Yang Yang Up The Ying Yang

Joshy had been talking about this hippie dippy surfer enclave that pretty much straddles the 38th parallel on the east coast, called Yang Yang, for forever and a day.  Only he pronounces it like you’re pronouncing it if you live in the west, only it’s really supposed to be pronounced like they pronounce it in the east, like YahngYahng, but we’ll just keep pronouncing it like YangYang because it’s more fun that way.

Anyways, enough with the pronunciation lesson. Like I was saying, he’s been wanting to go FOREVER, but when his brilliant plan got thrown into road trip motion he went into mini freak out mode like OMG WE DON’T REALLY NEED TO GO. But we were getting the F out of Seoul, and we were utilizing that international drivers license that Dusty boy procured whilst Stateside.

So, after a minor hiccup and foreigner free pass at the car rental place, we rented our Hyundai and joined the swanky Sonata club of Korea.


Of course no road trip is complete without a playlist, and my 7th grade crush’s recently dropped hit provided just that. Sean Sahand errrbody…while I crawl inside myself.

As much as everyone was enjoying the jam and the J’s, instead of the suggested 3 hours allotted for the journey, it took us approximately 7 hours to reach the glorious beaches of YangYang, and we forged through all types of weather to get there. I’m not kidding. We thought we were going to reach the beach and head right to the mart for hoodies and sweats. There is no shittier feeling than being dressed for summer in the middle of winter atop Mt. Seorak. But there we were, umbrellas turned inside out and eating piping hot hotteok to keep us warm.

They behaved for the photo, thankfully.

They behaved for the photo, thankfully.

Good thing we had our optimistic giant in tow, who knew the sun would come out tomorrow, because as soon as we hit the coast, the sun surely was a glistening. That was about the time we reached the vicinity of our beloved YangYang! Only we overshot it a bit, but that’s ok! We found the absolutely stunning oceanside temple shrine Hyuhyu-am and took a wander. It was so beautiful and magestic! You do not get to see these blue skies in Seoul, THAT’s for sure!







Broing out.

When we finally got to YangYang, it took us a hott minute to find the pension that Veny took the reigns on booking after Joshua had booked a single bed in jumbled Korean for 4 of us. We love each other, but not that much. We didn’t mind the momentary confusion though because we were so obsessed with all the personality, tattoos and hairstyles in wild abundance. It felt like we stepped out of Korea for a weekend. Everyone was tan, and no one, NO ONE was sitting on their cell phones whilst in the company of another. It was wild. 

After dumping our belongings in our room that was the size of a California King bed (and that’s being generous), we took to exploring the oceanside town.


This marks the first time I ever tried samgyeopsal. Couldn’t turn down pig from sweet ajummas. That’s a rarity. 


These mushrooms looked quite phallic. So obviously I documented.


Veny posed beside her unsuspecting fashion icon.


Dusty boy got down ‘n dirty with his ajussi squat.

Joshy tried to shoot down a stuffed bottle of Cass with arms, to no such luck.


And I hopped a fence (without falling) to sit on the wine cork looking things that break the waves on the dock.


It felt amazing to breathe the fresh air and get that salt and sand between our toes.  And even though it was a sad realization that this was one of our last weekends together, I was so happy to be spending it with the ones who became my greatest family these past 3 years.




That night we enjoyed each other’s company over some Sean Sahand serenades, some very strong beverages, some sparklers on the beach, and some cheese balls.


We left a nice gift of cheese balls on the terrace for the next visitor.

Before hopping  back in our swanky Sonata back to the big city, we worked on our pasty city “tans” one last time, and enjoyed the gaggle of fully dressed Koreans enjoying  a day in the sun.


To all those wishing to get the heck out of the landlocked concrete jungle of Seoul, I wish I had more solid directions than ‘just drive East’ to give you. But unfortunately I don’t because I didn’t drive, and I’m a moron with a map. While Veny was playing navigator for our Daddy Dustin, I was taking pictures of a sleeping Joshua in the backseat.


If you get a chance, hit up YangYang. It’s definitely an unspoken about gem that’s more than worth the weekend jaunt.


29 thoughts on “Yang Yang Up The Ying Yang

  1. Nadia says:

    This took me back to my University days and those last few times I hung out with those closest to me before we tackled the new chapter in our lives. Thank you for this post. Sand, salt water and a little bit of sun can do so much to heal the soul, especially after living in the concrete jungle. Do you need to give directions? Nah, I don’t think so. If anything, this post should encourage people to wander with those dearest to them.

    PS: Those blue skies in your pics are brilliant!

    • Danielle says:

      Aw thanks Nadia! It’s so true what all those s’s can do for you! It’s seriously a permanent emotion, the whole leaving behind the most important people in your life! Glad you enjoyed it, and hope you can make it out there for the gorgeous skies alone! 🙂

  2. Taylor says:

    Haha I like your cheeky, casual writing style. And seeing a picture of blue sky actually reminded it that it does still exist, just hardly ever in Seoul.

    • Danielle says:

      Haha, I didn’t know that about Seoraksan, not being a hike enthusiast and all, but now I know. If you get a chance def make the trip to Yangyang, it’s totes worth it!

  3. Lara // the passage says:

    In my mind, a road trip with a loose travel plan, good friends, and a great soundtrack always makes for lasting memories…what a great story! I have never heard of Yangyang or Mt Seorak…will have to check them both out on the map!

    • Danielle says:

      It definitely is one of the best things, for sure! Hit up Yangyang if you can, and Mt. Seorak is Seoraksan, so maybe you’ve heard it by that name. It’s a super famous mountain by Sokcho 🙂

  4. Nathan says:

    Dang, I breezed right through Yang Yang on my way to Sokcho a few months ago. I’m really wishing I’d stopped! I really like that first picture of the Buddha at the temple. Stunning shot!

  5. Evan and Rachel says:

    We went to Yang Yang as well and loved it! It was kind of a bit of an accident, but so glad we did! I agree it’s an often overlooked gem more people need to check out! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Danielle says:

      You know, I had never even heard about it before my friend kept going on and on about it lol, then when we got there I was like why has no one ever talked about this place?! Happy you liked 🙂

  6. Duke Stewart says:

    Yang Yang is a great place. Good that you ended your stay in Korea on that note, with some great friends to boot. Pretty funny read here and I love the buddha pictures at the beginning, as do others. Great post!

  7. Matt Inman says:

    A road trip was something I wanted to do in Korea but never got a good chance. It looks like you took full advantage of the opportunity for your last trip. Man, two months removed and I already miss traveling around Korea. There’s just something about it that makes it awesome. I think you captured that feeling with this post. Nice job making me miss this great country 😦

    • Danielle says:

      Matt I too am missing it hardcore, it’s a serious serious emotion, so writing this post-Koko kinda gave me a massive heart hurt. Roadtripping was so fun, it also is one of those things that makes you even closer with your closest friends, like you know them even better now. Thanks for reading it, glad you enjoyed 🙂

  8. Nailah says:

    We have so many coastal areas in Jeju and a things to do that looks a lot like your weekend away. Am I bragging? Maybe. Really great photos and Korea, the country with so much to do.

    • Danielle says:

      Definitely bragging, BUT I love living in a big city, I think it makes getting to the coast that much sweeter. You know, at home I lived 15 mins from the beach and rarely went, so it’s def great to look fwd to times you get to be near it 🙂 Thanks for reading 🙂

  9. Meg Wray says:

    Although I’ve only been in South Korea for 2.5 months, I felt a pang of sadness imagining what it will be like when the time comes for me to pack my bags and head out for another adventure elsewhere. It’s always so hard to leave the ones you’ve come to love as your family, but know they will always be in your life in some way or another.

    It’s great you got to spend this time together. Looks like you had so much fun. 🙂

    • Danielle says:

      Yes definitely! All I can say is enjoy Korea while it lasts because I am hardcore missing it like no other, as are a lot of my friends who have since left as well. I don’t even know how some leave after a yr there because you’re just getting into the swing of it and then whoosh it’s over! Think about the next step, but enjoy Korea even more while it lasts 🙂

  10. rafiquaisraelexpress says:

    I’ve read and heard about YangYang but never went as I already live in a beach side city. The temple pictures are so lovely, I wouldn’t imagine a temple at the beach. I’m glad that the sun came out to play just in time for your beach weekend, there’s nothing worse than being rained out after travelling for such a long time!

  11. Neysha says:

    Samgyeopsal is my FAVORITE Korean dish; how did you go 3 years without trying it!? ahh! hehe but those blue skies are pretty fabulous. I’m looking forward to a trip to the East just for some sunlight and less road rage.

    • Danielle says:

      Haha, I know, that’s a shocker to most, but I don’t eat pork, so hence the no samgyeopsal. I actually hate the color it turns on the grill to further my dislike of it, but I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it this time lol. Hope you get out of the city, it’s pretty fab 🙂

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