What to see and do on Geoje Island
Geoje Island is the main island of Geoje City, on the southern coast of Gyeongsangnam-do province, South Korea. This place is not far from Busan in more simpler terms. Naming itself the “Blue City”. Geoje is a city yeah but its more akin to a Island, Korea’s second largest after Jeju in fact, with of villages and settlements scattered in coves around the coastline. The two largest villages are Okpo on the east coast and Gohyeon on the west. Most of the tourist sites are situated between these two settlements. The intercity bus terminal is in Gohyeon and the bus services also run from the odd remote bus stop. The major attraction of the island is its natural coastline beauty. Beyond the two cities it is a constant series of calm serene beached coves and horizon pine-forested grey cliffs overlooking the sea.
It’s always good to get to know some of the history of places you visit and this island is a history trove. It was once the home to Chinese and North Korean P.O.W soldiers during the Korean War, up to 170,000 of them. Upon the signing of truce on July 27th, 1953, the camp was closed shut. The park was constructed to recreate the everyday life of prisoners of war based on the material and records from that time. A walk through the park will take you back in time to experience a little about how life was like for those prisoners of war, from how they ate, cooked, or even how they went to the toilet.
If you read the title of this blog then you know that Geoje is an island obviously, so it’s pretty obvious that you will be surrounded by beaches. A highly recommended beach to visit is Hakdong Pebble Beach – make it the first beach you visit when you arrive on the island. It’s different from the typical sandy beach, plus sand shouldn’t get in awkward places unless you are doing something we all having trouble understanding. Beware though, it’s a little uncomfortable sitting on pebbles at first. If you’re a bit of an explorer, that the path down towards the right side of the beach – you’ll find the pebbles get bigger and bigger the further you go down, until they’re literally bigger than you and no longer pebbles! Other popular beaches on the island worth noting include Gujora, Deokpo, Wayheon. How to get to Hakdong Pebble Beach: Bus number 56 from Gohyeon Bus Terminal.
Built by the hand of husband and wife who settled on the island in 1969, this popular botanical garden does a pretty good job in showing the loving relationship the couple maintain. Filled with an impressive collection of thousands of plants and flowers, all perfectly lined up and taken care of with love. There isn’t a leaf out of place on this island. The colours, the smells, the sculptures, will all take you by surprise. It’s so beautiful, it’s usually refered to as the “paradise of Korea”. How to get there: There are many different ports on Geoje, but if you’re in Okpo or Gohyeon, the easiest way to get to Oedo is taking a ferry from the Jangsangpo port.
Being a country that’s mostly mountains, hiking is a pretty popular pastime for many locals to do, and the hikes in Geoje won’t let you down. Hiking Mt. Daegumsan can be especially interesting because of the breathtaking island views on the way up to the top. In the spring time, huge fields of azalea’s bloom on the top of the mountain await you and look absolutely magnificent! Walking through the fields of pinks and purples makes the hike all that more bearable though your legs maybe getting weaker and weaker step by step. Be sure to check up on when they’re in bloom though they only stay around for a few weeks in the spring. Make now is the ideal time to get yourself to Geoje Island.