Our Top 10 Favorite Korean Beaches!

If you know Tom and I…you probably know we absolutely LOVE hiking and we LOVE beaches. I wrote about my love for beaches here and we always try to scope out the best places to set up camp after a long day spent in the mountains. We find ourselves drawn to both mountains and the ocean quite frequently & our time spent in Korea has amplified our love for both. Here’s a complied list of our favorite beaches in Korea SO far.

10. Jangdueng Beach, Yeosu, Jeollanamdo Province. 

This beach is one of our favorites for the main reason that it’s secluded. It’s out in the middle of this teeny TINY Korean village. We love packing food/drinks & camping beneath the trees. To get to this beach you have to go down a large hill and the view from the walk down  is quite stunning. There are quite a few nice beaches in our city of Yeosu, but this one remains quiet and secluded. I also love view of the islands out in the distance from this beach.

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9.Jeongdongjin Beach, Gangnueng, Gangwondo Province.

This one is pretty unique in that the beach holds the world record for ” the closest train station to the sea.” It also has a cruise ship resort high up on the hill that you can see pretty clearly from this beach. Even though we visited it on a dreary day it still makes the list since I know it would be stunning on a sunny day.

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 8.The many beaches of Goheung, Jeollanamdo Province. 

We loved the beaches of Goheung because when we visited they were deserted! I’ve heard in the dog days of summer these places do attract people…but for good reason. Goheung is the next penninsula to the west of us in Yeosu. Tom and I enjoyed exploring this area one very warm winter day in December. Not quite warm enough to swim at 50 degrees, but was fun to explore the area! For sure make a stop at Narodo beach!

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7. Gosapo Beach, Byeonsanbando National Park, Buan, Jeollabukdo Province.

Stunning weather, long white sandy beach, and AMAZING camping made this beach easily place on our list of favorite Korean beaches. The shaded area in the woods made for amazing camping and provided lots of heat from the sun. It’s location was perfect for a long hike the next day in gorgeous Byeonsanbando National Park.

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6. Hwasun Beach, Jeju Island.

What I love most about this beach is the feel of it’s surroundings. We stayed at the cutest hostel on the beach that had such a laid back feel to it. No rush or hustle and bustle. A stop along the biking route brought lots of bikers to this area on Jeju’s southern coast. I love the view of Sangbangsan Mountain in the background.

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5. Gyeongpo Beach, Gangnueng, Gwangwando Province.

This beach is on Korea’s East Coast & was a fun place to relax for a bit. It’s a popular beach so expect LOTS of people. This beach is the longest beach on Korea’s East Coast. We loved the soft white sand and the nice shaded area of pine trees behind it. It’s got a nice location with places to eat and right across from Gyeongpo Lake!

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4. Sangju beach, Namhae, Gyeonsangnamdo Province.

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3. Sinyang Beach- Jeju island’s east coast (just south of Sunrise Peak!)

Sometimes the best discoveries are hidden treasures. This beach was empty…and we weren’t sure if it was even on the map! Beautiful horses just hangin’ at this beach made it extra picturesque!

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2. Biguemdo Island’s Heart Shaped Beach (Hanuneom Beach), Shinan islands, Jeollanamdo Province.

This island can be reached via Mokpo ferry terminal. A car is most definitely needed as no buses run on this island. A heart shaped island in a beautiful hidden cove. Need I say more?

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Bijindo Island Beach, Gyeonsangnamdo Province.

A real slice of paradise. If I had to choose ONE favorite in the whole of Korea from what we’ve seen. This would be it. Bijindo island can be reached by ferry from the coastal city of Tongyeong. The view from the hike on the island is spectacular. It’s remoteness and it’s beautiful, soft, white sand give it the #1 spot for beautiful beaches to relax on in Korea!

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Our life as of lately {mostly through the iphone}

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a life update. Every now and then I feel as if a good life update is needed. I also find myself reading and clicking on the blog posts that typically talk about the normal life stuff. 🙂

Do you follow me on Instagram? I post lots of photos there!

First things first.

1. Visiting Gyeongju for the Cherry Blossom Festival April 5th. In short: We celebrated. We biked. We enjoyed the Cherry Blossom Beauty. Alison wrote and posted some STUNNING photos here. We forgot our memory card for the camera in the car. So, here a few of my iphone favs from that weekend.

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2. We’re moving!! Yes. I know I’ve told you 100 times. We’re really really excited. We will be officially there Thursday!  Here’s a quick photo I snapped of our view while we were there moving some stuff in. Same city. Same schools. Just on an island 🙂

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3. BIKES. Enough said. We can’t wait to explore Korea and our stunning area of Yeosu by bike.

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4. Waygook Wednesday- “Waygook” means “foreigner.” On Wednesday’s I try to organize something fun for expats living in Yeosu to get together and hang out. Here’s a photo from the view of where we sat and hung out on a beautiful Wednesday evening. Dolsan island (pictured here)  is where we will be living for the next year.

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5. A hike in our beautiful little city with friends. More photos of this hike here where I talked about investing in Korea.

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6. Wolchusan Bridge hike. We’ve done the big kahuna of a hike last year that you can read about over on Tom’s blog here. It took us 6 hours and was our very first BIG hike in Korea. This time we just wanted to do a quick hike up to the famous bridge that we saw, but didn’t cross on our last hike there.

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7. Boseong Green Tea Fields- I did a post all about it here. Green, Green, GREEN!

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8. A bit more of Korea beauty that I’ve snapped near our house or just around our neighborhood. If you love flowers more photos of Korea’s spring here.

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Azalea flowers.

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Wisteria Vines all over!

 

My guy on Easter Sunday ;)

My guy on Easter Sunday 😉

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9. Teaching-

We’ve both been busy with teaching classes (the new school year started in March)  and we’ve been loving on the kids we teach. My favorite part of each day is going outside to see them play at recess.

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What have you been up to lately? Is it “springy” where you are? What’s been your latest adventure?

5 ways to simplify your life. {Inspiration from Rob Greenfield}

The way we live our life impacts those around us. Decisions we make not only impact ourselves but our fellow humans as well. I often think about the “butterfly effect” and how one small thing we do can change everything.

I guess it’s been a long time coming. Tom and I have been watching documentaries on eating healthy, living well, and simplicity for over a year now. The more research we did the more we realized how unhealthy we were really living…and I am not just talkin food people. I mean like the way we were thinking, decisions we were making as a consumer, and what we were putting in/ on our precious bodies.

I’d like to start an entire series on the BIG and little changes we have made in our life the past year in an effort to letchya in on some of the ways our lives have drastically improved because of the changes we have made.  Tom is an avid reader of Rob Greenfield’s blog. Tom encouraged me to start reading it and for those of you who don’t know I am kindasorta obsessed with reading, writing, and continually educating myself. His blog is incredible. He is one of those people that you want to be friends with. Inspiring doesn’t really even cut it for how I want to describe him.

This dude has just got it right. I am serious.

Drawing inspiration from documentaries, friends, articles, and now Rob’s blog I’d like to share things we have done to simplify our life. I would love to write more about each topic but for now I will keep it short, simple, and to the point. I am one of those readers who can’t focus for long unless I am extremely intrigued so this one for the souls out there like me. 🙂

1. Eating LOCAL and FRESH food-

If you have been following along you know how much we love our open air markets in Korea. We do 90% of our shopping at our local markets. We try our best to buy locally grown food. The first reason is: that the food is fresh. The fruit and vegetables are grown in gardens either in our city or surrounding cities. I’ve never been a big meat eater and because we are shopping at the markets now we stick mostly to fruit and vegetables.  The second reason is that we are supporting local farmers. Even the smallest of gardens in Korea produce enough to sell at the markets. Tom and I both believe in supporting the locals and would much prefer supporting small businesses than a massive company. We visit the same market stalls depending on what we want to buy. Lastly, we eat what’s in season. It’s been fun being able to experience the changing of food as the seasons change.

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Shopping a local market in Janghueng, South Korea.

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Buying local in Malaysia on our vacation.

2.Buying LESS. 

The American Dream tells you buy more and you’ll be more happy. Buy the newest and greatest because you need it. We have found out that we are happier with less. Less stuff just cluttering up our lives. We have an entire storage unit back in Wisconsin full of STUFF. Tom suggested he would love to make it just disappear… while I partially agree- we did go through our boxes of stuff and donate TONS to Goodwill back home. It was gross how much stuff we had that we literally NEVER used. Ever. So away it went. Car load after car load of stuff. It felt so liberating and freeing to say goodbye to material objects.  To be honest there are material things that I do like. For example, a computer so I can write/ read articles. A new camera is high up on my list of “wants” so I can learn more about photography. Is this stuff I need to survive? Absolutely not. Do I still want it? Yes…and to me that’s okay. It’s the clothes that go unworn, the 100 pairs of shoes, the 4 cars, and the 15 swim suits that I am talking about.

Checking out Central Market.

Tom reminds me daily of this one…buy less. Does it mean I still want all of this cool jewlery from a local market? Yes. It does. Just need the reminders that less is best.

3. Everything in Moderation.

Okay, so if you’re still reading by now you think I am completely nutty. HA! I probably would agree. A rule that we live buy is this: Everything in Moderation. Do we love an awesome glass of wine (or three) and some delicious microbrews ? Yes, we do. Do we deprive ourselves of any and all candy because it’s processed? No! We do try though as best as we can to have it all in moderation. It’s not because we want to loose weight. It’s because when we take it all in moderation we feel better. We are happier. We want to be intentional with how we live our lives and this golden rule helps shape what we eat. I won’t be the mom who denies her kids candy on Halloween because it isn’t healthy. I won’t be devastated if they do decide to eat oreos, candy, and a burger every now and then. Like I said. Everything in moderation.

Taking a break from a 10 hour day spent exploring/hiking the coast of Jeju Island, South Korea.

Taking a break from a 10 hour day spent exploring/hiking the coast of Jeju Island, South Korea.

4. LESS of that stuff we call- Chemicals.

 Well, what the heck does this one mean?!? This is for real: We have been cleaning our apartment with only vinegar and baking soda for over 6 months now. I don’t remember where we got the crazy idea. Probably Pinterest! BUT it works. In Korea we deal quite a bit with mold due to extreme humidity and the ocean being just a couple miles away (I will take combating mold over a long Wisconsin/ Minnesota winter ANY DAY!!!) We heard that vinegar kills mold because it’s acidic. I remember reading articles on how baking soda reacts with the grease in stains to form glycerol, a common cleansing ingredient in soaps. Mixing it with vinegar creates carbonic acid making it great for scrubbing. Also, as a weak alkali, baking soda neutralizes acids to eliminate strong smells. So we have been cleaning with only those 2 things…and water! Our apartment looks fabulous people. I feel better too because it’s simple. Our latest thing is that we are using apple cider vinegar and baking soda as our shampoo/conditioner. Yes, you read correctly. Just vinegar and baking soda!!! Our friend Yvonne over at Daily Deliberations was our initial inspiration over a year ago when she first told me about it. I was hesitant because it sounds…well, pretty scary! I was also worried it would be a hassle while traveling since we live overseas. It’s the greatest thing. My hair and our apartment are reeping the benefits of LESS chemicals! We are hooked on the “no poo method.” The final push came after reading Amanda’s story about her no poo experiences. It’s about time we get back to nature and stop with the processed junk & not just when it comes to our food.

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5. Don’t COMPARE! 

Don’t compare your job or life to others. When we got to Korea our friend Alyssa gave us this tip. I am a FIRM believer in this one. When Tom and I got to Korea we were constantly (not intentionally) comparing our lives to other foreigners living abroad. They have a better job than me. Their apartment is much bigger than ours. They work less. The list goes on and on. We were comparing. My goal is to be present where I am. When you’re comparing your life to other’s you can’t be fully present.  When you aren’t comparing you aren’t cluttering your mind. It become simple: Be exactly where you are. <– click there if you want to read about my latest attempt at being right where I am. Thanks to living in an age with massive amounts of social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram we are looking at others lives through their posts. Remember, that these posts are things people are proud of: like their adorable baby, a new engagement ring, brand spankin’ new car, an awesome vacation, etc. The list goes on and on! The point is this: Don’t compare. Your life is great! Plant your seeds and grow them right where you’re at.

These changes didn’t happen overnight and it’s been a process. One that I learn more about each day. There is an incredible amount of information out there and I could drive myself up the wall about all things we want to change.

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Just call me flower child. ;P

Slowly, and surely we will continue to make changes that make our life more simple. Slow and steady wins the race. Here’s to a new adventure in simplicity!

What ways do you live that make life more simple?