After leaving Jeonju, we made our way to the east coast to a small city called Gangneung – famous for it’s long sandy Gyeopo beach. It’s definitely more of a summer spot, with tons of seafood restaurants with tanks of sea creatures along the boardwalk.
Our guesthouse was just above a restaurant actually. Being right off the beach made up for the smell at least. We basically just wandered up and down the beach and tried to get some fresh seafood dinner – and I failed in our Korea-English misunderstandings. I attempted to order the spicy squid which I think is so good, but may have accidentally agreed to it NOT being spicy (when I was trying to say I didn’t understand what she was asking!). Result: a really big plate of squid and vegetables that was okay, but not as good as I wanted it to be. Sad. I think both Nick and I are put off of squid for a while now too.
Sunset over the lake on one side….
And the next morning, we got up early to see the sunrise. Good thing it was on purpose because some girls came back to a room opposite us making all kinds of ruckus! It is supposed to be one of the top places to see the sunrise in Korea but maybe that’s just something they say? Sunrises are always enjoyable!
Afterwards, we bumped into some other people on the beach and I swapped numbers with another American girl who hoops. She said she joined a Facebook group of hoopers in Korea and there were only 3 people: 1 person who moved away, another who WANTS to move here, and herself. So we said maybe some day we can meet up to hoop together in Seoul.
Later on post-morning siesta, we rented some bikes to cycle around the Gyeopoho lake. Nick wanted to get this 4-seater one that looked like a golf cart but for a better price we opted for the 2-seated. I don’t know who has actually ridden these things, but IT IS SO DIFFICULT. We hobbled across the street and tried to get going on the bike path a few times, switching order on the bike too, but it was impossible. With our heads hung low, we walked it back to the rental shop and luckily I think the guy just pitied us and let us swap it for two normal bikes. Later I saw some other people going on the 2-seater and I still couldn’t figure out how they did it.
Along the lake, they had little statues telling the legend of Park Shin and Hong Jang. Typical story: Boy meets girl. Boy “goes sweethearting” her.
He goes away and when he comes back, his friend tells him that his love has died and he is heartbroken. But of course, she isn’t really dead (mean joke, friend) and one night he sees her on the lake in a boat and they reunite. And they live happily ever after.
Overall, I think Gangneung is better in the summer when you can actually just enjoy the beach and sea. Actually, the water was actually still pretty warm, so we could’ve tried to go for a swim! And the sunrise was worth it, and at least we got some exercise!!