Bijindo – A hint of Thailand in Korea

Bijindo is an island just south of South Korea.  After enjoying a sunrise hike in Hwangmaesan we took the ferry from Tongyeong Ferry Terminal to Bejin Island (do means island in Korean).  The 40 minute trip went quickly as sea spray and fresh air came over the sides of the boat while a few seagulls entertained us by trailing behind and snatching chips out of the sky!

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Once on Bijindo it was easy to find our pension.  The whole island only has a few hundred people living on it in one small village and another smaller beach-side hamlet.  From afar it is easy to confuse Bijindo with one of Thailand’s many tropical paradises.

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Saryangdo with Seoul Hiking Group

A midnight bus trip, wake up for a 6am ferry ride before hiking the entire ridgeline of an island?  Sign me up!  In early March I joined my first Seoul Hiking Group (shout out to Warren and his helpers!) outing to Saryangdo.  We had a bus full of hikers, some veterans and some beginners with one thing in common; a love of the outdoors!

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This was my first trip south out of Seoul and it turns out we were about as far south as you can go.  The 5 hour bus ride was spent with what I’ll dub the “beer snoozes” (a well thought out plan of mine) before we enjoyed a sunrise from our ferry.

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Upon arrival we broke out some of Warren’s secret fruit stash (Warren was our guide and amazing trip organizer).  The roughly 60 foreigners gorged ourselves on apples and bananas as we strolled up the road and along the grassy path to our “pension.”  A “pension” is a type of Korean lodging that consists of 4 walls and a floor.  We needed 3 to house everyone along the algae ridden bay.

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