From Mountains to Sea, Seokmo Island Has It All

Seokmo Island in Ganghwa, Incheon, is a dream vacation destination. It has beautiful natural forests, beaches, leisure facilities and a historic Buddhist temple.

Minmeoru Beach is highly recommended with its 1 km long and 50 m wide arched shoreline. Rather small and yet unknown to many people, the beach is a perfect place to rest, sunbathe and swim in a peaceful environment.

The eight-meter gap between low and high tide reveals a 1 km-wide tidal flat, which has diverse sea creatures like crabs, clams and small octopuses. And it may now be common sense that mud is good for skin and neuralgia with vital minerals and infrared rays.

A forest campsite is an especially good venue for relaxation. The site is equipped with all facilities for visitors’ convenience including a sports ground, cafeteria, food store and conference room. It also offers accommodations with a small kitchen.

Though located some 250 m above sea level, there is an exotic view that includes the sea and nearby rice paddies.

Visitors can see the attractions on all-terrain vehicles. The vehicles can cruise through tough terrain into the mountain or on sand beaches or pebble fields.

Those who can handle the 419 stairs of Bomun Temple will get to see a Buddhist goddess of mercy and enjoy the spectacular sunset over the West Sea. At the end of the day, the Yonggung Hot Spring is the perfect place to soak tired feet.

To get to Seokmo Island from Seoul by bus, the easiest way is to take a bus to Oipori on Ganghwa Island from a bus stop in Sinchon. Visitors should disembark near the dock for the ferry to Seokmo Island. The ferry connecting Oipori and Seokmo Island departs every 30 minutes from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and every 10 minutes on weekends.

Ferry tickets cost W2,000 (US$1=W1,008) for a round trip, with each way taking no more than 10 minutes. Visitors can also take their cars, making it easier to navigate the island. But if hiking is the goal, the W16,000 car fee might not be worth it.

More tourist information can be found at: http://www.ganghwa.incheon.kr (for general information) and http://forest.ganghwa.go.kr (for the forest camp site).

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 03, 2014 11:01 KST