Jindo Island Sea Parting Festival
Once a year in Korea, during the Spring and as a result of tidal activity (you're going to have to ask the physicists? botanists? scientists?) the sea parts for nearly 3 kilometres and an almost 40 meter wide road of ocean floor opens up between Jindo Island and Modo Island. This 'Miracle Sea Road' as it is called here in Korea, attracts people from all over to the world to witness the literal parting of the seas. This year the seas parted 3 times over one weekend and we had planned to be there for the first parting at 5h30 in the morning.
I say planned because that was our intention, however as someone set their alarm for 3am and not 2am (I'm not mentioning any names here lol) and we live 2.5 hours away, even driving at break neck speed and getting everyone up and out the door in 15 minutes, we still managed to miss the spectacular Miracle Road by a full half an hour. We still made it in time for the sunrise and even had enough time to stand on a patch of mud and pose in front of Modo Island before the tide came in, so all was not lost. We may not have any photographs in thigh high red and yellow gum boots but there's always next year for that.
Jindo Island is also the home of the famous Korean Jindo dog. Our little #ShadowTheJindo, being a Jindo (or at least a mix of Jindo and something else we can't pin down) was of course brought along on this trip to meet his brothers and sisters and pay homage to his roots. Shadow is a Black & Tan Jindo, one of the rarest (or in Korea, the most undesirable of coat colours) with white and brown being by far the most popular. The Jindo Sea Parting Festival offers a number of Jindo Dog Shows over the weekend and the one we watched was quite enjoyable. Jindo's are not known for being show performers, rather known for their very wilful nature and so it was quite funny to watch the dogs stubbornly refusing to listen to their handlers instructions to paint and take items to and from a refrigerator, unless it suited them. Yes, this quite sums up our Shadow.
As with all Korean festivals there were loads of food stalls and lots to see and do. We were there from 6am until early afternoon, managing a few naps on the beach in between trips to the food stalls. Also, if it takes your fancy, you can pick and gather any and all bits of sea life you find along your walk through the sea. This isn't exactly environmentally friendly, but if you do want some fresh sea snails in your ramen soup then by all means go ahead, everyone else will be doing it.
Jindo is an island just off Mokpo on the South West Coast. There are signs posted all along the way once you get to Jindo (if you are driving).
If you are taking a bus here are some directions from the Jindo Bus Terminal:
From Jindo Bus Terminal, take the Gagye-Hoedong (가계, 회동) or Songgun-Hoedong (송군, 회동) bus
-Get off at Hoedong (회동).
-Go 40m along the sea to reach the festival venue.
There are two areas to the festival, the one with all the food stalls that is right by the main parking lot. And then the other section that hosts a lot of the shows and has the main stage is near the actual sea parting. To get to that section you will be asked to pay a few (it was W5 000 and included vouchers of that value to use to purchase food at drinks at some of the stalls).
Have you ever been to to the Jindo Sea Parting Festival before? Did you enjoy the experience? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.