You might always heard about Nami Island and Jeju-do, but have you ever heard about Oido Island?
Oido Island, is an island that located at Siheung city, a city which abundant in natural resources and historic relics dating back to the prehistoric era. This Island is just located at the western coast, and had become a really popular destination among Seoul citizens as a natural retreat.
Today, I would like to share with you my personal experience on how to travel to the Island and recommend you as well what to do at there. So, Oido Island is actually located at Gyeonggi-do, around 40km from Seoul city. If you couldn’t drive at South Korea, then I guess this might be quite far for you. But, the journey is actually much more shorter than I expected. It just take roughly two hours to get you from Seoul to Oido Island. All you need to do is take a rapid bus (red colour bus) towards the direction of Oido Garage and you will reach there by the last station. You can have a look at Naver Map or Kakao Map if you wish to know more about the directions. I took around two hours to get there. And of course, I transferred for around three times and it was quite tiring actually, but still very exciting.
The first place I would like to recommend you is the Oido Boardwalk. It is like a long distance of walking gateway for you to enjoy the sea breeze and at the same time the beautiful view of the sea. There is a huge ship model at there and you can check it out if you want. You can see a lot of couples and locals who walk at there after having their lunch. It is super relaxing and you can see a lot of local street food at there too.
The most exciting part is where you can see a lot of migratory birds at the seashore. You can buy some grains at the store there to feed them but you need to be really careful as they used to come in flocks. Do not miss the opportunity to take some cool photos with them too as they will look really nice in the pictures.
There are two main landmarks at the Oido Boardwalk which I would like to strongly recommend to you. The first one is the Red Lighthouse which has the word Oido on it. I am not really sure if you can go up to that lighthouse but it looks cool too even if you take photos at the bottom of the lighthouse. But you need to avoid from visiting that place during peak hours if you wish to take a nice photo.
Tree of Life Observatory
The another place is the Tree of Life Observatory Deck which is located just at the another corner of the Boardwalk. It will be really beautiful if you go there at night because of the light decorations on it. But if you visit the place at noon like me, then it is super hot and you might sweat a lot. But don’t worry as the sea breeze will keep you fresh all the time.
Now, you must be wondering what to eat at Oido Island, right? I am sure you would like to have seafood since you had come to an island. There is a lot of seafood shops beside the Boardwalk and you can choose any of it to have your lunch. Just avoid from finding restaurants at the middle part of the island because most of the middle part is just neighborhood and houses.
I had my lunch at one of the restaurants and I ordered a two person Haemul Kalguksu. The portion is much more bigger than I expected but I ended up finishing everything because it was so scrumptious. There were a lot of seafoods like squids and prawns as well as some shellfish. Of course, there are still a lots of other seafood that you can try it out instead of kalguksu. The price is a little bit expensive but it was still worth it.
Oido Observatory Cafe
After taking your meal, you can spend your teatime at one of the most famous cafe at there, which is the Oido Observatory Cafe. It is a cafe that is located slightly up on a hill. So you might need to exercise a little a bit if you wish to visit that cafe. The entrance of the cafe is quite special and you can try to take some cool photos there too! It is like a wall that made up of stones and it looks really cute.
In the cafe, you can buy some drinks or something like desserts and have a seat beside the window. You can see the whole Oido Island as well as the sea view while having your meal. I ordered a carrot cake and a green tea latte and they cost me around 15000won. If you feel boring, you can also have a walk around the cafe. Oido Observatory Cafe is a circular shape cafe where there is two entrance. One form the Boardwalk below it and one from the hill behind it. You can also find a wooden space with great views and nice lounge chairs to enjoy your time.
In conclusion, Oido Island is a great place for you to relax yourself if you wish to escape from the hustle and bustle in the city. It is not very far from Seoul and I am sure you are able to make it within a day trip. Enjoy and have fun!