On weekends, the roads are packed with cars trying to get out of the city; For different reasons, each of them goes on a journey to heal the body and mind tired of daily life. This is why cars with rooftop cargo boxes or roof tents are often seen. There are many camping cars, and there are quite a few cars running with camping trailers connected. As the number of people enjoying leisure has increased, the road has changed a lot.
Recently, more and more people enjoy camping to spend time in nature instead of luxurious resorts or hotels. The increase in the number of signposts leading to camping grounds on roads in and around Seoul and the fact that the word ‘campers’ has begun to be used in Korea proves the popularity of camping. As the popularity of camping increases, camping is developing into various forms that anyone can easily enjoy - auto camping, or glamping and caravans that do not require a lot of camping equipment, for example. Also, there are many companies that rent equipment for beginners in camping.
To enjoy camping, you need to prepare a few things. First, you need to purchase or check the equipment you need for camping. You will also need to decide on a date, time and location for your camping trip. In fact, the camping site is the most important part of the preparation process because the route and equipment vary depending on the camping site. So campers have a hard time choosing a location. Camping and cooking must be permitted, and cost and travel distance must be considered. For campers struggling to choose a location like this, I set out to find the best camping spot.
I rode a Hyundai Palisade to find the best camping spots. Palisade contains all the elements to enjoy daily life and leisure activities. Its numerous features for occupants, including its expansive cabin space, attract campers. For example, its cargo space accommodates everything you need for camping, and a digital center mirror helps secure rear vision. This car also houses a variety of convenience equipment; The Palisade’s ergo motion seats and active noise control reduce fatigue on long-distance driving, and the 220V inverter is very helpful in places without electricity. Thanks to the clever all-wheel drive system H-Track, you don’t have to worry about roads covered with sand and mud. In addition, the trailer package can tow up to 2,000kg. Here are the best camping spots Palisade has found, which embraces both daily life and leisure life.
Any camper would have imagined enjoying island camping. Spending time in front of the sea outside the tent with the sound of waves as background music will heal your body and mind. And if the place is even secluded, there will be nothing more to wish for. No wonder campers dream of island camping. However, island camping is not as easy as it sounds. First, the journey to the island is not easy. You may have to travel long distances as well as take a boat. Cost is also an issue.
But if you’re going to Jangbongdo Island, you don’t have to worry. Travel time, distance and cost are relatively affordable. Jangbongdo, located in Bukdo-myeon, Ongjin-gun, Incheon, is one of the nearby islands that can be reached in about 40 minutes by boat from Sammokhang Port located in Yeongjongdo via Sindo. If you start from Seoul, you can reach the island in about an hour and a half. The ship sails once every hour, and it can carry cars. It is relatively cheap at 3,000 won per person (adult standard) and 15,000 won per vehicle (2,000cc or larger). Please note that all passengers must bring identification to issue a boarding pass. If you are a minor, you can issue a ticket by presenting a copy of your resident registration, student ID, or health insurance card.
The camping site on Jangbongdo Island is the Handeul Beach Camping Ground. This place is located about 10 minutes by car from Jangbong Bada Station, and you can enjoy camping right in front of the sea here. However, for the convenience and safety of tourists, camping and cooking are prohibited at the beach. For camping, you must pay a fee to use the campsite. The Handeul Beach campground has restrooms and washing facilities, so you can enjoy camping more comfortably.
The scenery of Handeul Beach is literally like a beautiful painting. The wide-spreading sea and the mountains surrounding both sides give you the feeling of being on a private beach in a foreign resort. The tent site is flat sandy, so there is no need to level it. However, the sea breeze is stronger than expected, so when installing a tent or shade (tarp), you must firmly fix it to the ground. Also, since there is a risk of fire, you must always use a camping brazier, and it is recommended to have a carbon monoxide alarm or fire shield just in case.
Jangbongdo Island is small but full of attractions; The mermaid statue, which embodies the story of a mermaid caught in a fisherman’s net, and Guksabong Peak, an iconic mountain climbing spot with a view of Ganghwa Island and Yeongjong Island. The name Jangbongdo Island was given because there are many peaks, and it is known that people have lived there since the Neolithic Age. The total area is 7.15 km², and the length of the coastline is 22.5 km, making it a half-day tour.
Swallow Well is also a must-see attraction in Jangbongdo Island. It is a spring where water gushes out from the sea, and it contains the meaning of a well that is good for swallows to bathe in. The special thing about this place is that the water that springs out is fresh water. Swallow Well is also called Yeonjeong Laundry, which means the laughter of the ladies who did laundry in the Swallow Well. In addition to this, there are three wells in Jangbongdo Island, including Cold Well and Flea Well.
If you ask about the image of camping, most of them will answer that it is camping while looking at the slowly flowing river. That’s why camping by the river is a common place. There are many places in the suburbs of Seoul where you can enjoy camping while looking at the river. Even in Seoul, camping is possible while looking at the Han River. Its high accessibility makes it a lot of visits by beginners as well as pros.
Hongcheon River Bangok Bambeol Amusement Park is a camping place that people of all ages can enjoy together. Located in Seomyeon, Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do, it can be reached in about two hours from Seoul to the east. As it is relatively close, it is famous as a favorite spot for campers. Camping while watching the Hongcheon River that flows around Palbongsan Mountain is priceless. You can camp on large and small stones, and there are also simple restrooms nearby. In addition, the fact that you can enjoy water leisure activities such as rafting and fishing along the clear Hongcheon River is another attraction of Bangok Bambeol Amusement Park.
The Hongcheon River starts at Saenggok-ri, Seoseok-myeon, Hongcheon-gun, and flows into Cheongpyeong, reaching a length of 143 km. In addition to Bangok Bambeol Amusement Park, there are more than 10 amusement parks along the Hongcheon River, including Bamgol, Tonggok, Gaeya, Susan, Mogok, and Magok, so you can enjoy camping in various places. It is also worth considering hiking Palbongsan Mountain while camping on the Hongcheongang River. The Hongcheongang River seen from the top of 328m above sea level is breathtaking. In addition, various attractions such as Suta Valley, Yongso Valley, Mulgeolli 3-story Stone Pagoda, Donghak Revolution Battleground, and Hongcheonhyanggyo Confucian School add to the joy of camping.
Riversides such as Bangok Bambeol Amusement Park are often covered with stones rather than sand, so it is recommended to prepare a thick mat or camping bed. If the tent or tarp anchoring rope and connecting pack are not deeply embedded in the stone floor, you can tie the rope to a heavy stone to secure it. There is a possibility that the water level of the river will rise suddenly, so it should not be installed close to the water. In addition, it is recommended to have safety equipment such as a tube or life jacket to prevent water accidents.
Camping isn’t just about riverside or sea: you can camp wherever you can. In the mountains you can discover a new side of camping. For those who need static healing rather than dynamic activities, I recommend camping in the mountains. The chirping of mountain birds and the sounds of grass insects are sweeter than any other music and make the mind calm. The smell of the mountain, which only mountains can give, is an indispensable charm. Even if you don’t necessarily sleep on the mountain, it’s good to enjoy the camping atmosphere and come back.
The camping site in the mountains overlooking Chuncheon at a glance is located in the middle of Daeryongsan Mountain, which surrounds the eastern part of Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do. There are various sites for campers such as family camping, solo camping, and auto camping. It is also equipped with amenities such as shower facilities, toilets, and sinks, so you can enjoy camping in a more pleasant environment. Also, because the rules here are strict, it is possible to enjoy camping in silence. ‘Manner Time’ is a camper culture that minimizes outside activities and noise after a set time in order to be considerate of each other.
The place is more suited to auto camping in a large SUV like the Palisade; This is a great spot to enjoy the night view and sunset. When you open the trunk and look at the sun and night view hiding over the ridge, you feel as if you are in another place that transcends time and space. In the morning, you can enjoy various attractions such as Soyang Dam and Samaksan Lake cable car, as well as Chuncheon’s signature food, chicken ribs and makguksu noodles, and visiting a campsite in the afternoon is a great way to enjoy the night view.
What should you be aware of when camping in the mountains? First of all, when enjoying camping in the mountains, it is better not to use fire to prevent forest fires. Recently, heating products using water are also gaining popularity. This has advantages such as reducing luggage, preventing fires, and reducing waste. If you can’t give up ‘fire meditation’, a camping brazier is a must. Also, due to the nature of the mountain, it is good to know how to get rid of snakes and pests. Sprinkling alum around your tent will keep snakes away, and water infused with cinnamon is a great natural mosquito repellent. In the case of auto camping, you need to be careful about power outage because the trunk or door is left open for a long time. If you slide the ring-shaped carabiner into the trunk latch, the trunk is recognized as closed and you can prevent power outage.
Camping rejuvenates the body and mind. There is a romance that cannot be felt in a luxurious hotel or resort bed. Some say it is a waste of time, but the charm of camping is clear. The satisfaction of accepting discomfort and feeling cozy in a place other than home makes you want to go camping. I recommend experiencing the charm of camping at a camping spot near Seoul that I discovered with the Palisade.
by Heo Inhak
Photography by Jo Hyuk-soo
HMG Journal Operation Teamgroup@hyundai.com
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