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[One with Nature] Escape blistering heat at Goseong's pristine beachesBy Lee Si-jin
Published : July 1, 2023 - 16:00
GOSEONG, Gangwon Province -- The steep rise in temperature signals it's prime time to hit the beach.
While the seaside along the West Sea draw people in with its fascinating tidal flats, East Sea beaches have always been known for their fine powdery sand and clear waters.
Hwajinpo Beach, a sandy getaway some 240 kilometers east of Seoul, one of the 86 beaches on the east coast of Gangwon Province, is widely known for its tranquil atmosphere and unique type of sand.
The 1.7-kilometer stretch is a sand bank located between the East Sea and Hwajinpo Lake.
Hwajinpo Beach may pique many vacationers’ interest as a beach that lies at the northernmost end of the Korea, but it is also an ideal family vacation destination. Aside from its soft sands and shallow waters, there is also lots of space for “chabak,” or car camping.
Unlike other popular beaches along the East Sea including Gyeongpo Beach and Jukdo Beach, Hwajinpo Beach has fewer holidaymakers, allowing for a quieter, more relaxing summer getaway.
Many tourists consider the panoramic view of Geumgudo, Korea’s northernmost island that lies about 300 meters away from Hwajinpo Beach, a sight to behold. Meaning "golden turtle island" in Korean, Geumgudo is especially stunning during the autumn when its bamboo grove turns a golden yellow.
If you are not a big fan of water activities, take a stroll around Hwajinpo Lake, a natural lake created by the East Sea and home to many swans, mallards and other seasonal migratory birds. A light walk along the pine tree tunnels is always a nice treat.
Surrounded by a lush forest, the tranquil lake has mesmerized many historical figures --Korea’s first President Syngman Rhee, then-Vice President Lee Ki-boong and North Korean founder Kim Il-sung -- who all kept summer villas here.
The old villas have since been renovated into history museums and a memorial hall.
However, Hwajinpo Beach may not be the right choice for those who want to also do some sightseeing on the side, as it lacks flashy tourist attractions, seafood restaurants or cafes nearby.
This article is the last in a series introducing destinations for eco-friendly travel experiences in South Korea. -- Ed.
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