6 Reasons Why Naksan Beach is Korea’s Most Underrated Beach

Naksansa Temple

Situated on the northeast coast of Gangwon-do Province in South Korea is a beautiful coastline including Naksan Beach. Just a short bus ride away from Sokcho or Yang Yang rests the beach town including many restaurants, hotels, and a beautiful white sandy beach. Check out the reasons why we think this is the best beach we have been to in Korea.

1) White Sand and Clear Blue Water

Naksan Beach

Father introduces son to the water for the first time.

The beach stretches 4 km long and has beautiful white sand and clear blue water. We have been to a few beaches in Korea, including the famous Haeundae Beach in Busan and have not seen the clear, clean blue water. The water is chilly, but refreshing on a hot summer day.

2) Not Crowded

Naksan Beach

End of Summer Ghost Town

Because of the island of Jeju and Busan, South Korea’s northeast coastline is not mentioned very often. But it should be for Chuseok or just for a beautiful weekend getaway. After visiting tourist websites of the area stating Naksan Beach can get crowded in the summer months we were shocked to find out how empty the beach was. Unlike Haeundae Beach which is famous for being cram packed in the summer months.

3) Sunrises and Sunsets

Naksan Beach Sunrise

One of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen.

Sunrises and sunsets can be beautiful where ever you are, but something about the clean empty beach and background views of the Seoraksan Mountains behind us set these sunrises and sunsets apart. For the sunset we camped up on a roof top and watched the sun disappear behind the mountains bringing in a beautiful moon shot.

While for the sunrise Scott really wanted to try his hand out at his first sunrise timelapse and went back up to the roof. His timelapse sucked (but what can you expect for the first time) luckily he was smart enough to snap off one shot before he began. It was a beautiful sunrise. There is something majestical about watching the sun come out of the sea. It was one of our favorite experiences in Korea and I definitely think everyone should sea the sun rise out of the east sea at least once in Korea.

4) Camping/Hotels

Camping at Naksan Beach

Camping right on the Water

A friend of ours donated their tent to us when they left Korea. This was our first experience camping in Korea and it was a blast. Korea is not strict on where you can set up camp. We were able to set up tent on the beach and stay there all night. If camping is not your style, then there are plenty of seaside motels with balconies and jimjilbangs to sleep at.

This isn’t too different than any place in Korea, but in Naksan it’s more charming, friendly and cheaper. We brought along a small blanket and some pillows to stay comfortable. But recommend bringing some warm clothes because it gets cold at night!

Camping on Naksan Beach

Our cozy bed.

5) Seaside town of Naksan

Naksan Beach Nightlife

The town of Naksan has plenty of restaurants and convenience stores to eat at or grab anything you need. Naksan has a close-knit small town feel to it which is a great break from the hustle of the big city. People are friendly and there are not tall apartment buildings everywhere stealing the views of Seoraksan. When it is night time you can head over to the carnival area where you can ride the Viking Ship ride or win a stuffed animal. This is more like a fair carnival than an amusement park, but still, it makes this small town feel even more like a vacation. Once nightfall hits, you won’t miss the Disco Ponies giving rides in a lit up carriage ride up and down the main strip while playing loud music. We have never seen anything like this and found it amusing. The rides are 20,000 KRW (~$20) which was a little steep for us, but still fun to watch while eating dinner.

6) Naksansa Temple

Located right next to Naksan Beach on a cliff rests Naksana Buddhist Temple. This temple was not crowded like Busan’s beautiful seaside temple. We were able to wander the grounds without being pushed and shoved by crowds and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the temple and Naksan beach from above. For only 3,000 KRW (~$3) you have an all day admission to the temple.

Naksansa Temple

Naksansa Temple Statue

Naksansa Temple

Beautiful Door

For whom the bell tolls

Pro Tip
For photographers, it may be worth knowing that you can get photos of the temple during the sunset. If you are facing the statue it will be to your west at about 100 degrees.


Seoraksan Entrance

20-30 away minutes via bus

As mentioned before, Naksan is located close to Seoraksan National Park. Behind us was breathtaking views of the Seoraksan Mountains.  This was our favorite national park in Korea. About a 30 minute bus ride away you could spend some time in the park entrance. Find out more about Seoraksan here.

Being from Southern California we were spoiled with a pristine coastline. Therefore, we have not been impressed with some of the beaches we have visited so far in Korea. This was the first beach where we were just in awe. The chilly, clear blue waters reminded us of the Pacific water. The clean, white sand reminded us of our favorite beaches in California. We also enjoyed just showing up with a tent and being able to sleep anywhere. We had the beach pretty much to ourselves which was shocking since it is the month of August. We would definitely come back and spend another weekend camping on this beautiful ocean.

Directions to Naksan Beach

From Ilsan go Baeksok exit 2 and take the bus from Goyang to Sokcho. Then take the local bus 9 or 9-1 the rest of the way. Those closer to Dong Seoul can do the same thing, or head directly to Yang-Yang and take a local bus.[/text_output]If you liked this post and want to see more like it, consider liking our page on facebook, following us on twitter, or seeing our latest photos on instagram.

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About the Author

Megan Indoe

I try to pet and meow at every cat I meet along our travels, I am an e book and podcast junkie on the road (motion sickness struggles are real), and I could eat pizza & tacos and drink wine every day of my life without getting bored.