Today, it was time to take a closer look at Yeosu. After having (self-service) breakfast inside our room at the Romance+Night Sea Hotel, we walked to our first sight of the day. We walked along the promenade, which was just getting remodeled, and came to the replica of a Turtle Ship and a statue.
We already visited it the evening before, but it was on the way to our first sight, the Jinnamgwan Hall, which was used – several hundred years ago – by naval commander Yi Sun-sin as headquarters. Renovation works were going on at the impressive building. We also enjoyed the view.
As we wanted to continue to Jeju Island on the next day, we decided to walk to the Passenger Ferry Terminal next, to buy a ticket. The building was, unfortunately, deserted inside. Right in front of it, we spotted a Tourist Information, where we wanted to inquire. But it was closed for lunch break. So, it was time to go to the nearby Yeosu Specialty Seafood Market. First, we found some booths lined up, later we also crossed the bridge and entered a large building, where more seafood awaited. Coming from the Philippines, I really like being close to the sea and port towns like Yeosu.
The lunch break at the Tourist Information was over, so we headed back to get information, how we will get a ferry ticket to Jeju Island for the next day. Unfortunately, they didn’t speak English, and we don’t know Korean. But the guy at the office called a translation service on the phone, and so, we got together. We found out that no ferry to Jeju leaves from that terminal, which was a shock. But fortunately, there is another ferry terminal in Yeosu, the Yeosu Expo Ferry Terminal. It is located just behind the Yeosu Expo Train Station, and the Hanil Express ferry to Jeju Island leaves from there.
We wanted to get done with it already and just took a taxi to get there. Unfortunately, it was deserted too, and tickets were not sold on days when no ferry departs. It wasn’t really a waste of time though, as – without this detour – we would have gone to the wrong Ferry Terminal on the next day and would have missed the ferry. Also, we wanted to visit the Expo Ocean Park anyway.
Yeosu was the host city for the 2012 World Expo, and this was when the Expo Ocean Park was built. It has some attractions, like the Big-O, a giant kind of wheel, which offers a multimedia show at night. There’s also a Sky Tower Observatory and the Hanhwa Aqua Planet Yeosu. We just walked through the large area, and I especially adored the impressive architecture.
At the southern end of the park, we rested, as I felt a bit sick. From there, we saw a lift up to Jasan Park and the Maritime Cable Car. But we decided to walk onto Odongdo Island first. Actually, we thought about taking the shuttle across the bridge, but the ticket machine was in Korean only, and the shuttle was just leaving anyway. It is not too far, and soon we reached the island.
Odongdo Island is a beautiful and green little island with many walking paths and some attractions. The first we visited, was the Dragon Cave. You can’t go in there, as it is located right on the ocean, but I got some photo opportunities there.
Next, we came to the lighthouse and then followed the signs for the quirky named “Penis Tree” (which doesn’t really look like that…) and the Seashore Rocks, from where we could view some of the many islands.
There is a little cafe on the island, where we enjoyed tea and the beautiful garden. There were a Korean-Dutch family and the Korean mother (who is living in the Netherlands) who are on vacation there. They were kind of pleasantly surprised when they thought they heard us talking in Dutch. German (Deutsch) and Dutch (Holländisch) sound similar. They chatted with us a bit.
Then, we walked past the Barefoot Park, where you can massage your feet on stones, to the musical fountain, which I really liked. There were also more Turtle Ships.
Eventually, we walked back to the lift and got up to Jasan Park. From there you can take the Maritime Cable Car across the ocean to Dolsan Park. But it was really windy that day, and we didn’t like the idea to be shaken in the air, way above the sea. We also were kind of done for the day and just visited a pavilion there and then sought and found a way downwards, back to the hotel.
With more time (and power) left, we might also have visited the Hyangiram Hermitage, which looks beautiful online but is a long bus ride away. The bus for it (Bus 113) seems to stop also on the main street south of Dolsan Park. But for us, it was time to pack our bags for our last stop in South Korea, Jeju Island.