Muuido in May!

18 Sep

Muuido Island, South Korea

This way guys!

An airport bus, a city bus, a 5 minute ferry and then one more bus is all it takes to get to the famous Hanagae Beach on the lovely island of Muuido, which translates to “Dancer’s Dress”. It was the last weekend of May and I was already dying to get in the water. I was not alone in this desire and of the three friends I went with I was the only one who had not grown up near the water……unless you count my Great Aunt’s pool (which if you know me, you kind of do count that). The end of May is an ideal time to visit this peaceful island as there are few people and the beach is basically yours. The water may be a little chilly but you’ll appreciate it when the hot sun is draining your life force and baking your skin. I myself was cooked to pink perfection. Viva la tan line!

Muuido Island, South Korea, beach hut

If you lived here you'd be home by now!

The first thing you wanna do when you get off the last bus of this great journey is find the big sign that says beach hut rentals and underneath will be a friendly Ajashi hiding from the sun behind a  little window. You pay your 30,000\ for the night plus 10,000\ key deposit (returned the next day) and you’re good to go. They are also very lenient about the checkout time.

Muuido Island, South Korea, beach

Photo:Sonya Sanchez

After that was all sorted we came to the beach proper only to find out that the beach had taken its own mini-vacation. In what was described by some as “pre-beach” was actually just a severely low tide that went on for between a quarter to a half a mile. While walking through what were basically mud flats, I spotted dozens of little crabs running for safety from big human feet and about a billion tiny shells so small it made me wonder what sort of tiny creatures their owners could have been. Although I have been to the ocean before, I grew up in a desert so I always feel like a little kid when I go to the beach. Every little thing seems fascinating. My first time in the south of Thailand I couldn’t shut up for about 3 days, driving my Australian friend crazy with questions and constant cries of “Look! Look! Look at that!”. I even smuggled some white sand back home with me from the pristine beach known as Maya Bay (shhhhh don’t tell anyone) where the film “The Beach” was shot. The water itself was cold but I didn’t care because I finally started to feel like winter was over and summer was coming.

After a few hours of drinking and cooking up some tasty Samgyeopsal 삼겹살 (Ssamjang 쌈장 anyone?), I could feel the need that all people who come to the beach with a beer in their hand eventually feel…… and that is the need to light things on fire. Unfortunately some military guys had already beaten me to it with a big crackling bonfire, but oh-so-lucky me found that the general store sold plenty of fireworks. Fireworks are another thing that takes me back to the carefree days of my youth and as the fiery colors exploded in front of me I felt like a kid – albeit a pretty buzzed one.

                                                    Muuido Island, South Korea, dried fish

Pretty soon all the Korean families had disappeared and the few other people on the beach climbed up into their huts. There was one restaurant open that was run by an older Korean couple who never seemed to sleep. I can only imagine what kind of drunken belligerence they put up with during the high season, but they were very nice to us and gave us plenty of water, which I was really glad to have the next day.

The next morning I woke up and I couldn’t feel my arm. Thanks a lot beach hut floor! I found one of my friends on the beach where I then drifted back to sleep. Soft sand, cool wind, no one around to make a sound. It was one of the best naps I ever had.

After a delicious Pa Jeon 파전 lunch at the restaurant run by the old couple who never sleep, the water had finally come up to shore and it was a beautiful day.

Throughout the rest of this beautiful day we went swimming and watched business people, hikers and families play some of the weirdest games I have ever seen. One of which involved them all walking around in a tight circle trying to stomp the balloon on the ankle of the person in front of them. A seemingly impossible task yet they gave it their all.

After becoming sufficiently buzzed on a box of wine we had been gifted by a

Muuido Island, South Korea

Man vs. Machine

stranger, it was time to head back to the pier and find our way home. The road between the pier and the bus is no joke it has a lot of cars and almost no space to walk. Be careful or you will fall into the ocean. If you do fall into the ocean please take a picture and send it to me because I can always use a good laugh.

In the end my face was burnt, Sterling lost his camera and I think part of Sonya’s liver is somewhere in the sewage system. However, Muuido will remain on the list of places I would recommend for anything from a daytrip to a whole weekend, especially for those living in and around the Incheon area as it’s very close by. Stay tuned for the next island on my list: Jeju-do!

Muuido Island, South Korea, sunset

How to get there: Exit Incheon International Airport from Gate 2 at the arrival floor, take airport bus 302 or 306 at Bus Station A and get off at Jamjindo Ferry Terminal (bus arrives every 30 minutes / the ride takes about 10 to 15 minutes) – Walk towards Jamjindo Ferry Terminal (15 minutes) – Take a ferry for Muuido Island (boat departs every 5 minutes / the ride takes 5 minutes). After reaching Keunmuri Ferry Terminal, you will have to board another bus which should be a long shortly. I think it was green. It will take you all the way to the beach and there will be a sign that looks like a movie billboard. The little window where you can pay for the huts has a big sign over it and it costs about 30,000 for one night plus 10,000 for a key deposit which you get back the following day. Beware: in the beach huts you will be sleeping on the floor with just some blankets. If this is not enough for you bring a sleeping back mat. It’s not that bad but it’s not that great either.


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12 Responses to “Muuido in May!”

  1. Rhonda September 19, 2011 at 1:23 am #

    Great post! I think the beach huts sound lovely and the island sounds amazing. I’ve only visited S.Korea briefly but I hope I have the chance again one day. Looking forward to following your adventures.

  2. Loren September 20, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    I love the final picture. Sums it up perfectly I think!

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    so this what you do with your time lol ha looks good chana

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