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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Beaches in Incheon, Part I: Minmeoru Beach, Ganghwa County

Minmeoru Beach is the only beach on Seokmo Island; located in Maeeum 1-ri, Samsan-myeon, Ganghwa County, Incheon Metropole - a small island to the west of Ganghwa Island which is the principal Island for Ganghwa County. The width of the sands is 50m while the length is 1km. During the ebb tide, several hundred acres of foreshore appear. The area is especially favored by college students as a place for membership training. The foreshore and sands of Minmeoru Beach are rich with minerals renowned for mitigating women's diseases (neuralgia etc) as well as for improving skin condition. 

Visitors can enjoy sea-bathing on the vast stretch of sandy beach and watch beautiful sunsets over the West Sea. When the tide goes out, a foreshore of approximately one kilometer in length appears. The foreshore is very smooth and is home to marine life including clams, crabs, and more. The Eoryujeonghang Harbor and Janggothang Harbor are located nearby, so visitors can also enjoy sea fishing. Popular tourist attractions in the vicinity include Maaekseokbul (a Buddha image carved on a cliff) and Bomunsa Buddhist Temple, which is said to have been constructed by the 27th Monarch of Silla Dynasty, Queen Seondeok in 635 CE.

Minmeoru Beach features a narrow expanse of sand and a vast foreshore that provides visitors with a grand foreshore experience. During the ebb tide, a foreshore with a length about 1km appears. The foreshore is very smooth and is home to various animals including clams, crabs, and more. Although visitors can enter the foreshore with bare feet, protective footwear is recommended. 

Bomunsa is one of Ganghwa's three greatest temples together with Jeondeungsa and Jeongsusa. The temple was established by the great Buddhist priest Hoejung, who came down from Mount Geumgang during the 4th year of of the reign of Queen Seondeok (635). The sound of the waves on the sea in front of the temple at dawn and the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy carved on the cliff of Nunsseopbawi (눈썹바위/Eyebrow Rock) are deemed two of the eight greatest spectacles of Ganghwa. From the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy carved on the cliff, visitors can enjoy a magnificent view of the west sea and, when the time is right, a fantastic sunset. 

As the bus connecting Seokpo-ri and Bomunsa follows the ship schedule, visitors can enjoy traveling conveniently even without a car. It is a 15 to 20-minute drive to Bomunsa. Near the entrance to the temple are a large parking lot, markets and restaurants. In addition to Bomunsa Temple, there are many places to visit on Seokmo Island. Moving 5km from Seokpo-ri to Bomunsa, visitors can see an information board on their left describing Eoryujunghang as well as the saltpans, beach, foreshore, wharf and more. Of particular note, Minmeoru Beach, the only beach on Seokmo Island, offers children a great opportunity to play on the foreshore during the ebb tide.