Camping in Korea: Adventure 2 – Ganghwado 동막해변

Posted on Posted in Camping Adventures with Holly

A couple of weeks ago Holly and I took our second outdoor adventure of the season (I’d like to take a break in the action to type the words “camping in Ganghwado” – sorry for doing this, my SEO Plugin blinks at me and threatens to blow up my computer if I don’t) when we packed up the Retona and headed out to one of our favorite places, the island of Ganghwado. The Janghwari area of the island in particular is a place I’ve visited dozens of times to capture sunsets, and I noticed every time I went out there that I would see scores of bicyclists wheeling around so I’ve thought for a while it would be a great place for a weekend bicycling and camping getaway. We drove to the northern part of the island, found a place to park the car, and got all set up for our adventure.

The plan was, well, we didn’t really have a plan (as usual). We just got on the road and ended up heading to the south coast of the island via the west coast. Along the way, we ran into many old and interesting farmhouses and buildings, which I always love to photograph. Here are a few of them.

After riding for about 10 km without seeing another human, we finally passed this old-timer on one of the many farm paths on the island.

After riding through relatively flat land for the first part of the trip we had to climb up and over a couple of mountains which were very steep. When I saw the mountains upcoming in the distance I thought for sure I would have to stop and push the bike/trailer up them, but I just kept peddling along and was able to conquer all that was in our path. After clearing the final mountain we continued on for another hour or so until we got to Dongmak Beach (동막해변) where we camped for the night.

(Pro tip – when shooting with an IPhone, try not to include the sun in the frame. That’s one thing smartphone cameras don’t handle well yet)

Story Time
Uh oh, there always has to be a story. As you can see from the pictures above this beach looks like a very nice place to camp. Right above the beach there is a pebbled platform in the trees with a lot of open room for tents to set up. When you cross the street there is a little town with convenience stores, restaurants, and motels, so this is actually a popular spot for campers. It was still cold out when we arrived so I was hoping the crowd wouldn’t be too bad, but there were quite a few people there – mostly university students on an MT. The students were mostly set up on one end of the beach so I kept going down to the other end where there was only one tent with a father and son hanging out. I figured this would be a great spot so I parked the bike and made camp as they say. A couple hours passed, some food was eaten, and it seemed like we were in for a fine and relatively quiet evening. This was when the mother, other 2 sons, aunt, uncle and their 2 daughters arrived. And they didn’t show up empty handed as they brought exactly what every campsite needs – a portable karaoke machine. Oh boy. Having biked about 20 km of mountainous terrain with a cute but heavy Holly behind me and it being on the edge of darkness, I was too tired and it was too late to move. So, we had the pleasure of listening to a private 3 hour and 38 minute concert of hits such as The Farmer in the Dell, Old McDonald, and Bananas in Pyjamas. Camping in Ganghwado.

Well it wasn’t the most peaceful night of sleep we’ve had (I didn’t even mention the fireworks going off until 4 am – yay MT!), but I guess it’s better than having no story to tell at all. I’ll leave you now with the view we woke up to in the morning, which made quite a bit of the stress from the night before melt away.

Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember to keep up with us on Instagram for regular updates of our travels. Have a nice weekend all, and see you soon!

Map of Dongmak Beach

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