Geoje Island and Damned Monsoon Season

Funky Umbrellas

After having such a great time in Gyeongju, we immediately planned out our second day trip from Busan — Geoje Island. Unfortunately, this excursion was doomed to failure, thanks to the torrential rains of South Korea’s summer monsoon season.

While doing our initial research on Busan, we read that it monsoon season would be from late June to late July. But we ignored that inconvenient fact, and soon forgot it completely. Who wants to waste time thinking about monsoon season? Turns out, willful ignorance is no defense when reality comes knocking. The past few weeks have seen horrible weather; rain almost every single day. And every day, we shake our puny fists at the heavens, cursing our luck and feeling freshly outraged. It’s not fair!

So, our trip to Geoje Island wasn’t much of a success. We arrived in the evening, and ran through the rain to the first love motel we could find. The next morning, the rains were even heavier and the tour we had planned to join was cancelled. The thought of venturing out into the whipping winds and the Noah-worthy deluge was laughable. We sat at the window of a cafe for a couple hours, coming up with ever more vicious and creative ways to curse God, and then went back to Busan. Utterly defeated.

But usually, Geoje Island is worth a visit. Although it no longer fits into the days we have remaining in Busan, here’s what we would have seen.

Oedo & Haegeumgang – Oedo is a gorgeous island just off the coast of Geoje that doubles as botanic garden, with sculptures and open-air art. It’s called a “Paradise in Korea”. Haegeumgang is a smaller island made of rocks, with soaring cliffs and columns. These islands sound cool, but sipping coffee in a cafe is even cooler, so I guess we won this round.

Gujora Beach and Hakdong Pebble Beach – Gujora is home to excellent swimming, with soft sand and shallow, warm waters, and was the former site of an ancient fortress. Hakdong is 1.2 kilometers of beauty, ringed by Camellia flowers and covered in a unique kind of pebble called “Mongdol”. Sounds alright, but our café has wireless internet and we’d rather spend the day checking Facebook, anyway. So, whatever. Hey look, Jimmy just posted another picture of his kids. Beth likes War Commander. Hmm!

The Hill of Wind and Sinseondae Observatory – Found near a picturesque fishing village, this hill juts out unprotected into the East Sea, exposing visitors to the ocean winds. The observatory offers unparalleled views of the rocks set against the ocean. Sinseon means “mystical beings”; the area is said to be so unforgettable that even the supernatural come here. Pffft. I highly doubt it can compare to the doughnuts that we continue to stuff into our faces, in this incredible cafe.

Geojedo P.O.W. Camp – This former camp once housed over 170,000 North Korean and Chinese prisoners of war. Today, it’s been converted to a historic park, which recreates and describes the conditions inside the camp and lives of the prisoners who spent their days here. Must be fascinating. But we wouldn’t know. Damned monsoon.

Location of Geoje Island on our Map

The bus to Geoje leaves from the Seobu Bus Terminal, found here.

-Our Travel Tumblr

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. castro

    I am sorry to hear that. I went to Oedo & Haegeumgang and Geoje POW Camp in December. Even in December,  Oedo was fantastic. Oedo was beyond my imagination. A whole tiny isalnd is a botanical garden, surrounded by beautiful sea.  Haegeumgang is also nice and Geoje POW Camp is impressive so you can not miss it. When you visit these 3 places, I am sure they will stay in your memory for your lifetime. I also traveled to Tong Yong, Hongdo, Hoeksando in the South Sea of Korea. The southern coast of Korea impressed me so much that I became serious about retirement there in the future.  After I came back to the US from Korea, I traveled to Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel Allende, Lake Chapala in Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, Chile, Puerto Rico. IMHO, the southern coast of Korea is way better than those places in terms of retiremenrt. The second will be the east coast of Korea and the third will be the west coast of Korea. I include Jeju isalnd within the southern coast. Have you tried KTX. It is so nice. The Korean government is planning to connect the whole country cities within 1.5 hour transit time. Last year Korea completed the Korea’s 4 big rivers project. Along the 4 big rivers, they built the 16 water-storage dams and the nice 1757km bicycle roads. In each water-storage dam area, they built camping and recreation area. This year Korea completed the Seoul-Inchon canal with nice bicycle road. 

  2. Preemie Maboroshi

    Awesome comic! That was hilarious. The photos of the rain are actually pretty cool. I like that photo of the blue and purple blurry object. I have no idea what it is, but it looks cool. I also like that high view from the hills in your last photo.

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