weird to see the train station covered with giant pictures of drunken foreigners.

So, like I said, we were just here on a regular weekend. No Mud Festival. We grabbed a couple of cabs to the beach and staked out a spot. We briefly considered renting a space under an umbrella, but they were 20,000W each. No thanks. The beach wasn't too crowded, considering it was an early-summer Saturday. We did move about an hour after we arrived when we found a decent stretch of the beach that was basically empty, maybe a kilometer or two to the right of where we entered the beach.

The sand was nice. Not rocky, although it was a little shelly in places. The sand in our second location was much smoother and very nice. The only bad part about the sand was it was excessively sticky. It came off of clothes easily, but even after showering I'm still finding grains on my skin I have to scrape off.

The water was chilly. Not too cold for swimming once the sun came out, but colder than I would have liked had I been planning to swim. There weren't many people swimming either. Part of it was the area was very shallow. I've been told it is possible to wade very far out into the sea there, although I didn't try it myself. The people in the water were mostly wading. I'd say the most interesting thing was that almost all of the Koreans were just wearing shorts and t-shirts, even the ones that were swimming. I only saw two people all day wearing swimsuits who weren't foreigners. The Korean men swimming even had their shirts on.

For dinner, we ate at a little restaurant near the beach. We didn't order seafood because it was super expensive. 30,000W for a small size soup. That didn't make any sense. First of all, we were right next to the beach, so it should have been easy for the restaurant to get. Second of all, the restaurant had plastic deck chairs for seats. Who pays 30,000W for anything at a restaurant with plastic chairs?

So, we didn't do much, but it was an enjoyable way to spend the day. I'm not usually a beach person, but I wouldn't mind doing it again some time.
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