Ulleungdo - Day 3 (Coastal Hike)

On the final day we took a quick little hike, which took only an hour or two, along the coast of Ulleungdo. I've been on a few hikes and by far, this was one of the best. For starters, it was an easy hike. Also, there were constantly beautiful views which were changing every few minutes. For these reasons, it was a wonderful hike. The island itself, in many ways, reminded me of Hawaii (in terms of geological features) and I think it is evident in the pictures.

Other than the hike, there really wasn't much excitement for the day. We took the bus back to our tiny village and sat at the dock. I got some dried squid and we had a few drinks until it was our time to go. All in all, Ulleungdo was a fantastic place. It was a wonderful Chuseok vacation with an amazing person! If you find yourself in Korea for any amount of time, you should definitely check it out. I hope everyone is doing well and loving life!

(This picture was taken from the cable car observation platform through one of those binocular lookout machines the day before)

(The stunning water with trail in the background. The path weaved around the coast for a majority of the hike which made it breathtaking.)

(If you look closely, you should be able to find Katrina)

(One of the many rock formations we went through or saw on our hike. The water was an amazing color.)

(Katrina with a sea creature by the lighthouse)


(A panoramic shot from the lighthouse observation deck - just beautiful)

(Myself from the lighthouse observation deck)

(View of the bridges we crossed from up closer to the lighthouse)

(That's Katrina. If you make the picture larger, you can see the spiral stair case we walked down a little to the left of Katrina.)

(That's me, on the yellow bridge, in the orange shirt)

(How can you tell it's a squid boat? Notice the lights strung from fixtures on the top of the boat? They are used to attract squid. The fishermen or fisherwomen go out at night and turn on the lights, attracting the squid to the boat, and then catch them in nets.)

(One of the many harbors/docks on the island. I would say at least 90% of the boats were squid boats.)

(Steps we hung out on until we left)

(Me and my dried squid. It was flattened so it dried evenly. It came with the beak and all.)

(The final shot before we left the island)


Ulleungdo - Day 2 (Hiking and Cable Car)

On our second day, we slept in a bit, so by the time we were up and at 'em, everyone had already left on their adventures for the day. Which was nice. Sometimes, when you go in a big group, it's a bit tough to get some alone time. Fortunately, Katrina and I were able to spend most of the weekend by ourselves. It was a bit overcast when we stepped outside but that didn't deter us from taking a hike.

Let me tell you, our hike was a hike. We went pretty much everywhere that was possible in Dodong, the area of Ulleungdo where we were staying. There was a mountain, but we didn't quite make it up the peak. In fact, we couldn't even see the peak because of the clouds/fog. So, we went up quite a ways and still got a great view of that part of the island. From there, we headed back into the little fishing village and got some pizza.

After pizza, we decided to see if we could find the cable cars. We had seen them at various points, from various places during the day, but were unable to find them on the way down the mountain. Luckily, we were able to find the cable cars, which were nestled in Yaksu Park. We rode up the cable cars, had another great view, had a possible sighting of Dokdo, and had a great time. I would highly recommend taking the hike as well as going up the cable cars if you find yourself in Ulleungdo. However, my favorite part of the trip was the hike we took on our third day, which will be in my next post. Until then, enjoy...

(Chickens on the lam, first interesting sight we had during our hike)

(Me hiking)

(If you blow this picture up, you can see the cable car on the mountain to the right. Also, the village in the valley, Dodong, is where we stayed.)

(Another shot of the coast line)

(During our hike, we kept seeing these tracks. Katrina and I were talking about it and we knew it had something to do with the crops, but we weren't quite sure what.)

(3 sets of tracks in the background)

(Finally, when we were off the beaten path, trying to make our way down, we found this guy and all our questions were answered.)

(Saw these little girls as we were walking down the street and they said goodbye to us and followed us for quite a ways. Pretty cute girls though.)

(After pizza, we made our way to Yaksu Park. This was the temple in the area.)

(Fat Buddha and stone statue to greet you as you walk up the hill)

(Another close up of the statue)

(Katrina with a squid/ocean themed statue)

(It's cable car time!!)

(View of the island as we rode up the cable car)

(Katrina and I from the observation deck at the top)

(The fishing village below)

(What could be out there?)

(Why it's Dokdo! Just a little information about Dokdo... Japan and Korea are currently disputing over who controls the island. Korea has two inhabitants and a police force currently living on the island. The claims, at least in my opinion, are more about the fishing rights, although Korean are very prideful when you discuss Dokdo with them. We did have the chance to visit the island but I'm glad we didn't. It was a two and a half hour ferry ride for 10 minutes on the island, in choppy seas. I heard half of the group that went couldn't keep their breakfast down. Maybe next time, but probably not...)

(View of the temple from the cable car as we came down)

(Dokdo Museum we went to as we came down - quite interesting)

(Katrina in front of a Dokdo mural)

(Replica of Dokdo)

(Interestingly, every city, town, area, has a little mascot. In Ulleungdo, it was the pumpkin and squid, the main resources for the tiny island. And well, here they are.)


Ulleungdo - Day 1

Keeping up with our annual Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving is the closest equivalent) tradition, Katrina and I went to another island this year. We left Friday night around midnight and arrived early Saturday to watch the sunrise in Gangwondo. Unfortunately, it wasn't that sunny. Afterwards, we hopped on a ferry and took a two and a half hour ride to Ulleungdo, a tiny island off the east coast of Korea (see map). It is very close to the highly contested Dokdo Island and a few of our travel companions made the trip to Dokdo.

Anyway, on the first day, due to the rain, outdoor activities weren't really feasible. So, we decided to take the island bus tour. It was a nice idea. We got to see a lot of the famous rock formations on the island and had a nice time. The island itself reminded me a lot of Hawaii, only smaller. A little foreshadowing... Day 2 included a hike, cable car, and the Yaksu Park; Day 3 was a wonderful island hike. Here are a few pictures from the first day:

(The beach slightly after sunrise)

(The place we attempted to watch the sunrise on a cloudy day)

(A little park we found)

(Interesting sculpture I found in the park - not quite sure of the meaning)

(Tiny temple we found in Gangwondo)

(First picture I took from the island... if you blow it up, you might be able to see the rain)

(One of the many interesting rock formations we saw. This is the woman's rock.)

(Me standing in front of the MAN'S rock)

(Katrina in front of the WOMAN'S rock. I guess we know who has the power in Korean culture. DISCLAIMER: We were told about the man and woman rocks by our tour guide.)

(One of the places we got off the bus for a quick 10 minute hike. Great view during our mini-hike.)

(View from our mini-hike)

(Katrina at the top of the spiral staircase)

(Traditional House we stopped at during our bus tour - those are rocks on the roof)

(Katrina inside the house.)

(Straw house in the same location)

(Me with some of the interesting rocks behind me)

(Most of the group on the bus)

(Nice panorama shot)

(Ferry we took while on the bus tour. This is not the one we took to the island.)

(Sweet bridge, but it was closed. Not quite sure what was happening with the bridge... but it was a great picture.)