A day in Mokpo is well-spent, as there is so much to see and do, for whatever your interests may be. This article shows you where you can walk on water and watch the sunset.
Major attractions include the Marine Cable Car, which is the longest in Korea, the Samhakdo Cruise, the Sky Walk, the Kim DaeJung Nobel Prize Memorial, Modern History Museums, and famous filming sites. (Hotel Del Luna, 1987)
Here, I will focus on the sea and the sun.
갑시다! Let’s Go!
Take a short taxi ride or catch bus 22 (approx. every half hour only) in front of Mokpo station to get off at Hanggu Pocha, the stop after KimDaeJung Memorial Hall.
A 1-and-a-half-hour cruise boat along the port. Go under the famous DaeKyo bridge, spot the cable cars and other attractions located near the cable car stops. There are 3 floors to the cruise. On the first floor, you are indoors are entertained by a singer belting out loud Trot songs. Requests are also welcome. The second floor has a Karaoke room, and the 3rd floor is the deck where a guide explains the sites around. Coffee shops and toilets on board.
20,000 won per adult, 33,000 on weekend nights – as you can see the dancing fountain show.
You must show your ID and fill in a contact form with your name and phone number for safety reasons, and hand it in with your ticket upon boarding the dock. In these times, your temperature is also taken.
Boarding starts 30 min before departure, so arrive on time, as they tend to rush you on. Get settled and roam around the cruise to find the best spot. Feel free to walk around mid-cruise when it gets too hot outside or too loud in the entertainment lounge.
The Jeollanamdo province is very proud of the late president Kim Dae Jung, as he was from the rural areas near Mokpo. Not many presidents are from this region. He won the Nobel Peace prize in 2000, and in honor of this, a beautiful memorial hall and convention center is built on Samhakdo, 2 min walking from the Cruise port. Pass Samhakdo Park and a golf course on the way. Depending on the season, you see will beautiful flowers along the stream.
The memorial hall is actually 2 majestic concrete buildings with a water element in front, giving off a cool atmosphere in summer heat. The building to the left is the memorial hall to visit. Entrance is free, and you receive a brochure from the reception desk. A souvenir shop and café are behind the reception desk, and toilets at the back. Walk upwards to start your tour and learn all about the president, Nobel peace prizes, and the political history of Korea.
Catch bus 22 right across the street from the entrance, but as it only comes every 25 min, time your exit! Get off at Mokpo station to roam around the streets to find lunch. You will notice quite a few Japanese restaurants, which demonstrate the Japanese influence still present in Mokpo today. There are also plenty of western-food restaurants, if you prefer a pasta, or Eggdrop for a simple egg on toast.
From the station, follow your map to find Nojeokbong Park. The entrance is beautifully decorated with flowers on the stairs up, with a statue of Yi SunShin meeting you. Keep walking up the steps to land at the next platform, and take refuge under the shady pagoda. Take in the break-taking views and welcome breeze.
Past the pagoda you can choose between more steps up to a higher pagoda, (if you’re up for it! I couldn’t with the summer heat!) or take the steps down for HaebongSa temple. It is a bit of a narrow path down but keep walking until you see the wooden gate for a temple on your right.
The entrance to the temple is quite unique, but the temple has all it needs, including a large stone Buddha statue facing the ocean. The wooden bells dangling from the roof immediately put you in a state of zen. Going back, follow the same route or veering off to the quiet house-filled alleyways that also lead you downhill. Once back on the main road, I caught a great shot of the pagoda above.
Stumble upon a small park, known as the Yesul Park (예술공원) where you can visit an art museum by local artists. Keep walking down towards the Japanese Consulate, marked as History Museum 2 (역사대관 1).
The beautiful red-brick house with light blue doors will immediately set you in a different country. As many buildings in Mokpo, I often got a European impression. Entrance fees are 2,000Won.
Arrows will lead you towards the other Modern History Museum, which is a cubed grey building.
In need of a coffee break to escape the heat, there are many cute cafes in the area. These 2 are hanok design /Japanese inspired, and the fresh-baked pastry cakes smell divine.
Check out: Find impressions of Bunhwaro Café here
You can take bus 1 to Yudal Recreation Area for the skywalk. This is a picturesque bus ride along the water, where you can spot the cable cars above, so enjoy the ride.
The Yudal Recreation (유달유원지) area consists of a few cafes and the Sky Walk. This is Free of charge. It could be a thrill if you are scared of heights but rest assured. The floor is half glass half iron-grill.
The railings along both sides are fixed and sturdy. There is a small photo-zone where you can stand on a piece of netting that feels like standing on a trampoline. The signs say do not jump though…
You can walk along the shoreline but unfortunately the water is too dirty to take off your shoes and dip your toes in. While a seaport, Mokpo does not offer beaches or access to the water. Whether you walk to the left or right, there are café options with great views for sunset.
Should it still be too early for sunset, and you want a different view, you can also watch the sunset at Sunset Park, at the West end of Mokpo.
To get out of the Yudal Recreation area, walk up to the Sinan Beach Resort, and the bus stops in front, or walk along the water to the next bus stop to enjoy the views a little longer. Have the cable cars fly high over your head as you wait. Bus nr 1 will take you to 어민동입구 where you can transfer to bus 3 or walk 10 minutes to NoEul Park (노을공원). The park stretches over a wide area, and includes a platform for busking and concerts, a playground for kids, and many many benches to watch the sunset. Across the street from the park are many coffee shops.
Although the sunset is gorgeous from every angle, the barrier fence might distract you. In front of the concert platform the park has a sunset deck where you can stand higher up and take fence-free pictures of the sun going down. By nightfall, the deck’s lanterns turn on and change colors for a romantic picture setting.
After a long day of walking and seeing, a taxi to the station or bus terminal would be the most preferable option. Wishing you a safe trip home.
For the cable car, you can read my other article: Soar over Mokpo on the Mokpo Marine Cable Car