Date of final update : 2024.06.26   |  
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A Destination for All: Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island

Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 01

Yeongheungdo Island, part of Ongjin-gun, Incheon, is the second largest island after Baengnyeongdo Island. Once accessible only by boat from Incheon Port, it is now reachable by car. Your journey to the island begins on the road leading to it; as you drive across Seonjaedaegyo Bridge and Yeongheungdaegyo Bridge, the vast sea unfolds before you, washing away any city-induced fatigue. Despite being only an hour from the Greater Seoul Metropolitan Area, the island offers a romantic escape. Located at the northeastern tip of the island, Simnipo Beach is a highlight worth visiting.

Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 02
Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 03

Simnipo Beach captivates travelers with its diverse scenery: a half-moon-shaped beach, coastal decks above the waves, opportunities to pick manila clams from the tidal flats, and stunning sea views from campgrounds. This beach is the perfect spot for all seaside activities. So, are you ready to answer the call of Incheon’s seas?

From Half-Moon-Shaped Beach to Coastal Decks: Explore Simnipo Beach

Yeongheungdo Island, situated in the Yellow Sea, offers a striking contrast between high and low tides. At high tide, waves crash into the beach, creating white foam, while at low tide, sea creatures emerge from the exposed tidal flats. Both scenes are equally beautiful. However, for those eager to swim, note that you cannot bathe in the sea for another two weeks (the beach opened on July 7 the previous year). Until then, the best way to enjoy Simnipo Beach in spring is to take a leisurely walk along its shores.

Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 04
Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 05

The 1km-long Simnipo Beach features white sand mixed with large grains and pebbles. Walking along its curved edge, with gentle waves lapping at your feet, is a must-have experience. Alternatively, you can simply enjoy the tranquil, deep blue sea, unparalleled on Korea’s western coast. Meditate by the sea as the crimson sun sets beyond the horizon, with the surrounding hornbeam forest adding to the serene ambience.

Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 06
Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 07
Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 08

Don’t miss the walk on the coastal decks. This 310m-long trail is built on a series of wooden decks at the western end of the beach. It takes about 10 minutes to make a round trip, making it an easy and accessible walk. Despite its short length, the trail offers a wonderful variety of scenery. The waves ebb and flow below the decks, lush trees provide welcome shade, and wildflowers along the coastal cliffs draw you towards the observatory at the end of the walk. From the observatory, you can view the Yellow Sea, and even see Songdo, Incheondaegyo Bridge, and Yeongjongdo Island in the distance. An additional stretch of trail, extending to 770m in length, is being constructed by Ongjin County, so from the latter half of this year, you will be able to enjoy the sea view for even longer.

Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 09
Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 10
Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 11
  • Address91-4 Nae-ri, Yeongheung-myeon, Ongjin-gun, Incheon
  • Tel. No.+82-32-886-6717
  • Opening Hours00:00~24:00, Open all year round
  • Web Pagewww.simnipo.com

Manila Clams Everywhere: Tidal Flat Experience at Simnipo Beach

Yeongheungdo Island, located on Korea’s west coast, boasts rich tidal flats, making it an ideal spot for experiencing typical Korean tidal flat activities at Simnipo Beach. When the sea recedes, the tidal flats around the beach become a hub for activities organized by the Simnipo Fisheries Cooperative. Participants can harvest hard clams and manila clams to their hearts’ content and greet the crabs and other tidal flat inhabitants. The fees are quite affordable: participants aged 5 and above can pay KRW 10,000 for an hour-and-half of clam harvesting (with bucket and hand plow rental included, and KRW 2,000 for long boots). Visitors under the age of 5 can participate for free, and you can take your bucket of clams home.

Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 12 Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 13
Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 14 Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 15

The most important factor in any tidal flat experience is the tide times, as they determine how long you can be out on the tidal flat. Generally, you can explore the tidal flat for 3 hours before and after low tide. The beach’s website features a function that automatically calculates the hours for you. For instance, on April 29, the low tide was at 14:05, so the experience was open from 11:05 to 17:05.

Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 16
Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 17

The cool mud brings a refreshing touch to your feet through the rubber boots. Children, hunched over with hand plows in hand, are engrossed in their very own treasure hunt. Here are some tips for harvesting manila clams: Firstly, look for small holes shaped like the number 8 in the tidal flat— these are the holes through which manila clams breathe. Secondly, since the clams live just beneath the surface, scraping the mud with a hand plow can easily damage their shells. It is better to plunge the hand plow into the mud and lift it to find the clams dragged up by the plow.

Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 19 Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 20
Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 21 Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 22
  • Address91-4 Nae-ri, Yeongheung-myeon, Ongjin-gun, Incheon
  • Tel. No.+82-32-880-1712
  • Opening Hours09:00 - sunset hours: Refer to the tidal times on the beach’s website
  • Web Pagewww.simnipo.com

Waves and Hornbeam Trees Just Outside the Tent: The Simnipo Beach Campground

At Simnipo Beach, there is a campground operated by the Simnipo Fisheries Cooperative. While Incheon’s islands feature numerous campgrounds with ocean views, Simnipo’s campground stands out for its accessibility, affordability, and scenic beauty. Firstly, Simnipo Beach is highly accessible from the Greater Seoul Metropolitan Area. Secondly, the rental fees are quite affordable year-round, at KRW 40,000 regardless of the day of the week or high-season premium. Thirdly, the campground is right in front of the sea, making it renowned for its “ocean view”. Let the sound of the waves lull you to sleep, with the colorful lights of Incheon twinkling in the distance. Note that the campground only takes online reservations, and because spots tend to sell out quickly, it is wise to plan your visit and secure your spot ahead of time.

Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 23
Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 24
Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 25

The campground is divided into sections A and B. Section A consists of pergola, deck, and tiled sites, while Section B features pavilions and decked sites. Section A is the larger of the two, with 25 sites compared to Section B’s 7 sites.

Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 26
Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 27
Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 28

There’s plenty to enjoy near the campground: a short dip in the beach, a walk on the decked trail with your loved ones, and harvesting manila clams are all wonderful activities you can enjoy in the surrounding areas. Additionally, the café “Hi Bada”, popular through word-of-mouth on Korean social networks, is only 300 meters away.

Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 29
Simnipo Beach on Yeongheungdo Island 30

Behind the beach lies a hornbeam forest, planted about a century and a half ago by residents as windbreakers. This forest, a highly valuable habitat for hornbeam trees, has been designated as a forest genetic resources protection zone by the government. While it is temporarily opened to the public along with the beach, you cannot camp or cook in the forest. Mats are allowed. The enigmatic sight of the crooked, twisting hornbeam trees is unique to this area.

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※ The information above may have changed since the initial registration date. Be sure to check before you travel.