Hwasun: Sea, sun, and fresh water

dsc01917Hwasun Golden Sand Beach is a 250-meter-long, 80-meter-wide part of the coast where rainwater water from Hallasan Mountain would flow through the aquifer to meet the sea.

This is important because Jeju Island’s porous basalt rock means that rainwater tends to trickle down through the rocks and soil to the aquifer, rather than flow in streams and rivers.

As a result, the Jeju people had precious little access fresh drinking water beyond gathering rain water and living around tidal pools along the coast like Hwasun (Gwakiji Beach is another traditional fresh water outlet). Both are famous now for their fresh water baths.

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Did you know?

Under the right conditions, fresh water will “float” on the denser chemical composition of sea water. This is how the Jeju people traditionally got much of their drinking water – by scooping the surface of the sea where fresh water was known to flow at the coast.
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This is a Mulheobeok (물허벅) traditionally used to carry potable water.

Though the power station and port dominate the skyline, it is still a pretty beach (and popular with summer swimmers). Sanbangsan Mountain figures prominently to the west and the Hyeongjaeseom Islets emerge from the sea to the south.

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Sanbangsan Mountain features prominently to the west.

You’ll find that the sand is a mixture of dark and light granules. However, its namesake “Gold Sand Beach” refers to the gold which was once found naturally here.

How to get there: From Jeju City Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus 750-1 and get off at Hwasun Village bus stop. From there, walk south about 800 meters. The total time is just over an hour.

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From Seogwipo City, bus 702 will take you to Hwasun Village bus stop in about 30 minutes.

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