It’s a miracle! (Screamed the guy in the intro of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and also the French Ambassador that discovered the Jindo Sea parting, now turned festival).
But honestly, would you believe me if I told you that the northern end of the East China Sea has the ability to part like the Red Sea? Guys, it really does. I saw it with my own two eyes.
I’ve never seen a festival quite like a South Korean festival. Every party in Korea is a soju flying, Magkeoli poppin’, octopus frying frenzy.
The Jindo Sea Parting Festival was filled with parades of drummers in colorful costumes, ajummas dancing to rhythmic music, and yes, the aforementioned parting of the sea. We got to walk right across the road that appeared in the waters wake, towards a nearby island called Modo.
We didn’t quite make it to Modo, unfortunately, since the water only stays at the necessary level for the sea to part for about an hour. The road slowly begins to fill up again with the Jindo Sea, and forces visitors to turn back.
Some people reach Modo island earlier in the day by boat, before the road appears, so that they can cross back to Jindo the full way. (I, disgracefully, had to pee and turned back a liiitle sooner than the rest of the group, but whatcha gunna do.)
Before the big sea crossing event at the Jindo Sea Parting Festival, though, there’s a lot of ground to cover. There are tents filled with delicious food from all over the world, mud wrestling competitions and lots of people to meet.
What’s kind of cool about this festival is that it’s still fairly small. There were large tourist groups like ours with Enjoy Korea and other organizations, but besides that it was full of locals.
There were kids with their sports teams and families picnicking by the water. Spring was coming and the weather was bright and sunny (with need for a sweater). We danced and chilled all day under the Korean sun.
Overall, I was pretty amazed by the speediness of the sea making way for hundreds of tourists and locals.
It was cool watching people scavenge for clams and witnessing just how amazing the surrounding community is in their excitement. I’m continuously thrilled by the spirit and pride that Koreans have for Korea and all the interesting things this country has to offer.
If you’re planning on visiting the Jindo Sea Parting Festival you might be a little worried about your shoes, but fear not! They have these pretty cool rubber boots that slide right over your feet. I would suggest wearing this slip on’s, like Tom’s , though, so that you can actually fit them in the boots (I wore my handmade made ones from this shoe shop in Dominican Republic). You can also just buy a larger size if you don’t have shoes that fit.
The best place to get directions for anywhere in Korea is through the Visit Korea website. To get to Jindo you can hop on a bus from any major bus terminal. If you’re in Seoul you’ll want to head over to Seoul Central City Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal. If you’re in Daegu, you can leave from the Daegu Bus Terminal (pretty simple stuff, eh?).
Once you arrive at the Jindo Bus Terminal you can take either the Gagye-Hoedong (가계, 회동) or Songgun-Hoedong (송군, 회동) bus to Hoedong. You’ll want to walk 40 minutes along the coast until you make it to the festival. You’ll see a bunch of bright tents and people drinking themselves silly as they wait for the big event.