South Koreans Go to the Beach to Avoid the Sun

Aah, the beach. The shimmering ocean, the scantily clad girls frolicking in the sun ... wait scratch the last one, at least if you're in South Korea.

John Glionna of the Los Angeles Times wrote to tell us how people in South Korea's most popular beach go there to avoid the sun:

Covered end-to-end with multihued parasols that turned the beige sand into a sea of blue, red, white and pink, South Korea's popular summer playground is a beach where people studiously avoid the sun.

American businessman Greg Conklin shook his head at the sight: This isn't a public beach; it's another planet.

"In Michigan, we go to the water to sizzle and burn," he said. "You don't see umbrellas jammed together like cars during rush hour. I mean, where's the sand? Where do you throw the Frisbees?"

And it doesn't end there. Read more about how the local officials had to install a high heel-friendly runway on the beach and other eccentricities: Link (Photo: Matt Douma/ LA Times)


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The huge difference in culture here lies in the perception of beauty. South Korea, like many other asian cultures, prefer pale white skin over brown or tanned skin. Westerners might consider it silly or weird, but at the same time most asian cultures are perplexed on the west's obsession on tanned skin.
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This is not just a Korean phenomenon many beaches in Thailand look very similar.

The upside? You generally have someone with a restaurant cart every few meters that will provide waiter service to your umbrella all day long.
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This is all part of their silly beauty ideal. They want to look pale as ghosts from a horror movie. They think it looks good.
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