I have been living in Yeosu for two years now and I know I still haven’t experienced everything this city has to offer. What I have found though is there is more to do here than some people would imagine. While Yeosu is considered a small city in South Korea there are many people who live here and and so much to see and do, unless you are into clubbing that is.
So here are some things to check out in Yeosu.
The Yesou Expo is the site where the 2012 World Expo was held. While I wasn’t here for that event the site remains and is one of the bigger tourist attractions in Yeosu. The main even hall is mostly used for special events but you can go there to view different sculptures and sometimes performances that are held there.
One of the main events to see is the Big O Show. As you can see in the picture there is a large ring in the water. This is where they do a water and light display show that is quite pretty.
The Yeosu Expo area is also home to the Yeosu Aquarium. There are many different sea life creatures to see there and while I wish some to the exhibits were larger especially for the Beluga whales it is a very nice aquarium. There is even one exhibit with raccoons which I find funny because I’m from Iowa where raccoons are everywhere. There are different shows that you can watch at the aquarium but one of the best is in the large tank before they feed the manta-rays and stingrays. The performance involves swimmers who dive down into the water and dance to music. There are also clowns that perform outside of the tank along with the swimmers. They change the show every couple of months so you can see a different performance is you back for a second or even third visit later.
Odong-do is an island connected by a bridge to the main land and it is near the Yeosu Expo site. It is a nice little island to see various plants and has an even better view of the ocean.
There is also a nice open area where you can watch a water show that is timed to music. It is small but it is a nice place to sit and rest your feet if you need a break. This island is a very relaxing place where you can just enjoy nature. This is free to go to and if you like you can pay to take the trolley across the bridge if you don’t want to walk, though it really isn’t that far of a walk. If you also want to take a boat tour around the island you can find these at the start of the bridge.
This is one of my favorite beaches in Yeosu. It is just north of the black sand beach and is a great place to enjoy the sun with a group of friends. I have spent many summer weekends on this beach with my friends. We often will bring tents and camp over night here. There are also pensions that you can stay at as well if camping isn’t something you enjoy. The best times to go to this beach are in April and June. While July may seem like the perfect time to go to the beach I wouldn’t recommend this beach in July because it gets very busy at this time of year. If crowds don’t bother you then by all means go and enjoy the sun with all the locals.
Just keep in mind that you may get funny looks for wearing a bikini or not wearing a shirt with your swim trunks. Koreans are very concerned about the sun and tend to swim fully clothed, so don’t be surprised if you see them jump in with shirts and leggings. Over the 2 years I’ve enjoyed beaches in Korea I’ve noticed some popular themes. There is always someone getting buried in the sand or someone getting tossed into the water by four other people.
Lee Sun Shin Plaza
This area is a popular area in Yeosu and just a bit south west of the Yeosu Expo. It is one of the main shopping areas as well as home to a traditional fish market. That is not all that resides in this area though. There is a historic site, a museum and even a replica of one of the famous turtle ships. Once a year the turtle ship festival is held here as well so if you find yourself here during that festival enjoy the food, music, and performances!
Lee Sun Shin was a famous navy commander in Korea who had many victories against the Japanese during the Joseon Dynasty. He is very famous in Yeosu. Up the hill from this statue of the great navy commander you can find one of the remaining sites that were used by the commander during the war.
If you look towards the water from the statue of Lee Sun Shin you will see a replica of one of the famous turtle ships. You can even walk inside and look around. It is free to go in and you can learn more about the ship and the different jobs performed on the ship. From the ship you also have a good view of Dolsan bridge which connects Dolsan island to Yeosu. You can also see the cable cars as well. I have yet to go on the cable cars but they take you from the island to the mountain near Odong-do.
One of the museums in this area is the Hamel Museum. This is a very interesting museum to check out while you’re in the area. In this museum you will learn about the explorer named Hamel who became stranded and enslaved by the Koreans. He managed to escape and return to his homeland. He is known here because while traveling home he wrote of his experience in Korea and was the first to bring back written documentation of Korea to western countries who up until he had done this little was known about Korea. It doesn’t take long to go through everything in this museum but it is defiantly interesting to learn about his life and experience.
There is so much to do in Yeosu if you only know where to look. Even after living in Yeosu there is still more that I have yet to do. I have one year left and I want to do it all before I leave. Cable cars here I come!