Yeosu

Yeosu (여수,麗水, pronounced YUHsu) is a coastal city in South Jeolla province, South Korea.

Port of Yeosu

Understand

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 7.9 8.6 13.1 18.3 22.5 24.4 27.0 26.5 25.5 21.1 15.4 7.0
Nightly lows (°C) 0.1 2.3 5.9 10.9 15.2 19.4 22.5 22.6 20.1 14.8 9.2 -0.3
Precipitation (mm) 11.4 19.8 127.0 63.9 109.8 127.9 160.5 662.2 86.9 131.7 61.5 12.8

Source: 2014 Korea Meteorological Administration

Yeosu is one of the country's most picturesque port cities especially at night. Famous for its seafood, beaches, flowers and marinas, it is developing as an international ocean resort and tourist destination as well as being selected as a host city for the 2012 World Expo in Yeosu Harbor.

The city of Yeosu consists of the Yeosu peninsula as well as 317 islands (49 inhabited, 268 uninhabited) with population of 300,000. Yeosu is a city of history and loyalty where the headquarters of South Jeolla Province Navy Base was located, and the Great Admiral Yi Sun Shin invented the Geobukseon or "a turtle ship" to save the country while serving as the Navy Commander when Japan invaded Korea in 16th century.

Lying about midway along the southern coast of South Korea, Yeosu has cool summers and mild winters thanks to the sea wind and warm current. Its blessed ocean climate also brings Yeosu relatively longer springs and autumns than other regions.

Orientation

Yeosu is fairly spread out with a ton of districts each segregated by mountains or ocean. The main CBD centerd around Jungang-dong and the harbor overlooking Dolsan Bridge is quite compact, however.

West of the harbor and through a mountain tunnel is Yeoseo-dong, a roughly circular neighborhood nestled in between mountains with a small downtown district in the center. A great deal further west lies Ssangbong-dong, home to Yeosu City Hall, a second smaller port and a bunch of fancy tourist hotels.

South of the harbor and across Dolsan Bridge are the many islands and islets that make up the Yeosu chain. Most of the larger ones are connected in a rough circle by a road well covered by public transportation. The vast majority of tourist attractions lie on this ring road.

East of the harbor and tucked on another little stretch of coastline is the site for the Yeosu 2012 World Expo, at present a huge construction site. Yeosu's Korail train station is located here.

To finish off the compass points, to the north is the land access to Yeosu, and all the industrial areas (lit up nicely at night).

Finally, there is an additional urban corridor tucked between the harbour, Yeoseodong and the northern region. This thin stretch contains mostly residential housing, but also an E-mart and Yeosu's Intercity Bus Terminal.

Yeosu is developing like most of Korea, but retains a small-town charm that is vanishing from the country.

Get in

By plane

Korean Air and Asiana Airfly between Yeosu Airport(여수공항, 麗水空港, IATA: RSU) and Gimpo Airport (Seoul) up to 8 times a day and it takes one hour. Korean Air also has flight between Yeosu and Jeju on Friday and Sunday. The airport has information desk, convenience store, restaurant, snack bar and rent car office. There are buses to various parts of the city but taxi is cheap and more convenient. It can take up to one hour to the downtown (shinae) of Yeosu by car.

By bus

The express bus terminal(고속버스터미널) is connected to most bus routes across Korea. From Yeosu, it takes 5 hours 30 minutes to Seoul(Central City terminal) and 2 hours to Gwangju, former capital of South Jeolla. There are two main terminals- one in the middle of the city and one in the Yeocheon neighborhood on the west end of the city. There is a minor terminal in Deogyang neighborhood in the north.

By train

Yeosu has two train stations. The main station is called Yeosu Expo Station yeosuexpoyeok(여수엑스포역) which is the southernmost station of Honam line and one stop before that there is smaller Yeocheon Station yeocheonyeok (여천역). Check Korail website for schedule, to check fare or to book tickets.

The high-speed train KTX began service to Yeosu October 1, 2011. A trip from Seoul to Yeosu takes about 3 hours 20 minutes.

Get around

The best way around the CBD is by taxi as the city is fairly small and taxi fare is quite cheap. Taxis are highly recommended against if crossing the bridge as Yeosu has some of the worst traffic jams in Korea at this bottleneck, despite its tiny size. Even by bus, it could be optimal to get off, walk the bridge and hop back on the previous bus at the other end. Ridiculous.

By bus

The bus system is very convenient, but a little difficult to utilize. Each bus stop should have a posting of the buses that will arrive and their respective stops but most have been inexplicably vandalised. Those that do still exist are strictly in Korean.

Once south of the main bridge, most buses actually take a similar route so it can be easy to hop on and off in whichever direction to wish to head. The one exception to this is a branch where half the buses turn south-east to stop at the hermitage whereas the rest continue south around the island chain.

The "magic number" bus, if you can call it that, is the 111. This bus travels a zig-zagging route from the Intercity bus Terminal to Hyangiram Hermitage via Jinnamgwan and the harbour, crossing the Dolsan Bridge and passing many of the tourism attractions on the southern islands.

See

Do

Buy

Eat

Good restaurants can be found anywhere in Korea, but almost any seafood restaurant in Yeosu warrants merit.

Seafood

Hoe (회, sashimi) is locally enjoyed with spicy and sour sauce (초장) and wrapped in lettuce along with garlic, similar to the way Koreans enjoy BBQ.

Hoe restaurants (whaetjib 횟집) are very popular with locals and seafood restaurants in Jonghwa-dong, Soho-dong, atop the cliffs near Dolsan Bridge (overlooking the harbour) and down by the replica turtle ship on the other side, and in Manseongri offer you opportunities to choose your own fish from the tank. You can also eat fresh seafood in each season. Hoe is good in spring and fall, pike eel dishes in summer, and roasted oysters in winter.

For the utmost seafood experience, it is recommended to visit and enjoy the auction center of Suhyup (Fisheries Cooperatives) in Gukdong Fishing Port at 5PM You can eat fresh raw seafood at a low price provided by dealers.

Also very popular among locals is Seodaewhae(서대회), raw red tongue sole seasoned with spicy sauce and vegetables. If it's too spicy, it can be mixed with hot rice and sesame oil. Many restaurants near marine terminal offers Seodaewhae.

Kimchi

Another specialty of the city is Gat Kimchi(갓김치) made with mustard leaf from Dolsan Island (돌산). Now it can be bought in any supermarket or convenience store in Korea.

Korean Full Course(한정식)

Korean Full Course in Yeosu differs from that of Seoul, as the most dishes are seafood. You can enjoy up to 40 different dishes in one meal. Some of the best ones are Hanilkwan (한일관) and Jasan Ubo (자산어보) in Yeoseo-dong. Minimum $20 per person.

Others

There are few western style restaurants in Yeosu and even the few ones serve rather Korean style western food. If you are desperate, McDonalds is in yeoseodogn Emart.

Drink

Main areas to go out:

Sleep

Budget

A cheap place to sleep is at the local jimjilbang (찜질방). This is a kind of bathhouse that has a communal room for sleeping on the floor. It usually costs about 6000 won. Ask a taxi driver for the closest jimjilbang:

Mid range

Motels are also everywhere in the city and reasonably priced between $30 and $70. Mainly used by locals, many of them have modern and clean rooms and suites.

Splurge

Connect

Internet cafes abound in every corner of the city and are open 24 hours. Look for the sign PC방.

Go next

Travel West to Mokpo, often regarded as rivalling Yeosu for coastal beauty, east to Jinju to seeits historic fortress or north to the bustling city and alternate youth culture of Gwangju.

If in season, the iconic world famous Japanese-landscaped green tea plantations of Boseong are also a very short hop away to the west. You've likely seen this place on someone's computer desktop.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, December 08, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.