Adventuring in Jangho Port (장호항)- the Napoli of Korea!

Jangho Port (장호) in South KoreaLast weekend Sam and I were lucky to visit one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve been to in South Korea yet! Jangho Port, also called the ‘Napoli of Korea’-mostly for the large rock formation and rocky coastline along most of the port-had the clearest water I’ve ever seen.

We saw the most incredible sea life-including a type of starfish specific to Japan and the East Sea. The water was perfect for swimming, the beach was clean and best of all, there was almost no one there!

Jangho Port, South Korea. Located on the East Sea, it's called the "Napoli of Korea" and is a great place for snorkeling, diving, swimming, and boating/fishing in South Korea. | savoringsimple.com

The Beach at Jangho Port (장호항) South Korea. Travel South Korea! | savoringsimple.com

We also found the area was perfect for snorkeling, and many of the small shops around Jangho also offer clear-bottom kayaking or even dive equipment.

Jangho Port is made up of around 70 families, so it was a tiny town that seems to make most of it’s money from fishing or tourism. Since we were visiting for Chuseok, or Korean Thanksgiving in October, it was pretty dead and the tourism season was over. We met one other couple (hi Mel and Martin!) who were traveling through Jangho on they’re way to the south.

drying squid

Jangho Port 장호항) South Korea | savoringsimple.com

Mel and Martin shared with us that Jangho Port and Village actually won an award for being the prettiest village in Korea. I can see why the Port received an award, but the village was nothing beautiful. However, it was adorable in a sleepy, off-the-beaten-path Korean village sort of way:

Walking near Jangho port, South KoreaAs you can see, there wasn’t much going on that day-or any day we were there!

Lodging near Jangho Port

It is NOT difficult to find a place to sleep, but it will be pricey. Off season though we were, we were only able to find a room for 50,000 KRW-which is the highest price we’ve paid in Korea for cheap housing.

And here’s the not-so-great part: There was no bed. There was  a stove, a mini fridge, an air conditioner (not necessarily common) and a TV with cable, but no bed. Instead, we were given several comforters to sleep on.

However, our accommodations were clean, and although there were some other hotels in the area (with beds-we checked) other tourists we met told us they were more expensive.

No jimjilbangs or hostels here! Instead, just ask anyone if they have a room to rent out. Most of the restaurants have rooms on the floors above. Just make sure they know you mean ONE night (we had some confusion here) and make sure to see the room before handing over your credit card.

If you’re willing to do a bit of traveling, here’s a list of hotels near Samcheok-and about 10-20 mile radius of Jangho.

Coffee at Jangho!Coffee at 장호

Ok, ok. This isn’t the most important piece of information in the world unless, um, you’ve just spent the night on a FLOOR and you desperately need a cup o’ joe to get you feeling like yourself. Coffee here is expensive (as it is most of the time in Korea), and we only saw one coffee shop, so if it’s closed or out of business, you’re out of luck.

We brought our own, which was a life saver.

Getting to Jangho Port

Getting to Jangho Port is almost identical to the route to Haesindang Park (commonly referred to as Penis Park. Here’s why.)

From Seoul, take an Express bus from Express Bus Terminal to Samcheok (삼척).  For one adult, the ticket is 17,300 KRW as of 10/2015. The bus will drop you off at the Samcheok Express Bus Terminal after about 3 1/2 hours.

From Samcheok Express Bus Terminal, walk outside and turn right, rounding the corner of the express bus terminal. You’ll walk to the end of the block, cross the street, and take the No. 24 Bus. The bus stop is in front of a large gray motel:

Getting to the No. 24 Bus from Samcheok express bus terminal

The No. 24 bus will take you to Jangho Port and take about 45 min. Show the bus driver the Korean for Janghohang-장호항-and he’ll drop you off seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Just walk toward the coastline. Do you see lots of boats and a few houses? You’re there.

Other Links

Here’s Visit Korea’s website about Jangho Port, but we found some of the information to be wrong (like how long the bus ride will take). However, the pictures give you an idea about the port and there are other activities listed on that site that we didn’t try (like deep sea fishing!)

Samcheok City’s Tourist Page

Penis Park (Haesindang 해신당)

h4This weekend, Sam and I visited the famous-or infamous? Haesindang Park. More commonly referred to as “Penis Park”, this little treasure of a tourist spot is located on the beautiful East Sea, about 50 minutes south of Samcheok and 3 minutes (by bus) from the seriously gorgeous Jang-ho Port.

The Legend of Penis Park

Depending on which site/sign/translation you read, the actual story behind Penis Park varies a bit. Here’s the gist:

-Once upon a time, there was a young virgin girl:

P The virgin
The Virgin of Penis Park

-She either…

a) loved gathering seaweed and chose to do so in the middle of the ocean on a rock, and-this part doesn’t make sense-lost her boat? forgot how to swim?

b) was abandoned on said rock by her lover while he went to catch fish-promising to come get her at the end of the day and then forgetting, or

c) intentionally drowned herself.

-Whichever story you believe, the young Read more

Haewoojae (Mr. Toilet House) Suwon, Korea

This last weekend was wonderful-finally a break from all the work craziness-so we decided to celebrate. What better way to celebrate than learning about Korean poo?

MR. Toilet House-or Haewoojae-in Suwon, South Korea | savoringsimple.comYou read that right. Koreans have a healthy respect for their GI system, so much so that they’ve dedicated an entire park and museum to the history of poop in Korea.

And yes, the museum is shaped like a giant toilet.

Haewoojae Toilet MuseumStarted by the World Toilet Association (WTA), a non-profit dedicated to providing modern sanitation systems around the world (like their FB page here), Haewoojae ( 해우재 ), or “Mr. Toilet House” was constructed by Sim Jae-duck.

Mr. Sim dedicated his life to sustainable sanitation systems around the globe, a laudable goal that motivated him to found the WTA and also build a residence Read more

Hiking Bukhansan National Park

Hiking Bukhansan National Park, Seoul South Korea | savoringsimple.comHiking in Bukhansan National Park was easily one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life. Maybe it was just something I needed to do-get outside my apartment (or myself?) and revel in some natural beauty, but I think that anyone who is visiting Seoul should make it a priority to visit Bukhansan.

I mean, just look at these views…

A Hiker's View of Seoul |savoringsimple.comOn a clear day, you can actually see the mountains of North Korea from Bukhansan. Plus, the views of Seoul are just incredible. I have new appreciation for the size of that city! Hiking Bukhansan National Park in South Korea | savoringsimple.com

Bonus: Because Koreans are such avid hikers, they’ll Read more