Best Beaches and Peaks to Catch the First Sunrise of 2014

Many Koreans like to make their New Year's resolutions in a beautiful setting as they watch the dawn break on the start of another year full of hope.

One of the most popular places to usher in 2014 is Ulsan's Ganjeolgot Cape, which boasts the earliest sunrise in the country. A lighthouse overlooking the sea and a forest of pine trees adds to the sweeping views so visitors can appreciate a spectacular sunrise over the sea.

Busan is another great option, particularly Haeundae and Songjeong beaches, as visitors can watch the sunrise and then go sightseeing in the southern port city. Songjeong beach, which is less crowded, offers 1.2 km of white sands, as well as a nearby lighthouse and park.

However, locals are more likely to head to Dalmaji Hill, which rises above and between the two beaches, as it also offers sweeping views of Haeundae, Dongbaek Island and Gwangan Bridge.

Meanwhile, Cheonwang Peak at the top of Mt. Jiri provides a spectacular view of the sunrise. The nation's largest national park, which is considered one of the steepest and most challenging mountains in Korea, spans three provinces and welcomes 3 million to 4 million visitors a year.

But catching sunrise here is a hit-or-miss affair as the peak is often shrouded in cloud. According to local folklore, visitors can only see the sun come out if their ancestors performed good deeds for three generations.

To avoid missing the sunrise, find more details on the website of the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute at http://astro.kasi.re.kr.

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 05, 2013 11:26 KST