In recent years I have noticed the growing interest in picnic cafes all around Korea and really wanted to check it out for myself. Even though there are many picnic-like cafes in Seoul already, I thought that doing it at the beach would be much more interesting and unusual, so as we visited Gangneung earlier this month, I could not resist myself and took Gyu to the “Essay Cafe” next to the Yeongjn beach, which is mainly known for being a shooting location for hit Korean drama “Goblin”.
There are few different ways to go to Yeongjin beach and they might differ depending on where you are coming from – Gangneung Station or Jumunjin Bus Terminal, but the easiest way is taking a taxi, as buses come quite rarely. Therefore, if you choose to take a bus, make sure to check bus schedules beforehand, so you don’t have to wait for a long time.
Cafe Essay is located at a walkable distance from the Yeongjin Beach itself, so this is where we decided to go. Before going to the cafe, we booked a picnic set in advance and when we reached the place our drinks were already ready and all we had to do is choose the color of our picnic mat. I also asked them to change our basket, as I prefer rectangular so circle baskets. They just seem more “picnicky~” to me.
The full basic set cost us 25,000 Korean won (coffee for 2 included). They also had additional things, such as chairs and parasols for an extra fee, but we decided not to get them, because 1) we did not have a car; 2) we did not want to spend extra 3) it was quite windy and we were worried that the wind might blow the parasol away.
Our set included: a picnic mat, picnic basket, small table, coffee pot, two cups, cookie set, a mini-book, handkerchief and a beautiful set of tulips. (they look real but are actually plastic). This is what girls would do for Instagram, right? I literally took over 20 minutes just setting everything up and taking pictures of my idealogic picnic set. haha (it all got ruined by the wind the moment after, but it was worth it)
The coffee we got was iced americano, which is included into the price of the basic set, but I think that if you want some other, more complicated drinks, you might need to order them separately.
One important detail to note is that you are not allowed to swim at Yeongjin Beach. Even though the sand is pleasing to take a stroll around the coast and emerald water is super inviting, as it tries to lure you between the waves, splashing over the shore, you have to remember, that in Korea you are only allowed to swim in designated swimming areas and every other beach has special warning signs, preventing you from stepping foot into the water.
The main reason for that is that the East coast of the Korean peninsula is very tricky and has many rip tiles as well as sinkholes in the sand, so swimming in the areas that are not designated swimming beaches would put you to a risk of drowning. Please, take note of that. You are allowed to have picnics and putting your feet into the water there though.
Since we already were in the area, we decided to check out the famous Yeongjin Breakwater where Korean Drama “Goblin” was filmed. People are lining up till this day, just to take a picture at this famous stop, but personally, for me, it was enough just to see it. We decided not to wait in a line for just one picture. Maybe next time we go there? I am sure we will come back there again.
Place: Cafe Essay & Yeongjin Beach
Opening hours: Beach – Anytime
CAfe: 9 AM _ 10 PM
Entrance fee: Beach free / cafe: prices vary of our choice
Adress: Yeongjin Beach, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
Cafe address: Gangneung-si, Yeongok-myeon, Yeongjingil33, ESProud, 1st floor