This past weekend my girlfriend and I went to Yangyang to experience Surfyy Beach. Located on the north-east coast of South Korea, Hajodae beach is a stunning location. With expansive beaches, crystal-clear water, and unique cafes and dining, the Hajodae township has a lot to offer.
The main intention of our visit was the experience Surfyy Beach and spend a weekend seeing what it had to offer. Surfyy was a great place, and somewhere that I highly recommend checking out! However, on our visit, we also had the chance to explore a lot more than just the beach.
That isn’t to say we got to visit everything though – there was a LOT we didn’t get to experience. We’ve already promised ourselves that we will visit again as soon as we can! In our weekend getaway, we did get to experience some very cool places, and I wanted to share them.
If you are looking for a weekend getaway from Seoul (or another city!), this is the weekend itinerary for you!
The beach is amazingly clean and the water is enticing!
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A Weekend at Hajodae
While we only stayed for a short while, a few things became quickly apparent. Firstly, the township and nearby beach are very calm. Coming from the city, I quickly realized how calm and laid back the area was. It was a blessing, and we quickly forgot about our worries. It really is a relaxing place to spend the weekend!
Secondly, like many other places in Korea, there are some really cool and unique cafes located in Hajodae. We visited a few, and all of them had stunning views and delicious menus. Not only that, but we saw more cafes that we have already added to our list for the next visit!
Finally, we instantly noticed how beautiful and clean the beach really is. Hajodae and Surfyy, in particular, are super clean, and the water is very clear. This was a very pleasant surprise and something that neither I nor my girlfriend expected.
With these initial points of note out of the way, let’s get into the weekend itinerary!
Getting to Hajodae
Buses at DongSeoul Terminal.
Getting to the beach (from Seoul) is a quick and easy trip. From the Dong-Seoul bus terminal (located at Gangbyeong), a 2-4-hour bus trip (depending on the traffic), will take you directly to Yangyang. For booking buses, check the Kobus site here. From Yangyang, you can either take a taxi or another bus to the beach.
Dongseoul Bus Terminal
The bus is the cheaper option, and the buses to Hajodae leave straight from the bus terminal. On the other hand, taxis can also be taken for around 12,000-15,000KRW. The taxi is a faster method and will take only 10-15 minutes to reach the beach. Even better, the taxi stand is also located right next to the bus terminal.
Hajodae Beach Location
As I mentioned earlier in this article, we spent a weekend at Hajodae. While we got to experience some of what the area had to offer, we definitely didn’t get to explore everything that there was to see and do.
However, we definitely got to experience a few activities that we would consider must-do! If you get to visit Hajodae, I would recommend checking out these places. But, there is also a lot more to see and do!
Surfyy Beach deserves its own category here as it was the intention of our trip to Hajodae. Surfyy is located about 10 minutes away from the township, on the beach of Hajodae. This is the beach’s ‘hotspot’ and where most visitors to the beach go. For a good reason too!
Surfyy Beach in June.
A live DJ plays music, and the bar gives the perfect opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of the beach. If you want to give surfing a shot, surfing lessons are available multiple times a day. These lessons will teach you all of the basics of surfing and will allow you to get started on the waves. Check out their website here!
Surfyy’s Beach Bar!
On a hot summer’s day, the shaded areas make the beach a lot more pleasant and comfortable. The hammocks, beanbags, and umbrellas provide perfect places to escape the heat and to have a cool beer (from the beachfront bar!).
Surfyy is one of the must-visit locations for anyone visiting Hajodae or Yangyang.
Visit the Lighthouse
The Hajodae lighthouse is located on the edge of the township – a quick walk for anyone staying in Hajodae. The lighthouse is situated on top of a small hill and is a short walk, however, it is well worth it for the views you will see!
The lighthouse above Hajodae.
From the top of the lighthouse you can see nearly the whole length of Hajodae. The beach itself is massive, and it goes for miles. On the other sides of the lighthouse you can view the breakwater below, and a stunning bay (which is unfortunately off-limits). While you can’t visit the bay as it is a military area, it does make for some beautiful photos.
Swim at the Beach
Why visit the beach if you aren’t going to swim? Well, apparently a lot of people like to visit but not swim. However, for me, if I am going to visit the beach, I am definitely going to swim!
Some visitors surfing in the summer heat!
Since the beach is so large, there are many areas to swim. This is also great as it allows you to swim where you are comfortable – around others for the less confident, and away from the crowds for more confident swimmers.
When I visited Sokcho in the past, I found the beach limited by the crowds and designated swimming areas. The areas that swimming is allowed are quite small and with the crowds that can turn up in summer, it can be a very crowded area.
Hajodae beach near the township.
Hajodae doesn’t have these same restrictions, however, and there is a lot more room to swim. This means that the crowds are more dispersed along the beach, and it makes swimming a far more pleasant experience. If you want your own spot on the beach, away from others, it is definitely possible here!
Changing rooms are located all along the beach. Some are free; however, some also charge. Luckily, they are cheap and most cost under 3000KRW. If you are willing to walk to Surfyy Beach to get changed, then free changing rooms are available.
Cafe/bar at Surfyy Beach.
Like I mentioned above, one thing we quickly noticed is how many unique and special cafes there are in Hajodae. Similar to the rest of Korea, there is an established coffee culture on the beach.
One of the cafes we checked out on our visit was Beachers Café. Located close to the beach, this café is located on the top two floors of a nearby building. As you can probably assume, this means that it has some beautiful views!
The interior and entrance of Beachers Cafe.
The café has a pretty standard menu, with americanos, lattes, cappuccinos and other standard options. They also sell beer (it doubles as a beer spot in the evening). Both indoor and outdoor seating is available, and this makes it very pleasant in summer. It’s a great place to get a stunning view while staying in the shade.
The café is fairly priced with drinks starting from 4500KRW. We visited in the early afternoon and the café was far from busy, however, it did start to get busier towards the mid-afternoon. Perhaps the biggest attraction of this café for us was the fact that there is a cute dog that also lives there!
The rooftop outdoor seating area.
All-in-All, Beachers Café provides a unique café experience. There aren’t many cafes that afford an ocean view in Korea, and Beachers has a great atmosphere and location to go along with the views. It’s located in the middle of the township and is easy to reach wherever you are staying in Hajodae.
The second café that we got to visit on our trip was Cafe Napolli, which was located right next to our accommodation. Sitting in a rather non-descript location, this café also doubles as a bar in the evening. Similar to Beachers, it also has some beautiful views that add to its appeal.
Cafe Napolli View.
The café is fully themed for the beach – this means surfboards, and beach items are located all throughout the café. Perhaps what makes this café stand out the most, however, is the drinks. We ordered two iced lattes, but they were unlike every other latte I have had in Korea. They were of great quality and delicious!
We also got to witness the café in the evening – when it becomes a hangout zone with beer, music, and lighting. Whatever the time of day, this café is worth a visit.
Price-wise, café Napolli is slightly pricier than Beachers. Drinks start at around 5000KRW and the pricing is closer to an upper-class café. However, it is somewhere that is well worth a visit!
Another fantastic café in the Hajodae township is Pretty Hajodae. This café is located one road in from the beach and unlike Beachers and Cafe Napoli, this cafe is indoors and doesn’t feature an outdoor seating area. However, in Korean summers this can often be a blessing!
The café is famous for its tiramisu. It does also offer a range of other sweet foods, and I would categorise this café as a dessert café that also offers drinks. That isn’t to say that the drinks are bad (they are good!), but it definitely seems as though the focus is on the food.
The food is, however, very expensive. For example, the famous tiramisu is 14,000KRW for a relatively small piece. It is amazing though, and if you are aren’t worried about budget, then I recommend trying the tiramisu.
Pretty Hajodae also has a beautiful interior and you won’t be disappointed. There are a few different rooms, and they are all decorated beautifully. Despite not having an outdoor area, I do believe that this is one of the most beautiful cafés in the area!
This café is a bit of a cheat to include on this list – because it isn’t located in Yangyang or Hajodae at all. Rather, it is located in Sokcho. I decided to include it however, as on the way back to Seoul we had an hour to wait in Sokcho for the bus.
The interior of the cafe is very unique and cool!
We were looking for somewhere to pass the time, and we stumbled upon this café which borders the bus terminal. Café Jinueromi has a beautiful, almost rustic, theme. It is unlike any other café I have ever visited, but definitely in a good way.
The drinks were of good quality, but were not outstanding. However, the atmosphere and theme of the café is what makes it truly unique and stand out from other cafes. The pricing was pretty standard, with drinks and small food (such as 2 pieces of French toast, or a toasted sandwich) starting at around 4000KRW.
As we only stayed for one night, we only experienced one accommodation. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the quality and facilities it offers and I want to recommend it. Unfortunately, I can’t find the accommodation listed on many websites.
As is the way with Korean accommodation (especially in smaller towns), it is hard to find any resources in English. There are many more accommodation options that you won’t find listed online (on English websites)
Hajodae Beach House
We stayed at the Hajodae Beach House, a hotel found right next to the stream that flows through Hajodae township. Even better, it is located less than two minutes from the beach.
The interior of our room at the Hajodae Guest House Pension.
The rooms are well-kept and have everything that you might need. Towels are provided, and so are basic amenities such as toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, skin lotion and more. AC, a TV, personal WiFi and a phone are also provided. Depending on the floor you stay on, you will also get beach views!
A table and chair were also provided.
On the bottom floor of the building is a coin karaoke area, where you can sing your heart out. On the rooftop, there is a covered area where you can enjoy the weather and view. The hotel has a lot of facilities and activities that aren’t standard, and this is really what made it appeal to us. Suffice to say, we would be happy to stay there again.
On our second trip to Hajodae Beach we decided to stay at Zio Resort. This hotel is located about 15 minutes away from the township (by walking), but is located closer to Surfyy Beach – you can reach the beach in a short 10 minute walk.
Zio is located on the hillside across from the coast, and it consists of two separate buildings. Each building has a range of rooms, from double rooms to family rooms, and each building also has a range of facilities. There are two accessible rooftops (for barbecues, or just for enjoying the sun!), there is a large indoor playground for children, and there is even a bar/cafe that offers free beer and coffee.
When we first arrived, we were quite underwhelmed. The resort seems to be located in the middle of nowhere and when the taxi pulled up the driver pointed up a forest path and told us to follow it. We were in disbelief! However, after spending four days at Zio Resort we came away happy.
As previously mentioned, the resort is located a 15 minute walk away from the township. It is also located quite far from the nearest stores, and as such, you will need to come prepared with food (or stock up when you visit town). However, the frankly very nice bar and rooftops made up for this downside.
The rooms at Zio Resort weren’t amazing, but they were nice enough – especially considering the cheaper price of the hotel. Further, the location was actually quite serene, and as long as you don’t mind walking (they do also offer bikes), Zio is a fantastic option. Above all, the facilities are great! I imagine Zio would be a great place to stay as a family.
Back to Seoul
From Hajodae, you can take the bus (or taxi) back to either Yangyang or Sokcho, and from these locations you can catch a bus back to Seoul. Buses run regularly from both locations, just make sure to book your ticket in advance.
Getting back to Seoul is always something that I look forward to. I really love the city! But leaving Hajodae felt like I was being torn away from something – I wish we could have stayed longer. I know that there was still so much to see and do in the area, and I think it would make a great 3/4 day trip.
If you have visited Hajodae and have somewhere you would add to this list, please don’t hesitate to let me know! I’d love to expand it and make a more detailed version in the future.