Last weekend, I went to the Jindo Sea Parting Festival with Seoul Hiking Group. It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had in Korea and I highly recommend it!
Jindo is the third largest island in Korea. Every year, a narrow land pass opens for about an hour between the main Jindo island and the smaller Modo island as a result of tidal activity. This event attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists and is known as the Mysterious Sea Road.
According to the legend, an old lady was left alone after all the Jindo villagers took shelter in Modo when dangerous tigers showed up in Jindo. The old lady eagerly prayed to the sea god hoping to meet her family again. The sea god listened to her prayer and parted the sea, granting her wish.
First we stopped in town to have lunch and buy drinks/snacks. Next we checked into our pension, where we chose a comfy room for the nine of us.
Then we hurried to the beach so we wouldn’t miss the sea parting! We all purchased over-the-knee rubber boots. Fashionable, eh? (Maybe not, but they were definitely practical!)
We headed to the main festival area, where we encountered colorfully costumed performers, a man dancing with a gun, Moses, and an excess of seaweed.
Finally the sea was starting to part. We waded through a massive pile of seaweed to make our way to the “sea road”.
It was amazing how quickly the sea parted! Suddenly we were walking on land instead of wading in the water. Most of the Koreans were busy gathering seafood… We saw crabs, octopuses (octopi?), and starfish. There were also drummers, dancers, and clowns to entertain the masses. We could have made it all the way to the other island but were paranoid about getting stuck there, so we headed back early.
That night we had a BBQ and played many rounds of Flip Cup.
The next morning we went to a Jindo dog show. I want a Jindo now! They are so beautiful. First we played with the cute puppies and then we watched the show, where the dog performed tricks such as raising the flag, jumping through hoops, and walking on two legs.
Next up was hiking, but I chose to nap instead! To end the weekend, we went to a performance hall and watched traditional Korean drummers, dancers, and singers. At the end everyone was dancing and singing together!
It was a long trip home, especially since our bus broke down! But a wonderful weekend overall. If I could recommend one festival to go to in Korea it would be this one!!