I didn't know how spoiled I was at our last assignment in Norfolk, with our house located only one block from the beach, until this summer in Seoul - where beaches, of course, are not a hop, skip, and a jump away. Thankfully, there are plenty of other families here who feel the need to have some summertime fun and a solution was found!
The Take a Trip Thursday group marshaled the troops (ie. our kids) onto two touring buses this past week and headed out to parts unknown for a fun day at the beach. The weather looked dismal at times, but someone must have been smiling on us, as the rain held off and the temperature didn't dip down too badly during the day. We even had a snazzy, decked out bus to ride in:
We headed west, towards the Incheon airport, and our adventure began with a quick ten minute ride on a ferry...in a bus.
The driver had to back the bus onto the ferry - kudos to him!
After that, we traveled over a winding road, up and over the island to the other side, and reached our destination - Hanagae Beach. Not sure what Michael and his friend were doing in this next picture (left), but I'm pretty sure it was a result of the hour long bus ride. ;)
From the Visit Korea website:
"Hanagae Beach, the biggest tideland in Muuido Island, features a one-kilometer-long beach covered by fine, powder-like sands. Unique bungalows on the shore become floating houses when the tide comes in. When the tide goes out, the beach expands into a vast stretch of tidal flats. A large number of clams, sea snails, and crabs dwell in these tidal flats, and can be dug out with bare hands. The beach also offers splendid views of glowing red sunsets, and is popular among tourists as the filming location of the TV drama ‘Stairway to Heaven’."
All of the above is true. Imagine our surprise when we arrived at 10:30 am to find this LARGE section of mud flats, with the water WAAAAY out there:
We had fun chasing the small fish stuck in the muddy puddles, the older kids dug up a crab or two, and we spent some time combing through the piles and piles of seashells on the beach itself.
Quite a few of us (most of us) had wandered way out to the edge of the mudflats to splash in the actual water. We noticed the tide starting to come in, which then prompted the beach patrol to start whistling and running their sirens for us to hurry back. We obliged, even though we didn't see what all the fuss was about.
Well, in just about 15 minutes, the tide quickly and strongly came in - and this became the new beachside view:
That made it much easier to have some splashing and swimming fun.
Some of our group were brave enough to enjoy the thrill of the zipline....maybe next time...
We opted for more splashing.
We had a nice, restful day on the beach, enjoyed a few snacks, and scoped out the sleeping huts.
Then it was time to head back to the bus for the ride home. The tide started to go out again, and by the time we were rounding the corner to the ferry stop, this is what the shoreline looked like:
All-in-all, we had a fun day at the beach in Korea. I snagged some pretty cool shells, including some that I've never found on a beach (my inner, shell-collecting child was very happy):
One more fun trip marked off the Korea Bucket List!