Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Jeju Island Road Trip Day 1: Gimnyeong and Hamdeok Beaches

Given that Jeju Island was also popular because of its many beaches, we've listed a number of them to visit. Gimnyeong Beach was first in our list. We could drive by it on the way back to the hotel from our maze park and lava tube adventures. 

we belong to the group of tourists who visited the island's beaches way ahead of the season 
It was not the beach season yet, which starts around July, when we visited the island. We didn't mind though, beach-lovers that we are, and still planned a trip to the many beautiful beaches the island was known for. We had an idea that the water was going to be cold anyway so swimming wasn't really an option. Playing with the sand or chasing after the waves was what the boys looked forward to. On the other hand, my husband and I wanted to be there for the cool sea breeze and the serenity that complements it.

When we arrived at Gimnyeong Beach the first things that caught our attention were the wind turbines along the beach. They were not the very big ones that we usually see (they were smaller than the ones we saw in Australia years ago) so they didn't really distract us from enjoying the view of the beach. Compared to other beaches we've been to, Gimnyeong had a smaller shoreline of white sand lined with what looked like volcanic rocks. There were only a handful of tourists who were sitting by the beach, but we also noticed about three people who were swimming. How they could stand the cold water, I really don't understand.

Ira was excited to play in the sand. He jumped right to it as we approached the beach. He found a stick and dug holes and played with small pools of water. Not long after, he was already wearing his water shorts and wading in the water. He really didn't mind the cold sea water at all. He kept himself entertained looking around for fishes and other sea creatures lying under the rocks. Kelvin joined him shortly after taking photos of the surroundings but he didn't want to change into his water shorts so he was very cautious not to get into the deep end.

Time passed by as we watched Ira play and walk along the beach. The two older boys (hubby and Kelvin) then got themselves busy with admiring the view and taking photos. Kelvin thought about a good composition for his photo - him standing with his back facing us, looking into the horizon. The shot turned out well using his iphone and, after some adjustments in color, he used it as his phone wall paper.

I guess it was the atmosphere that made us cheesy because after Kelvin's photo shoot, hubby asked him to take couple photos while we walked, held hands and hugged along the beach. We joked that people who saw us would think we were taking pre-nup photos.

After an hour or so, we were ready to go to the next beach but Ira was not. He didn't want to leave his stick and the sand and the rocks and the fishes he has found. It took a lot of convincing power before we got him to clean up the sand from all over his body and get into the car. We promised that we were indeed going to another beach and it was nearby. Of course, he had to bring his stick with him.




A short drive away was Hamdeok Beach. We parked just after the Seowoobong Mountain and found a spot by the beach overlooking the small house/cottage on the hill. The boys wasted no time and immediately jumped into their favorite activity - playing with sand. Ira found plastic bottles and cups and used them to collect sea shells. They also tried to catch small fishes hiding by the rocks.

We watched as they ran around being chased by the waves and dug holes in the sand. They made mini pools of water and put some of the crustaceans they caught in there. There was no swimming involved but they did have a lot of fun. 

We waited until it was sun down because we loved watching the sun at it sets into the horizon. This was how we pictured ending day 1 of our Jeju Island road trip - just relaxing by the beach, enjoying a quiet moment with each other. We didn't want to leave.



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