• Yokjido

    A Korean Island Guide

Yokjido Island

Yokjido is an attractive island off the south coast of Korea, covered in lush green forest and surrounded by some stunning, rugged coastline.

What marks it out as different from its neighbours? It’s one of the largest islands in the Hallyeohaesang National Marine Park and as one of the furthest from the mainland, it has its own unique character. There’s also something quite satisfying about that slightly longer boat journey, when your starting point disappears from view and you’ve yet to see your destination – it just feels like more of an adventure. Yokjido has plenty of hiking and walking trails and there’s a genuinely relaxed and warm feel to the place. It’s well worth a visit for a day or two.

Yokjido A Korean Island GuideIsland Life

WATCH THE VIDEO

SEE AND DO

Check out the cool suspension bridge and stunning walk on the island’s rocky southeast side. Tour the coastal road where the scenery unfolds around every bend. Wander through sleepy villages and forested hiking trails, seeking out the island’s best views and visiting a humble temple or two.

Yokjido A Korean Island GuideThe local map of the island

Suspension Bridge and Coastal Walk

If you’re looking for a reason to visit Yokjido then this is it. Located on the southeast of the island, this striking suspension bridge spans a deep, narrow gorge, taking you to a rocky outcrop where you can see dramatic views of steep sandy cliffs descending towards aquamarine seas. It’s a fantastic spot which few islands in this area can match. And if you time it right you might even miss the tour groups and have the place to yourself. Or just hang around a little longer and people will soon move on.

Yokjido A Korean Island Guide - View from the rocks near Yokjido Suspension Bridge


Yokjido A Korean Island Guide - Looking out from the rocks near Yokjido Suspension Bridge


Back across the bridge a path winds down through the pine trees to the water. The path follows the coast for some distance past jagged rocks, coves and small bays. It’s possible to follow it about halfway back to town so if you want to walk the whole path make sure you have enough time. We had to cut our walk short last time to get back to the port for our ferry. The magic hour glow was in full effect and we really regretted not getting there earlier. Don’t make the same mistake!

Yokjido A Korean Island Guide - Suspension BridgeThe cool suspension bridge


Yokjido A Korean Island GuideCoastal scenes


There’s a roadside cafe by the path to the suspension bridge. It sells coffee, smoothies, ice cream, etc. and has a large decking area with great views both north and south. If you have your own transport it only takes around 5-10 minutes to drive here from town. Otherwise, hop on the bus or get a taxi to the bridge and you have the option of walking back on the coastal path. Follow your progress on Google, Kakao or Naver Maps. However you do it, make sure you have enough time to enjoy it.

Yokjido A Korean Island Guide - View over YokjidoView over Yokjido from the roadside cafe


Yokjido A Korean Island GuideTiny pine tree branch on the coastal rocks


Touring the Island

Touring the island’s coastal road is undoubtedly one of the main highlights of a visit to Yokjido. The road winds and rolls through small fishing villages and hillside farms, all the while revealing stunning views of its dramatic coastline and the surrounding islands. There are various viewpoints and rest stops as you go. Heading round anti-clockwise, there are two cracking spots with picnic benches and pagodas which offer the best views. Stop in to appreciate them and munch on a quick snack or packed lunch.

Rent A Scooter

The best way to travel the coastal road is on two wheels. We’ve taken our scooter to the island twice. It really allows you to take in the views and you can easily stop in anywhere you like. Depending on how long or often you want to stop, you can ride round the northwestern part of the island in 1-2 hours.

You can rent a scooter or small ATV from a place in the main town:

ATV: 25,000₩ – 1 hour 20 min

Scooter: 20,000₩ – 1 hour 20 min

They have about 20 ATV’s for rent but only 2 scooters

On weekdays it’s possible to hire for a full day, approximately 60,000₩


Yokjido A Korean Island GuidePerfect for a scooter road trip – rent one in Tongyeong or on the island

Although you can rent one on the island, as long as you’re comfortable riding a scooter around town we’d recommend hiring from 73 Step or 거북선 스쿠터 (Turtleship Scooter) in Tongyeong. It’ll cost 50,000₩ for the day and it’s only around 5,000₩ to get it on the ferry. It’ll give you a bit more freedom to get around and see everything you want to.

For renting a scooter you’ll need your driver’s license and a current international driving permit.

Other Ways To Get Around

If you have a car then you can take that on the ferry and use it to explore the island.

We have seen a public bus running around the island too, but we’d really recommend having your own transport. We’re not sure where the bus stops or how frequent it is.

If you have a bicycle and want to cycle round the island you could totally do it. There’s some nice new road but also some in pretty poor shape and it gets a little hilly at times. I’m not sure I’d fancy it on my road bike but a mountain bike would be no bother. We spoke to four Korean guys doing just that and having a great time.

Yokjido A Korean Island GuideWandering through the village – many houses have been abandoned, their owners having moved to the mainland or passed on 


Yokjido A Korean Island GuideVillage Life – I don’t think this old bike’s been used in quite some time


Hiking

There is a network of hiking trails to explore and if you’re staying on the island overnight then we totally recommend doing some hiking, but if it’s only a day trip, concentrate on the coastal stuff first.

There are a few easily accessible trails from the island’s main village, close to where the ferry docks.

We explored a few of the routes on our last visit. The first part, started close behind the Yokji Haebada Pension (욕지해바다펜션).

We drove there on our scooter but you can get there by the public bus – it’s only about ten minutes from the port. You can also get there in about thirty minutes by walking up through the village behind the port.

This part was a nice, shady forest walk with the chance to see a few graves among the trees just beyond the peak. This was just before Chuseok, the harvest holiday when Koreans remember their ancestors, and it’s usual to see people trimming the grass near graves randomly scattered throughout the countryside. Although pleasant enough, if you’re short on time miss this section out, especially in summer and autumn; the vegetation is heavy and the views are limited.

Yokjido A Korean Island GuideThe final ascent to Cheonwangbong Peak


Yokjido A Korean Island GuidePomegranates growing on the island


Instead hike straight up through the main village, turning left before the first temple, head past the reservoir and take a left towards the second temple when you see the hiking trail board and the stone sign marked 태고암 (Tae-go-am). The temple is old, small and humble with an interesting character. Stop in for a look, have a rest and head on up to the peak. Follow the signs for 천왕봉 (Cheonwangbong) – it’s easy to spot, you can’t miss the military base perched on top. The last section is a short, metal staircase leading to a viewing platform where you’ll get a great view on a clear day.

Yokjido A Korean Island GuideCheck out the reservoir on your way to the peak – there were hundreds of herons hanging out there when we went

There’s another trail branching off that one, before you climb towards the military base. It’s a short hike up and a chance to get views out to the southeast on a really clear day.

Don’t forget – mosquito spray!
It’s something we almost always have with us but this time we forgot. The mosquitoes hang around till late in the year on forest trails.

Temples

The two small temples can be seen when you’re hiking or wandering through the village. As mentioned above, Tae-go-am (태고암) is best seen when hiking up Cheonwangbong (천왕봉).

Yokjido A Korean Island GuideTae-go-am Temple on the way to Cheonwangbong Peak

The other temple is Yong-cheon-sa (용천사). It’s only a five minute walk up through the back alleyways of the main village. Although small and a little run down, it has a certain charm and there is an impressive statue round the back. It’s worth a quick visit as you wander around or head for the hike.

Yokjido A Korean Island GuideTowering statue at Yong-cheon-sa Temple

Pebble Beaches

There are a few of these around the island and one is a hae-su-yok-jang (해수욕장), a swimming beach, but it doesn’t really deserve the name. We’ve been to some good looking pebble beaches in this part of Korea, but none of them are on Yokjido. If it’s a hot day and you’re in need of a quick dip then by all means (check Naver Maps for location), but if you’re looking for a day at the beach then head to nearby Bijindo instead.

Fishing

It’s hugely popular in Korea and on Yokjido. The island’s rocky coastline and deep water is paradise for some fish. Aside from the many boats and fish farms off the coast, you’ll see locals and visitors alike lining the shore, especially at dusk and after dark. If you live in Korea, love fishing and have your own gear, Yokjido seems to be a great place for it. For more information on the best spots, check here

Yokjido A Korean Island GuideFishing off the rocks by the road

EAT AND DRINK

Raw Fish

Sashimi shacks line the waterfront in and around the main town. They’ll pick your fish out of the tank and prepare it there and then, along with a few sides including local favourite sea squirt and kimchi, of course. It’s a great experience and the fish is fresh, but it’s not cheap, around 30-50,000₩ for a fish, good for two people at least. You can get beer and soju as standard at all these places for about 4,000₩.

Yokjido A Korean Island GuideFresh fish shacks by the water


Yokjido A Korean Island GuidePreparing our sashimi


Yokjido A Korean Island GuideBeer, Sashimi & good friends – perfect!


Restaurants

There are a few traditional restaurants in town too. Set back behind the seafront road are a number of raw fish restaurants that’ll offer the same as the shacks plus a few other options at a more reasonable price. Look out for 회덮밥 (raw fish on rice),  고등어조림 (spicy mackerel stew) and 고등어구이 (grilled mackerel). All will come with sides and should cost 10-15,000₩. There’s also a gukbap/ 국밥 (rice soup) restaurant beside the S-Oil petrol station and a beef bulgogi (불고기) place a couple of streets behind the waterfront. Look for the busiest ones, they’re normally the best.

Shops

There’s a Top Mart set back from the waterfront, across from the S-Oil petrol station. It’s reasonably well-stocked with food, drink, alcohol and other bits and pieces, although don’t expect too much. It’s a good place to pick up any extras you might need. It also has loads for camping and barbecuing like coal, gas canisters, etc. There’s also a Nonghyup supermarket two streets back which might have more variety in fresh food but we haven’t been in, only noticed it on the map since our last visit.

BYO

Whether you’re planning a couple of days or just the one, bringing your own supplies is a good idea. Prices tend to be a little higher on the island and there is much more variety at the big supermarkets in Tongyeong. You’re only limited by your mode of transport and how much you’re willing or able to carry.

Coffee Shops

There are various places in town and around the island selling coffee, juices and usually some kind of cake or sweet snack. Coffee prices are fairly standard at around 4-5,000₩.

SLEEP

Camping

There are three campgrounds on the island.

The closest one to town is the Haemawon Auto Campground (해마원오토캠핑장), 010-4645-1230. It’s only about a five minute drive as you head anti-clockwise around the coast. It’s right on the coast and has a decent view back towards the mainland. At night, there’s some interesting activity as fishermen flock to the roadside rocks and the squid boats put on their light show.

Yokjido A Korean Island GuideCamp for the night

We stayed there on a Saturday in September and the place was quiet with only a few groups camping. There’s a toilet and shower block which is dated but moderately clean. The owner speaks some English and is very friendly and eager to help.

We paid 30,000₩ for the night, which seemed a little expensive but in actual fact is about as cheap as you’ll get on Yokjido.

We considered just trying to find our own camping spot but having been round most of the island, there isn’t much spare land to just pitch up on. If you’re traveling light, don’t mind carrying your stuff and are willing to chance it, you may find a good spot to free camp. But if like us you have food, drink and various camping equipment to unload, best to choose one of the campsites – it’s still considerably cheaper than a pension.

The Paradise Pension Campground (파라다이스 펜션 갬핑장), 010-2205-5555, is on the South West of the island. It’s probably about a 20 minute drive from the port heading clockwise. It has room for about 20 tents and has a good view of the little harbour and out to sea.

The Yokjido Cheongbori Auto Campground (욕지도 청보리 오토캠핑장), 010-8075-5005, is to the west, about halfway round the main part of the island. They only take reservations here.

Pensions

There are pensions in abundance on Yokjido, too many to mention. Prices start at around 70,000₩ for a 2 – 4 person room and vary depending on the day and season. Here are a few options to check out if you’re thinking of booking.

Sol 9 Pension

010-2666-1632

Yokjido Sambuja Pension

010-9311-5640

Prince and Princess Pension

010-3151-7038

Good Morning Pension

010-9319-8317

Lohas Pension

010-8822-0808

Bear in mind that people are unlikely to speak much English so if you don’t know enough Korean, try to get a Korean speaker to help you out. If you don’t want to book, it’s certainly possible to turn up and get a room.

GET THERE

Once you get to Tongyeong on Korea’s south coast there are two options. Ferries run from the Tongyeong main ferry terminal and the smaller port at Samdeok (삼덕). Both are car ferries and are approximately 8-10,000₩ each way per passenger. If you are driving there will be an extra charge, the amount dependent on your vehicle.

The ferry from Tongyeong takes about 1 ½ hours, stopping at Yeonhwa-do on the way. Take this ferry if you’re on foot as Samdeok is a little bit out of town with a limited bus service.

FERRY TIMES

Departing
TONGYEONG

0630

0930

1020

1100

1320

1425

1500

Departing
YOKJIDO

0800

1120

1210

1300

1510

1605

1630


If you’re driving, get to Samdeok and take the ferry from there. It’s about 10-20 minutes from the Tongyeong Bridge, past rice fields and fishing villages. From here it takes about 1 hour to the island. At the port there are two cabins run by different ferry companies that operate on separate schedules – the one you take will depend on when you go. There are between 5-7 ferries a day with each company, departing Samdeok between approx 0600 – 1600, returning from Yokjido between approx 0730 – 1700. When you reach Yokjido, the ferries dock in two different places. If you buy a return ticket you should leave from the same dock you arrive at. Just remember to check your ticket.

It’s best to call the Korean tourist info number on 1330 to check ferry times for your particular day/port.

Yokjido A Korean Island GuideSunset from the ferry heading back to Tongyeong

YOKJIDO ISLAND

Out of the many islands in this gorgeous area of Korea, Yokjido definitely has its own character. If you want to experience traditional Korean island life, this is a great place to kick back and soak up the local vibe.

Liked This Guide? Pin it!

Yokjido A Korean Island Guide

A Video and Guide to Yokjido Island, South Korea. Find out what to do, where to go, what to eat and where to stay. Includes details of camping and pension options, how to get there including ferry times and an awesome video! Hiking Korea | Camping Korea | South Korea Travel | Korea Travel Guide | South Korea Travel Tips | South Korea Island | Backpacking Korea | Road Trip Korea | East Asia Travel | Where to go in Korea | Fishing Korea | Travel Video #SouthKorea #Island via @goingthewholehogg

Share Logo

FOLLOW US

Read More About Korea

A Guide to Hahoe: Korea's Most Charming Folk Village
Sunset Point: the best sunset spot in Tongyeong
Diving Jeju Island South Korea
The Essential Seoul City Guide
A Week On The Olle: Jeju Olle Video
Hiking Hallasan: South Korea's Highest Peak

Any questions about Yokjido or the islands around Tongyeong?
Let us know in the comments!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A Guide to Yokjido Island, South Korea. Find out what to do, where to go, what to eat and where to stay. Includes details of camping and pension options, how to get there including ferry times and an awesome video!  Hiking Korea | Camping Korea | South Korea Travel | Korea Travel Guide | South Korea Travel Tips | South Korea Island | Backpacking Korea | Road Trip Korea | East Asia Travel | Where to go in Korea | Fishing Korea | Travel Video #SouthKorea #Island
227 Shares
Pin209
Tweet
Share18
WhatsApp