Byeonsanbando National Park, located on the West Coast of Korea is one of the parks that up until recently, I hadn’t known much about.
A good distance away from major population centers and not much documentation in English, it wasn’t until I took a trip there last year, that I realized how much of a gem this part of Korea was.
Byeonsanbando National Park
To hopefully be of help to fellow travellers coming to Korea, I’d like to give some of my tips and recommendations for travelling there. The area has many beaches to visit and a few other attractions I’ll mention below.
How to get to Byeonsanbando National Park
As with a lot of places here in Korea, you can reach Byeonsanbando Maritime National Park with public transportation, however, to best use your time, I’d recommend taking a car. Distances between attractions aren’t too far and the car will get you between them a lot quicker. There are buses that go past most of the attractions and beaches, however, they aren’t very frequent which is why I’m advising against it.
If you do take public transportation, you would first want to take a bus to the city of Buan (부안), and then from there, you can take a bus to the beach named Gyeokpo (경포). Most major cities will have buses that go to Buan. Also, from the bus terminal in Buan, you can go to Naesosa (내소사) which is the famous temple at the national park, which I’ll talk about later.
Attractions in Byeonsanbando National Park
Gosapo Beach (고사포해수욕장)
Gosapo beach, which is one of the first beaches you encounter when entering the peninsula from the North is a real stunner. With a long sandy beach and a beautiful shaded pine forest, it’s the perfect spot for camping. If you want to spend the night here, there is a serviced camping area with tent platforms among the pine forest. The one side of the beach has a rocky area that is good for exploring and finding shells, while the rest of the beach is sandy and quite shallow. It’s a great beach for laying out and enjoying the sun.
Suseongdang is probably one of the lesser known locations in Byeonsanbando. It is the location of a Shaman temple and is considered one of Jeollabukdo’s Tangible Cultural Asset #58. There are legends associated with this temple and rituals are still performed here at times to pray for the safety of fishermen.
However, this area is really popular among photographers and those wanting to take beautiful pictures because the fields in front of the temple bloom in different flowers in different times of the year. When I went in the fall time, the fields were full of colorful cosmos flowers. If you come in the spring time, it’s full of yellow canola flowers. The views out over the ocean are stunning as well and worth the visit. Even with a car, it’s not the easiest place to access, but you can park at the bottom of the narrow road and walk up to the temple in about 5 to 10 minutes. You can see the location on the map below.
Chaeseokgang could arguably be considered one of the most famous attractions on the Byeonsan Peninsula and draws many tourists to the area.
Chaeseokgang refers to the cliffs of stratified rock which form many shapes and combined with the beautiful ocean is a great location to admire the geology of the area. This area can really only be explored a few times a day though during low tides. At the beach in Gyeokpo, there is a sign which is updated which has the times for low tide, so you know when is best to visit and when you need to leave to safely stay away from the high tide.
Naesosa Temple (내소사)
Naesosa Temple is located deep within the mountains on the Byeonsan Peninsula. It’s within the National Park and it one of the famous temples that was built during the Baekjae Dynasty in the 600’s AD and was rebuilt during the Joseon Dynasty in the 1600’s. It is now a culturally protected area.
The temple complex occupies a large space and there are many buildings to explore. It’s well taken care of, and the temple has Temple Stays for those who want to stay overnight and learn more about Buddhist Culture. You can learn more about those at the website for the temple here.
Mohang Beach (모항해수욕장)
The final location I’d like to recommend is Mohang Beach. In particular this beach is spectacular at sunset. If you happen to be there during low tide and sunset, you can get amazing colors on the sand and reflections like in the photo above. However, even outside of sunse time, this beach is wide enough and sandy enough that it provides an enjoyable experience for swimming and soaking up the sun.
Like a lot of the beaches on Byeonsan, there is a serviced campsite that looks right onto the beach and is within a forest of trees. These campsites do fill up fast during peak seasons, so would recommend to always try to book ahead if possible
Accommodations in Byeonsanbando
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As with so many places in Korea, you will have a wide variety of accommodation choices on the peninsula. There are a few tourist hotels, many pensions, and as written above most beaches have campsites as well. You can find a few of the hotels on booking.com by searching for byeonsanbando.
There is quite a bit more on Byeonsan that I didn’t cover in this article. What are some of the places that you have explored in Byeonsan that readers should know about? Have any questions about the park? Ask below in our comment section!