It had been awhile since our whole family had packed up and headed off for a vacation so we decided that the four day weekend coming up would be the perfect time to do just that! We’ve already been to Busan and figured that with the warmer weather, a lot of people might be heading in that direction. We didn’t want to fight a bunch of crowds so we headed South West instead and made our way to Namhae.
Bridges to Namhae
Namhae is Korea’s 5th largest Island. Unlike Busan which is glitz and glam, Namhae is very rural. The people who live there seem to be predominately garlic farmers, fisherman, or hotel owners.
The road was built around the tree, love it!
Traditional fishing structures
I love to sightsee but my husband not so much, so I set out to plan a vacation that would make everybody happy. I think Namhae offers the perfect mix of sightseeing, beach going, and relaxing. I searched for hotel rooms on booking.com. It can be difficult to find a hotel room big enough to accommodate our family of five. I ended up with a few choices, one being the Hilton and while it looked beautiful I wasn’t really digging the Hilton prices. A room also came up in the German Village. We’ve lived in Germany and miss it, so that seemed like a great option. We stayed at Namhae Neuhaus. We had a studio apartment that had one double bed and a small kitchen which was perfect! The kids had to sleep on the floor, but the owners gave us comfy mats for them, and their backs are young right? So it was great! Our room had a pretty view and our breakfast consisted of delicious fresh baked bread and salad every morning. Some mornings we also had yogurt or fresh made potato soup. Delish!! I had packed a cooler full of food so we made our lunches everyday, and even made a couple of dinners in the room.
The German Village is beautiful! The homes were built with materials imported from Germany and look authentic. There were a couple of nice restaurants with “Germanish” food and real German beer. My husband stated that he could have spent the whole weekend just hanging out in the German Village. lol
As cute as the German Village was, I could not sit there all day, I was ready to see some other sights! The Island is split into two halves which made our plan for sight seeing very easy. We decided to see the western half on the first day and the eastern half on the second. Brown tourist road signs make getting pretty much anywhere on the Island a piece of cake. We packed up the van and headed out! While the island isn’t very big the roads are small and windy so it took a good 40 minutes to get most places. Our first stop was Yongmunsa Temple. On the road to the Temple you will pass through the American Village. There really isn’t a lot to see there, but I did hop out and snap a couple of pics.
Yongmunsa Temple was beautiful. The forest surrounding the temple was very lush and had almost a jungle feel to it. The Temple area wasn’t very large but one look at the mossy steps near the entrance and I was in love! This temple feels completely isolated even though it isn’t too far from the main road. There will be an additional post about this temple soon. 🙂
Our next stop was Darangee Village. Darangee Village is known for it’s terraced rice fields. There is a summer farming festival held yearly where they have cows plowing the fields which would have been so cool to see but I couldn’t find the exact dates of the festival and we really wanted to go during our four day so that’s what we did. There weren’t any cows plowing while were there, but the rice fields were beautiful and I’m so happy I was able to see them.
After that it was beach time! I had picked certain beaches that I wanted to see during my trip planning, that was a mistake. It was a mistake because we ended spending a lot of time driving around trying to find those beaches when instead we could have pulled off at any one of the numerous little alcoves that cover the island. The only beach that is a must see is Sangju Beach.
Just one pretty alcove along the sea shore route.
And another one
Finally we found Mijo Beach. It was a nice little beach, covered in muscle shells which I thought was kind of cool, and the kids had fun picking up shells and playing in the water, so Mijo beach for the win!
And that was day 1, done and done! The next day we headed to Sangju Beach. Sangju beach is the biggest beach on the Island and has the best facilities. People were kayaking and riding atvs on the beach. We had a great time hanging out and building a sand castle, the kids loved it!
A little town on the way to Sangju Beach. I had to stop a snap a pic. 🙂
After we were done at the beach we made our way to Boriam Temple. The views at Boriam Temple were absolutely stunning. Standing atop the mountain and staring out at the sea you truly feel like you are on top of the world. You can read more about Boriam Temple here.
So that was our Namhae Vacay. If you’re looking for a gorgeous island to rest and relax, I say Namhae all the way! lol