Last week, the west coast of Korea, especially the province of Chungnam received over 10cm of snow for 2 days straight. It covered the land with a beautiful blanket of white snow and while it was amazing, most of it has melted away. Here are some photos from last week in Taean.
Autumn is one of the best seasons to head out to the coast since not only is the weather cooler but the days are also getting shorter, which means more spectacular sunsets for Taean. When I go hiking, I tend to head out early in the morning and come back early in the afternoon. However, I wanted to see the sunset at Kkotji, therefore the girlfriend, a friend and I headed took the 13:10 bus from Taean bus terminal to Baeksajang. From there we started our 11.7KM hike towards to Kkotji. 3 hours and 20 minutes later, we arrived at Kkotji with the sun slowly making its way down towards the horizon. Since we missed the last bus leaving from Kkotji to Taean (which left at 17:20), we walked our way towards Anmyeong bus terminal and took the bus back into town.
Taean county, located on the west coast of Chungnam, consists of mainland Taean and the island of Anmyeong. Between those two are the harbours of Baeksajang and Deureuni Harbour. Baeksajang is also known for it's yearly shrimp festival which runs from the end of September to the end of October. Beside the harbour lies the Baejsajang beach, which is also know for its white sandy coast. A pedestrian bridge located next to the harbour allows people to walk across the channel. The bridge itself is a suspension bridge with spiral ramps on both sides. Not only does it provide a birds eye view of the coastline, it is also one of the many places for one to view Taean's stunning sunset.
One of the reason why I love living in Taean is because of its beaches and amazing coastline. Out of the 30 odd beaches along the coast, the one that almost everyone knows is Manripo Beach. It even has direct buses which go to Seoul. Since my girlfriend and I stayed in Taean for Chuseok, we decided to head out to Manripo Beach. We took the local bus which left town at 1735 and arrived around 30 minutes later. The tide was slowly receding so we made our way down to the soft yet spongy sand. The sun was slowly setting and it was view absolutely amazing. Once the sun had set, we went to a local seafood joint and had BBQ shellfish (I forgot to take photos since I was the one doing the barbecuing). After a splendid meal, we took the last bus at 2020 which headed back into town and called it a night. If you do plan to come visit Taean, do come while the pleasant weather lasts!
Sometimes, the best place to take photos are right where you live. In my case, that would be the rooftop of my building.
At this moment, Lotus flowers are now blooming all over Korea, and while the Korean Tourism Organization only mentions a few places where there are lotus flowers, and not to mention most of the areas they recommend are at least 2 hours away from Taean. Hence, I decided to search locally and discovered the Taean Lotus Festival. The Taean Lotus Festival takes place every year in Cheongsan Arboretum (청산수목원), just 15 minutes south from downtown Taean in early July. My friend David and I took the 10:10 bus which goes to Nammyeon and got off at Shinjang-ri (신장리). After getting off, it is around a 10 minute walk before you arrive at Cheongsan Arboretum. We were lucky since there weren't a lot of people when we arrived. There are 24 species of Lotus flowers at the arboretum and the view is quite spectacular. If you happen to be in Taean during the summer, please do visit the place.
Today, my friends and I went to tackle course 5 of Haebyeongil, which starts at the fishing port of Baeksajang and ends at the scenic beach of Kkotji. This section of trail, which takes around 4 hours to complete. runs through one of the most scenic coastlines in Taean. Some areas of the coastline only reveal themselves during low tide and we were lucky enough to see it. This section of trail is also significant due to the fact that after this section of trail, I can proudly say that I have completed all 100 kilometers and seven sections of Haebyeongil. Now all I have to do is do it all over again.
During the beginning of this week, I've been planning on tackling one of the last two courses of Haebyeongil. It is course number 5, which stretches from Mongsanpo to Baeksajang. According to my weather app. it appeared that Saturday was going to be a clear day with a scattered clouds which was perfect for trekking. Taking the 0650 bus heading to Namyeon, Dylan, Kevin and I headed off. After around a 20 minute bus ride, we arrived at our starting point; Mongsanpo Beach. The trail starts off along the boardwalk and then heads into the woodlands. From there on, we also passed through rice paddies, a weland and a salt farm. Unlike the other sections of Haebyeongil, this section was relatively level which made it easier on our feet. After 4 hours of walking, we arrived at the strait which separated the peninsula of Taean from the island of Anmyeondo.
Today was teacher's day in Korea and I was fortunate enough to have the day off therefore my friend Dylan and I decided to go hiking. The trail we took started from Manripo to Shinduri. The weather started out cold and wet when our bus left the terminal at 0630 but one we arrived at Manripo, the weather started clearing up. It was nice seeing the surroundings all lush green and the butterflies flying about finding flowers to feed on. Although it wasn't too warm, we both did get sunburns. I guess it's time to start putting on sunscreen before hiking. The whole trek took approximately 5 hours and that included time wandering about taking photos.
The first question you might ask is that "why the hell is this trail so damn long?" Well, in fact, it is actually two trails which I decided to do in one go. The reason behind this is because Hwangpo-hang, which is the meeting point of the two trails, is a small fishing village with less than ten buildings and the buses come every two hours, making going back to Anmyeon Bus terminal a pain. My adventure started at 0630 when I took the express bus to Anmyeong Bus terminal. From there I took the 0750 bus to Yeongmok and started making my way up the coastline. There were a few woodlands, beaches and wetlands that I passed through along the way. In total, it took a good 5 hours and 16 minutes for me to finish the 29KM trek. Although the views were spectacular, the consequence of walking 5 hours straight was that my feet were swollen. The last kilometer to the bus stop felt like a life time with my feet in agony. If you would like to tackle this fabulous stretch from Yeongmok to Kkotji or vice versa, do bring a lot of water and something to eat. There aren't that many corner stores on this section of Haebyeongil. Enough chit chat. Please enjoy the photos!
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