Friday, August 1, 2014

Travels: Sokcho Sun, Sand, and Surf (South Korea)

I initially had planned to write my Barcelona or Austria post today, but after sweating my cajongas off in this Korean heat wave of 34°C (93°F for all you non-metric folk), I just couldn't bear sifting through any photos of me with sweaters on, otherwise my eyeballs would start sweating too. So here is a slice of Korean beach heaven, straight from the beaches of Sokcho (속초).  

Sokcho is an area on the eastern coast of South Korea, about one hour away from the border with North Korea and 100km from Seoul. Sokcho is literally sandwiched between the majestic Seoraksan Mountains (설악산) and the East Sea, so you get the best of both worlds.

Some wispy cotton candy clouds drifting lazily along.

I loved that there was a wooden platform all along the sand so these guys could wheel along and enjoy the sea too.
 
Floppy straw hat: Korean store (similar here)
Swimsuit: Zara but last season so similar neoprene bikini here

Even when tanning, I "safe-tan": used my go-to faithful Riemann P20 SPF 15 on my body and loaded up on Peter Thomas Roth Oil-Free SPF 30 on my face, as well as protecting my eyes with sunglasses and wearing a floppy hat. Aging from the sun is real, ya'll.

This guy is such a little princess: he insists on getting on MY towel every time we go to the beach. I guess I'll just have to get him his own mini towel next time. 

He got sulky that I wasn't sharing so he ran off in search of cool green grass. 

I was LOVING my white nails that weekend. It looks so fresh against a tan. 

There were these massive fields of corn in between all the pensions and hotels. Being a city gal all my life, I'd never seen corn up close before. Corn grows from the ground, you guys!!!... I really need to get out to the countryside more.  

Antique Korean-style mother-of-pearl vanity set just sitting outside a restaurant. This kind of furniture used to be in every Korean mother's bedroom, amirite?

There was a little boardwalk with the neatest sculptures lining the center, so of course I went to take a look and a gazillion photos.

I think these rocks are where the ships threw their ropes to keep their ships from floating to the sea? No? Purely decorative? I am someone with zero nautical knowledge.

 The view of the beach from the boardwalk. It is most crowded when it is open from the first week of July til the last week of August. Outside of that, the town is sleepy and quiet, but you can still access the beach.

This is my beach hair. 

 The sculpture looks like Flounder, no? Or Dori from Finding Nemo for all you younger Millenials.

 Scooped up the monkey for his obligatory shot.

 Benches dot the boardwalk so you can take in the sunset at your leisure.

Shoes: Aldo (their website is oddly unnavigable but here's the closest version)

 This heart tree sculpture <3

 Gotcha!

 Sitting in the mouth of the fish sculpture.

I took so many photos that I ran out of captions.

 I love my Perseus but this guy looked sooooo cute, I was tempted to kidnap him from the restaurant owner.

As the bottom end of a peninsula, South Korea is obviously surrounded by water and thus has tons of beaches, but generally the water on the eastern shore side is considered to be cleaner as it is not in the direct line of tidal pollution from China. Sokcho is remarkably clean and easily accessible from Seoul's Express Bus Terminal, which has a bus that runs the 3-hour distance direct from Seoul to Sokcho 49 times daily. 

Hope you have a happy Friday! It's the weeeeeeeeeeeekend!

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