Dogs, Chickens, Islands, and Dried Fish [riding the South of South Korea]

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dry fish vendor Ttangkkeut
Dry fish vendor in Ttangkkeut

Ttangkkeut, Wando, and Songho Beach travel guide

This article is part of our South Korea travel journal. We spent two months bicycle touring South Korea, taking it really easy and exploring off-the-beaten-path regions and unknown islands.

Here we describe how we reach the southernmost tip of Korea, and how we found some of the best beaches in South Korea so far.

Reluctantly, we leave our island. We would have remained more but there’s no place to buy food, the next time we happen to catch a random ferry we will be better prepared in terms of the food supply.

The only ferry that can bring us back to planet earth is at 4:30 pm. So let’s go back to Alice Town. We have to go back for a few kilometers to the road we already did, we come to a village in the countryside where we find the Supermarket which fortunately is open.

Just outside the village, there is a small garden with the usual gazebo. This time the gazebo looks much more used by the people and so we put the tent in the garden close by.

On awakening there are people in its shade, they are the workers who collect the garbage, as soon as they see us awake they bring coffee and biscuits in the tent, is the first time someone brings us breakfast in bed!

Unnam Myeon, Apae-do and dog meat

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chicken farm
Chicken farm

On the road south, we pass by the large beach of Dolmeori. With the usual camping facilities and the usual low tide. Let’s go to the peninsula of Unnam Myeon, south, down the road a gas station man gives us a watermelon.

Here is a nice gift, it cost about 30 Euros. Then Daniele hears music coming from a building, gets in and discovers kids intent on playing traditional music, they are rehearsing for the festival to be held next Sunday.

They are surprised that we like traditional music. Aside from these nice encounters, nothing to report from this area.

We reach the neighboring island connected by a bridge, Apae Do, where we do try to find a beach but nothing. We take a swim right under the bridge.

Back on the main road, we see for the first time a dog-breeding farm. It’s like any other animal farm, with the difference that it is very noisy as the dogs bark constantly. They will be meat soon.

A little further on we find ourselves instead in a chicken farm, the smell is impressive despite the aspirators placed over their heads. All gazebos on this island are occupied by people selling fruit and vegetables, who made those their stalls.

Try again to get to the sea but also in this part of the island there are no beaches, we find another dog farm and two policemen who are very romantic, at the shore to watch the sunset together. Eventually, we find a war memorial that has quite a small field behind, we will sleep here.

Mokpo ferry terminal

cycling South Korea
This is cycling in South Korea

We arrive in Mokpo and reach the harbor from which several ferries sail to a lot of islands. Even if all the tourists go to Jeju. After our recent experience in Sanagwolli, we would like to get again to an unknown tiny island.

But there are too many islands and too many people here, no chance to catch a really random ferry here. We give up and hit the road again, it’s a little busy but flat and lined by fig-trees, we steal some but they are not ready yet.

Then finally back in the countryside, we sleep under a beautiful pergola with attached table and chairs, we found a Korean flag and hang it to the tent.

The best beach in South Korea so far – Songho beach

best beach south korea
Sunset on a southern South Korea beach

We’re already riding the Songji-Myeon area, towards the scenic peninsula of Shongo-ri. Needless to say, along the way we are offered coffee and water, and a girl, who had been left sore by her car, stopped us to give chocolate bars saying: “choccolato energy”.

After the usual ups and downs and a cool panoramic ride along the coast, we come to a seaside village with a beautiful beach and pine forest where you can camp for free. The beach is called Songho beach, and it’s one of the best beaches we’ve seen in South Korea so far.

Obviously, it is full of tents. We find a huge lifesaver abandoned on the beach so we have a bath with the mega-donut! The beach is wide and long, a bit crowded but not too much. And there are the usual facilities, like large toilets and barbecue spots.

The village has a decent choice of seafood restaurants which we obviously cannot afford, we just watch a bit of the local karaoke from the outside.

Tomorrow is the birthday of Daniele and I make a handmade mask with things found in the trash. It is pretty good. The lifesaver is not claimed by anyone and we decide to keep it, too much fun to leave it there, and it’s just two kilos more.

The Koreans beat the Italians at the beach, they bring tables, seats, chairs, grill, and food, and drink as if they had to stay there a week. No one is wearing a swimming suit and all bath with clothes on, including children. Fear of the tan or modesty we can only guess, probably a mix of both.

For dinner, Daniele eat a can of fish that was given to us in Kazakhstan! It reveals itself good even after spending a few months in the bag of the bike.

In the evening there is a concert, the beginning is terrible, there is an off-key guy singing Hotel California. Then it luckily improves: there is a traditional Korean dance performance, followed by a belly dancer (less traditional, at least here).

And then comes the star of the evening, a rude blonde girl covered with shiny things that draws the crowds and us too, especially when she says to raise the inches shouting “victory!”. And as a grand finale also the brand new Korean Spice Girls.

Ttangkkeut and Wando

the Korean Spice Girls
The Korean Spice Girls

Today is Daniele’s birthday, let’s take a bath and set off early enough. We visit a very cute nearby village, Ttangkkeut, the southernmost tip of Korea.

Even from here ferries go to other islands never heard of, we are tempted to get one but change our mind. The village is nice, full of dried fish vendors. We eat at the convenience store, fearing of finding nothing but dried fish.

Very hot today! The waterfront is spectacular, we take the road to Wando, another island but connected by a bridge, where we do not find a beach but a very nice park with wooden platforms overlooking the sea.

Daniele goes in search of a market but no chance, but he meets a nasty guy who anyway gives him a beer. The sunset is beautiful from here. Not walls but infinite trees.

best beach south korea
The mask Elena made out of the garbage for my birthday

Bicycle route map – from Sanagwolli to Wando

Dogs, Chickens, Islands, and Dried Fish [riding the South of South Korea] 5

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