Geoje and Tongyeong are two island towns in the southern tip of Korea that is rarely visited by foreign tourists due to its inaccessibility. While we were in Busan for summer school last July, we took the opportunity and did a road trip down to these two gorgeous destinations.
We rented a car and first drove to Geoje from Busan. It took us around 2 hours to get to our first destination in Geoje. Taking public transport to Geoje is also possible but it will take twice the amount of time needed and going around Geoje will be a challenge since buses are infrequent and rarely seen. I would highly recommend renting a car if you want to explore Geoje.
Windy Hills (바람의 언덕)
Windy hills is Geoje’s ikon and is definitely a must-visit when you are there. Situated on a hill, this attraction offers stunning views from beneath a windmill.
Since we visited in summer, the weather was really hot but at the same time very cooling due to the sea breeze. Other than tons of photo taking, there is also a spacious lawn that you can use to have a scenic picnic if you want to.
If you can not drive or you have no time for a 3D2N trip but still want to go to Windy Hills (and another beautiful island near Geoje, Oedo Botanical Island), you can go on this day trip package from Busan with transportation and guide all included.
Sinseondae Cliff (신선대 전망대)
This cliff is located just 5 minutes away from Windy Hills by car and is a viewing point with nothing else except the picturesque scenery.
Hakdong Mongdol Beach (학동몽돌해변)
Hakdong Mondgol Beach is not your conventional white sandy beach. It is a black pebble beach that is similar to the ones you can find in Jeju. If you come in summer, there is a floating platform connected to the beach where you can play some water sports like the flying fish.
Daekpo Beach (덕포해수욕장)
If you are looking for a more conventional beach, visit Daekpo Beach. One unique activity you can look forward to when visiting is their sea line, a zip line that crosses the sea from one side of the beach to the other. A round trip (yes, one ticket is valid for 2 rounds of zip line!) costs 15,000 KRW and you will be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the beach and sea from up above on this sea line.
The Prisoners of War (POW) Museum (포로수용소 유적공원)
We heard of this place but never had the chance to actually visit it because we arrived in Geoje too late in the afternoon. The POW Camp was built to hold prisoners during the Korean War and has been turned into a park to serve as a reminder of the cruelty of war.
It is not a conventional museum as the exhibits are scattered around an outdoor park. I heard many good reviews about this place and you should spend at least an hour if you want to visit. Entrance fee costs 7,000 KRW per adult.
We also went to Jangsado Sea Park, a botanical island located 20 minutes by ferry from Daepo Cruise Center in between Geoje and Tongyeong, on our second day but this will be covered in the next post! Subscribe for email alerts and stay tune for when it is out 😉
Food & Accommodation
We had our dinner and night stay in Okpo-dong, a neighbourhood that was claimed as the ‘Itaewon’ of Geoje. While it was true that there were noticeably more lights to the area than other parts in the island, it was definitely far from the busyness of Itaewon on a weekend night. The quietness, however, was liberating – a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.
It was quite hard to find a non-seafood place to eat for dinner on Geoje (although I love seafood, my travel buddies do not fancy it) and we found this place with good reviews near the place we plan to stay in for the night.
We only ordered the spicy pork on hot plate but because the ahjumma was impressed by our Korean skills, she gave us a free pajeon too. The meal costed us 8,000 KRW per person and it was a really great meal!
Okpodong Jjimjilbang & Sauna
We did not manage to book any accommodation for the night in Geoje because most of the accommodation options were out of our budget. In the end, we decided to stay over in a jjimjilbang instead (read here for a guide to staying in a jjimjilbang).
For just 8,000 KRW this place was a really cheap place to stay in although we later found out that the sleeping hall had no air-conditioning in it. Other alternatives would have easily costed more than 30,000 KRW per person in Geoje.
If you are interested to go to any of the locations mentioned, here’s a summary map of their locations that you can use to navigate when driving to Geoje.