Sunday, December 12, 2010

석모도 (席毛島)

Flock of seagulls flying overhead at the stern of the car ferry

Going on a trip to an island is not an activity people will usually engage in during late autumn. I have my reason why I choose to visit Seongmo Island during a time when people would rather stay indoor than to be out exposed to chilly wind. I shall let the reason be known later. Meanwhile, this is my journey log to Seongmo Island.

To get my destination in Seongmo Island, I have to take one subway ride, three bus rides and one ferry ride. Starting from Jongno in central Seoul, I took line 5 to Songjeong Station. Outside exit 1 of the station, I boarded bus 3000 (or bus 88) bound for Ganghwa inter-city bus terminal. It took slightly over an hour to reach the terminal. At the terminal, I switched to 'Oepo-ri' (외포리) bound bus 31 which was waiting at platform 15. About 25 minutes later, I arrived at 'Oepo-ri' terminal. I found the 'Oepo-ri' jetty behind the row of buildings surrounding the small waiting at the ramp. The ferry ride was only 5 minutes and soon I was on the opposite side, at 'Seokpo-ri' (석포리) jetty in Seongmo Island. A village bus was waiting not far from the jetty. I paid 1,000won and told the bus driver my destination (the bus can stop anywhere along its designated route if you inform the bus driver in advance). My destination was 'Seongmodo Iyagi' pension (석모도 이야기) located at the south-eastern end of the island.

'Pension' is Korea's equivalent of chalet. The old couple who ran the pension were very nice people. I paid 50,000won for a small room but they upgraded me to the biggest room in their pension which would otherwise cost 200,000won per day. Through their help, I also got to rent a bicycle for a day. The rental shop owner didn't ask me to pick up the bicycle at his shop, instead he delivered the bicycle together with another scooter on the back of his truck. The scooter was brought along so that I could make a switch if I wanted but I chose to stick with my bicycle. This is a typical example of the service culture in Korea.

With my bicycle, I was ready to explore the southern coast of the island.

Cars queuing to go up the car ferry at 'Oepo-ri' jetty

Seagulls crowding at the stern of the ferry. Their target, food that was being waved at them by the passengers. Initially, it was interesting to see so many seagulls flying very close, but soon, it became a concern. Any of these seagulls could actually hit someone because they were really close, like right in front of your eyes. Not to mention, they might decide to hone their 'aerial bombing' skill when overhead. You definitely don't want to be under them when they decide to execute it.

Car ferry arriving at 'Seokpo-ri' jetty

At 'Seokpo-ri' jetty

On my way to 'Seongmodo Iyagi' pension. Light breaking through overcast sky.

'Seongmodo Iyagi' pension. I stayed in the 2nd level - a big room with a big LCD TV which could receive skylife programmes. However, internet connection was down. Being 'disconnected' from the rest of the world for a day wasn't a bad idea after all.


  1. really beautiful autumn trip u had! it seems like your autumn travel timing was quite spot on to see the best of the season.

    hope to be able to do some autumn traveling myself one day too. anyway, i am quite curious of ur accommodation & luggage issues, did you stay on at the different provinces over night or parked ur luggage at a hostel?

  2. hi lynette,

    i wanted to be in korea during late autumn. i've actually missed the peak. (The peak of autumn in korea happens during last week of oct in the north and the first week of nov in the south). i only arrived in korea on the second week of nov. autumn was already over in seoul, so i had to travel south to jeolla province.

    i travelled with my belongings in my backpack. i stayed in motel for the night in the city that was nearest to my next destination. motel in korea is quite decent and convenient. no reservation required and they are everywhere. for 60,000won a night (better-equipped and newer motel), you can get to enjoy 50-inch lcd tv with lotsa channels, comp with internet and a nice shower room. some people say motel is sleazy but i don't think so.

  3. 안녕 선배님!

    I was at Seoul on the 2 week of November! Went visiting my friends at KyungHee University.


  4. Hi Xaviere,

    How was your autumn in Korea?
    How was Kyunghee?
    I stayed away from Kyunghee or I might get nostalgic.

  5. Hi Equinox,

    thanks for your reply! tho it wasn't the peak, the autumn colors still looks so gd. its great to know that accommodation is easily found, now i just need to worry on travelling light -.-"

    oh by the way, thanks for the writeup that you had for directions to Samyang ranch! Visited that place in sept after reading that entry. was really easy to find. Pity that the weather wasn't super gd tt day, but the plc was beautiful :)

  6. i actually waited for a fine day to go samyang ranch. i was glad to see clear blue autumn sky there. it was really beautiful.

  7. Autumn in Korea was great for me! But I guessed it was not at its prettiest when i was there 2nd week of November. It was very cold in Seoul, and I had visited Jeju and Busan as well... Met my Singaporean friends who are studying there and made new korean friends.. This trip was like a recurring dream to me. Sadly, this dream disappeared after two weeks and I was back into reality.
    A week after I returned, it snowed in Seoul...

  8. Hi Xaviere, the opportunity to visit Korea used to be a dream for me as well. I like dream because that is where I derive my motivations.

    It snows in Seoul every year, you will have your chance ^^

  9. Hi, this is KTO global contents team.
    Your blog is really great, we’d like to feature one of your post on our Buzz page,
    Before register on this site, we should get your permission.
    You can also join the buzz for yourself!
    And this is promotion page for the Buzz. Check here,
    Email us for more detail.
    Thank you.

  10. Hello KTO global contents team,
    You can feature anything you like in this blog in your Buzz page.