Geoje City 거제시

The ‘Blue City’, Geoje City (거제시), is also commonly referred to as Geoje Island (거제도). It was once an island, but is now connected to the main peninsula through a bridge in Tongyeong City (통영시). It’s a huge ship-building center, and you’ll see some manufacturing complexes near its major ports. Public transportation is available, but because buses don’t run frequently, I recommend you come here by car or rent one locally if possible.

geoje map

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TRAVEL COURSE: DAY ONE

1. Ferry Ride to Haeguemgang (해금강) and Oedo  (외도) 

2. Sinseondae (신선대)

3. Windy Hill (바람의 언덕)

4. Jangseungpo Harbor (장승포)

 

TRAVEL COURSE: DAY TWO

1. Historic Park of Geoje, POW Camp (거제도포로수용소유적공원)

2. Geoje Bamboo Theme Park (맹종죽테마파크)

 

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From Seoul, you can take a bus from the Nambu Bus Terminal (남부터미널) to the Gohyun Intercity Bus Terminal (고현시외버스터미널). The trip takes about 4 hours and 20 minutes one way.

seoul geoje bus schedule

My favorite activity on the island is the package ferry course that goes to both Haegeumgang 해금강 and Oedo 외도 Islands. You’ll have to take a bus from the Gohyun Intercity Bus Terminal (고현시외버스터미널) to the Dojangpo Boat Terminal (도장포유람선터미널) where you can buy tickets.

The course will circle around Haegeumgang 해금강 island and then drop you off at Oedo 외도 which is known for its private garden, Botania. You can go on this same course at other boat terminals located throughout the island, but I prefer to go to the Dojangpo Boat Terminal because it’s located within a few minutes of walking distance to the next two tourist spots. The boats here only travel once every two hours, so if the timing is not right you can eat at one of the nearby restaurants or check out the Windy Hill/Sinseondae before the boat ride. Also, before you get on the boat, you should buy some cheap snacks at the convenience store next door to feed the seagulls. They will follow you during the entire 30 minutes boat ride, so it’s a lot of fun.

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Dojangpo Ferry Ride Fee: 16,000 won round trip per adult

Travel Time: 30 minutes one way

Operating Hours: Varies, calling ahead is recommended since boats travel only once every two hours

Contact Info: 055) 632-8787~8        www.dojangpo.co.kr  

*3,000 discount coupon is occasionaly  available on the website

Haegeumgang is a rock island known for its stunning scenery. There’s a small cave in the center, that you’ll go inside by boat. The photos here don’t do the island justice. It’s a large piece of rock, but there’s something very awestrucking and grand about it.

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Oedo is an annexed island of Geojedo that is now privately owned. It contains Botania which is a marine botanical garden that has a great view of the South Sea. It’s located about 4 km from Geoje and it holds a western style garden with some pretty amazing landscaping that was built over 30 years by a couple starting in 1969. You will have exactly 90 minutes to explore the island garden, or else you will miss the boat. You don’t need to hurry though, because that is plenty of time. Also fyi, this island was the setting of the final scenes in the tv drama, Winter Sonata (겨울연가.)

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Oedo-Botania Entrance Fee: 8,000 won per adult (pay in advance at the boat terminal)

Average Viewing Time: 90 minutes

Operating Hours: Closed during Lunar New Year holidays

Contact:  070) 7715-3330    oedobotania.com (korean only)

When you get back, you can walk over to Sinseondae (신선대) which is an amazing rock structure facing the sea. It’s located within five minutes walking distance from the boat terminal. It may look like just a bunch of rocks, but it’s much more stunning and colorful in person. The name ‘Sinseon’ refers to the Taoist hermits who used to gather here.

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Sinseondae Entrance Fee: free

Operating Hours: 24 hours

Average Viewing Time: 30 minutes…or less

Also within walking distance is Windy Hill (바람의 언덕.) It’s a hill that overlooks the sea and is popular because it was used in several movies and tv shows from the early 2000s (Garden of Eve, Wooden Horse Carousel, and Romance). You can see the windmill from the Dojangpo boat terminal, so you won’t get lost walking here.DSC01547\DSC01540

Windy Hill Entrance Fee: free

Operating Hours: 24 hours

Average Viewing Time: 30 minutes…or less

Afterwards, take a bus to Jangseungpo Harbor (장승포) where you can get some dinner and find a motel to stay at. Motels are about 40,000-50,000 won per night. The local delicacy here is Gejang 게장 and you’ll be able to find quite a few restaurants here along the harbor. It’s raw crab marinated in either soy sauce or a spicy chilli pepper sauce. It’ll cost you around 10,000-15,000 won per serving. The more expensive places tend to have better side dishes.

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After dinner you can talk a walk around the harbor and check out the lighthouses nearby. You’ll also find some local fisherman at work.

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The next day have some seafood stew (해물 뚝백이) for breakfast. There are many restaurants along the harbor mixed in with the Gejang restaurants.

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Next, head to the Historic Park of Geoje, POW Camp which was used to hold 170,000 prisoners during the Korean War. The camp was closed in 1953, then turned into a park in 1997. It holds remains from the war such as tanks and tents as wells as sculptures, exhibitions, and dioramas. There are several experience programs here including a zipline, hall or mirrors, trick art exhibit, 4D movie, and a time capsule exhibit. I highly recommend that you try these out, even though it will cost you extra.

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POW Camp Entrance Fee: 4,500 per adult, 15,000 per adult for all inclusive experience package (highly recommended)

Operating Hours: 9am-5pm (Nov-Feb) / 9am-6pm (Mar-Oct)

Average Viewing Time: 1.5-3.5 hours

Contact Info: 055) 639-4177

After lunch, check out the Geoje Bamboo Theme Park 맹종죽테마파크. It’s not anything too special, just a simple bamboo forest, but it is located on the side of a hill, so it’s a nice location for a slow, meditative walk.

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Geoje Bamboo Theme Park  Entrance Fee: 2,000 won per adult

Average Viewing Time: 1-2 hours

Contact Info: 055) 637-0067

After the bamboo park, I would head back early to Seoul, because it’s a long trip back. Goodbye Geoje~

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Relevant Links

http://english.geoje.go.kr/

http://www.oneweirdglobe.com/2009/01/destination-geoje-do-oedo-paradise-island/

http://www.oneweirdglobe.com/2012/04/destination-geoje-do-pow-museum-geoje-do-gyeongsangnam-do/

http://foreignerjoy.blogspot.kr/2010/09/chuseok-getaway-geoje-island-pt1.html

http://foreignerjoy.blogspot.kr/2010/09/chuseok-getaway-geoje-island-pt2.html

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