Hyeopjae sunsets: Painting or real? You be the judge

img_20161117_171833Along Jejudo Island’s northwest coast is a cluster of natural and manmade sites which attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

In the summer, you’ll find Hyeopjae and Geumneung Beach to be filled with swimmers and campers enjoying the area’s great outdoors. That’s also the time of year where Hallim Park, perhaps Jeju’s most popular privately-run nature park, attracts most of its nearly 1 million visitors annually.

Once the high-season wraps up and things get much less congested along the coastal road, perhaps fewer people are aware of the area’s year-round offerings.

Take, for example, its sunsets.

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Hyeopjae and Geumneung Beaches are perfect spots to catch the sun, with the ocean clouds as a backdrop, set in a most spectacular fashion. Close to shore, the cobalt-colored water of the day gradually deepens to a dark blue, then black. The white sand reflects the sun until the last moment.

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Did you know?

When you see the sun setting on the horizon, it’s actually already gone!

The reason is that the atmosphere is bending the light and delivering it to our eyes. If the light were travelling in a straight line, the sun would appear fully set.

Bonus: Without our 480-kilometer-thick atmosphere (most of it within the initial 16 kilometers from the surface), our view of the sunset would be far less dramatic. It would appear much like it does at every point in the sky… not the vibrant, blazing red disk we love to watch set on clear evenings.

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How to get there: From the Jeju City Intercity Bus Terminal, the ever-reliable intercity bus No. 702 runs along the north coast and reaches Hyeopjae Beach in about an hour. The 702 runs every 20 minutes or so.

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