One of the things I was dreaming about before I got to Ulleung was swimming in the sea. I love to swim and unfortunately Seongju did not really have a close or readily available place to swim. My dreams of just being able to walk down to the ocean for a swim were a little dashed when we arrived but all was not lost! There are several swimming spots a short bus drive away from our home and as the days keep getting warmer, Monique and I will take full advantage of those on our weekends to go snorkeling.
The water around the island is normally crystal clear and has always looked ideal for snorkeling, so we ordered snorkeling equipment on Gmarket. On a side note, Gmarket and Coupang are fantastic on the island, despite being accessible only by a 3 hour ferry ride, delivery only adds about 5000 Won and maybe 1 extra day.
Snorkeling at 동구미 (Tongumi)
Our first adventure was to the sandy beach of 동구미 (Tongumi). The wind was chilly but the sun was up and we decided to try break in our snorkeling gear. Waves were up a bit with the wind but the swimming area is quite protected. When we got there we set up on a sunny pier away from the touristy Turtle Rock and I went to try the water. It was cold. Nay it was bloody freezing! I don’t mind a cold swim but this was something else! I soldiered on though and managed to swim out a little bit. Because of the waves and the sandy beach visibility was zero and I lost interest very quickly! It was still a great day out and felt like a mini-holiday in the middle of the school term.
Snorkeling at 학포 (Hakpo)
The next weekend the weather was the warmest it has been since we got here and we decided to try our luck out at 학포 (Hakpo). It takes about 40 minutes by bus and then another 15 minute walk down to the beach but oh my it was worth it. We we pretty much on our own and it was glorious out there! The sea was sparkling blue and clear as glass. There was a small shelter above the beach for us to leave our things and as a slight respite from the sun.
It is a small struggle down to the water as the staircase ends early and you’re left to find your own way across the rocks. Getting into the water can also be a tough; the rocks are pretty slippery. But the water gets deep nice and quickly and the swimming was great. The water was cold but we didn’t die and we spent nearly an hour floating around and having fun filming! We didn’t see much fish life, though, which was a little disappointing. All in all it was another amazing day out. We are still in awe of the paradise that we have found ourselves on!!
Some of my students recommended Hakpo as the best swimming location. There are lots of advertisements for glass bottom boats and diving around so our isolation probably won’t last. For now though we will probably be there every weekend having a unwind!
We are starting to work towards having a Vlog of our travels to compliment this blog. Subscribe to our youtube channel – Miss and Chronic Adventure Vlog – if you want to stay up to date with our travels.
I can’t wait for the next one!