As the weather gets warmer, it’s time for more outdoor activities and nowadays it seems like a lot of Koreans are heading to Yeosu. After all, it’s the ‘international ocean resort’ of Korea! Yeosu is the second largest city in Jeolla-do, the most southern part of Korea. This means the city is very different from, say, the central part of Korea, like Seoul. As Yeonsu is considered to be a port city, it’s famous for its beautiful sea views. So beautiful that indie band, Busker Busker wrote a song titled Yeosu Night Sea.
When there is a song about the beauty of Yeonsu’s sea, ocean activities are a must! There’s a few different ones that you can choose from. For a thrilling experience, parasail and soar above the ocean, through the sky around Ungcheon Beach. Or choose to zip line, taking in the picturesque city views. If those aren’t really your thing, travelling by cable car is also a highly recommended option. Not only will you see Yeosu's clear blue ocean, but it also gives you an aerial view of the city, passing through Dolsan Bridge and Geobukseon Bridge, which just so happens to be the symbol of Yeosu.
To explore nature even more, a must visit is Hyangiram Hermitage, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Yeosu. Located upon Geumo Mountain, it's a national treasure that was built all the way back in the Silla Dynasty. The hike up to this temple is something else! Take in the various-coloured lanterns, colourful paintwork and precious sculptures during your walk up. Then, as you get close to Hyangiram Hermitage, you’ll come along a unique passageway built with stone. It is said that if you pass through all seven rock cracks, your granted wish will come true. The name Hangiran, literally translates to “watching the sun,” so you bet you'll get a breathtaking view when up at the temple at sunset or sunrise.
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Another thing that’s quite unique about Yeosu, is that there are three lighthouses in the city. The two popular ones to visit are Big End Lighthouse, a tall stark white lighthouse that sits at the edge overlooking the ocean. If you’re brave enough, try walking to the edge and experience it in all of it's beauty. On the contrasting end, Hamel Lighthouse, is a vivid red concrete tower that definitely pops and shines brighter at night. Both of these offer different charms so it’s totally worth visiting both!
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A place where a lot of Koreans are flocking to is Aqua Planet, which surprisingly is an eco-friendly aquarium. It uses solar power to operate each themed floor - Ocean Life, Marine Life and Aqua Forest are just some of them. There’s a lot to see with 55,000 marine animals and 300 different species! To get more Tiktok- and IG-worthy content, Arte Museum is another spot worth visiting. Described as a media exhibition, I think it’s much more than that! It’s infinite walls of art that you can explore and immerse yourself in.
By now, I’m sure you know that cafes in Korea take it to the next level. WIth Yeosu, you can imagine that the sea views have to be incorporated into some of the cafes, which is what makes Mocha Hill so beautiful. Who wouldn’t love to have a refreshing iced americano or fruit-ade while you take in the seaside views? What’s even better is this cafe closes till late so you can enjoy the night views too! For some signature delicacies, gejang (게장) is a must-eat in Yeosu. Basically, it’s a raw marinated crab dish and Jeongdaun Restaurant seems to be where everyone is going to. It’s known to have deliciously marinated meaty crab with so much depth and flavour, all without the fishy taste. I can imagine how fresh these are! The best part is scraping the leftover sauce and crab meat and mixing it in with rice 😋
Who knew that another port city would offer a unique charm different to others?! It’s another reason to visit places that not many tourists flock to 😉 Hopefully, showing you what Yeosu brings makes you intrigued to travel around and outside of Seoul. The long train ride from the capital city will make it well worth it plus it’s all part of the travel experience.