Weekend Get-Away by the Sea (Samcheok, pt 2)

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It was fall of last year when I visited the seaside city of Samcheok (삼척시). Located on the east coast of South Korea, Samcheok was a place I discovered in search of the infamous “Penis Park.” But I couldn’t bring myself to travel four hours on a bus across country just to look at erected statues of grossly embellished proportions, so I searched for other long-distance, travel-worthy attractions.

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Watching the sun rise at Candle Rock beach.
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Look closely to your left, and you’ll see I wasn’t the only one out trying to catch the gorgeous light of the sun.

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What I found was that this quirky town that was home to giant johnsons actually had beautiful beaches, fun themed parks, and turned out to be a delightfully rejuvenating weekend get-away. Korea is filled with little nooks like this in its cities and throughout the country. In Daegu, there are so many crowds of people at every turn – I’m constantly brushed against by people just walking down the street. The daily scene of Korea can be a bit overwhelming, yet bland with the overuse of neon lights and big banner business signs, all fighting for your attention. So it’s well worth the pause when you can slow down and escape the cacophony of city life to reconnect with the stillness and beauty of nature.

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A woman drying squid out in the sun.
A woman drying squid out in the sun.

In addition to Haesendang Park (해신당공원), or Penis Park, I planned to see the Lion Park, Rose Park, and ride on the Ocean Railbike, which allows you to sit and pedal in a two- or four-seat buggy along the edges of Samcheok’s natural landscapes while taking in its beautiful seaside views. (Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to the Rose Park, and didn’t have time to do the Ocean Railbike. *Shrug* Can’t win ‘em all.)

But I was able to wake up early enough to see the sun rise at Candle Rock Beach (pictures above), or Chaum Chotdaebawi (추암 촛대바위). After taking a stroll on the beach, I ran into Isabu Leo Park, just a stone’s throw away.

The lions of the park (clockwise from left): lions doing Gangnam Style; man running with lions, seen at the entrance of the park; man-eating lion & lunch.
The lions of the park (clockwise from left): lions doing Gangnam Style; man running with lions, seen at the entrance of the park; man-eating lion & lunch.

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I was so disappointed I couldn't do the Ocean Railbike that I tried to replace it with the seaside train ride. NOT the same effect at all. To add insult to injury, I was seated in a car with a group of older Koreans who were celebrating, loudly, while passing around chicken, kimbap and soju. O_O
I was so disappointed I couldn’t do the Ocean Railbike that I tried to replace it with the seaside train ride. NOT the same effect at all. To add insult to injury, I was seated in a car with a group of older Koreans who were celebrating, loudly, while passing around chicken, kimbap and soju. O_O This is a photo of me celebrating the remaining 10- or 15-minute ride alone in the car after they got off.

If you’re curious about the Penis Park, you can read all about my visit of it here!

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As the orange glow of the sky muted itself into pale blues and smokey shadows of clouds against the light, I delighted in its grace. The crashing waves eased my mind. The sun warmed my skin. The crisp autumn air gently breezed between my footsteps. I’m glad I escaped from the rustling city of Daegu for a bit of quirky inquisition, and the refreshing spirit-cleanse of Samcheok’s seaside charm.

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