Gangneung, South Korea

Gangneung is a rural city on the east coast of South Korea and will be the host of the Winter Olympics 2018. It’s not really the host but it is very close to the real host,  Pyeongchang. Gangneung is by the beach, not the in the mountains and has some interesting features. Bellow is the Hyundai tower on Gyeongpo Beach seen from Lake Gyeongpoho.

Hyundai Tower

The main draw to the region currently is the winter games in Pyeongchang. The slopes that the Olympic skiers will use are open to the public. This won’t be a comprehensive review of the mountains as I only spent two days there and I am not a super skilled skier. The mountains do feature several slopes for all skill sets. It’s not the alps and there are limited mountains but having spoken to some dedicated skiers, Pyeongchang shouldn’t be overlooked by any stretch.

I didn’t spend enough time there and I have little knowledge of skiing so I will move on quickly to the beach. Below is Gyeongpo Beach. This visit was in January and so surfing was not a possibility but there were some 10 ft waves that looked pretty daunting. Gyeongpo Beach is the seaside destination for many Koreans (so I have been told), The Korean version of Margate but in modern day. A friend followed up on this trip in the summer and can attest to the suitability of Gyeongpo Beach as a summer location, (unlike modern day Margate).

This post will be a primer to some upcoming posts where more detail is given to each of the places mentioned. So here is another taster. Unification park covers the area whereby some North Korean soldiers attempted to flee their beached submarine but were chased by locals and soldiers to death. Below is the North Korea submarine facing the South Korean battleship that chased it into the beach.

The most important part (for me) of the area was Haslla Art World. A museum that looks over the sea styled as though the designer of the Pompidou wanted to make nice looking building. Haslla showcases modern art from around Korea. This is certainly something I will be diving deeper into but for now I will confirm that yes, those flouting sculptures are made of poo.

To sign off this post I’ll leave this final photo of the Hyundai tower as seen from Anmok beach also known as the coffee central of Korea. Facing the beach are dozens of cafes that claim to have the best coffee around. Whilst they were all decorated very well there were no stand out coffees, although nothing disappointing either. If you are thinking of going to the winter games in 2018 then make sure you take a trip to the beach.

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