Right now, the corona virus is restricting a good amount of people to their homes and their cities. You can travel if you want to, but as a teacher, it’s recommended that you don’t, since we work with kids. I do hope the virus does calm down a bit and less people get sick. If you’re in Korea at this time, stay safe, wear your mask and wash your hands often/use hand sanitizer.
A few days before the outbreak in Korea spiked and began increasing at the rate it is now, I had a week of vacation left and took a trip on my own up to Gangneung, a city on the East Coast of Korea. It’s in the province of Gangwon-do and I’d been hoping to visit for a long time. From Busan to Gangneung, the bus ride is about 5 hours. It seems terrible, but because the buses here are so comfortable and roomy, I slept for most of the ride. And I had the views to keep me company when I wasn’t asleep.
I arrived in the city at around 3PM and immediately took a bus to my accommodation. When I got on the bus, a man sitting down, stood up and said “Sit here. Sit here,” to me in English. I was a bit surprised, but grateful.
After about an hour in my hotel room, I made the decision to go out before the sun went down completely. It was only a short bus ride to the famous Anmok Beach (and Anmok Cafe Street) and I had found a popular gelato place near it that I wanted to try so I made my way there.
The gelato was actually really good and the cafe was 4 floors and offered a great view at the top. They had many flavors such as Pink Soda, Injeolmi and Soft Tofu, but I opted for the Green Tea.
After eating, I walked down to the beach. There were actually a good amount of people, friends and couples, taking pictures in front of the water. It’s amazing how big the waves got (in Korea the water is usually relatively calm). As the sun began to set, the temperature dropped a lot and I was on the verge of freezing so that was my cue to get some food and go back to the hotel.
The next day I had an early start. I was going to go to Jumunjin Beach. It’s a beach famous for where BTS did a shoot for their album art, You Never Walk Alone. The kdrama, Goblin was also filmed at this beach. The bus ride was an hour away from the city of Gangneung. I was the only one on the bus by the time we reached my stop.
The moment I stepped on the beach, I was so happy words can’t describe it. I had the whole beach to myself since it was a little past 8AM on a Tuesday. I saw one man taking his morning stroll, but then he was gone shortly afterwards. The sun was shining and it was much warmer than the day before so I could take everything in at my leisure.
I found the BTS bus stop, whipped out my tripod and took as many pictures as I could. I still need to work on taking pictures with my tripod but I had the best time. After that I sat on the beach for about an hour before heading back.
My next stop for the day was the sea train. I loved my accomodation because the location was great and it was only a 5 minute walk from the Gangneung KTX station which is where you buy the tickets. I had almost 2 hours to kill until the train departed so I ate some food in the station and chilled at a cafe for a bit.
At around 1:40 we were all seated on the train and it started moving. I think the sea train was one of the best things I’ve experienced. I took the train all the way from Gangneung to Samcheok and then back again, but if you want the views I’d probably recommend just taking the train to Jeongdongjin and then you can explore that area and then take the train back to Gangneung. It all depends on what you want to do. After Jeongdongjin station, we had some great views for a little while, but then we weren’t really seeing much of the beach anymore.
After arriving at Samcheok Station, there were about 20 minutes until the train left again so I used that time to take some pictures by the train.
When I arrived back in Gangneung, I hopped on a bus to visit a cafe I found on my map app. When I exited the bus and followed my map to the cafe, I walked through some construction sites and the back roads of houses.
Korea is relatively safe but the walk freaked me out just a tiny bit. The sun was going down and I was getting a bit nervous that I wouldn’t find the building. But, all was fine! I found it in the end, and I was happy I did. It was a nice little cafe and their interior was just as beautiful as the exterior.
I left early on my last day. I reached the bus station and bought my ticket for a 10AM bus, and was on my way back home.
Gangneung was a fun time and it was basically my ideal trip since my whole itinerary included the water. There are still a few places I’d like to visit in Gangneung, so if I have the chance to go again I would love to spend time there. And I would go when it’s not the dead of winter, of course.