South Jeolla Province

Odongdo: A Small Island with Beautiful Views

If you want to get away from the city life, then 오동도 ㅡ Odongdo ㅡ is a small island with beautiful views that you might want to visit to give yourself a break.

© 여행포털여행온

Even if this island is pretty small, it is a great place to visit and just relax. Because it is rich in nature. With this we mean that there is a lot of landscapes to see, stunning scenes and of course, a great variety of plants and trees along the hiking path.

And do not get scared when we say hiking path! Since the trail is not complicated at all. Therefore, it just feels like if you were strolling in any other place.

With this in mind, if you are the type of person whose favorite thing about traveling is enjoying the nature, this place is for you!

A Tiny but Charming Island

This island was considered a famous tourist destination even before Yeosu became one. And this is because of its camellia flowers, and of course, the history behind this place.

© fnv9424 / instagram

Despite being a small island, there are over 70 species of wild flowers, and a great variety of trees. Because of this, exploring this place becomes an interesting activity. Not to mention that due to the quantity of flora, the weather can feel chilly even in summer. Which makes it indeed a relaxing place to stroll. Plus the big trees cover you from the sun as you follow the path.

Since it is a tiny island, it does not take too long to go through it. Therefore, it is a good choice if you are looking for a place to do nothing.

A bit of its history

The name of this island is inspired in the paulownia tree. Because the shape of the land, is similar to its leaf. Besides, there is a legend that at the end of Goryeo Dynasty (고려시대), the buddhist monk ㅡ That turned into politician ㅡ named Sindon (辛旽), claimed that the paulownia forest was ominous to the dynasty and cut down all trees. Therefore, this species of trees became a representative of the island.

As for its origin, it used to be an island to the east of Yeosu Port, but then, it was connected to the mainland as a 768m long breakwater during the Japanese colonial period in 1935. However, the reason of the construction is unknown. It was said to be done in order to avoid wind and waves, but still it is a mystery.

It is worth to mention that Odongdo Island was the fortress where the General Yu Tak (유탁) of Goryeo, made the Japanese pirates sink.

As we gave the hint, Yeosu had bad relations with Japan. There was a sad story of Gaya and Baekje people leaving for Japan from Yeosu Nakpo along the Seomjingang River. Because of this, Japan did not forget Yeosu and the Japanese pirates frequently tried to invade and wars surged. It was actually a battleground of the Imjin War (임진왜란).

As read, there are many stories about the Japanese rule in this place. Probably one of the reasons to why it is a popular trip destination.

If you are interesting to know more about the history of Yeosu and its war, we recommend you to read the following article we prepared for you!

What to do there?

More than just following the map, it is for sure more interesting to find by yourself the hidden gems from this place.

Map of odongdo island

Still, we will introduce you to each one by one!

Beach Trail (해변탐방로)

You need to walk along the breakwater to reach the island. It takes about 15 minutes on foot, but there is also a train that can transport you to the entrance.

However, walking there is not a burden. Because of how picturesque the road is. Not only because of the wall paintings, but also because of the stunning view of the sea that surrounds it.

Musical Fountain (음악분수)

You can calmly sit and chill in front of the fountain, where there are musical shows!

© 꽁치김밥

Every 30 to 45 minutes, you will be able to see the musical fountain show and vibe along the music.

Schedule:

Weekdays: 11:00 ~ 23:15
Weekends: 10:00 ~ 23:15

Camellia Flower (동백군락지)

Odongdo Island is for sure, one of the best spots in South Korea to appreciate the camellias.

Because of this, we recommend you to come and sightsee between November and April. It is a spectacular view that you should not miss, since the entire island takes a red color.

Sunrise Viewing Platform (해돋이전망지)

If you want to have a breathtaking view from the sunrise, then you must visit this zone during the morning!

We suggest you to get your camera prepared, since it looks pretty stunning due to the sea. Plus, the small island of Odongdo ㅡ 오동도 ㅡ is filled with beautiful views.

Lighthouse Viewing Platform (등대전망지)

A lot of people visit the island just to see this lighthouse, which attracts over 200,000 tourists every year.

It is 25 meters, and was lighted for the first time in May 1952. The purpose of this lighthouse, is to act as a guide for the ships that travel from Yeosu Port and Gwangyang Port.

Plus it acts as a historical museum nowadays.

Café (동박새꿈정원)

The café has become a popular spot of the island. Due to its decorations and the taste of their teas.

You need to take in mind, that this place only sells beverages. Because of this, we advise you to bring your own food to the island if you plan to stay for long.

Cinu-bamboo Tunnel (시누대터널)

We assure you that the pictures does not do justice as how beautiful it looks in real life. Plus, it feels pretty satisfying walking by the tunnel.

Dragon’s Cave (용굴)

This is for sure, one of the most famous attractions of the island. And this is because of its folktale.

In the old times, it was said that there was a dragon living in Odongdo island, that would sneak to the cave and drink rainwater whenever it rained.

After the village residents from Joseon Dynasty blocked the cave, the dragon would caome everyday at 2 am, before moving into a fountain under the lighthouse of Jasan park. This is the cause to why the sound of high waves and splitting sea water would echo all night long

Go to the Viewing Platforms

There are several viewing platforms in the island, which lead to the prettiest views from the sea.

However, the rocky cliffs and the strong winds makes it dangerous if you are not well prepared. Because of this, we suggest you to wear sports shoes as it gets slippery.

Despite Odongdo ㅡ 오동도 ㅡ being a small island, you can mesmerize yourself with the beautiful views.

Look for the Penis Tree!

Yes, as you heard. This is a penis tree!

Even if it does not have a particular history, it has become one of the most visited spots from the island. The rumor says that if you touch this tree, you will have beautiful children.

So if you come across this tree, consider yourself lucky! Also because it is quite difficult to find, as it is deep between the forest.

Location

This island is located in Yeosu, Jeollanam province.

Address: 242, Odongdo-ro, Yeosu-si, Jeollanam-do

How to get there:
You can take bus No. 2 or 333 from Yeosu EXPO station to Odongdo Island. Or you can also take a taxi, which will take around 10-15 minutes to arrive

Conclusion

Odongdo ㅡ 오동도 ㅡ is a small island with beautiful views that is worth to visit. Because of this, we highly recommend you to go!

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🇲🇽 Fernanda L. Negrete

Fernanda is an integral designer and korean language student. Who wants to share about her travel experiences and korean history.