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Published: June 26th 2010
One amongst many...
Thousands of shells washed up on the shore on Hanagae Beach
We had a long weekend to kill, having been given Friday off work. So, in keeping with tradition, we didn’t want to waste the opportunity. Once our final class finished on Thursday evening, we hopped in a cab and headed straight for Wolmido, the Incheon ferry port. Having never been to Wolmido before, it is somewhere we intend to revisit, given its long promenade and numerous restaurants and bars, the smell of seafood was impossible to escape. However, the plan was to jump aboard the ferry for the twenty minute journey across the water to Yeongjongdo, a large island off the Incheon coast, home to the city’s international airport. We hopped on a bus towards Eulwangni beach on the west coast of the island. Eulwangni is a small village populated by, as is the case with most of the Incheon islands, many seafood eateries. The village itself seemed quite lively and consequently, compliant with Korea’s reputation as a country that likes to party. Indeed, whilst setting up the tent, I offered my assistance to a Korean guy who had inexplicably left his car on the beach…from the depth the tires had descended into the sand; it had been there a while!
I don’t like to speculate but you can’t help but wonder!?
After setting the tent up, we settled ourselves in for a little picnic and went to bed, not before being savaged by the local insect population. (I also had an uneasy sleep being so close to the ocean in a tent…anyone who spent time with us in Newquay can attest to the reason for that!!).
The following morning, we explored the beach as the tide had receded so we were able to walk the sand and see remaining sea life somewhat stranded there! Also, as is the case with most of the Incheon islands, as the tide recedes, it leaves mud flats in its stead, which again can be explored as long as you don’t mind getting a little dirty.
Eventually, we decided to pack things up and head for Muuido, the second island of the weekend. Along the way, we were left thankful for the helpful Korean spirit as, having no idea where we were going, we found locals more than willing to stop and help as much as they could. We headed down to Jamjindo warf on the South West tip of the island to
We saw this boat stranded in the mud flats
catch the ferry over to picturesque Muuido. I say ferry ride but that’s stretching it a little, given that you could almost literally apply the phrase “spitting distance.” We were fortunate to receive clear skies and sunshine for the day, so spirits were high!
Muuido is rather more beautiful than the much flatter Yeongjongdo. Albeit small, Muuido is home to local farms and fishing villages, together with not so modest trekking routes. From the port, we caught the village bus to Hanagae beach on the west coast. Here we found a tiny centre of restaurants and a resort shop and a larger beach. You could actually rent huts on the beach for around 20,000 won (£11) but, having recently bought the tent, we wanted to stay loyal.
We found a secluded spot at the far end of the beach to enjoy the weather. We were not left disappointed by the island’s beauty or its charm, and we both agreed we could have stayed there a great deal longer. The laziness of the day was incredible and if this is any prelude to island hopping in the more southern reaches of Asia, then I can’t wait! Whether it was
casually cooling off in the water or sauntering towards a small restaurant for a chilled drink, there was no need for a clock all weekend!
Sadly, the weather reports predicted rain for Saturday and Sunday. However, we returned home having had one of our most enjoyable weekends so far in Korea…hopefully Jeju will be as good!
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