This weekend I took my second trip to Bijin Island (Bijindo). Last time I called this slice of paradise a “hint of Thailand” just off the southern coast of South Korea. This trip proved that to be even more true as the waters warmed up and the sun joined us for an incredible weekend. The only ferry to Bijindo is from Tongyeong and can be accessed via intercity buses.
Upon arrival you are immediately greeted with fresh ocean air as the misty sea-spray welcomes you to the narrow stretch of land. Rock beach on your right and sand beach on the left it promises to be an enjoyable weekend if only the sun will scare away these looming rainclouds.
Looking for another amazing Korean beach? Check out Jeju’s hidden beach featured on Television of Nomads
After organizing the rooms it was a day of R&R on the beach as a handful of my fellow hikers took advantage of the free kayaks. The beach itself was noticeably cleaner than my first visit but still largely devoid of people. Dipping into the water I found it pleasantly warm and easily understood how most of my friends were already frolicking in the waters.
Ronda caught a 24-hour bug from her pesky students and napped the day away while I mingled with this crop of Seoul Hikers when suddenly Shad and I got an idea. We looked at each other and sprinted into the water pent on flipping our buddies Erin & Ji’s kayak only to discover a massive drop in the bottom of the beach a few feet off shore. We all laughed it off until realizing that Shad dove in with his wallet which subsequently fell out!
The search for his missing wallet entertained everyone except Shad but luckily bits and pieces washed onshore over the next day. He recovered some ID’s and about a 1/3 of his cash but will certainly check for more than just his cell phone before jumping in next time.
Shortly after the usual SHG dinner BBQ I led a small group up the main mountain. This 45 minute hike, now slippery from a layer of wet mist was a bit tougher than last time. Giant makeshift steps continued relentlessly until you finally reach the lookout.
The spectacular view was as I remembered but unfortunately the western sunset was blocked by the mountain itself. No matter, we took it in anyway before heading back down to a music filled evening on the beach.
Sunday morning we awoke bright and early to a beautiful blue sky! I wandered around the quaint alleys thinking that this must be how life in tiny Mediterranean villages is. The colorful huts had an obviously Asian flair and I made a mental note to one day experience their European counterparts.
We spent a few hours on the beach mimicking yesterdays festivities until it came time to board the ferry. Waving a farewell to Bijindo was easy for me but as Ronda finally began feeling better we both vowed to revisit this hint of Thailand.