Galnam-ri Beach is in Wondeok-eup of Samcheok City. The city got its status elevated in 1995 by combining Samcheok-si and Samcheok-gun.
Galnam-ri Beach is in Gangwondo Province, one of the best provinces in the country with fantastic beaches and sea views.
Personally, I found it disappointing as there are many coal plants built around the area, and one more is under construction as of this writing.
Along with Sokcho, Yangyang, Gangneung, and Donghae, Samcheok is among the so-called 'Romantic Roads of Korea.' That's precisely because of the beautiful sights along with the sea routes one can travel.
Yes, I have been there, and I wish to explore more sites and visit the area more often. Now, let me bring you to the main attractions I'll be talking about on this page. Let's go...
Let me tell you about the 5 things which I found most attractive in this
area. First, there are the beach area, sea views, Wolmido Islet,
seagulls, and Galnam-ri Port area.
I love beaches! Who doesn't?
Galnam-ri Beach area is simply stunning. It is small and cute. The sand is fine and whitist in color. It is not as expansive as the other famous beaches in Samcheok, but its beauty is simply irresistible.
The most beautiful part of the beach is along the end part of the beach area. It has the widest part, and its stunning sight is the rocky areas creating a beautiful combination of the beach and the sea.
People from everywhere come to this small beach area during the summer holiday to enjoy its marvelous environment. Despite its being small, it is pack with visitors during the summer season.
The local officials manage the beach area offering tents, tables, and beach facilities to its guests.
Most of Galnam-ri Beach visitors include families with small children, couples, and random travelers curious about the area and the reasons that made it famous despite its small space.
The sea views of the Galnam-ri Beach area are stunning (as I keep on repeating!). The rock formations protruding above the seawater are something that one needs to see. The sight breaks the boring part of the expansive seawater.
On one end of the beach (from the port area), you will see the rock formation, and beyond it, you will see the rock islet that houses the cable car station.
Looking from the opposite direction, towards the east, you will see the Galnam-ri Port area with its sea waves breakers and the Galnam-ri Port's lighthouse.
From this position, you will have a fantastic sight of the mesmerizing sunrise in the area. It would be best if you got up early to experience it (which I failed to do last time!).
If you are staying at one of the rooms by the beach (I was at a friend's traditional Korean house, by the way!), you will have a more expansive view of the sea, rock formations, Wolmido Island, and see the seagulls enjoying their freedom.
Now, if you climb up and see the whole area from the roadside above, you will be totally amazed by the area's beauty. And you will have a full-360-degree view of the Galnam-ri Beach area and everything around it.
My friend who lives in this beautiful place explained the meaning of the name "Wolmido." She says the name simply describes the beauty of this rocky island, located about a hundred meters away from the beach area.
Photographers, both professionals, and newbies come to take pictures of this beautiful rocky island. It has some pine trees but no soil enough to support other plants on it.
Being an island with no human settlers, seagulls make their home, lay eggs, and take care of their family on it. It means that the seagulls find the area rich in seafood. I just hope that Wolmido Islet would remain untouched by humans to let the seagulls live in peace!
TV channels and other media sources tell stories about this area, including the beautiful Wolmido Islet. My friend's husband was once featured on TV with his traditional fishing boat, which is operated manually.
The presence of seagulls in the area is one of the sights you will not miss. I love birds, so their free company adds more beauty and memories to my first visit to Galnam-ri.
When I first arrived in the area, the seagull's sound immediately made me feel at home. I suddenly feel relaxed and happy knowing that seagulls only live in sea areas. And being at sea makes me a happy person.
This picture brings back my memories when I was little, joining my grandfather's group of seasonal fishers.
I was told and have seen that these seagulls are living on Wolmido Islet. I just hope that the local authorities will keep the islet free from human intervention and let the birds live freely and without any distraction.
Galnam-ri Port Area
Galnam-ri Port area (갈남항) is a great vintage area to explore the beautiful expanse of the sea and the surroundings of Galnam-ri in Wondeok-eup.
If you are driving here, you can park your vehicle, which is available during off-seasons. You can easily reach the Galnam-ri Beach area from the parking area, which is only about 50 meters away from its entrance area.
Galnam-ri Port, just like most piers and ports in South Korea, is filled with sea waves breakers. You're not allowed to climb over them, but you can take photos of them with the beautiful views beyond these concrete breakers.
The lighthouse usually adds a classical beauty to this port area. Galnam-ri Lighthouse not only functions as a safety guiding light to mariners but also as an artistic structure that visitors can enjoy.
I recommend this area to those travelers who love nature--the sea, rocks, birds, and small but beautiful sights.
It is excellent for photography--rocky background, sunrise, sea views.
It is suitable for families with small children who want to play on the soft sand, build a sandcastle, or catch small fish.
Couples will also enjoy its romantic environment and surrounding. I have seen lovers and couples taking selfies and pictures along the beach and by the rocks.
I won't recommend to guests who are expecting to enjoy a wide beach area to come here.
Also, since the beach area is pretty small, please do not expect to play games mostly played on vast beach areas, such as soccer or beach volleyball.
You can rent rooms as there are pension houses and lodging houses in the area and near the sea with fantastic views.
You can rent a whole house if you need more rooms for families or friends.
Otherwise, you can stay at a hotel in Samcheok City, which is less than an hour from Galnam-ri.
There are small local eateries (or 식당 - shikdang) along the road and parking area.
Many visitors who are driving bring in their own supplies of food and drinks during the day. Small shops are available and offer you most of the basic things you need for the day.
Those who are renting a pension house or a room is allowed to prepare their own food as kitchens are accessible. In such renting places, facilities are very much available (e.g., cooking wares, cooking stoves, kitchen utensils).
The local authorities of the Galnam-ri Beach area offer beach facilities, such as tents, tables, parasols, beach games and toys for children, snorkeling gears, among others.
There is an entrance fee to the beach area, especially during holiday seasons. It is very affordable.
Getting to Samcheok City and finally to Galnam-ri Beach is not difficult to do. You can drive, hire a vehicle, or take public transport to get there.
Driving a Car
It is the quickest way to get there are you don't have to wait at a station and find the best routes.
You can drive your car or rent a car or van. Even if you haven't been there before, all Korean vehicles have navigators that will guide you all the way!
Taking the Train
Book a train ticket and take it either at Seoul Station or Chongryangni Station to Donghae Station (Gangwondo Province) if you are coming from Seoul area.
By train, it takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach Donghae Station. After that, you need to take a bus or a taxi to get to the Galnam-ri area. It takes an hour by bus and less by taxi in both directions.
The advantage of taking the train is that you can sleep or feel more comfortable than on a bus.
Hiring a Taxi
You can also hire a taxi to bring you there quickly. Of course, it will cost you, but it is quick and practical, especially when traveling with a partner or two persons.
Travel by Bus (from Seoul)
From Seoul, head to Dong Seoul Bus Station and take a bus from Samcheok City. The bus station is closer to Galnam-ri than the train station.
It takes about 4 hours from Dong Seoul Station to Samcheok Bus Terminal. You will have fantastic sea views while on your way.
As a city in Gangwon Province, you will see many beautiful sights and destinations in the area. Some of them are the following places...
Mystery of Caves Exhibition
Fishing Village Folk Museum
Canola Flower Festival
Thanks for reading down to this part!
Enjoy your day!