Korea’s western coast is home to Garorimman Bay, located between Seosan and Taean. When the tide ebbs, the bay becomes a vast mudflat, one of the top five largest tidal mudflats in the world! It appeared as the main filming location for the “Mudmax” video in the Feel the Rhythm of Korea – Season 2 promotional video series. The area around Garorimman Bay features many beautiful natural attractions, ecological experiences, and tasty foods, all waiting for you to dig in!
Public Transportation to Seosan and Taean
Seoul Central City Terminal -> Seosan Bus Terminal
Seoul Central City Terminal -> Taean Bus Terminal
Ungdo Island in Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do is located within the bay, and is connected to the mainland via a bridge that becomes submerged at high tide. Recently, the bridge has become a popular photo spot on social media, with many people walking barefoot into the water when it just barely covers the bridge. When the tide goes out, the mudflat around the island is open to enjoy mudflat experiences like digging up clams through the Ungdo Fishing Village.
On the other side of the bay in Taean, you can relax at one of the many cafés looking out over the bay. If you spend enough time here, you can enjoy the unique experience of seeing the landscape change before your eyes; in a way, it’s as mesmerizing as watching a sunrise or sunset. The whole mudflat appears alive, as the sun glistens off the creatures that live here.
Ungdo Island Mudflat
Ungdo Fishing Village
Cafés with a view
The western coast has many attractions aside from the bay, such as Padori Beach. Compared to beaches on the eastern coast, this beach has rougher sand, but is dotted with many pretty beach pebbles, perfect for a tiny souvenir. You’ll have plenty of time to look for the perfect pebble while waiting your turn to take a photo inside one of the coastal caves that formed along the cliff. These caves, carved out over years by the pounding waves, are very popular photo spots on social media.
Also located nearby is Sindu-ri Coastal Sand Dune, the largest coastal sand dune in Korea. The unique desert landscape is well-preserved thanks to the area being a designated Natural Monument. The view at the point where the pasture turns into a sandy desert before meeting the ocean is unforgettable. The sand dunes appear even more golden in the light of fall, the perfect season to spend time walking along the sand dune paths.
If you’ve had your fill of coastal views, turn your gaze inward and head to Cheongsan Arboretum! Overflowing with all kinds of plants, this arboretum is famous for being a filming site of the popular drama “Crash Landing on You (2019).” The arboretum will delight your eyes no matter the season, with various flowers blooming throughout the year in the sweetly decorated themed gardens. In fall, you can get great photos before the backdrop of golden pampas grass or soft pink muhly.
Another site that appeared in the “Mudmax” video was Haemieupseong Walled Town. This attraction features beautiful, well-preserved architecture from the Joseon dynasty and has been used as a filming site for many historical dramas. Fans of “Mr. Sunshine” may recognize Cheongheojeong Pavilion, standing between a bamboo grove and a forest of pine trees. The walled town also has a connection with the history of Catholicism in Korea, and was visited by Pope Francis in 2014. While here, the Pope enjoyed garlic bread, a local specialty.
There are plenty of restaurants selling a wide range of foods in the shopping district near Haemieupsong Walled Town, but the most popular by far is Haemi Hotteok. The sweet griddle cakes here are unique in that they are grilled in margarine rather than the typical cooking oil. They are so popular that the shop has had to instate a limit of 3 hotteok per person. If you’re in the area, be sure to try this super popular dessert!
Seosan and Taean are known to be leading producers of beef and seafood in Korea, earning themselves a reputation as popular food tour destinations. Seosan’s representative menu is so bulgogi (beef bulgogi) made with top quality hanu (Korean beef) produced from the region’s famous cattle ranch. The sweet and savory so bulgogi tastes even better when paired with the flavorful godeungeo gui (grilled mackerel).
Taean’s regional dish is none other than ganjang gejang (soy-marinated crab). Meaty crabs are marinated in soy sauce to boost the crab’s flavors. The marinated meat presents a burst of savory flavor when consumed together with steamed white rice. Once you’ve finished the meat, wrap up your meal by using the crab shell as a bowl to mix any leftover rice and sauce remaining in the shell. The rice, sauce, and crab guts come together to offer a surprise of rich flavors.
So bulgogi restaurant – Seosanbulgogi Baekbanuisin
Ganjang gejang restaurant - Hwahaedang
* This column was last updated in September 2021, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.