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This post talks about my day trip to Jumunjin, Gangwon-do Province in South Korea to reenact a scene from my all-time favourite K-drama Goblin (or Guardian). If you’re a big fan of Goblin, you cannot miss this spot in Korea! Check out how I prepared to look like Ji Eun-tak and what kind of transport options are available. Reading my travelogue, you may find yourself ready to set off to Gangwon for a photoshoot like me. I guarantee it is great fun!
The mega-hit K-Drama Goblin <Guardian: The Lonely and Great God>
K-drama Goblin (‘Guardian: The Lonely and Great God’ for the official English title; ‘도깨비 – 쓸쓸하고 찬란하神’ for the Korean equivalent) is definitely one of the most-watched dramas of recent years in Korea. You can tell it from the fact that its final episode got the highest average viewership (20.5%) among every cable drama so far. It even recorded a peak at 22.1% which was a remarkable figure for cable dramas! Personally, this is the only K-drama where I’ve watched all the episodes repeatedly. Everything was spot on, including characters, actors and actresses, their acting, soundtracks, and the storyline… I can list on and on! (okay, maybe except for too many product placements across the episodes…) Never did I feel this strong about K-dramas before Goblin (Guardian), I really wanted to follow the traces of the Shin-Tak couples.
The must-visit spot from Goblin (Guardian): Jumunjin Breakwater
While the drama Goblin (Guardian) left a lot of atmospheric filming locations, many of them were not ideal to visit in winter. I managed to pick one though, which I would claim is the most representative of the drama. 🙂
Here, Eun-tak and Kim Shin (Goblin/Guardian) met each other for the very first time as she accidentally summoned him. This epic scene was shot in Jumunjin, Gangwon-do Province.
When the drama Guardian had its hottest moment to the public, an endless number of people came to Jumunjin Breakwater (or Sand Protection Dam technically). It was so many that someone with a business mindset appeared, renting out Eun-tak’s red scarf and Goblin’s artificial flowers to these visitors! (How smart…) Despite over a year since the end of the drama, rain, and the cold weather, a fair number of people were still around and queued for photography when I visited this time (Dec. 2017). I didn’t see the guy lending the items there, but it might have been due to the weather or the season. I’ll update if I find any new information on whether he’s still around.
Your Take on Eun-tak and Kim Shin
Because everyone’s purpose for the visit was the same, we didn’t need to worry about how to take the photos. Visitors snapped photos for those before them, and when their turn came the next group photographed them. Taking several photos for a couple in front of us, I looked forward to my turn even more because the frame through the camera looked just perfect! It was so romantic I could imagine what kind of emotion Eun-tak and Kim Shin from Goblin (Guardian) would have had here.
When our turn finally came I took off a long padded winter coat, as I had prepared to look like Eun-tak as much as I could. People in the queue were impressed by my passion and input in this in the middle of winter. (hahaha) I was a little bit embarrassed but knew this moment wouldn’t come back and I couldn’t miss it! As I let myself enjoy the whole experience, it was even more fun.
Tip 1) Have a think about Eun-tak look before you go
I didn’t buy new outfits or accessories just for this but managed to mimic her look, since I happened to have these items: a grey hoodie; a school uniform-style skirt; a red scarf; above-knee socks; and Converses. Having hoped to rent the flowers for a more precise reenactment, the weather and the guy’s absence didn’t help. Still, we improvised to create the general mood using our umbrella! I guess the photos ended up a mix of two different scenes from Guardian.
What was amusing was everyone there was super, super helpful! Particularly, the father of a family of 4~5 volunteered to hold my coat and the rucksack to prevent them from getting damp on the wet ground. We were a bit resistant at first since we felt sorry for them holding strangers’ items. We also thought they’d be fine on the ground for a short time, but everyone else seemed to disagree with us haha… Sounding surprised and concerned as we put the items down, they offered hands for help at which point we gave in. With their sweet and kind help, our mission was completed successfully. 🙂 <3
How to get to Jumunjin Breakwater from Seoul
Now that you just read my short getaway to Jumunjin Breakwater, you may fancy a visit too! 😉 We took express buses for the return journey, and there are a couple more ways to reach the spot.
For most visitors being Korean couples, many people seemed to drive straight to Jumunjin Breakwater. You can also choose this way but finding space for parking near the filming spot might be a struggle. If you copy and paste the below address on Google Maps, it actually shows a seafood restaurant & accommodation (해랑횟집); but you won’t miss the spot as it’s right across the restaurant. A big signboard also tells you that you’ve come to the right place.
- Spot address for a sat nav: 81-32 Gyohang-ri, Jumunjin-eup, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do (주문진, 강원도 강릉시 주문진읍 교항리 81-32)
By Public Transportation
Don’t worry even if you don’t have a car, since Jumunjin Breakwater wasn’t that difficult to reach by bus. Between 2 destinations (Jumunjin or Gangneung), pick what suits you the best depending on the location of the bus terminal in Seoul, timetables and price.
Note) Due to the COVID-19 at the moment, some bus companies seem to have a reduced service. Once the pandemic is over, I’ll check the TxBus website again in case they return to normal services.
Getting off at Jumunjin Express Bus Central Terminal
I think this is easier than the other option below in finding a way to Jumunjin Breakwater because the spot is within walking distance from Jumunjin Express Bus Central Terminal. 2 bus terminals run transfer services from Seoul to Jumunjin.
A) Seoul Nambu Terminal (as of 19. Jun. 2020 from TxBus)
|To Jumunjin (3 hrs)||From Jumunjin|
|Timetable||7.40 / 11.00 / 17.40||6.50 / (7.50)* / 9.00 / (11.00)* / 12.20 / 13.55 / 15.40 / (17.00)* / 18.45|
|Website Price||Adult: 19,000 krw (one-way)|
Child: 9,500 krw (one-way)
Student (middle/high school): 15,200 krw (one-way)
B) Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (as of 19. Jun. 2020 from TxBus)
|To Jumunjin (2 hrs 50 mins)||From Jumunjin (3 hrs 10~20 mins)|
|Timetable||6.32 / 7.10 / 7.40 / 8.15 / 9.01 / 10.50 / 11.25 / 12.00 / 12.30 / 13.05 / 13.40 / 15.25 / 16.35 / 17.11 / 18.20 / 19.30|| |
6.20 / 7.20 / 8.20 / 9.25 / 10.35 / 11.45 / 12.55 / 14.05 / 15.15 / 16.25 / 17.35 / 18.45 / 20.10
|Website Price||Adult: 18,000 krw (one-way)|
Child: 9,000 krw (one-way)
Student (middle/high school): 14,400 krw (one-way)
☞ To book the bus tickets to Jumunjin, go to the TxBus website
– Use ‘SouthSeoul’ for Seoul Nambu Terminal & ‘EastSeoul’ for Dong Seoul Bus Terminal in the English version
From Jumunjin Bus Terminal to the Filming Location of Goblin (Guardian)
When you come out to the terminal entrance, turn left and you’ll see a bridge with blue beams in distance. Cross the bridge and turn left at the end of it. Basically, walk towards the seaside along the bank, and turn right at the end of the road. You’ll start to see a few breakwaters and march until you reach the 4th one. It has a signpost to indicate this is THE spot in addition to a long queue. I assume there’ll be fewer visitors as time goes but if there are many people waiting at the 4th breakwater, feel free to go to the next one as the view is barely different. The map below is what I’ve just described in case you find it extra helpful. 😉 Please excuse me for having to use the Korean map service, since Google Maps sadly didn’t show the walking route…
Getting off at Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal
I personally took a bus to Jumunjin and back but you can get off & on in Gangneung if you’d like to browse this city too. In this case, you’ll need to take a bus or taxi to Jumunjin Breakwater from Gangneung.
Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (as of 19. Jun. 2020 from TxBus)
|To Gangneung (2 hrs 20 mins or 2 hrs 50 mins)||From Gangneung (2 hrs 40 mins)|
|Timetable||(2 hrs 20 mins):|
6.32 / 7.10 / 7.40 / 8.15 / 9.01 / 9.35 / 10.50 / 11.25 / 12.00 / 12.30 / 13.05 / 13.40 / 15.25 / 16.35 / 17.11 / 18.20 / 19.30 / 20.05
(2 hrs 50 mins):
6.40 / 10.25 / 12.45 / 13.50 / 16.20 / 17.55 / 20.20
|6.20 / 6.50 / 7.20 / 7.50 / 8.20 / 8.50 / 9.20 / 9.55 / 10.30 / 11.05 / 11.40 / 12.15 / 13.25 / 14.00 / 14.35 / (15.10)* / 15.45 / 16.20 / 16.55 / 18.05 / 18.40 / 19.15 / 19.50 / 20.40|
|Website Price||Adult: 15,600 krw (one-way)|
Child: 7,800 krw (one-way)
Student (middle/high school): 12,500 krw (one-way)
Between Gangneung and Jumunjin
When you arrive at Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal, you then need to grab a cab which takes about 20 minutes. Please use the above-mentioned sat nav address to directly get off at the filming spot.
Alternatively, you can try the roughly 1-hour long bus journey to Jumunjin. This seems quite tricky for those who don’t speak Korean, but you can try it (read below for the bus route please).
Take #302, #314 or #315 from Gangneung Express Bus Terminal (ID: 252000315, 강릉시외.고속버스터미널), which is just across the road from the terminal. When you successfully get off at Jumunjin Middle.High School (ID: 252000408, 주문진중.고등학교.강릉정보고), a slightly more challenging task is waiting for you. Walk to the direction where the bus would continue to go, and then turn right at the junction (to Hakgyo-gil). After you see a few shops at the beginning of this street, walk alongside the middle & high school on your right side (one with the white fence and then with the green fence). This straight route is about 400m according to the map instruction.
As you reach the end of this street, turn left and you’ll be on Hakgyodam-gil. Next, turn right to the first alley (picture below for the more accurate instruction), and walk till the end of it.
When you reach the seaside, make a right turn, then head for the 4th breakwater. This walk should take about 15 minutes in total, but if this sounds too complicated skip the first junction (the first right turn on the map below) and walk towards the next block. There, turn right and walk straight all the way to the seaside, then look for the breakwater. 🙂
For the return journey, look for a bus stop with the same name on the opposite side of where you got off.
Tip 2) Food & beverage near the filming location of Goblin (Guardian)
1. We stopped by ‘1637 cafe’ intending to warm up ourselves from the cold, rainy day. The atmosphere here looked nice including the sea view, and a lot of couples were enjoying drinks and desserts. I personally didn’t have much fun here, however, as they required us to get 2 drinks even if we said we would go for a take-out then. I could understand the ‘1 drink per person’ policy as it did look busy and it could seem two people taking up space when only one customer was having a drink. But then, for this reason, the rule shouldn’t apply to those who decide to drink outside the cafe. It was just me who wanted to order one, and for neither being impressed by their attitude nor wanting to adhere to their bizarre rule, we just left the shop.
2. The seafood restaurant mentioned briefly above, 해랑횟집 (Haerang Seafood Restaurant), was a lot more pleasant than we had expected. Since it’s literally across the hot spot, I was a bit suspicious it might take advantage of the prime location. However, it turned out I was wrong! Other than the high-quality seafood dishes, the meals were not over-priced as far as I remember. The staff, who was super generous, also advised us which dish would work better for us (so we had abalone porridge). In addition, he gave an extra side dish that needed cooking to Josh who didn’t have many choices to order! Thanks to this experience, our day trip to Jumunjin could end satisfactorily.
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Note) Viewership figure from: