Back in 2012, Yeosu found itself in the spotlight of the word’s attention for the World Expo. And then in the blink of an eye it was all over. Much like any other city that has hosted the World Expo, millions were poured into incredible infrastructure along the shores but long after the festivities faded away, it slowly turned into rusty weathered metal and empty concrete walkways. Let me tell you a secret about most cities like Yeosu…they’re more often than not a hidden gem.
Dig a little deeper into Yeosu and you’ll find that it’s actually a fantastic little city to spend a few days. It is located in south central South Korea and renowned for its mild climate and sensational coast aspect. I mean…
The weather during our visit was more than we could have possibly asked for. Clear blue skies, clean air (cleaner than we’ve seen it in a long time), low humidity and warm temperatures. Absolutely perfect. After checking into our fantastic pension, the Calma, the first thing (as always!) was exploring the area.
The next morning we ventured into the city. We stopped at a beach along the way.
It was labeled a black sand beach, but it was just a bunch of pebbles, which were great for throwing into the water.
The first thing on Owen’s list was to ride the cable car. He spotted it on our way into town the day before. It’s a fun little gondola that you can pay to ride over to Dolsan Island. It had a pretty magnificent view of the southern sea dotted with little islands and a cool view of the Dolsandaegyo Bridge (which is supposedly neat to see at night because it lights up but we wouldn’t know because kids).
From Dolsan Island, we walked across the breakwater from the port to Odongdo Island. It’s a tiny little island that is absolutely gorgeous from every angle. Locals visit the island for fishing and hiking. there’s also a lighthouse that you can go look out.
And of course, lots of street food for me to admire.
On the island is a “magic fountain” that sprays water in sync to k-pop and we just happened to walk up in time to grab a front row seat for the 15 minute show. It wasn’t the Bellagio, but the kids liked it.
The kids napped in the car while we drove to a little aquarium near our hotel. It was nothing special, but the kids always like looking at fish and we needed a break from being in the sun.
About 45 minutes from the city of Yeosu and just about 20 minutes from our hotel lies the Hyangiram Hermitage, a beautiful temple complex. It overlooks the coast and despite its distance from the city, should not be missed when visiting the area. Make sure you wear good hiking shoes, since the walk up to the temple is mostly all steps and otherwise steep and tiring. We were sweating like animals carrying the kids, but we were stunned with the breathtaking view at the top. The climb is definitely worth it!
I didn’t get to take nearly as many pictures as I would have liked. The kids were running wild and there were so many hazards we were busy corralling them. Most of the pictures I took were while holding Della.
As if the stairs up and back down to the temple weren’t enough for your legs, the entrance of the temple sits at the top of a very steep road. I thought I was going to have to sit and scoot because my noodle legs weren’t going to carry Della and I another step. The street is lined with vendors selling street food, mostly gat kimchi, which is a very unique dish of pickled mustard leaves and stems only known to this area. We bought some to give to our Korean nannies and plugged our noses for the car ride home (kimchi is stinky) but it was totally worth it when we saw how excited they were about it.
That was the end of our trip in Yeosu, the next morning we loaded up the car and headed north. We planned a stop at the Suncheonman Bay National Garden to break up the drive. The kids love gardens and this place was really well done. It was much larger than we anticipated and we spent more time exploring there than we thought we would.
bow, dress, tights, shoes We walked across a really neat bridge, the Dream Bridge, that was lined with little tiles of children’s drawings. It was part of a multi-nation art exhibit and the pictures were the kids’ dreams of what they want to be when they grow up. It was very cool…there were thousands of them!
There were more gardens to explore across the bridge, but it was hot so we opted to ride the Sky Cube, a monorail train car, out to the wetland preserve. As you can imagine, the kids loved it.
The kids were exhausted by the time we made it back to the car and slept the rest of the way home. We made it home in time for dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant and still had a day to relax at home before Alex went back to work. Guys, there are not enough words in the world to tell you how very needed this trip was for us. Living in Europe, as you know if you’ve followed the blog for a while, we traveled all the time. It isn’t as easy for us to do that in Korea for various reasons but we’re finally starting to get a few trips in the books and it’s been great. I’ll be back at you sometime soon with a post about our weekend in Korea’s tropical island, Jeju. Have a great weekend everyone!