My Yeosu travel adventures started the moment I was thinking of getting there as a solo traveler.
Since you found this article, let me share what I unforgettable experiences, amazing impressions, and learnings about my Yeosu travel adventures.
The basics you must know...
To come from: Gwangju City, 1 hour 30 minutes, 10-12 USD (around 5 hrs from Seoul)
Where to go: Odongdo Island, Yeosu Expo, Cable Car, islands
Where to stay: See my suggestions here and where I stayed
I have no regrets after my Yeosu travel adventures. It was way and too better than I had anticipated or expected!
I arrived in Yeosu from Gwangju City by bus (after 1 hour and a half journey) late in the morning. Then I took a taxi straight to my hotel, driven by a kindly Yeosu citizen driver who proudly introduced me the best there is in Yeosu.
My hotel is located on top of a small hill where visitors can have a fantastic view of the surrounding panorama, including the bridges, cable cars, sea, ships, and night lights of Yeosu.
I arrived early! So, I trustingly handed over my backpack at the Front Desk as the hotel allows guests to check-in only in the afternoon.
What can I do? It's their universal hotel policy. I felt a bit dismayed as I was quite excited to see my room's window view!
It's fine as I thought I should not waste time enjoying my hotel room. Instead, I should be outside exploring anything and everything I can with the precious time I have in hand!
I left the hotel knowing I will enjoy my room later in the evening.
I had good impressions of the staff's reception, anyway. The lobby also looks pleasing to me. But I still was wondering how my room looks like (again?) However, I was expecting something great when I return!
Without further chattering, let me describe the sights and places I been and my personal thoughts and impressions about them.
I was already excited when I left the hotel for a while. I decided to walk instead of taking a taxi. That's precisely my purpose of visiting the place - to hike and explore! Besides, hiking is environmentally-friendly and healthy as well! No doubt about that!
Hiking the Bridge
A bridge beside my hotel links to the beautiful travel destinations on the other end. Later did I realized that this bridge would look more fantastic when its rainbow lights are on in the evening. I'll wait for it!
While crossing over the bridge, I have enjoyed the views of Yeosu from that vantage point. The skyline above the turquoise sea and the islands of Hallyeohaesang National Park all the more made me excited and energized for the rest of the afternoon.
On my left, I could see in the distance the city's buildings, port area, and other bridges connecting the islands. This view gave me a sense of freedom. I started feeling relaxed as the cool Yeosu sea breeze kept on blowing.
While exploring the imposing steel structures of the bridge and taking some photos, I couldn't get away from observing the cable cars flying over the bridge. Feeling envy of their experience, a tempting voice whispered to my ear!
The cable cars are so close that I could see the passengers inside enjoying their floating feelings--as if in heaven!
Many times, I thought of doing it as well. But I know that I couldn't spend that much time and so decided to forego it this time.
I was confident that it would be a wonderful feeling watching the world (the sea, mountains, ship, and panorama of Yeosu) from above because I had that uplifting experience in Busan's Songdo Marine Cable Car.
Don't get me wrong, but I just don't have the luxury of time, and I promised myself to take that ride when I return someday! Hey, if you haven't yet, do it!
At the end of the bridge, I climbed up by navigating the wooden stairs that led to the mountaintop. The hike from the bridge only took around ten minutes. It's a short but refreshing hike under the gentle shade of the trees up to the top.
I was feeling successful, a bit gasping, as I reached the park (which I didn't know in advance). It was called Jasan Park.
Jasan Park has fantastic views of the Hallyeohaesang National Park's blue sea topped with ships and boats and dotted with beautiful islands and islets.
Quickly, I enjoyed and did three specific things in Jasan Park:
Okay, please let me describe them a little bit.
The statue of Yi Sun-shin (the admiral who fought against the Japanese invaders using the Battle Turtle Ship or "Geobukson") is located in a garden area of Jasan Park. The statue has his back towards the blue sea while facing the garden planted with flowering plants.
In the garden where the statue is located, you can find vantage points to get breathtaking views of the sea and national park of Jeollanamdo (Province).
Now, let me bring you to the observation floor deck. I took the elevator to get there, but it's not very high. From there, compared to the views from the garden, I had a full view of the national park's islands and sea, only partly anyway.
(One can only see a part of the park because Hallyeohaesang is the most expansive national park in South Korea. It covers the whole region of the Jeollanamdo area.)
From the deck, since words cannot (fully) describe, the photos below could surely help you understand what I was trying to explain here.
Then I proceeded to check out the butterfly museum. Honestly, I didn't feel like getting inside since I didn't have any plan of visiting a museum in the area.
But... I went in anyway!
I didn't regret checking out the small museum. It was not only a butterfly museum, but also it housed other insects collected from other tropical countries.
The museum holds beautiful, colorful, and mystical (somewhat angelic as well) butterflies, which were well-preserved inside the spotless glass display frames.
Beetles, dragonflies, and other interesting-looking insects are observable as well.
Colorful Butterfly Collections
When the curator realized my presence, he started conversing and asked where I came from. I politely responded, saying that I was originally from the Philippines but living here for almost half my life (imagine that)!
Now, I just realized that the collections are not only from Korea but also from other tropical, islands, and semi-arid countries. The museum has collections from Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Madagascar, African Countries, among others.
Then he got excited and started telling me that he got insect collections from the Philippines as well. He told me about his experiences and travels in the country when he collected the insects. Luckily, it was a brief exchange!
Coming down from Jasan Park...
After enjoying the park, I headed towards Yeosu Cable Car Station, which was only a few minutes' downward hike. Please, don't worry, it's just a 'mini-mountain.'
Coming down from the top, I could also see the famous Odongdo (Island), which is linked with a concrete bridge with sea waves breakers.
Surprisingly, the cable car station was not only a station but also complete with travel and relaxation facilities such as washrooms, cafes, convenience stores, observation areas, and sitting areas.
The station was a very relaxing place if you are looking for a space in this area!
The location of this cable car station and its facilities are perfect. Yes, because it gives you the excellent vantage points to see parts of Hallyeohaesang National Park while relaxing over a cup of coffee (or any!) or ice-cream.
I spent some time exploring the facilities and took some photos whenever I feel like clicking my camera. I was just blown away by the views and took lots of pictures of the sea, islands, ships, port area, hotels, etc.
Feeling refreshed and satisfied at this stage, I proceeded down through the wooden steps adorned with hundreds of wooden hearts and written with love and good fortune messages.
Yup, you can see young couples doing selfies in this area. They were making good memories.
Then passing through one of my favorite structures, a pavilion, I took photos and proceeded towards my main destination--Odongdo (island).
Odongdo is linked with a broad and concrete path and accessible by car, bicycle, people.
I was still feeling excited about what I have seen and getting more excited to see more.
From Odongdo, I continued to see the Yeosu 2014 Expo facilities. Yes, I think that Expo was one of the moments that really drove Yeosu's popularity to the top. Expos usually promote countries or sites (see Daejeon expo article)
Along the way, I could only appreciate all the more Odongdo's beauty in the distance. Its shape is topped with green trees surrounded by the sparkling blue sea.
I'm sure that the trees would turn very colorful during the Fall Season, another reason for me to return!
What I love about the Expo area were the gate's structure and design. It caught my artistic curiosity. The shape of the whole structure looks like virtual shapes and designs that creative designers and virtual engineers create.
After scrutinizing and enjoying its artistic beauty, I proceeded to explore inside with an open mind.
I was really interested in seeing closely the strange but captivating structure I saw in the distance while I was on Odongdo Island. The structure, one of Expo 2014' buildings, looked like (in some ways) the famous museum in Spain -- Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
Yes, I know that it is quite different, but that was what I felt at that time. I went closer and took photos. I tried to get better views of the back facade facing the sea. But it was not possible (I needed to ride on a boat or anything floating to get that view).
Although feeling a bit disappointed, I was just happy to have taken the photos below.
Yeosu Expo 2012 'Theme Pavilion'
If you came to Yeosu to hike or walk, then you are in the right place. Yeosu is not crowded, and most of the travel sites are not located in high areas.
Besides, it is quite easy to navigate the area. Having a map is enough, and a navigator is not a necessity.
If you want to, you can take a taxi to reach your destination quickly. No, there is no heavy traffic there.
Buses are also accessible in the city area. I noticed that people here are more kindly and generous (compared to other places!).
For example, while I was waiting for a bus for the Bus Terminal in Yeosu for Gwangju Bus Terminal, a haraboji (grandpa in Korean), I asked a 'haraboji' (grandpa) if I was at the right bus stop.
He kindly told me to go to the opposite bus stop because that's the right direction. Gosh! (Interestingly, it was the Information Officer who told me wrong directions. I guess he got confused seeing a foreigner asking for directions). By the way, he understood my Korean! ^^
This is what I was waiting for. If you haven't heard, Yeosu seems to have a magical view when darkness covers the day! That's evening and night time.
Yeosu shines during the night. The lights from the houses, small shops, restaurants, and hotels near the sea reflected in the calm water.
That fantastic scene surprised me as I return to my hotel after my active and exciting day (exhausting, as well!). I could already see the reflections while crossing over the bridge.
And here's what really surprised me...
My hotel room was facing those incredible views. The full glass window with and the veranda totally made my day! Without wasting time, I took photos of the scene again and again... over and over!
According to my plan for this short Yeosu travel, I will explore the famous Jin Nam Guan and its surrounding sights.
After my early breakfast, as no other guest in the restaurant yet, I was getting ready and called a taxi.
Yes, I am confident that Yeosu is an excellent place to travel for anyone. It is very safe, comfortable, and easy to navigate.
A family with small children can enjoy the place. There are many facilities and sites and sights friendly to small children.
In fact, I have seen kids with parents and school children with their teachers traveling as groups. The whole place, space, and views, made them crazy. You know children, right?
Of course, Yeosu is also perfect for friends and couples (young and old, by the way!). You can see and experience places with romantic moods and environments.
Traveling solo is also excellent. It's what I did. In my case, I had no choice but to go alone. Why? Because my wify had something personal to care of.
I also enjoy traveling alone for some valid reasons. One, I can decide anything I like to do :). No need for voting or compromising, eh!. No hassle, especially when you want to accomplish things the way you want it to be.
Second, I could decide quicker and move faster. I don't have to wait (or getting late!). I can save time, as well.
Start from Odongdo Island
You can spend half days enjoying the views of the sea, islands, ships, and the boats plowing the sea.
Get to the entrance area by taking a bus or a taxi from the bus terminal or city project. If you arrived via KTX (train), you can immediately see it and walk towards its (around 15-minute walk).
The cool temperature beneath the tall thicket of trees and bamboos will undoubtedly revitalize your weary mind and body (especially if you're doing the nine-to-six and 5-days-a-week job, or worse than that!)
Fun Train on Odongdo Island
At Odongdo, you can enjoy the observation tower, cool shades of the forest, seaside restaurants, seaside views, walkways inside the forest, musical fountain, and nature, among many things.
Walk towards the Expo 2014 site to explore the structures and entertainment facilities, eateries, restaurants, and the Aqua Planet Yeosu.
The whole area is very spacious and can be quiet during low seasons. I was here after the summer, and I think it was just perfect--not so crowded. And the temperature was cooler!
Yeosu Bambada Experience
Yes, I've been there and seen it. One of the main reasons why I visited Yeosu this time is because of that song that popularized and promoted Yeosu's tourism.
I was imagining to see what others were saying. That I could see the colorful night lights being reflected in the sea and the bridge beside my hotel. This should be a part of the whole picture of Yeosu's night time!
Yea, yea! I got what I wanted. I could only tell you my experience and cannot talk about other hotels I have not been to.
As I mentioned above, my hotel room was facing Yeosu City (just part of it anyway!). I had a fantastic view... A colorful sight in the evening.
I confessed, honestly, that I literally left my curtain wide open while I slumber through the night lying on my side facing Yeosu's colorful lights.
If you ask, you can find more recommended places to stay here in Yeosu. Please, check if the photos have evening or night views from your prospected hotel room. You may call them to give you a room facing Yeosu City with night lights.
You can take a train or bus from anywhere in the country that will bring you to Yeosu City.
I traveled to Yeosu via Gwangju City (U-Square Bus Terminal), which is about 1 hour and 30 minutes by bus. Indeed, you can get there from Seoul by bus.
From Yeosu Bus Terminal, you may taxi a taxi or bus for Yeosu City center. It takes around ten minutes by taxi and around twenty minutes by bus.
A KTX train station is located close to the Expo 2014 site. So, you can take a train wherever accessible from your nearest hotel. I believe that you need to transfer from one train to another if coming from Seoul.
I hope you enjoyed my Yeosu travel adventures. If you have questions or clarifications on traveling there, kindly ask below or email me.
Thanks for reading down this far! Safe travels!