Surfers enjoy the waves at the Songjeong Beach in Busan. (Korea Tourism Organization)

Surfers enjoy the waves at the Songjeong Beach in Busan. (Korea Tourism Organization)

By Lee Kyoung Mi and Kim Min-Jeung 

Transparent emerald-blue seas and sandy beaches surrounded by a dense forest of pine trees would make for a beautiful vacation spot, one that’s kind of rare to find along Korea’s coasts.

Nonetheless, there’s at least one. On July 19, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries announced a list of various experience programs to promote marine tourism and coastal destinations.

The ministry launched a tourism souvenir contest in March and selected five outstanding marine tourism products that combine tourism with various activities. One of these programs, “FIT Tourism,” offers some glamping with fishing, while the “Surfing and Temple Stay Tour” program offers surfing in the sea and staying a night or two in a serene Buddhist temple. More information can be found at its website, .

The sixth Korea International Marine Leisure Week opens in the cities of Busan and Pohang on Aug. 10, and the theme this year is “A Korean maritime leisure festival for the whole world to enjoy together.” Participants can enjoy various maritime activities, such as canoeing, kayaking, rafting and so-called “yasking,” or enjoying performances onboard a yacht.

The National Marine Sports Games will also run from Aug. 16 to 19 in Sokcho, Gangwon-do Province. People can enjoy various marine leisure activities by participating in dinghy yacht, rafting and SCUBA diving classes. The programs run until October. More information can be checked out at its website,

Finally, at the Jangsa Fishing Experience Village in Sokcho, Gangwon-do Province, visitors can take part in the squid-catching festival that runs for 21 days. People can catch squids with their bare hands, as well as cook and eat the delicious delicacy.

At the Jung-ri Fishing Experience Village in Chungcheongnam-do Province, people can pick clams and catch fish by using nets onboard dugout canoes, and at Changwon’s Gohyeon Fishing Experience Village in Gyeongsangnam-do Province people can enjoy fishing while staying at a nearby B&B in the middle of the sea.

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