Namhae, South Korea

November 02, 2016

These photos were presumed lost in the Great Blog Silence of 2015-2016. They were taken during Chuseok last year. Chuseok is the mid-autumn harvest festival, often called "Korean Thanksgiving." Typically, traffic is packed during Chuseok; everyone is rushing to be with their families. As a foreigner with no family in Korea, I like to avoid the crowds and spend the holiday away with friends. Last year, we joined two friends at a pension on Namhae. The traffic was surprisingly light and many restaurants remained open. We hiked up to Boriam Temple (a must!), ate delicious food, stayed up late playing cards, and walked around Daraengi Village, a beautiful little coastal village with terraced rice patties lacing its hills, where the ocean waves envelop the rocky shore.

This is possibly my favorite place in Korea. Foreigners and Koreans alike, everyone loves Namhae. There are beautiful beaches, great local restaurants, amazing temples. Namhae has that laid-back, slow island style. Any trip to Namhae must include driving the length of the island down to Daraengi and resting on the land's edge as the sun sets. I recently wrote that the Philippines has the most epic sunsets I've seen, but a sunset viewed from the Daraengi coastline could rival them. I've returned to Namhae three times and I'd go again. I just can't seem to get enough.

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