A seaside trip sure sounds tempting as the weather gets warmer (let's be real—it’s always warm in our country). And although the Philippines arguably has some of the best beaches in the world, there’s no shame in dreaming of visiting international sands.
When it comes to beaches, South Korea offers plenty of options. In fact, some of them are featured in our favorite K-dramas! After seeing snapshots or clips, you’ll most likely include the sandy destinations in your *future* itinerary, especially if you’re also using Korean dramas as an escape from reality these days.
Let’s take a ~*virtual tour*~ with a list of seven must-visit beaches in South Korea that have appeared in K-dramas:
1. Jumunjin Beach, as seen in Goblin
Who could forget that iconic moment when Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun) made a birthday wish and Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) appeared bearing a bouquet of buckwheat flowers? Recreate it by heading to the famous breakwater area in Jumunjin Beach, Gangneung (a city in Gangwon-do), and book one of the many tours that include this as a stop!
2. Samcheok Beach, as seen in While You Were Sleeping
Blow off work and just have fun for a while at the beach—now that’s a nice way to spend a weekday! That’s exactly what Nam Hong Joo (Bae Suzy) and Jung Jae Chan (Lee Jong Suk) did in one episode of this K-drama. If you're spending your vacation leave in South Korea, make the most of it and head to Samcheok Beach in Gangwon-do (but note that Samcheok is pretty far—about four hours—away from Gangneung).
3. Namhae Island, as seen in True Beauty
If you watched this recent rom-com, you probably remember when Lee Suho (Cha Eun Woo) and Im Ju Kyung (Moon Ga Young) went on a kilig date. Namhae Island in Gyeongsangnam-do is where you'll find the breathtaking Seolri Skywalk. There are also wide sandy beaches in the area (like Sangju, Sachon, and Songjeong), where you can recreate the couple's sunset ~flirting~ scene.
4. Mangsang Beach, as seen in Hotel Del Luna
For sea lovers, the perfect after-life probably features accommodations near or beside a beach—just like the hotel ran by Jang Man Wol (IU). In one scene, Goo Chan Sung (Yeo Jin Goo) presented a nice gift to Man Wol. Rent a beach umbrella and a couple of lounging chairs to recreate this scene at Mangsang Beach in Donghae City, Gangwon-do. Be sure to pack your big, floppy sun hat!
5. Ayajin Beach, as seen in It’s Okay Not to Be Okay
Wonder where OK Psychiatric Hospital with a scenic beach view is located? Take a trip to Secret Blue Café, which sits on top of a cliff that overlooks Ayajin Beach (and Seoraksan Mountain). It’s part of the gorgeous Ayajin Resort in Goseong-gun, Gangwon-do. You might be tempted to shout Moon Gang Tae (Kim Soo Hyun) like Ko Moon Young (Seo Ye Ji), but the sights might just be serene enough to keep you ~chill~.
6. Dadaepo Beach in Busan, as seen in The King: Eternal Monarch
Obsessed with the parallel universe concept of this Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun drama? Then you might want to add Busan to your itinerary! Visit Dadaepo Beach, the filming site of the limbo area between the Kingdom of Corea and the Republic of Korea. While you’re at it, take a trip to the many other picturesque spots in Busan where the drama was filmed. Don’t miss one of South Korea’s most famous beaches, Haeundae!
7. Jeju Island, as seen in… too many to mention!
This part of South Korea has been featured in several series, including Secret Garden, Boys Over Flowers, My Lovely Kim Sam Soon, and Legend of the Blue Sea to name a few. It’s also often shown in movies and variety shows like The Return of Superman, 2 Days and 1 Night, and Running Man.
Some tips for beach bumming
Most beaches are about two to five hours away from Seoul and are best reached by car (via tour vehicles or self-drive rentals, if you have an international license). You can also take the bus or train to the South Korean provinces. But since there’s usually no bus or train stop with direct beach access, you can take a local bus or taxi to your destination. Alternatively, you can walk or ride a bike, but mind the distances.
Oh, and you can't always take a dip at the beach if you're visiting outside the swimming season in summer! You might be reprimanded or fined if you get caught. Wading along the water's edge is fine, though, but if you really want to swim or surf, visit around June to August (the exact dates vary per year and location). Don't forget your sunscreen and enjoy!
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