Korean Roadtrip 2015: Pohang Beaches and Waterfalls

Pohang is a small-ish (by Korean standards) city about a 100km north of Busan. During my Korean Roadtrip, I decided to spend a couple days there. To be honest, I was mainly looking for any city next to the beach. And Pohang had the added bonus of being the city where I was going to take my ferry to my next destination.
Getting to Pohang from Gyeongju involves hopping a bus from the Not At All Sketchy Bus Terminal in Gyeongju. It’s not sketchy–they just don’t have air conditioning, even in 100 degree summers, but they do have mucho flies, and plenty of redneck-rigged fans running.
I got into Pohang and ditched my stuff with my fantastic Couchsurfing hosts, Nonni and Casey before running off to the beach! Yeah I know, I live next to a beach…but it was 100 freaking degrees. I spent most of the afternoon lounging on the beach, taking pictures of the beach and the random gyser that went off, #BecauseKorea.
I did brave the heat and go hike up to a park, which I regretted once my clothes got sweat-soaked.
That evening, I made it back to my hosts in time for their Christmas in August party! Why? I believe it all started with a rum-soaked Christmas Pudding (which is British for: if we soak the fruitcake in booze for months it goes from blegh to delicious).
We spent the evening eating food, drinking wine, wearing stupid hats.

Add in a side of Jeannette accidentally traumatizing the Korean guests for added fun! See, I mentioned the Portland Dildo Bandit in conversation and got some rather baffled looks from the Koreans. So I explained that in my hometown people get bored. And when they get bored, Portlanders do things like hang dildos from the power lines. I was still getting confused looks, so I showed them a (non-explicit) picture. And promptly made one girl blush: she hadn’t realized what a “dildo” was… Oh Korea 🙂

My second day in Pohang was a relaxing day–you’ve got to throw in some of those when you’re in the middle of a multi-week trip or you do dumb things like pass out on park benches in Barcelona.
Casey and I took a field trip to get coffee, which was…sweaty. We also wandered the (empty) beach and discussed the pros and cons of backpacking the entire planet.
And then we acquired some cheap grocery store wine before heading off to a poker tournament! Which I failed at, miserably, though I did manage to drink mucho vino.

The third day, I decided to head out to the mountains in search of waterfalls and some less than 99 degree weather. I hopped a bus out to Bogyeongsa and made my way through a nice little village that was selling penis-shaped bottles of moonshine. No. Seriously:

But dildos are shocking. Okay, Korea…
Anyhow, the Bogyeongsa Temple is situated at the beginning of a canyon. And if you keep following the canyon, you’ll find a total of 12 waterfalls as well as gorgeous forest, cliff faces, and swimming holes. Though Koreans like to swim in their clothes, so a bikini’s going to get you a few weird looks.

IMG_1021 IMG_1023  IMG_1047IMG_1022

None of these pictures are filtered or Photoshopped, mostly because I’m too damned lazy to bother.
I hiked to the 8th waterfall before deciding to head back–mostly because I was out of food, water, and had been told by strange Korean men that the last few waterfalls weren’t as good anyhow.


That evening, my hosts and I went to a jazz festival on the beach! Which was that odd mixture of random and fantastic… Plus many small Korean children staring at me because my curly hair and backpacker tan is weird. I guess.

The next morning, I was off to catch the ferry to Ulleungdo. Or so I hoped… To be Continued.


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