Ulleungdo, The "Mysterious" Island - Although mysterious may feel like an overstatement in the age of the internet and infinite information, a single glimpse on this volcanic piece of land covered with a soft mist in the middle of the ocean will give you chills of excitement as you'll let your imagination create a thousand stories at what may be lying in this small heaven.
Ulleungdo has an interesting story as it was mostly a wild land until it was annexed by the Goryeo realm in 930. It was then loosely under the mainland's control but the distance made it difficult to handle and protect. It is now a small jewel famous for its fantastic views, its seaside walk and its ojingeo-bokkeum (sweet and spicy squid stir-fry). The key element of this island is that there is plenty to see but not so much to be overwhelming. That means that you can get a lot out of a simple 3-day trip.
Hiking and walking are the primary attractions on the mountain filled island. Get up early and catch one of the most beautiful sunrise you'll see in Korea. Then, go up the hiking trails to reach the sightseeing points in the mountains where you will get a prime view on the ocean and your surroundings. When up there, take it all in, the volcanic rocks reaching up to the sky, the mist constantly hovering around the green slopes, the sparkles of the sunlight hitting the ocean's surface, there is so much beauty that your camera will quickly run out of memory space.
During your stay, make sure to spend some time walking on the sea side walkway. Completely man made, it will bring you around the island to catch some views of the rock formations, the ocean and the caves that surround the island. In the old times, the area was well known for pirates and some of those caves have the reputation of being good old pirate refugees. Then, conclude your day with a nice and fresh squid dish by the ocean. You'll even be able to catch your own squid by hand. Good luck getting your hands on these slippery racers.
Since you'll be in Ulleungdo, why not check out Dokdo? This is the perfect opportunity since you'll be just next door. You can even take a day tour from Ulleungdo to Dokdo.
Dokdo is famous for being the center of an open dispute between Korea and Japan. Although Korea has a strong hold on the island, Japan contests Korea's sovereignty over it, calling it Takeshima.
If you go spend the day on the island, you'll get that exciting feeling of getting your feet on a forbidden ground. Many compare it to paying a visit to the Northern neighbors as the entire place is dedicated to the cause of defending its Korean identity. This is also why there is only one full time resident alongside a dispatch of maritime police and a handful of lighthouse keepers. Once on the island, you will be given 20 minutes to look around, mostly hiking and taking photos.
Between the boat ride and the forbidden fruit feeling of the island, it's well worth the visit, it will also give you a chance to say "I've been there!"
The two islands are little treasures and both have their own characters and identities, and they will give you a few more weeks of summer if you simply can't let the beautiful weather go. Hop on a ferry and you'll be treating yourself with an amazing mini vacation from the city jungles of urban concrete.
Booking ferry tickets and accommodations in Ulleungdo can be tricky sometimes, Wonderful can help! Getting off the beaten path is easy with our virtual personal assistant services always at your finger tips. We give you access to Korea like a local so get out there and adventure. Just send us a message to get started. www.gowonderfully.com