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Water sports fun in Uljin

People usually associate Uljin in North Gyeongsang Province with the wild because it is far from the expressway and blocked by a high mountain.

However, the county is much closer than people think. If you travel along National Road No. 7 via Yeongdong Express Way and Donghae Expressway, it takes less than four hours by car from Seoul.

The first spot to check out for a beautiful summer vacation in Uljin is Hupo Beach, which allows fun water sports such as windsurfing and yachting.

A windsurfer enjoys the water near Hupo Beach in Uljin. (Oh Ju-hwan/KTO)

A windsurfer enjoys the water near Hupo Beach in Uljin. (Oh Ju-hwan/KTO)

The Yachting Association of North Gyeongsang Province lends equipment for windsurfing, water skiing and yachting. For one-day experience, it takes 100,000 won from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Except for water skiing, there is no extra charge. The easiest and fastest way to make a reservation is to call (054) 788-4777.

After enjoying dynamic water sports, you might want to calm your mind in a pine tree forest. If you drive toward Bongwha along the National Road No. 36, you will run into a nice pine tree forest called Sogwangni Pine Forest. The pine trees there are Geumgang pine trees, known for growing straight to the sky.

The Sogwangni Geumgang pine tree forest has been protected by the government since 1680 under the reign of King Sukjong in Joseon Dynasty. The pine trees are also called Jeoksong, or Red Pine Tree, as they have red colors. There are more than 80,000 pine trees that are more than 200 years old. Two of them are 520 years old, according to the Korea Tourism Organization.

The pine tree forest is neither a tourist site nor a forest lodge. It is reserved by the Korea Forest Service, which provides ecotourism programs. You have to make reservations through the Internet prior to the visit and you should enter between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Up to 100 people can visit the forest per day and individual visits are not allowed.

After a good walk, Deokgu Spaworld is the place to head next. It has naturally flowing, fine-quality hot spring water. Hot springs in Deokgu were first discovered about 600 years ago, and are known to be beneficial for people with neuralgia, rheumatism, muscle aches and skin disorders. Not only can you enjoy bathing in the hot spring water, there are also plenty of plants and animals to see in the nearby mountains and valleys. The hot springs resort has been continuously upgraded since 1983. For more information, call (054) 789-6902.

(Source: Korea Tourism Organization)

How to get there:

― By bus: From Dong Seoul Terminal to Uljin, it will take about 4 hours.

― By car: Take Yeongdong Express Way and Donghae Express way. At Donghae IC, take National Road No. 7 and head for Samcheok, then Uljin.

Related websites:

tour.uljin.go.kr

www.uljintrail.or.kr

gusugok.uljin.go.kr

By Kim Yoon-mi (yoonmi@heraldcorp.com)
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