Re-discovering the Beaches of Yeongjong International City, Incheon Beaches Await!
Ode to Incheon Beaches
I recently rediscovered Korean beaches
I have been living near several beaches
Seldom going to the beach
Just too busy
With retired life
We are just a few miles away
When we went there
It was better than I had imagined
Finally solved the chronic parking problems
Not too crowded, mid-week
even during the middle
of Korean beach season
because of COVID
and the bad economy
The weather was hot
But not overwhelming
We stopped for tea
At a rustic hut
On some rocks
Overlooking the beach
Been there for 30 years
The beach town itself
Is “Old school”, old fashioned
No high rises, no fancy hotels
No fancy restaurants
a bit expensive by local standards
during low tide
people go clamming
lots of fresh clams
But we liked that
the water was cleaner
Better than we had remembered
Not too many foreigners
Yet near the airport
The nearest beach to Seoul
We are planning to go
Weekly throughout the year
As long as we live
Near the beach
Why not I say?
Eurwangni Beach 을왕리 해수욕장 -eul-wangli haesuyogjang
I have been living off and on in Yeongjong International City, near the Incheon airport since I retired a few years ago. We live near three beaches, and four other islands. Yet for some reason, I have not spent a lot of time exploring the Beaches of my new home island.
I recently went to Eurwangni beach the other day and was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. I am now going to go regularly.
Korean beaches are still somewhat seasonal, but going to the beaches off-season has become much more popular than when I first came to Korea decades ago when there was a beach season and the beaches the rest of the year were deserted.
Eurwangni beach is the most famous of the Yeongjongdo beaches. It is the most developed. It is on the west side of the island and features low tide extensive mudflats. Many people go clamming there at low tide.
The main part of the beach is lined with the usual assortment of seafood restaurants and hotels but nothing that high-end. It is a very old-school vibe. It is about 700 meters long from the south end to the north end. At the north end of the beach, there is a fishing pier and a few small restaurants.
From downtown, Seoul take the AREX train to the airport and get off at T1. From Incheon airport, T1 3rd Floor take bus 111 or 306 and get off at Seunchang Wangsan Beach stop (near the end of the line). The bus takes T-money.
Alternative plan – you can take a bus or taxi from Unseo station area. Unseo station area is lined with restaurants and budget friendlier places to stay.
AREX has a station at Yongju but it does not appear to be operational. The Airport MAGLEV goes there. From there the beaches are about a 15-minute walk or a short bus or taxi ride.
Yongju station is also the closest train stop to the entrance to Muido beaches. You can take a bus from there to Muido, and there are lots of restaurant options across the street. There is a nice walkway lined with restaurants as well.
If you drive, type in Eurwangni beach parking which will direct you to the parking lots at the south end of the beach. It is a five-minute walk to the main part of the beach and about a half-hour or more to the other beaches.
Address: 16-15, Yongsueo-ro, 302 beon-gil, Jung-ju, Incheon.
Theme: Rare Animals/ Plants/Spectacular Cliffs & Rock Formations
The name “Fairy Rock Beach” comes from the fact that fresh water is gathered at the seashore beneath…
Seongyeol rock is a series of rocks leading to a pine forest on the south end of Eurwangni beach. The rocks are closed during high tide and at night. If you go to Euwangni beach, tide permitting, it is a great 2-kilometer walk. At the end of the pathway, there is an old shack restaurant that has been there for almost 40 years. The owner of the shack is a nice young woman who inherited the property from her parents. I got the impression that she gets few visitors as it is at the end of a long pathway from the main beach. You can get your usual drinks, and fresh seafood there, but it closes at sunset. The trail at the shack turns inward entering the old pine forest but we ran out of time to explore that. We will be back no doubt.
Wangan beach is much less developed or crowded than its bigger neighbor, Euwangni beach, which is a 15-minute walk away. The beach has a nice camping ground next to the beach which has the usual camping essentials for sale or rent.
The sunset is very nice.
for more info
For more information you can call 82-32-777-1330 or wangsan-beach.co.kr. the web page says that they have English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean operators, but I have not verified that. The web page opens in English and provides information on a wide variety of nearby attractions and is well done. I was pleasantly surprised.
From Incheon airport, T1 3rd Floor take bus 111 or 306 and get off at Seunchang Wangsan Beach stop (near the end of the line). The bus takes T-money.
Same as Eurwangni beach with the following additions:
GSP enter Wangsang beach address is 810-204, Eurwang-dong, Jung ju, Incheon (Wangsang Beach).
118, Masiran-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon 22385 South Korea
(2.9 miles from Eurwangni Beach)
public tranist – take the AREX train to the airport. Buses are available at the airport terminal 1, 3rd floor. The beach buses stop at all three breaches, Maisin beach is the first beach, Eurwangni the second and Wangsang is the final stop.
type Maisin beach into your GSP
118, Masiran-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon 22385 South Korea
depending upon traffic the beaches are about an hour from downtown Seoul or Incheon city.
무이도 Muui-dong, Jung-gu, Incheon South Korea
(3.3 miles from Eurwangni Beach)
Muido, So Muido and Silmido are islands near to Yongchongdo. You can get to the islands by taking a bus from the airport, or from the Yongju maglev stop. there is a new bridge and the roads have been improved, but Muido is super crowded on weekends so best to go mid-week if you can.
There are hotels and Korean style resorts near bridge and at the beach, there are huts for rent. There are restaurants near the ferry terminal and at the beach, but the selection is limited to Korean seafood.
When you enter the island there is a trailhead that takes you to the top of island – and you can walk the entire island in about four hours. The trail is very pretty and not too steep.
Update: Not sure if the tourism info stand is still there. last time I visited was just after the bridge opened. When I visited, the people were very helpful, spoke good English and had lots of maps and guides in English and can also tell you about the ferries to the other islands. Well worth a stop. You should stock up on tourism information here if you are going to the outer islands as once you get there is very little English language signage or English speakers on the islands. They are open until 6 pm most days.
310-11, Daemuui-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon
인천광역시 중구 대무의로 310-11 (무의동)
1330 Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330
(Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
- For more info: +82-32-760-7114
Muuido Island is located in Jung-gu, Incheon which is not far from the mainland but is only accessible by ferry. Nearby are two smaller islands, Silmido Island and Somuuido Island. In olden times, small boats were used to go from Muuido Island to Somuuido Island but the two islands are currently connected by a bridge so visitors can reach Somuuido after a 10-15 minute walk. Muuido Village Bus (maeul bus; 마을버스) takes people from Keunmuri Dock (큰무리선착장) to Gwangmyeonghang Port (광명항). To enjoy the beauty of Somuuido Island fully, Muuibadanuri-gil 8 Course is a must-visit path, taking around 1 hour and giving stunning views of the East Sea vista. Two beaches, Hanagae Beach and Silmi Beach are famous beaches in Muuido Island. One interesting thing in Silmi Beach is that people can walk to Silmido Island at low tide. Hiking up Horyonggoksan Mountain (호룡곡산) and Guksabong Peak is also available on Hanagae Island.
The trail head to Horyonggoksan Mountain (호룡곡산) and Guksabong Peak can be found at bridge entrance to the island and also near So Muido and at Hangagae beach as well. The round trip takes about three hours, and the trail is well marked but only in Korean. Go up the stairs and at the top turn right to access the main trail head.
Hanagae beach is the main beach on Muido. It is near the end of the island. the turnoff is easy to miss though. on weekends it can get crowded. there are beach huts to rent and camping is also allowed. There is a zip line on the beach and the usual assortment of seafood resturants. Like all Incheon area beaches at low tide you can walk quite some distance and you can see people clamming.
From my trip advisor collumn –must visit island
So Muido 소무이도
So Muido is a nice spot for a walk as well. Take the bus to the end of the island and walk across. There are places to stop and eat in So Muido. The walk to the top of the mountain is a nice walk takes about an half an hour to reach the top. There is a private beach on the way back to town. On the weekend traffic and parking is impossible unless you get there really early. there are camp grounds near by and a number of hotels, but nothing too high-end.
Silmido island is the site of a secret military base where they trained commandos going undercover into North Korea. They closed the base in the 80’s and a Korean K drama was filmed at the island. The island has a resort where one can stay but there are not much there, not even restaurants. Still the beach is nice but a bit deserted. You can walk across to Silmido at low tide, at high tide it becomes a separate island.
Shindo, Modo and Jangbo islands
신도, 모토, 장 보도
Shindo, Modo and Jangbo Islands located near Incheon International Airport are great places to get away from Seoul or Incheon for that matter. These three islands are near Yongchongdo. You need to take a ferry to reach them. The ferry ride to Jangbo the biggest of the islands takes about an hour. The ferry runs every hour on the hour the last ferry back leaves about 6 pm. You can catch the ferry at Sammok quay.
삼목 부두 sammog budu
There are buses from the airport and from Unseo station to the ferry terminal.
Ongjin-gun, Incheon South Korea
7 miles from Eurwangni Beach.
Modo island is connected to Shindo island. You can easily walk around both Modo and Shindo in an hour or two. There are places to eat and spend the night, but Jangbo island is the biggest of the three and has the best facilities, beaches, restaurants, and walking biking trails.
The island is located one hour and 40 minutes from Seoul. To get there take airport express train from Seoul Station and get off at Unseo station and then transfer to a bus going to Sammok wharf in Yeongjong Island, Incheon. The ferry from there takes 40 minutes. The last ferry back leaves at 6 pm. There are plenty of places to stay near the beaches which are a short walk from the ferry terminal. This is also a popular place to camp as there are camping grounds near the ferry terminal. There is a mountain hiking trail that follows the ridge line all over the island and is a great hike. If you go to Jangbong island, it is worth stopping off at Shindo and Modo islands first and take a walk. A number of K dramas have been filmed on these islands.
More info from Visit Incheon web page follows:
Coastal Trail connecting Sindo Island, Sido Island and Modo Islands
Come to the triplet islands and have a bike tour around them for a fantastic ride along the shoreline. The triplet islands are very well known as one of the best spots in Korea for a bike tour. Come down to the Sinsimodo Islands for a safe and pleasant bicycle touring. Take a boat at Sammok Quay in Yeongjongdo Island. You will get to Sindo Island Quay in about 10 minutes. The three islands of Sindo Island, Sido Island and Modo Island are all connected by bridges, so you can tour all of them in a day. You can rent a bike on the island. There are only a few cars on the road, thus the island is recognized as one of the best places for bike riders.
Sindo Island Pureun Beonmal, a designated traditional agricultural village
The name Sindo Island (literally “the island of trust”) has come from the fact that its residents are conscientious and innocent. It is in this context that the salt produced in the island is called jinyeom (literally “genuine salt”). As the island have mud flats, salt evaporation ponds, and rice paddies, visitors can enjoy everything they can expect from the country’s rural area in Sindo Island Pureun Beotmal designated by the government as a traditional agricultural village.
Sinsido Island Yeondogyo Bridge
Sindo Island is connected to Sido Island by a bridge. The name of Sido Island has come from the legend that troops of the Joseon Dynasty practiced archery in Manisan Mountain with targets set in Sido Island (“an arrow island”). The island is also called “Salseom (‘sal’ also means an arrow in Korean).” Given the actual distance between the two locations, the story is hardly credible, but the idea is intriguing enough. Sido Island has been filming locations for popular TV dramas such as “Full House” and “Sad Love Story” because of the harmony between its slow slope hills and the sea.
Sugi Beach, the filming location of ‘Full House’
Sugi Beach in Sido Island was the filming location for the popular TV series called ‘Full House.’ You can see a few islands in the distance. The beach is covered with quality and beautiful white sands. Main characters in the TV drama series often spent time together here. Who would not have fallen in love with each other in such a beautiful environment?
Simodo Island Yeondogyo Bridge
Sido Island and Modo Island are connected by a bridge. Believe it or not, you can get to a totally different island in just a few minutes. The name Modo Island comes from the word ttiyeom (‘tti’ refers to King cogongrass). The legend says that fishermen in the region once complained that his fish net only had grass instead of fish. ‘Mo’ in Modo Island means ‘grass’ in Chinese.
Baemikkumi Sculpture Park
Baemikkumi Sculpture Park is located on Baemikkumi Beach in Modo Island. The ‘Baemikkumi’ (the local dialect meaning a hole in the bottom of a ship) has come from the fact the beach is as flat as the bottom of a ship. The beach is also famous for a sculpture park featuring a number of surreal erotic sculptures. Blue water, white sand, and dreamlike sculptures blend well with one another. The sculpture park has become a reason to many for a visit to Modo Island.
The Sinsimodo Islands, a paradise for bike enthusiasts
Together, the Sinsimodo Islands are small but pretty places to visit. Most notably, as they are connected, the Sinsimodo Islands will sustain the fame of a paradise for bikers in the West Sea for a long time to come.
Yeongjong Seaside Park 영종해변공원 -yeongjonghaebyeongong-won
Yeongjong seaside park is on the other side of the island. From the airport, you can get off at Unseo station and take a bus or taxi to the Yeongjong Seaside park. The park features a 5.6-kilometer rail bike that runs along the coast with great views. At the entrance to the park, there is a small beach. If you walk along the beach you will come to the Fishmarket complex which is a newly developing area lined with restaurants, hotels and is a colorful area to walk about.
other things to do
Yeongjongdo History Museum
The museum traces the history of Yeongjong Island. It is located on a hill next to the rail park.
The Incheon free economic zone (IFEZ) IFEZ has a nice FB and web page filled with information on things to do in Songdo, Cheongha, and Yeongjong International cities. Worth a visit.
Here is some information on local attractions I just discovered.
Yeongjong Dulle-gil 영종 둘레길 (yeongjong dullegil)
From the IFEZ web page
Let us introduce Yeongjong Dulle-gil where you can enjoy the nature of Yeongjongdo while looking around the sea of Incheon. How about taking a walk along Yeongjong Dulle-gil where you can get refreshed while following the quarantine rules?
Comment: every place has a ‘Dulle-gil” (walking trail) nowadays. Korea has lots of things to offer foreign visitors, but unfortunately, there still is not a lot of information on Korean tourism written in English. For example, the Yeoungjong International city Dulle-Gil (map above) is a nice trail, but because there is almost no information on the trail other than a few references here and there in Korean, most foreign visitors and Korean visitors as well simply don’t know that it even exists. This is sad because Korea has so much to offer foreign visitors. This is a small problem that can be easily fixed if the Korean tourism authorities took a more proactive approach to promote Korean tourism. The above map is only in Korean, is incomplete, and there are few if any references to the Dulle-Gil anywhere online or in the community making it challenging to follow the trail. At the minimum, there should be a clearly labeled map in English/Korean and maybe by attractions at every subway station. Some stations do a great job, others not so much.
World Peace Forest Yeongjong 세계평화의 숲 (segyepyeonghwaui sup)
This is one of the hidden gems of living in Yeong Jong island. It is a five-mile-long trail that goes through pine forests, cherry trees, and along a lake. There is a lotus pond at one end of the trail. The trail leads to Paekrungsan mountain which is a nice hike. There is almost no information in English on this park and even locals don’t seem to know much about it. If you google it you will find my earlier blog posting on it.
We hike it daily. There are deer, foxes, wild cats, birds, snakes on the trail.
The trail was built in 2003 or so when they build the airport. The airport authorities had to promise to preserve most of the island in a natural state. As part of that commitment, they build the world peace forest with the two national airline carriers donating land, volunteers, and materials to build the park.
The park has become mature now and is much better than when I first encountered it in 2003 or so. Still not much information on the park though.
It would be a great thing to advertise as it is so close to the airport (less than five miles away).
By driving drive to Unseo station area and park nearby.
By public transit
Take the AREX train and get off at Unseo station (two stops from Terminal 2). Take the A exit and turn either left or right. If you turn left taking exit A from the AREX station and cross the street you will see the trailhead heading up Pakeyungsan mountain. If you turn right and go past the Lotte Mart you will see the trailhead across the street. It is a five-mile round trip walk, mostly flat except for the mountain trails along Pakeyungsan.