I shared last week how we visited Pohang, South Korea over Memorial Day weekend to explore the brand-new Pohang Space Walk, but I didn’t share too much about the fact that we actually did a quick overnight stay, as well. Honestly, staying in Airbnbs here in Korea has been harder than I’d expected, in large part because of the language barrier, but we’ve done it once before when we spent Thanksgiving in Busan, so we decided to try again during our 24 hours in Pohang…and it actually worked out quite well!
Spending 24 Hours in Pohang
I shared a little bit about Pohang last week, but I didn’t mention too much about our stay there. Pohang is actually not really a tourist destination, per se. It’s known as an industrial hub, and we saw quite a few ship-building plants, lots of industrial warehouses, etc. as we drove toward our Airbnb. We actually drove right by the beach though, too! It was a weird sort of juxtaposition between industry and beach life, but it kind of worked.
We knew the beach was right there, but we actually booked our Pohang Airbnb, in large part, because it had a little pool. Since we were primarily in town for the Space Walk, we figured we would relax otherwise and just enjoy the pool (and it was a good call!) While tiny, the pool was such a little luxury, and the kids had a blast – even though the water was chilly! The pension was petite, but it had enough space for us and our friends, and the air conditioners were a nice treat since many places don’t have them.
What to Do in Pohang
If you’re visiting from Camp Humphreys or Osan, Pohang is a bit of a trek. It’s about a 3.5 hour drive without traffic from Camp Humphreys, and doing that in a day sounds abysmal, so it’s definitely worth an overnight. Once we arrived, we actually found out that there are some beachside camping slips where you can either tent or travel trailer camp, which sounds like a fun excursion, too! If we ever went back, I think that’s what we’d opt for.
Beyond that though, when we asked locals, they mentioned that Pohang is known for its seafood – and primarily crab. So, we decided to make the most of our time, and we drove about 25 minutes from our pension to Pohang Jukdo Market. We navigated through the market and found a crab restaurant where you actually select your crabs, then they dispatch them and cook them for you right there. Oh, and the kiddos were basically celebrities walking around and greeting every friendly shop owner along the way. It was adorable.
Why You’ll Love Pohang
A lot of the places surrounding the Camp Humphreys and Osan areas are pretty used to foreign travelers, and there aren’t too many places where we really stand out. In Pohang, however, it seemed nearly untouched by outside cultural influences, and we got the feeling that the restaurant we went to didn’t often have foreign visitors. While there was a definitive language barrier the whole time, everyone was so gracious, and we communicated a lot via Papago and laughter on both sides.
Above all else, spending 24 hours in Pohang gave us the unique opportunity to truly immerse ourselves in Korean culture again – something that’s often watered down when close to a military base. Will we visit again? Probably not, but I’m so glad we did because these are some of those memories we’ll never forget.