Ulleungdo and Dokdo Trip

In Korea, there is one place that people passionately talk about and that is Dokdo (독도). Though as much as Koreans talk and think about it, not many have actually been there. It is a place that I wanted to see for myself and so when I had an opportunity to go, I went.

As an expat in Korea, I’ve joined many groups to meet people with similar interests. One of the groups I joined is When in Korea (formerly Discover Korea) on Facebook. This group is organized by William Cho for people to explore and experience all that Korea has to offer. I find that William’s trips are fun and it is an easier and cheaper way to travel around Korea.

One day, I saw that William scheduled a trip to Ulleungdo (울릉도) and Dokdo. I saw that would be on the same weekend as when my husband Steve and I were supposed to shoot Paul MatthewsYour Neck of the Woods in Itaewon. Unfortunately, Steve couldn’t reschedule it which is why he didn’t go to Ulleungdo and Dokdo with me. I was sad not to have met Paul and seen his neighborhood but I’ve been wanting to go to Dokdo for a long time.

William offered four different itineraries for the Ulleungdo and Dokdo Weekend. Knowing that I’m not a fast hiker and I love to take time exploring and taking pictures, I opted for the second itinerary. Only a small group of 11 went to Ulleungdo and Dokdo which I think was perfect. We all got to know each other and schedules were adjusted easily.

The trip required us to travel to Donghae (동해) from Seoul on Friday night (11-11-11) so that we can catch the morning ferry ride to Ulleungdo in the morning.

Saturday morning, we checked out of the motel, had breakfast, and headed to Mukho (묵호) Ferry Terminal. There was a bit of a delay getting on the boat when the checkers saw that a few of us were foreigners. At first they wanted our passports but after seeing our Alien Registration Cards (ARC), they waved us through. We got on our ferry and were pleasantly seated in the Business Class section. Post: Ferry Rides on the East Sea

We only had a short time on Ulleungdo before we boarded the ferry again to Dokdo. Post: Dokdo

When we got back to Ulleungdo, a van and driver that William hired was waiting for us at the ferry terminal. We had to rush to get to the cable car for sunset, no time to check out Dokdo museum and temple nearby. Post: Ulleungdo Cable Car

After the cable car ride, we walked down to town for dinner at 다애식당 where I had delicious 홍합밥.

After dinner, we walked around the harbor and relaxed by the coast till bedtime.

We got up early Sunday morning for sunrise but it was overcast. The group split and only 5 of us including William went on the coastal walk. Post: Haengnam Shore Walkway

The van and driver were waiting for us at Jeodong Harbor (저동항) when we finished our walk. William took over the wheel as the driver had to meet another tour group. He drove us to Naesujeon (내수전) observation deck for great views. Then he drove back down to the harbor for lunch before we got on the ferry to Seommok (섬목). Post: Shortcut to Seommok

We walked along the coast from Seommok to the Three Angels Rocks/Samseonam (삼선암). While we walked, William picked up those who went hiking. William even made coffee in the van when we were all together!

For coffee AND tea!

We called this angry birds! ;)

Then we drove along the coast to explore beautiful spots and ride a monorail. Post: Ulleungdo Monorail

Hyeonpo Harbor (현포항)

Elephant Rock/Gongam (공암)

Cabins overlooking Hyeonpo Harbor

After a nice drive along the west and south coasts of Ulleungdo, William drove us back to the harbor for a quick dinner before we left the island. Though the ferry ride back to Mukho was rough, I was happy that chartered buses for ferry passengers were waiting for us at the ferry terminal. The buses were headed for different cities and I got on the one for Suwon which is a short cab ride away from Dongtan.

It was a well planned trip and I can’t thank William enough for putting it all together.

Here’s a video that Steve made of my best pictures (and a video clip) from the trip:

 

If you’re in Korea, I highly recommend joining When in Korea on Facebook and go on William’s trips. You can check out this page for future events.