We had asked about a taxi from our hotel in Jeonju, the Jeonju Lime Hotel. Soon we were at the train station and took a fast train, the KTX, to Yeosu Expo Station. We bought the tickets already the day before because we didn’t want to stand through the journey (again). It didn’t take long, and we arrived at our home for two nights, Yeosu.
Yeosu is a big city beautifully located in the ocean with some attractions of its own. It is also convenient due to its train connections, the ferry connection to Jeju Island and some attractions in its proximity. We had planned to use our first day in Yeosu to visit a close by attraction: The Suncheonman Bay Wetland Reserve in Suncheon. But first, we had to solve a problem. We found only two lockers, that were big enough to store our luggage at the train station and they were occupied. So, we decided to get to the hotel first and then come back to the train station to ride to Suncheon.
That was more complicated than we thought. We had taken a taxi and showed our driver our booking in Korean, but he didn’t find it. He brought us to the right road, but we also didn’t see any sign, pointing out our hotel, the Romance+Night Sea. We had chosen it because it looked beautiful online with balcony and sea view. We knew it must be there somewhere and paid the driver and eventually asked around (no results) before we finally found an elevator that leads up to it inside a building next to a small shop. We couldn’t check-in yet, but at least store our luggage. I have to say, they could work on their visibility!
We could store our luggage there and then took a taxi back to the train station, where we bought tickets to Suncheon and eventually arrived. We wanted to take the Bus 67 and found the bus stop for it at the roundabout, just a few steps from the train station. Online it said, that the bus ride takes about 30 minutes and that the bus also leaves every 30 minutes. But after all the trouble and wasted time in Yeosu we decided to take a taxi. It wasn’t too expensive (under 10 Euro) – we had inquired about the price with the taxi driver beforehand, and it worked out, even without speaking the language.
Finally, we arrived at the Suncheonman Bay Wetland Reserve. It is an Ecological Park with the most significant colony of reeds in South Korea. It looked terrific online, so we were excited to see it for real. We bought a combi-ticket with the Suncheonman Bay National Garden, where we wanted to go afterward. We started our sightseeing in the park with a visit to Nature’s Sound Experience Hall. The Bay is a habitat for plenty of migratory birds, and in the Hall, you can hear the different birds singing.
There are a string of wooden footbridges that lead through the area. It’s an especially photogenic area and another beautiful facet of South Korea. We skipped the Suncheonman Bay Eco-Museum and decided to walk up to the Yongsan Observatory. It is another 1,3 kilometer-walk from the end of the footbridges and gets you a rewarding look from above onto the Wetland Reserve.
After an hour walk, we relaxed with coffee and red bean-cookies. I also got a raincoat, as it looked like it was starting to pour. We’ve read online, that you can use an unmanned shuttle train (“Sky Cube”) from Suncheon Literature Hall (a few meters walk to the north from the park) to the Suncheonman Bay National Garden. Of course, we had to do that! After a quick look at the Literature Hall, we soon reached the elevated shuttle and queued, as we saw no ticket office. We bought our tickets than from the staff upon entering the Sky Cube. The ride was kind of cool!
The Sky Cube ended directly at the Suncheonman Bay National Garden. It is a vast flower park, connected by a bridge (“Dream Bridge”) and stretching on both sides of the river, where we just roamed around. As we were a bit exhausted and it was getting late, we couldn’t see all of it. It offers diverse gardens in a World Garden Zone, with a Korean Traditional Garden, but also a Thai Garden, a British Garden, a Dutch Garden and an American Garden, among others. You could spend a whole day there.
We exited the park at the northeastern exit. The Bus 66 should go from there back to the train station. We also considered walking, but then just opted for a taxi as the easy way out. Actually, Suncheon has many more attractions, like the Heungryunsa Temple (in walking distance to the train station) and the Suncheon Open Film Location. But it was too late, and we still hadn’t properly checked in at our hotel in Yeosu.
Back in Yeosu, we finally could get into our room, and it was nearly perfect, spacious, with a little kitchen and a balcony with great view. Soon, we walked down to the promenade, which they were rebuilding. There were many food stalls, and we decided to walk further along the coast and found a replica of a Turtle Ship and a statue. Yeosu is an illuminated city, and therefore I got plenty opportunities for night and long exposure shots.
Eventually, we walked to a pizzeria that my friend had seen, when we drove past it on the way to the hotel. We walked there, and they didn’t really speak English, and we ended up with a huge pizza to take away, which my friend hated, when he realized, it comes with plenty of onions…