Jangho Beach

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July 18th 2015
Published: August 20th 2015
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18th Jul: We had took the late night bus from Seoul the evening before, and had arrived in Samcheok around 2 am. We headed straight to the love motel next to the bus station. I had stayed there a couple of years ago, when I had previously visited Samcheok. Since we had arrived so late, we slept in until quite late. I love how dark the rooms are in love motels, no natural light to interrupt a good sleep. We headed back to the bus station around lunchtime and bought tickets to Jangho. The staff outside were lovely, asking where we were going and telling us where to stand. The bus soon turned up and we were on a proper posh coach, not the crappy public bus. The journey didn't take too long and we were soon deposited at Jangho.

We took a walk around, this place is minbak (traditional Korean guesthouse) central. Every building was offering rooms for rent. We tried a few places, lots of places were full, one place we tried was a bit grotty with shared bathrooms and outside kitchen for 60,000 won. We headed further back away from the beach and nearer to the bus stop. We found a really nice place, which I have now completely forgotten the name of. I am useless! It was a lot more expensive than the other place at 100,000 won for the night. However, we felt it was totally worth it as it was nice and new, and very clean. We had our own bathroom and kitchen. There was a TV in the room, too, and we guessed we would probably be spending the evening in there, as Jangho hardly seemed like a place that would have a crackin' nightlife.

We were starving by this point and decided to head out for a wander and find some food. Jangho is a tiny little village, and the streets were very congested with traffic. Jangho has received a lot of publicity recently in the foreigner community, and I wonder if it is the same with Koreans or it has always been a popular place to visit. We saw some signs for a fried chicken and hof place. We came across it pretty quickly and decided to eat there. We were a bit gutted though as we wanted boneless, and by early Saturday afternoon they had already sold out. We then asked if we could have 'ban-ban', which is half and half and they said they didn't do it. In the end we settled on spicy chicken. We sat outside enjoying the sun eating our chicken. The place was rammed loads of people were coming to get take away and the delivery driver was also taking out plenty of orders.

We headed down to the beach. It was heaving! We found a spot and spread out our mat. The water was freezing, so I didn't venture down and instead took a nap on the beach. It was too noisy to nap though as everyone was making lots of noise and enjoying themselves. I was surprised at how noisy it was. Everyone was obviously having a good time. I was still shattered even though I had slept quite a lot last night, so I managed to get in a bit of a nap. I was told that the water was too cold for swimming, so I didn't even attempt it. Although there were plenty of people braving the water and there were a lot of people out there on kayaks. After my nap, I felt slightly more rejuvenated, so I decided to take a walk along the beach with my camera. The beach isn't too long, so the walk didn't take too much time. I dipped my toes into the water, but it was freezing! I took loads of pictures of the beach and the rocks that I could see in the sea. we had spotted a gorgeous little beach further around the coastline and since it looked deserted we had wondered if people were able to access it. Well, when I reached the end of the beach there was a big fence and barb wire preventing people from going across the rocks to the beach we had seen. There was a sign up and I presume it was the military telling us civilians to keep out. The slope around the edge of the beach also had a fence and barb wire. There must be some kind of military facility there.

I walked back along the beach and was greeted by a brass band that were having a small impromptu concert on the beach. We listened to them play for a bit. The beach had started to empty out quite a bit. We headed back to the pension to shower and change. We headed out again as it started to get dark. We decided to just wander and wander. We wanted to know what was further along the road that we had seen down at the beach. We came across the port. There were loads more minbaks and a strip of resturants right in front of the port down here. Jangho seems to be divided into two parts Jangho 1-ri and Jangho 2-ri. This part we were at now was Jangho 1-ri, which must be the original village, and Jangho 2-ri, where we were staying must be the secondary village, which has developed over time. There was even more accommodation and small restaurants, until the village and road came to an abrupt halt. There was a kind of car park, which was full, and there was a locked gate. We were slightly intrigued by the locked gate, there seemed to be a nice path behind it, but we knew it was definitely off limits when three gun carrying soldiers appeared from behind it. We hoped we would be able to explore the next day.

We headed back the way we came. There was a bridge that lead to some rocks and a look out, so we climbed that. It was well lit and quite pretty. There was a dolphin statue that definitely looked better at night, the daylight came be unforgiving, as it shows every blemish. The town was pretty busy, there were quite a lot of people eating at the restaurants we passed. However since we had already spent quite a bit on our pension and fried chicken, we had decided we were going to cook our own dinner. We headed to the good mini mart near our pension and managed to get loads of stuff for about a man (10,000) won. We had a bit of a pauper dinner of curry, rice and veggies, but we made sure we finished it off with some chocolate. We then spent the evening watching TV, Korean TV, which is something I never do, only when I stay somewhere random.

19th Jul: We woke up fairly early, aster a noisy night of sleep. The old men from the brass band decided to start playing their instruments at some point during the night. I bet they woke the whole town up! I also think they were probably were drunk and thought it was hilarious, unaware that they had probably pissed everyone off. We headed straight down to the beach. It was so nice and quiet, a complete contrast to yesterday. One thing I didn't like about the beach was that the umbrella were all planted there, so they kind of ruined my pictures of the beach. The water was still freezing, so we just chilled on the beach. There were a few brave souls going for a swim. The weather was a bit crappy, it was very cloudy. We headed back to the pension and got showered and made the great Korean breakfast of ramyeon.

The lovely guy at the pension said we could leave our stuff there, and just pick it up on our way back to the bus stop. We decided to go for a walk and see what the area we had discovered looked like in the light of day. We also hoped that the gates would be open and we could see what was behind them. We headed down through the village, and into Jangho one village. We headed up to the sea wall at the port, which we didn't go to last night. We walked along it and took some photos, as you get a good view back over the beach. The rocks that we saw last night were so busy. There were loads of people swimming and snorkeling in the water, and clambering over the rocks. The walkway, which had been locked yesterday, was now open. There was a nice path to walk along for a few hundred metres so we did that. This place was packed too. There were lots of people in the water, picnicking on the rocks and some people had even set up their gear on the path. The path stops kind of abruptly and is fenced off and surrounded with barbed wire. Not that this was deterring anyone from walking along the beach beneath it. There was a small observation tower, which the soldiers we had seen last night must have been in.

We walked back along and went to the look out point that we had been up last night, the area underneath it was heaving. Lots of brave people were swimming in the water, and there were a lot of kayaks on the water, too. The kayaks are glass bottomed ones I think. They were pretty expensive to rent, 20,000 won for only half an hour. This part is the famous part, that is used in all the promotional photos of Jangho. It did look pretty, but since the sun wasn't shining the sea wasn't the amazing colour that it was in the photos. We then headed back to the beach and chilled for a couple of hours.

We left around three-ish, I think. We took the local bus back to Samcheok. The journey was about 40 minutes and the views as we drove along the coastline was just gorgeous. I love this stretch of the coast. We have about an hour to kill in Samcheok, nothing was open, so we ended up sitting outside of the convenience store with some of their food, which was fine until it began to rain. Our bus left Samcheok around 5:00 pm, the traffic was fairly shitty, so we got back to Seoul late, after nine I think. We needed some proper food, so when got to Gangnam, we headed to California Pizza Kitchen to indulge. We got some mojitos to toast to another awesome weekend. We were stuffed from the food, it was delicious. We had a Thai Crunch salad, of course with the extra avocado. Who can say no to avocado? We also ordered the California Club pizza, which is topped with avocado and totally yummy.

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