Haenam is a popular summer tourist destination for its Land’s End Village 땅끝 마을 which is also called Ttanggeut Village. There’s a lot of other things to see in this county, but you’ll need a car to get to many of them. Since I traveled using public transportation, this post will feature only a few places in Haenam that are relatively easy to get to by using the local bus system.
TRAVEL ITINERARY: DAY ONE
1. Daeheungsa Temple 대흥사
2. Duryunsan Provincial Park 두륜산 (Cable Car)
3. Historic Site of Gosan Yoon Seon-do 고산 윤선도 유적지
4. Land’s End Village aka Ttanggeut Village 땅끝마을
TRAVEL ITINERARY: DAY TWO
1. Land’s End Village aka Ttangggeut Village 땅끝마을
2. Uhangri Dinosaur Fossil Natural Historic Monument 우항리 공룡화석자연사유적지
Once you get to the Haenam Central Bus Terminal, be sure to take a photo on your cell phone of all the times for the local buses, because they don’t run often.
From the central bus terminal, take a local bus to Daeheungsa Temple 대흥사. Daeheungsa Temple is located inside Duryunsan Provincial Park, and was built by Monk Adohwasang, during the Baekje Dynasty. During the Imjin War (1592-1598) Seosan, a warrior monk, used this temple as a base for his army.
< Image Source: daeheungsa.co.kr>
Daeheungsa Temple Admission Fee: 2,500 won / adult
Operating Hours: 8am – 7pm
Contact Information: daeheungsa.co.kr
Afterwards, check out the Duryunsan Mountain 두륜산. The mountain has eight peaks, and the highest is 703 meters high and which is a relatively easy climb that takes only 2-3 hours one way, or you can take the cable car which only takes 8 minutes and goes up high enough that you can see Jeju Island in the distance.
Duryunsan Mountain Cable Car Admission Fee: 8,000 won / adult
Operating Hours: 8am – 6pm (Apr-Nov) / 8am-5pm (Dec-Mar)
Contact Information: 061) 534-8992 haenamcablecar.com
From there, take the same bus back towards the terminal to the Historic Site of Gosan Yoon Seon-do 고산 윤선도 유적지. This is the home of a the Haenam Yoon Clan which was a family of artists and poets. Gosan was Yoon Seon-do’s pen name, and he was a famous 17th century scholar, most known for the epic poem “The Fisherman’s Calendar.” There is an amazing museum here that holds 5,000 pieces of Korean poetry, prose, and paintings from Gosan Yoon Seon-do and his family/descendants including several from the 18th century painter Yoon Do-seo.
Be sure to check out Yoon Do-seo’s self portrait which is a famous piece, particularly in pop culture. It’s kind of like the Mona Lisa in that the eyes follow you around no matter where you are. It’s also significant because of his angry expression and cut off head, which were highly unusual for the time period. Most paintings at the time showed peaceful images, but apparently this guy was very angry at the government. 미인도 is another famous painting, I don’t know about its background, but I’ve seen it parodied several times on tv.
After the museum take a walk around the site. The complex contains several shrines, and the homes of the Haenam Yoon clan which is still owned and occupied by the family, so you can’t go inside the homes, but it’s still pretty neat to walk on the old paths where many famous artists probably walked while planning out their poems or sketches. There’s also a small forest in the complex, which is perfect for a walk.
Historic Site of Gosan Yoon Seon-do Admission Fee: 1,000 won / adult
Operating Hours: 9am – 6pm
Average Viewing Time: 1.5 – 2 hours
Then take a bus and head back to the Haenam Central Bus Terminal where you can catch one of the last buses to Land’s End Village 땅끝 마을. This is a tourist village made up of restaurants and motels, based around the concept that this is the southernmost point on the mainland Korean peninsula. By the time you get here, it’ll be dark, so save the adventure for the morning.
The next day, take a walk up towards the Ttangggut Observatory. You can take a cable car, but I suggest you walk the 30 minute path to the top, because you’ll have to walk anyways in order to the actual southernmost point. There is a shrine that marks this area, located about halfway to the observatory.
Ttangggut Shrine Admission Fee: free
Operating Hours: 24 hours
Average Viewing Time: 5 – 10 minutes
The Observatory wasn’t anything too special, but you do get a good view of the village below.
Ttangggut Observatory Admission Fee: 2,000 won / adult
Operating Hours: ?
Average Viewing Time: 15 – 20 minutes
After you spend some time walking along the coast of the village, head back to the central bus terminal where you can catch a local bus to the Uhangri Dinosaur Fossil Natural Historic Monument 고천암철새도래지. This is the place where there was the fossil of a a bird footprint, tree trunk fossil, and a dinosaur footprint about 90 million years old. The site has a large park and museum, which is great for kids (and adults).
Uhangri Dinosaur Fossil Natural Historic Monument Admission Fee: 3,000 won / adult
Operating Hours: 9am – 6pm / Closed Mondays
Contact Information: 061) 532-7225 uhangridinopia.haenam.go.kr
Average Viewing Time: 2 hours
To get back to Seoul, you’ll have to take a bus back to the Haenam Central Bus Terminal. From there you can head back to Seoul or travel to some nearby places like Wando or Jindo.