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An Outing to Taeanbando


T
he splendor of the west coast can be enjoyed driving along the road connecting Taean-bando and Anmyeon-do and thanks to the completion of the Seohaean Expressway last year, the summer vacation spot is being transformed into a tourist area throughout the year.

The seawater of the Taean-bando coastline is strictly managed to maintain its cleanliness state by the Taean Haean National Park. Many small islands boast their own characteristics, romantic sunsets, abundant seafood and quite a considerable number of historic relics. Galeumi Beach, which is two kilometers from Anheung Port, has become popular after it was used in a scene of the Korean film, "To Bungi Jump," last year.

One beach there is called Hagampo (literally meaning Crane Rocks Beach) to describe the mysterious shapes of the saw-tooth coastline that resemble cranes playing on the rocks. On the east is a wide spread of white sand and on the southwest side are awesome rocks that blend in with the blue sea. Furthermore, taking the highway 634 from Hagampo towards Taean, one reaches the Taean Maaesamjonbul (Buddha) statue, which represents "the Smile of the Baekje Kingdom." The statue was built in the early days of the Baekje Kingdom and is older than the one in nearby Seosan. The work is considered the first of Maae stone Buddha images in Korea.


A Beach Paradise

Anmyeondo is the sixth biggest island in Korea and originally it was connected with the main land. During the Jeoseon era, a canal was cut through to let boats pass. Anmyeongdo will host the Korea Floritopia 2002 flower fair at Ggotji Beach following the official approval from the International Association of Horticultural Producers (IAHP). The local government is busy cultivating flowers that can bear the harsh, strong sea wind these days. There is also a lodging area in the forests 1.6 kilometers south from the entrance to Ggotji Beach. One must see the famous sunset at Ggotji Beach, which is regarded as the best on the west coast. Photographers endlessly seek the beach to grasp images of the sunset behind the “Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks.”

How to Get There

By car, take the Seohaean Expressway to the Dangjin Interchange, take highway 32 to Taean and then follow roads 634 and 603 to Hagampo. For Mallipo, stay on highway 32, and for Anheung and Anmyeongdo, take road 649 at Seosan. From Taean to Anmyeondo, take roads 40 and 649.

By bus, buses leave Nambu Bus Terminal in Seoul every 20 to 30 minutes for Taean and it takes 2 hours and 20 minutes.

For Galeumi Beach, follow highway 603 towards Anheung Port, and then turn left. It is difficult to find the signpost.


Accommodation

There are many hotels, motels and houses that offer overnight stays by the beaches. For staying at private homes, contact the Taean-gun's culture and tourism division at (041) 670-2544 or visit its website at: http://taean-gun.chungnam.kr


Local Specialty

Taean blue crabs have a thick shell and are light blue in color. Try a bowl of spicy blue crab soup (Ggotge-tang) and enjoy the delicacy enjoyed by the fishermen of Taean-bando. The season to catch blue crabs is until the end of May. For those who prefer mild tastes, some restaurants offer steamed blue crab (Ggotge-jjim).



(Min Hak-soo, haksoo@chosun.com)







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