Namhae is an island that is to the East of where we live in Yeosu. On Saturday, Tom and I took a bus to Suncheon, and then transferred on a bus to Namhae! Total travel time from Yeosu was about 2 hours. First stop a 4 hour kayaking adventure trip. I had heard great things about this man named Julio who runs a kayaking adventure business. We found his number online, and he spoke excellent English! We waited at the bus station once we arrived in Namhae for Julio to pick up our group of 7. We drove about 25 minutes to his shop near the sea, and also right near the famous German Village. Julio told us that in the 1960’s many Korean nurses and miners were invited to work in Germany in exchange for pay. Germany had a high need for more workers while Korea had skilled workers, but not the money to pay for the jobs. After living and working in Germany some Koreans had married Germans, and wanted a place to come back “home” to. An area of Namhae was created as a place for these Korean/German families to come back to Korea, and live peacefully. According to my husband Tom there are only 3 of those original families still living in Namhae…as they are probably in their mid 80’s by this time. We spent the afternoon kayaking/exploring. We had a delicious German beer in the German village after our adventure, and caught a local bus to Sangju beach. Namhae has about 48,000 residents, but is becoming a popular destination for visitors. They are known for growing spinach, garlic, and rice. There are plenty of “pensions” (cheap hotels) to stay in…or set up a tent, and sleep under the stars. Another thing I love about Korea is you can just about camp anywhere for FREE!
Sangju beach is gorgeous with beautiful sand. The downside to this is that the beach had many people camping there. Tom and I are more about secluded/quiet beaches, but the views at Sangju were stunning, the sand felt like silk, and the water/beach was CLEAN! I highly recommend it. The one downside to Namhae is that the local buses don’t run as frequently as we are used to in Yeosu. (you can almost always catch a bus to anywhere in Yeosu within 15 minutes) Namhae covers a BIG portion of land…there are taxi’s, but from the bus terminal to Sangju beach it is about 20,000 won or 20$ American dollars. Many people rent cars to explore! Although, of course you can do it without one as we did. Just keep an open mind to waiting for a bus, or flagging down a taxi 🙂 We found lots of information about Namhae Island here and information on Julio’s kayaking here (Note: Julio’ place has moved from Dumo village to near the German village)
Our weekend in a nutshell! 🙂