Seonyudo Island (Gunsan) (선유도 (군산): A hidden gem
While browsing this site, I came across this post:A Quiet Escape to Seonyudo Island. That post is about a small island in the middle of Seoul’s Han River called Seonyudo. However, this post is about Seonyudo island which is located about half-way down South Korea’s western coast. It is an hour by ferry from the port city of Gunsan, Seonyudo feels like a whole new world.
Seonyudo is a part of 20 island group in Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the west coast during the summer. There are 3 other islands: Munyeodo, Jangjado and Daejangdo near Seonyudo. Seonyudo is linked to the other islands with connecting bridges, so it is easy to explore the neighboring islands as well.
Things to do
The White sand beaches, forested mountains, secluded pebble beaches, and picture perfect fishing villages combine to make a fantastic island retreat.
The starting point of the tour is a small town named ‘Jin-ri’ located adjacent to Seonyudo Beach. You can rent a bicycle or an atv and cross the bridge to Munyeodo or Jangjado or ride over to Jinwol-ri on the other side of Mangjubong (hill). Munyeo is a peaceful town and port with a sprawling reed and pebble field that can be enjoyed in Jinwol-ri.
You can also go fishing on Jangjagyo (bridge), or you can rent a boat and go fishing. There are various stores around the island where you can rent fishing rods and buy bait. During low tide, the mud flats are popular for catching shellfish and clams.
If you fancy hiking, the mountain peak provides a breathtakingly serene and beautiful view of the island and the fishing villages.
You can also witness the awe-inspiring sunset in Seonyudo from anywhere on the beach, but it is even more spectacular when viewed from the top of Mangjubong.
Camping is another popular activity. The amazing view and relative quiet of the island provides for a good camping spot surrounded by clear water and beautiful mountains.
And of course there is swimming. During summer season you can rent a parasols and tubes etc. Also, don’t worry if you forgot to pack your swimsuit or swimming trunks or flip flops, you can buy them at the store near the beach.
The main island of Jin-ri has the main accommodations and other facilities. There are minbak guesthouses and a couple of pensions. The lodgings are comfortable and adorable. However, during the peak season most of the places charge ‘peak season prices’ which are more expensive than the normal prices. The town often becomes crowded during peak times in the summer and it can be absolutely impossible to get accommodations. If you plan to visit Seonyudo during summer it is a good idea to make hotel reservation in advance.
The island has a multitude of seafood restaurants. The restaurants specialize in local sea food dishes and of course restaurants offering Korean style food. Since there is limited selection of food if you want to bring your own food and grill or cook it’s not a bad idea. Although, I suggest that you bring the food supplies with you since buying it on the island will be more expensive.
Getting Around ( you have 3 options):
The islands are best traveled by bicycle, sand bikes or ATV’s, motorbike or you can hire one of the island taxis to get you around.
The island has the ferry port, transportation options and rentals (bike, sand dune, motorbike, group taxi, etc…), grocery store, etc. Although,95% of the places on the island only accept cash and also there are no ATMs on the island.
How to get there
From Gunsan Station or Gunsan Bus Terminal, take Bus 7. (1 hour intervals) to “Gunsan Coastal Ferry Terminal” (in Korean:연안여객터미널).
Then, take the ferry to Seonyudo island (선유도) Ferry schedule: departs 6-7 times a day (13-14 times during the peak summer season). The ferry schedule are subject to change according to season and weather conditions, so be sure to check the ferry schedule before departure.
Address in English: Seonyudo-ri, Okdo-myeon, Gunsan-si, Jeollabuk-do
Address in Korean: 전북 군산시 옥도면 선유도리