“I can’t swim, I can’t swim!” I said as we jogged back 2,5km from Jindo island to the shore.
To be fair, I can doggy paddle like a boss.
The actual parting of the sea
6am and we’re waiting in anticipation on the shore. All strapped up in neon yellow, green and orange knee-high water boots and our fire torches raised we stared at the 2,5km of water we’re supposed to walk through to Jindo island. The announcer kept saying “in only 5min the miracle of the Jindo sea parting will happen,” but all we saw were firework reflections in grey water.
Then suddenly, like clockwork, a rocky path appeared and the neon boot parade stormed the ocean. My friend and I walked really fast and before we knew it we were faaaar ahead of the rest. Suddenly, alarms went off. Isolated from the rest, we though it must be some festive horn or something and kept missioning to the island. Finally! We made it to Jindo island, but when we looked back everyone else had turned around. Luckily we had our phones with us and our friend called us and said, “COME BACK NOW!!”. The ocean was starting to close in fast and we had to run, so we RAN!!
I’m not a swimmer and am a bit scared of the ocean, so my friend grabbed my hand and pulled me through hip-high water. Cellphones to chests, we fought through the tide. Adrenaline was pumping! I think we might be some of the only people who made it to the island and back by foot. The other people who made it to the island were rescued by boats. Back at the shore, I am really glad we did it, but once was enough. There was another parade the evening as well as the next morning, but there is no way I’m doing this in the dark.
The Day and the Food
“I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday,” my friend said as we were chilling at the shore and drinking from coconuts. We watched some traditional Korean drumming being performed on sailboats on the shore and just chilled so hard. It was idyllic.
There were all kinds of stalls and activities going on in the background. Vendors from different countries sold their tradition food in the Global Zone. There were also a lot of Korean stalls, of course, and even some Indians dancing around a fluffy llama. The food was AMAZING!! I couldn’t get enough of the Tandoori chicken at the Russia stall. I still don’t understand what the coconuts were doing at the Germany stall and I have to thank America for tripping us up with your cocktails Saturday evening. We kept wondering why there were no South African stall? There we soooo many South Africans at the festival, but no representation. I asked the organiser and he promised to make sure everyone feasts on some South African soul food next year. Hopefully everyone can enjoy some “boerewors rolls”, “koeksusters” or “melktert” next year. 😀
Other Activities during the day
They really know how to maintain a vibe. There was a stage where they had interesting things happening all day. There were some Korean wrestlers who challenged the foreigners which was really cool to watch. There were also dancers performing dances from different countries. You could play traditional games, participate in pottery or watch a dog show. This whole day was just so vibey. Everyone was engaging in culture and meeting people from different countries.
This was just too cool for words! All dresssed in white and armed with neon powder dust, we waited on the beach for the word “GO!!”. They kept us waiting with some Korean K-Pop dancers, but it was worth the wait! When the girl group danced, I’m sure I saw a few guys drop their powder dust. Then finally it started and it was MAGICAL!
Bright neon clouds of pink, orange, blue, yellow and green painted the air above us and left everyone looking like rainbow leopards. I completely lost myself in this cloud of colors and siiiiick beats. Shot to the DJ, you were the true bright spark here.
It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced. Afterwards, all the powdered noses helped cleaning and the beach was cleaned in like 5min max.
Again, thank you DJ. The wrestling arena became a sandy dance floor and we got down with it. Everyone just had the best time ever. We couldn’t get enough. My friend even said, “I feel like I can’t enjoy this enough!”. We wanted to keep dancing forever.
Unfortunately, some guys started harassing some of the women and the organizer stopped the party. What idiots. I am truly disgusted by their behavior, but I really don’t want to get into that now. Nontheless, it was a fantastic evening!
Aftermath and some tips
This was just the best weekend I’ve had in Korea. I encourage anyone who wants to have a good time to GO ON THESE TOURS! Yes, you can travel cheaper, BUT you will meet the best people on these tours and you can just enjoy it without a care in the world, cause everything is taken care of. Follow Good Times Rok or Adventure Korea on Facebook to stay updated on upcoming tours.
Just a tip: most of the accommodation on these tours are ondol style rooms which means
that there is nothing. Maybe just a few blankets and very small pillows. This can be torture to your hips, so bring an extra little blanket to cushion your hips. You can also find very convenient travel packages at Daiso with travel size essentials like toiletries, etc.
**Photo credit to the talented photographer Kyle Petzer.