When I Googled “Beaches Close to Seoul”, I did not see many positive reviews written about the beaches here. Most bloggers and reviewers said that the east coast beaches are much nicer than the west. I can understand where they are coming from, but only to a certain extent. Muuido Island was not listed anywhere on the websites that I visited. A co-worker of mine told me about Muuido Island, and because she is a local, I took her word on going to check it out. My thoughts? I loved the island!
Located a short bus ride away (and an even shorter ferry ride) from Incheon International Airport, Muuido Island is very easy and cheap to get to (see directions below). Two of the most popular beaches on the island are Hanagae Beach and Silmi Beach. We only went to Hanagae Beach so this is the one I will be writing about in this post.
|Me on the beach during low tide|
One thing you need to know about this beach is that there is a low tide for majority of the afternoon (until about 4:30 p.m), so don’t count on going swimming in this part of the day. There are other activities on this beach such as horseback riding, hiking, zip lining, and of course, sunbathing.
One solution to the low tide problem is making a weekend trip to the island. This way, you can have time to explore the island while you wait for the water to arrive so you can go swimming in peace without feeling rushed to get back to the ferry and bus (according to the official Korean Tourism website the last bus from the ferry to the airport is at 6:20 p.m.). The beach has bungalows and huts you can rent. Alternatively you can pitch a tent, and you can even rent one for a low cost.
The water seemed clean when we were there. It will look brown, but that is because of the tide coming in and the sand being lifted from the seafloor. The water was chilly, but being a Canadian who swims in the Great Lakes during the summer months, I found the water to be tolerable.
Getting to Muuido Island
Getting to Muuido Island is fairly simple. At Incheon International Airport go to the Departures level and exit at Exit 7 (the tourism website states that it is exit 5, but it looks like the bus stop has changed since their last update) to catch Bus #222. This bus will take you to the ferry, which also happens to be the last stop.
Once you get to the ferry, enter the building to purchase your return tickets for 3,000 won. The ferry ride is very short, and runs frequently.
When you get to the island, take the bus that you see (I believe there is online one line), and get off at the Hanagae Beach (it was the second stop when we went).
Depending where you are traveling from Seoul, the prices will vary for you to get to the airport. For us it cost 4,500 won (per person) one way for public transportation to the island.
Ferry costs 3,000 won (round trip per person).
Beach entrance costs 2,000 won (per person).
Additional charges: rentals and change rooms.
Happy Travels Everyone!