Summer Vacation Part 3

After exploring Sokcho and Seoraksan, David and I hopped on a bus to Gangneung, the second stop on our two week summer vacation.  Our original plan was to go to Ulleungdo, a beautiful island 120 km east of the peninsula, but due to bad weather and rough seas, we opted not to.  I was a little bummed about skipping it, but Gyeongpo Beach in Gangnueng did not disappoint and provided some really good times and excellent seafood.

We headed straight to Gyeongpo Beach after arriving at the bus terminal in Gangneung since the sun was actually showing its face (we had a few really rainy days beforehand in Sokcho).  Despite it being peak season for all beaches in Korea we didn’t make reservations for accommodation beforehand, so we were hoping we wouldn’t have any trouble finding a place to stay in one of many motels lining the beach.  Luckily, the first place we walked into had an open room for the next two nights, and it even had a balcony overlooking the beach.  This wasn’t a luxurious motel by any means, but it was cheap and the location couldn’t have been better.

Our time in Gangneung mainly consisted of two things: relaxing on the beach and eating.  The beach stretches six km along the East Sea and is one of the cleanest I’ve seen in Korea.  The water was a bit chilly but really clear.  They actually weren’t allowing anyone to go more than ankle deep in the water the the first day we were there (I assume due to larger than normal waves and a strong current), but gazing at the waves crashing against the sand with a brilliant blue sky in the background was enough to make us happy.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to enjoy that blue sky beyond that first day as the next two were overcast and rainy.  The amount of excellent food we ate made up for the lack of beautiful weather, however.

Gyeongpo Lake

David, the East Sea and Gyeongpo Beach.

The beach was really clean and beautiful.

The beach was really clean and beautiful.

You rarely see Koreans wearing actual bathing suits on beaches in Korea. They aren't big fans of direct sunlight.  You often see them carrying umbrellas on sunny days.

It’s not common to see Koreans wearing actual bathing suits, or if they are they wear clothing over them that they don’t take off (even when getting in the water). You often see Koreans carrying umbrellas in sunny weather as well.

We laughed a lot, like usual.

We laughed a lot, like usual. I like what the wind has done to my hair, don’t you?

Sand castles against the backdrop of pine trees and Gyeongpo's strip of motels and restaurants.

Sand castles against a backdrop of pine trees and Gyeongpo’s strip of seafood restaurants.

We enjoyed the freshest sashimi on our first night on the beach. It was amazing. So was the price.  But hey, how often will we get to enjoy fresh seafood on a beach in Korea together?

We enjoyed the freshest sashimi on our first night on the beach. It was amazing. So was the price. But hey, how often will we get to savor fresh seafood on a beach in Korea together?

The amazing spread.

I thought you might like to see another angle of the delicious spread.

Fireworks and sparklers on the beach. Fireworks are legal and sold everywhere in Korea, especially near beaches.  We could hear them going off all night long.

After dinner, ignoring the sprinkling rain, we lit fireworks and sparklers on the beach. Fireworks are legal and sold everywhere in Korea, especially near beaches.

Unforunately, we woke up on the second day to see the sun was going to hide from us again.  We still managed to have fun, despite the gloomy weather.

Unfortunately, we woke up on the second morning to see the sun decided hide from us again. That didn’t stop us from having fun, though.

Moments before David was yelled at by several lifeguards for getting in the water without a flotation device.

Moments before David was yelled at by several lifeguards for getting in the water without a flotation device.

Funky bridge

Gyeongpo Beach Bridge

Fisherman on one of the piers in Gyeongpo.

I’m guessing a day of fishing in Gyeongpo isn’t complete without soju (note the bottle in front of the guy crouching at the bottom).

The main "strip" along the beach that was filled with sea food restaurants.

The main “strip” along the beach that was filled with sea food restaurants and motels.

Taking a break from the rain to enjoy bingsu.

Taking a break from the rain to enjoy bingsu.

The lovely path that wraps around the tranquil Gyeongpo Lake.

The lovely path that wraps around tranquil Gyeongpo Lake.

A park with fancy bathrooms on the edge of Gyeongpo Lake.

A pretty little park next to the lake.

We rented this awesome ride for an evening cruise around the lake.

We rented this awesome ride for an evening cruise around the lake. I took the driver’s seat, of course.

A beautiful stream alongside Gyeongpo Lake.

A beautiful stream alongside Gyeongpo Lake.

Picking out dinner.

David picked out our main course for dinner.

I think the boy is pondering what he just ate for dinner while our crab is about to be steamed.

I think the boy is pondering what he just ate for dinner while our crab is about to be steamed.

We splurged again on a delicious beach side dinner of crab and a ton of banchan (side dishes).

We splurged again on a delicious beach side dinner of crab and a ton of banchan (side dishes).

A serene morning at Gyeongpo Lake.

A serene morning at Gyeongpo Lake.

 

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