Dare I say a stay on this island is better than Jeju? I’ve been to both now, and while Jeju is unbelievably gorgeous, Ulleungdo will make you feel like you are a thousand miles away from the hustle of the “real world.”
The island is about 217 kilometers from the ferry port in Pohang (one of the terminals that services trips to Ulleungdo) and is located in the East Sea between Korea and Japan. From Pohang, expect a three-hour ferry ride out at 9:50am. This is the only departure time. Returns to Pohang are at 3:30pm daily.
We spent two nights and two days on Ulleungdo, just barely enough time to do everything we wanted to do. I suggest at least another day on the island if you can swing it. There is one road that goes almost all the way around the island. It takes 1.5 hours to make it to the end of the road, but not because the island is large. The road is small and meanders through scenic scapes that even a man who likes to get from point A to point B will want to stop and soak in. Multiple one lane tunnels wind themselves through the volcanic rock; you’ll have to wait your turn to go through if traffic is coming from the opposite direction. But no worries, you’re on island time here. Continue reading Ulleungdo, Korea’s Island Paradise→
Continuing from yesterday’s post about Haegeumgang (Shipgagul Cave), the main destination of our tour boat was Oedo Island. This island was purchased by a North Korean couple who immigrated from the north around the time of the Korean War. When they first arrived they were penniless, but apparently that did not remain the case. The couple turned this island into a botanical garden – said to be the prettiest in all of South Korea – and soon it became a national tourist destination.
We arrived midday (not a particularly great time for scenic photos) because we were at the mercy of the tour schedule. Still, I wanted to post a couple photos for you to see, should you decide to make this place a stop in your future vacation plans. You’ll get 1.5 hours to peruse the place, not hardly enough in my book, but I’ve read on other blogs that for them that was plenty of time.
On the second day of vacation we headed to Haegeumgang (Shipgagul Cave) which is located on Geoje Island just off the southern coast of South Korea. Geoje Island is Korea’s second largest island following Jeju. I really wanted to see this sea cave because I’d read that the water is the color of Tide detergent and tour boats take people in an out of it with ease. An aerial view of the cave shows that it is shaped like a cross, which is what Shipgagul means.
On the second morning of my family vacation I woke up early for this photo. We stayed at a little place along this lake so all I had to do was throw on a pair of boots and walk about 50 paces from the door.
In the foreground are the rice patties beginning to turn green for the new growing season. In the middle is your typical pagoda with exercise equipment for the neighborhood folks and in the background is a hostel that we considered staying at, but in the end went with the other side of the lake.
The second stop on day one of our vacation was to the tea plantations in Daehan. There are literally rows after rows of green tea fields. This place is absolutely stunning! You could spend hours here soaking in the scenery. Don’t leave without buying some green tea ice cream!
Last weekend was spring break for my kiddos here in South Korea so the whole family headed out for a week-long vacay. Our first stop was the Damyang Bamboo Garden. This place is smaller than I expected, but was nonetheless beautiful. If you are planning on going, I recommend combining this garden with another stop as it won’t keep you occupied for more than 30 min to an hour.
Below is a photo of a group of children on a field trip to the garden. In all my travels throughout Korea, I’ve never seen a group of children not dressed the same when on a field trip with a school. So cute!
I’ve been waiting for what seemed like an eternity for the cherry blossoms to start blooming here in Korea. While the majority have not yet bloomed, but I did find a small grove of the white variety. They are a breath of fresh air after a very long winter!