Angelica Kim of Kazakhstan has been living in Korea for four years and has traveled to many parts of the country with the friends she has made here. But after striking up a romantic relationship in January with Wonchan, one of her compatriots who came to the country to study, she decided to take a weekend trip to Deokjeok Island to laze on its small sandy beach and walk hand-in-hand along its pine tree-strewn roads.
The island is home to over 600 black pines, making it a fragrant and refreshing getaway.
The couple arrived early one morning at Incheon's Yeonan Pier, where ferries to the island run four times a day at weekends, at 8 a.m., 8:20 a.m., 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The journey takes just under three hours and goes via Jawol, Seungbong and Ijak islands.
After relaxing on cozy Seopori Beach, known for its fine, glittering sand, they took a stroll along a promenade near the beach created five years ago in a forest filled with pine trees, some aged over 200 years.
"Living in the big city has been quite stressful for me due to all the people and cars. But taking a stroll along the paths here feels like receiving aromatherapy, and it's great for relieving the stress," she said.
Next they headed for Camel Rock in Buk-ri, one of the island's top scenic spots, and took photos of themselves frolicking on the rocky formation that resembles the head and back of a camel.
On a ferry home, the couple said they enjoyed being next to the sea and walking along the beaches and forest path, and hopes to visit again with their families next time.