South Koreans like the water, but not getting tan — that makes you look like a laborer. And some ladies insist on wearing high heels instead of flip flops because they make them look taller.
A fascinating read from the LAT.
Pity the Chinese food delivery guy on Haeundae Beach as he wanders the mile-long maze of sun umbrellas with haiku-like instructions: “Lifeguard tower 8; third row; three parasols from end; noodles.”
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?”
On this day, Haeundae was packed with 300,000 people. On record days, 1 million visitors flock to the curved waterside attraction with its own jail and police force numbering 300 officers. There are also 200 lifeguards, many of them patrolling the water aboard jet skis, beneath several hovering helicopters.
Not long ago, Haeundae applied for inclusion in Guinness World Records for the largest number of beach umbrellas (7,937) â€” in this country where tans are dismissed as the mark of laborers â€” but officials were informed that the book had no such category.
It’s a place where string bikinis remain scarce and where many instead hit the waves dressed in shorts and T-shirts.
“I love the water, but not the sun,” said Kim Su-min, 29, who huddled under her umbrella wearing sunglasses, long shorts and a hooded sweat shirt, her ankles covered with a towel…