Jindo Sea Parting Festival Weekend!!!

Jindo Sea Parting Festival Weekend!!!

There is literally something to do every weekend here in South Korea. There’s constantly festivals or tournaments or shows, really anything you can think of so you’ll never be bored! This year we decided to try out the Jindo Sea Parting Festival that happens once a year on the small island of Jindo. Twice during one day in the Spring the sea literally parts like Moses and Festival goers can walk across the natural sand bridge to a tinier island on the other side. It sounded like quite the adventure, despite being 9 hours away from Chungju, so we set off on an a cold Saturday morning ready to go!

Now, I will preface this “adventure” by saying we kind of set off like Bilbo Baggins: not entirely sure what we were doing, but determined that we were at least going to survive the encounter. 6 of us set off from Chungju at 8 in the morning, and 2 buses and 8 hours later we reached our destination of the Jindo bus terminal. From here is where the story gets interesting. See, we had no idea what we would do once we actually got to Jindo, just that we wanted to get there. The boys literally took off in a taxi to the beach as soon as we got to Jindo, but luckily some very nice girls who actually live on the island helped us out. While the boys took off, we girls figured out that we had to take yet ANOTHER bus to the beach as it was about 40 minutes away. But our good Jindo friends (along with a very nice Korean man who worked there) helped us to buy our tickets then took us to a coffee shop a few minutes away to charge our phones. They were absolute LIFE SAVERS and gave us their number for if we couldn’t find a place to stay that night (of course we didn’t plan that part either…).

Once the four of us ladies, now five of us because we picked up a lone straggler on the way, hopped on the bus, we took a long and very windy trip around Jindo to get to the beach. If you have motion sickness I highly suggest you take some of the medicine provided at the bus terminal because I DON’T get motion sickness and I was dying a little. Once we got to the beach we climbed a mountain and found a lovely little restauraunt run by a mom and daughter who were beyond sweet. Anyway, we were reunited with several of our friends from another city and proceeded to have as much fun as possible before we had to climb back down the mountain, in the dark, to get down to where the performances and food tents were on the beach.

There are many different performances from music artists to a juggling, fire breathing bar tender, and food tents for DAYS! I think I got fatter in one evening than I have since I got to Korea! The only problem is that the performances ended at about 11 and we had no idea where we were staying since all the places on the beach by the time we got there were full. It was raining so there was no way we were sleeping on the beach, and that’s when I remembered our Jindo bus station friends!

I gave them a quick call to see if they knew anywhere to stay and they said that we could totally stay with them. They were Americans, and girls, and they didn’t want us staying on a beach in the middle of the night in the rain (Bless them) so we figured ‘What the heck?’ They were so sweet they got a cab and came to pick us up directly from where we were at the festival and took us to their apartment to sleep. We literally only slept for 3 hours because we had to be back on the beach by 5 when the actual Sea Parting took place. Our friends only lived about a 20 minute cab ride away, so in the morning we set off (after we got lost and couldn’t find a cab) a little late but still on time!

Once we got to the beach there were TONS of people with torches, drunk and sober, families, couples, singles, everyone! However, as soon as we got into the water they started saying something in Korean, then fireworks started going off. They were telling us to get out of the water! We had missed it! But the water was still parted so we walked as far as we could in our rain boots, which you can buy there on the beach. There were plenty of people who didn’t make it all the way across so we didn’t feel too bad about it, and it was a great experience overall. The food alone was worth the trip, along with the awesome new friends that we made along the way.

Still, we were exhausted from being up all night long so I slept most of the 6 hour bus ride back to Chungju. Jindo may have won this round, but next year it might not be so lucky!

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