Situated on the southern tip of South Korea, the small city of Tongyeong is desirable for its mild climate (ranging from 2 to 27°C) and coastal scenery.
Located a 5-hour bus ride south of Seoul, South Korea and an hour bus ride west of Busan, the city of Tongyeong is worth visiting all year round! As a bonus, Tongyeong rarely gets overrun with tourists, making this quaint city an ideal stop if you are sick of the crowds found in most ‘touristy’ places throughout Korea.
The first thing I suggest, upon arriving in Tongyeong, is hike to the peak of Mt. Mireuksan.
From here, one has a 360° view of Tongyeong and is able to see over 150 islands which surround the city! Including Somaemuldo Island, South Korea.
If embarking on a semi-grueling 1-2 hour hike isn’t your thing, you can always zip to the summit in a cable car!
However, if you do decide to walk, make sure to stop into Yonghawasa Temple on your way to/from the summit. Just 0.7km off the path to Mireuksan, these small temple grounds are well worth a short deviation from the initial route!
Next, head over to Dongpirang Village.
A small working class village, Dongpirang was set to be demolished in 2007. Local artists, unhappy with this decision, chose to paint beautiful murals throughout the streets. The result, as we can see now, is a popular tourist area full of colourful walls and excellent views of the harbour!
Next, venture down to Mujeon-dong to check out the ‘downtown’ core. While there really isn’t anything special to see, this area is the hub of Tongyeong and where most of the restaurants and bars are located.
Many visitors also come to Tongyeong in late September to early October to catch a glimpse of the amazing cherry blossoms!
Officially the national flower of Japan, cherry blossoms are common in the south of Korea and Tongyeong is one of the best places to see their beauty. Generally, they only last for about one week, so it’s a special thing to see the trees in full bloom!
While Tongyeong isn’t an absolute ‘must-see’ destination in Korea, it’s a nice small city that has a lot to offer as a weekend get-away. While I failed to include pictures, make sure to check out the famous fish market down by the harbour to sample some of the freshest seafood anywhere in the country!
안녕히 가세요 (annyeonghi-gaseyo) (Good bye)