Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ulleongdo Special: Tidbits about Ulleungdo

Just like any other islands in Korea, Ulleungdo is a must visit destination for so many reasons. Please read my Ulleungdo Special entries and maybe you can use it as your reference if you plan to visit Korea or for any purpose it would do. This is the first entry so I will give you some background information about the island.

The island is located in the upper east coast of South Korea. It is relatively hard to reach the island since there are only two departing points for the boat, which are Mukho in Donghae City, Gangwon and the other one is in Pohang.

The island was formed due to a major volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. So when you visit the island, you’ll notice that it’s rocky and it’s a bit hard to find beach ground since it’s already elevated. In fact there’s one and only beach in the island despite the fact that it is surrounded with seawater.

The 73.15 km2 island, 7th largest island in Korea, is part of North Gyeongsan Province. Around 10,000 residents, relatively many for a small island. During our trip, we were told that we should not think of the island as small since it has a lot to offer. Anyway, the number of residents fell down for the same reason with why the population in the countryside in the mainland Korea is declining.

As I mentioned above, the island is a must visit destination for so many reasons. Needless to say, its natural beauty is captivating. Funny enough, just like how Jeju Island is being marketed with the concept Samda (3 Plentys) and Sammu (3 lacks), Ulleungdo is being marketed with its own version of Sammu which are No Thieves, No Pollution and No Snakes. Wow! No pollution because it was awarded as the cleanest island in Korea and no snakes….uhm haha. Cool right? If I am not mistaken, the driver also told us Oda or 5 plentys but I couldn’t remember what the five were, I guess rocks, wind, cuttlefish…not sure about the 2 others. Of course one interesting element that makes the island special to visit is that it’s the only island that can take you to Dokdo, yep the controversial Dokdo. I will have another entry about Dokdo. Dokdo is “only” roughly 2 and half hour boat ride from Ulleungdo.

How to get there?

Ferries for Ulleungdo leave from Mukho Port in Gangwon-do Province or Pohang in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province. Each port is about 161 kilometers and 217 kilometers away from Ulleungdo with traveling time on the ferry about 2 hours and 20 minutes and 3 hours, respectively

Mukho ↔ Ulleung 
Ocean Flower:  departs at 10:00 from Mukho. Departs at  17:30 in Ulleungdo.Another schedule is      Sea Flower  which leaves at 09:00 from Mukho and leaves Ulleungdo also around 17:30. The afre is 49,000 won.

Pohang ↔ Ulleung 
Sun Flower: departs Pohang at 10:00 and leaves Ulleugdo at 15:00. Fare is more expensive 58,800 won.

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