South Korea // Chungcheong //

West Sea islands

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From Daecheon harbour, a string of tiny islands stretches beyond the horizon into what Koreans term the West Sea, a body of water known internationally as the Yellow Sea. From their distant shores, the mainland is either a lazy murmur on the horizon or altogether out of sight, making this a perfect place to kick back and take it easy. Beaches and seafood restaurants are the main draw, but it’s also a joy to sample the unhurried island lifestyle that remains unaffected by the changes that swept through the mainland on its course to First World status; these islands therefore, provide the truest remnants of pre-industrial Korean life. Fishing boats judder into the docks where the sailors gut and prepare their haul with startling efficiency; it’s sometimes possible to buy fish directly from them. Restaurants on the islands are usually rickety, family-run affairs serving simple Korean staples.