Korean Beach Culture

I have been to many beaches all over Korea, but this past week was the first time I had the chance to experience a Korean beach during its peak season of the year.  Koreans may not like the sun or know how to swim very well, but they still make their way down to the beaches of Busan and they have created their own beach culture much different than the east coast back home.

Haeundae Beach Busan

If you don’t notice the high population density of Korea on an everyday basis then it will become apparent as soon as you hit the beach.  Haeundae Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Busan, is transformed into a rainbow of umbrellas lined up neatly up and down the entire beach.  Everyone sitting under the umbrellas is literally “blanket to blanket” to the person next to them.  I have never seen anything like it and I will never complain that a beach back home is crowded because it does not even compare.

The second biggest difference is that since Koreans can’t swim (even when the water is only about 3-4 feet high) every single person on the beach has a bright yellow inner tube.  The ocean is covered in yellow inner tubes.  The first day I actually went in the water without one and I felt like I was going to be suffocated by the inner tubes.  On the second day I made sure to grab my own, and while finding enjoyment and relaxation in bobbing around on the waves I think I was finding more enjoyment watching everyone else floating around me.  The lifeguards are extremely strict as well.  They patrol the beach and the water by riding jet skis back and forth to make sure no one goes past a certain point in the water.

I spent my five days in Busan mostly relaxing at the beach by day and enjoying the night life by night.  I reached my quarter of a century milestone on the last day, but by that point I was exhausted from a week partying and birthday shots including a flaming one 😉

The last day at the beach was interesting because the heavy winds from the typhoon created gigantic waves.  It was fun to see waves that big in real life, but I was disappointed I didn’t get to enjoy my last day soaking up some sun in the water.

My week in Busan was a fun vacation get-away and a memorable way to experience my 25th.  Korean beach culture is fun, but I am ready to go  to my east coast beach culture back home.  Less than 2 weeks ~


5 responses

  1. Jen, Very different!! I was very surprised by all the beach umbrellas. Does anyone try to tan? I would think that there are very few drownings or accidents. What an experience. Mary Ann Bonner

  2. Mary Ann,

    Yes it’s definitely a different experience. Most Asian cultures strive to whiten their skin rather than tan. The US is ironically one of the few places where people darken their skin. In beauty stores here instead of self-tanning sprays they sell skin whitening creams. I have to admit that Korean’s skin is flawless and wrinkle-free. I may rethink my opinion of tanning after living here 😉 Although I still like a nice healthy glow.

  3. well we are home and I miss the beach at GHB all ready …back at the farm and unpacking ….
    Love your photos and pink umbrella beach !
    Our surf was gentle and as always Darin was the one who swam and enjoyed the ocean with Slaone , waiting for you to come home ….
    Love MOM

  4. Hi Jenny, it was so much fun to see you on the computer the night of your
    birthday. first time for me to actually see that. you look great and you
    just seem to really enjoy all those experience you find to do. good for you!
    still unpacking from the beach. sunday morning sariah sleeping, and i will
    drive her to concord and meet her mom about 4 pm. our time of course.
    when you talk to your mom ask her about janet and the seagull. about the
    funniest thing that happened, actually your aunt lori is the one to ask.
    she watched the whole thing. Thank you for the socks, they were so cute.
    matthew wore them to bed. he said they were so comfortable. talk to you soon.

  5. jenny great to see you at the beach on skype.loved the goodies your mom passed out.the coffee was really good and i loved the mootini napkin.so happy to hear you like it so much there

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