Nude Beach in Korea?

October 23, 2013

Eastern Province Gangwon Announces Plan to Open One by 2017


People enjoy themselves at a beach in Sokcho, Gangwon Province. / Korea Times file

People enjoy themselves at a beach in Sokcho, Gangwon Province.
(Korea Times file)

By Lee Kyutae

Someone said the biggest problems with nude beaches are that it’s always those who shouldn’t be naked are naked.

Regardless, Gangwon province in South Korea announced their plan to open the country’s first nude beach by 2017 on Tuesday, in an attempt to boost tourism.

It bears further watching, no pun intended, whether it can actually happen, as the government officials admitted they are already receiving protests from the public. And, it’s not the first time they’ve explored this idea either. Gangwon has already failed in its efforts to open a clothing-optional beach in 2005 due to a public outcry, and Jeju Island experienced same fate in 2009.

Gangwon has yet to decide on how it will determine the location of the nudist beach, although it will likely require some form of bidding. For now, the beach is expected to open in 2017 after installing facilities to prevent trespassing.

”As vacation cultures diversify, the interest in conventional beaches is decreasing. We believe a nudist beach could spark interest. This is part of our plans to create beaches with specific purpose – like a beach for families, a beach for couples, a beach for pets, and yes, a nude beach,’’ said an official from the municipality’s East Sea Rim Headquarters – a department of eastern province government. which unveiled the plans for the beach in a seminar Tuesday.

According to the regional government, about 25.67 million travelers visited Gangwon beaches this summer, up 30 percent from last year’s numbers. However, a province struggling with debt and the lack of job-creating industries, Gangwon appears to be desperate to milk its tourist sector.

Officials admit that the local resistance against a nudist beach continues to be strong. Their solution? Try it on foreigners first. “We are considering a trial operation of the nude beach for foreign travelers only, before widening access to Koreans,” said the official.


  1. rudolf kempf

    October 27, 2013 at 7:08 AM

    I welcome the proposal. I live in Hong Kong and I am often in Korea and want to spend some nude vacations there w my friend. So far we always hv to trvel to europe for that. Every year we spend around 4000 US for our 20 day Nude Vacation without counting the Flights.

  2. Michael Haynes

    January 23, 2017 at 7:09 PM

    Please email me when the beach is open. As a foreigner coming to Seoul in April 2017, I would love to have the option of a clothing optional beach to visit.

  3. April

    May 2, 2017 at 5:25 AM

    Is this open yet?! What day will it be open?

  4. J C Swink

    June 18, 2017 at 4:47 AM

    I would change my travel plans this summer and visit Jeju multiple times if they open one. We spend hours in jjimjilbang a all the time but I would love to lay out in the sun!