Today I’ll take you to the harbor city of Yeosu. It is known for it’s vat marine resources and it hosted the World Expo in 2012, and there are remnants of that today in the form of lots of motels and great public transportation facilities.
TRAVEL COURSE: DAY ONE
1. 2012 Expo Park
2. Aqua Planet
3. Odong-Do Island (오동도)
4. Big O-Show
TRAVEL COURSE: DAY TWO
1. Yeosu Rail Bike (여수 레일 바이크)
2. Yi Sun Shin Plaza (이순신 광장)
3. Jinnam Kwan (진남관)
4. Dolsan Bridge (돌산 대교) / Dolsan Park (돌산 공원)
From Seoul, I recommend taking the train to Yeosu, because it’s a long way down south. You’ll need to go to the Yeosu Expo Station which is the only train station in the city. It takes 5 hours by Mugunghwa train, 4.5 hours by Saemaul Train, and 3.5 hours by KTX.
Once you get off the train, take some time to look around the Yeosu Expo Site. You’ll find an information center right outside the train station.
The best part of the 2012 World Expo is Aqua Planet which is the second largest aquarium in Korea, the biggest one is located on Jeju Island. The main attraction here is the Beluga Whales, be sure to grab a pamphlet/map when you walk in because it lists out all the times for various shows throughout the day.
Operating Hours: 10 am – 7 pm
Average Viewing Time: 2-3 hours
Contact Information: 061) 660-1111
From there you can walk to Odong-do Island 오동도 which is connected by a 400 meter long bridge to the rest of Yeosu. You can take a shuttle train or walk across the bridge. The island used to be covered by lots of Paulownia Trees which are called Odong in Korean, however, the legend goes that those trees attracted phoenixes which symbolized uprisings against the current ruler, King Gongmin (r. 1351-1374), so the King ordered to trees to be cut down to prevent pheonixes from coming to the island. They have since been replaced by magnolias.
Odong-do Island Admission Fee: free
Odong-do Island Train Shuttle: 800 won / adult
Operating Hours: 24 hours
Average Viewing Time: 1-1.5 hour
Find a motel to check into near the bridge to Odong-do Island. At night check out the Big O Show, which is located in the 2012 Expo area. Also, at night, go back to the bridge to Odong-do Island for some great view of the night lights.
The next morning, take a bus to check out the rail bikes.
Afterwards, take a bus to the Yi Sunshin Square. You’ll find a large statue of the admiral and you can check out this busy area of the city.
From the intersection, you’ll be able to see the Jinnamgwan 진남관 Building not too far away. At 14 meters high and 54 meters long, it’s the biggest single story wooden structure in Korea. It’s also known for being a command post for naval hero Yi Sun Shin (1545-1598).
Jinnamgwan Admission Fee: free
Operating Hours: Average Viewing Time: 20 minutes
Contact Information: 061) 690-7329
From there, you can take a bus to Dolsan Park, and you’ll cross the Dolsan Bridge along the way. It’s a small park, but you’ll get a great view of the city from the top. The park was created in 1987 and holds a memorial time capsule to be opened in 2094.
Dolsan Park Admission Fee: free
Operating Hours: 24 hours
Average Viewing Time: 1 hour
Transportation: Buses 100, 102, 109, 111, 999
Yeosu is a wonderful place for a summer visit, even though it’s a bit far, it’s close to many other great coastal cities, so I recommend that you use up your summer vacation here.