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Best Spots in Korea to Celebrate the Start of the New Year with Sunrise
Date 12-28-2018 13:27
Best Spots in Korea to Celebrate the Start of the New Year with Sunrise

The sun rises every day, but there is something special about watching the sun rise at the dawn of the New Year. As we watch and pray to the magnificent sunrise for us to achieve all our hopes and dreams, our hearts are filled with excitement as we may indeed become better persons in the new year. The sunrise on New Year’s Day is a symbol of new hope. Go outside to welcome the rise of the New Year sun. Here are some of the best spots where you can enjoy the New Year sun in Korea.

No Need to Travel Far from Seoul: Sunrise at Achasan Mountain

There is no need to travel far from Seoul to enjoy a scenic New Year’s Day morning. Achasan Mountain, rising 295.7 m above sea level, marks the eastern end of Seoul and is easily accessible by subway along Metro Line 5. Achasan is the part of Seoul first to welcome the rising sun. It is also a famous venue for the annual sunrise festival.
The best spot for enjoying the view is at Sunrise Square in the middle of the mountain about 1.5 km from Achasan Ecology Park, which marks the start of the hiking trail. The trail is well-lit with a number of street lamps, so you need not worry that your early winter morning hike up the mountain would be dark. The square will welcome you as soon as you climb the short rocky trail past the Camel Ridge. Of the two observatories at the square, the one on your left will give you a romantic view of downtown Seoul at dawn, while the other will give you a magnificent view of the sun rising over the Hangang River. The best of the best spots is Base One behind the square, from which you can see both observatories, the Hangang River and Gangnam at a distance, and even Bukhansan Mountain all at once.

- Address: 135, Yeonghwasa-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul
- Tel.: +82-2-450-1655

Peeking at the Sun Rising through a Gigantic Hand Sculpture: Homigot, Pohang

If you want to see the New Year sunrise ahead of everyone else in Korea, you should go to Homigot in Pohang at the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula, where the sun presumably rises first. Not surprisingly, this coastal town is the busiest every New Year’s Eve, with large crowds nationwide flocking to see the sunrise over the vast East Sea.
Homigot is also famous for the Hands of Harmony, a pair of gigantic bronze hand-shaped sculptures. The left hand stands on the Homigot Sunrise Square, while the right hand juts out from the sea a short distance away from its counterpart. Visitors like to take photographs of the sun as it rises through the fingers of these hand sculptures. The glorious golden and red rays of the rising sun that brighten the sea are a sight to behold on their own.

- Address: Daebo-ri, Homigot-myeon, Nam-gu, Pohang, Gyeongsangbuk-do
- Tel.: +82-54-270-5855

A Village Where the Sun Rises and Sets: Waemok Village

Waemok Village is a small neighborhood named as one of the three most famous spots for watching the New Year sunrise in Korea because it is the only place on the entire West Coast where visitors can see both the sunrise and sunset. Dangjin, the city where this village is housed, is located at the tip of a small peninsula marking the northern end of Chungcheongnam-do.
You can see the sunrise from anywhere along the beach of Waemok Village, but the most popular spot is Sueokmunsan Mountain, a small hill about 80 m above sea level. A short 10 min walk up this hill will give you a vast panoramic view of the surrounding landscape, including the fiery red sun rising over the tranquil waters of the Yellow Sea. Waemok Ferry Stop and Ojakgyo Bridge are also popular spots for sunrise watching. The village hosts a sunrise festival that lasts two days, December 31 to January 1, every year. The festival, which starts in the afternoon of December 31 with a poetry recital and performances of invited popular singers, culminates into the New Year countdown close to midnight, a view of the sunrise spectacle at dawn, and the sharing of tteokguk, which Koreans eat at the beginning of each year.

- Address: 26, Waemok-gil, Seokmun-myeon, Dangjin, Chungcheongnam-do
- Tel.: +82-41-1330