This past weekend I went on a trip with Adventure Korea to Namhae Island, a nice rural island that is five hours away from Seoul. While on the trip, we went sea kayaking, hiking up a mountain to see a Bhuddist temple and get a great view, and stayed in a village known for its’ amazing views of the sea and the step rice paddies going down towards the coast.
My favorite part of the trip was hiking up Geumsan Mountain, but that’s because I find hiking to be very enjoyable. The other thing that I liked a lot during the trip was the sea kayaking. Although it was raining, the waves were calm and the water felt nice.
We were a little worried before going on the trip since we were going to be doing a lot of water activities and the weather looked like it wouldn’t be in our favor, it was going to be raining a lot while we were there. Thankfully, we were still able to do most of everything that was planned and they had back up plans for when the rain picked up and we had to stay inside.
We took a bus to the island in the middle of the night, sleeping on the way there. We arrived to Namhae around 6 in the morning, and immediately went for a hike up a mountain to see the Boriam Temple. It was optional though, so if anyone needed more sleep they were more than welcome to on the bus.
Hiking up the mountain was hard but very rewarding, the view from the temple down to the coast and the village situated there was amazing. Going down was hard as well, but for a different reason: it started to rain. Although I slipped a few times and other people slipped as well on the rocks, there were no injuries since we took it nice and slow.
After hiking, we went to the sea kayaking place since the waves would be rougher on the second day when we were originally supposed to kayak. Even though it was raining, the waves were calm and it was easy to get the hang of kayaking. We kayaked over to a smaller island and from there we went snorkeling. It was amazing how clear the water was even with all of the rain, it was still easy to see the fish swimming around.
After showering off the sea water we started heading towards Daraengi Village where we would be staying. When we got there, we immediately went to the community center where the village manager and other people from the village had prepared an enormous and delicious meal for everyone, including their own makgeolli made in just that village. The people living in Daraengi Village were so nice to everyone, and kept refilling our side dishes when they ran out.
We took a very needed 2 hour rest after that, hiking and kayaking after sleeping on a bus will make anyone exhausted. We woke up at 5 so that we could go back to the community center and make some paper crafts, make pajeon, and drink some more makgeolli.
After the crafts and pajeon, we went back to the pension houses we were staying at so we could eat some dinner that was prepared by the pension owners. Each owner made their own dinner for the guests staying at their house, so while I don’t know what everyone else ate I enjoyed a great fish stew with plenty of side dishes.
We then moved to the old elementary school in the village and learned how to make straw crafts for good luck, how to drum with traditional Korean drums, and then we wrote down our wishes on a paper lantern and let them float into the night sky. Then the party started when the karaoke system started up. We sang classic songs and drank a lot more.
The next morning, we woke up and had breakfast before heading to the pebble beach where we could hand fish and go swimming. We were supposed to cliff dive as well, but unfortunately the waves were too strong so we couldn’t swim to the cliff diving spot without being put in danger, so everyone just stayed close to the shore and enjoyed the waves.
After swimming we all went back to shower and then have our last meal in the village at the community center. We enjoyed some delicious fish and kimchijeon (kimchi pancakes) as well as some potatoes and japchae. It was a great way to finish off the weekend before heading back to Seoul. Thanks to Adventure Korea I had an amazing time at a great location that I otherwise would not have known about.