We are learning that the islands off of Yeosu, part of the Dadohaehaesang National Marine Park, are simply beautiful. They are easy to access with the Yeosu-City Ferry Terminal or the Baekyado Ferry Terminal, and the hiking courses are second-to-none. This past weekend of September 28-29 we had our friend Lisa visit from Ulsan, a large city about 4 hours away. She just moved to Korea one month ago and since she was visiting Yeosu, we wanted to show her the sights by the sea.
Naturally, hopping on a ferry to do some exploring and hiking seemed the most logical and fun thing to do! So, Saturday morning we picked up our good friend Ciara from Ireland, who also lives in Yeosu, and again headed to Baekyado Ferry Terminal, about 40 minutes away from our humble apartment in Yeosu. From Baekyado, there is only one ferry and makes the route like this: Baekyado Terminal>Gaedo>Hahwado>Sanghwado>Sado>Nangdo>Dunbyeongdo. It then returns back to Baekyado following the same route. It does this 4x per day. Yeosu city bus #28 will take you to/from Yeosu or Yeocheon to/from Baekyado Ferry Terminal.
We arrived at Gaedo at 12:00pm after taking the 4,000won ($4.00), 11:30am ferry at Baekyado Terminal. The weather looked promising and surely we’d have a good day of hiking. Gaedo Island is relatively small, and we planned for a 2-4 hour hike to cover the entire island. Here’s a map, although using Naver Maps is often better. Hiking trail we followed is in green:
The ferry dropped us off a short walk from the trail, so we walked on the road to meet up with the trail that would take us around the relatively small island. Along the short walk there were plenty of rice fields and open areas with moo’ing cows grazing and staring at us.
Upon entering the trail, we noticed everything was pretty over-run with bushes, branches, spider webs (with huge spiders!) and other prickly, itchy plants. There was a map, a trail name, and plenty of signage to indicate there at least was a trail, but it appeared it hadn’t seen much use this year as the trail was often being overtaken by the plants and spiders. With hesitation, we carried on through the horseshoe-shaped trail. Here’s a few pics of what the trail looked like:
Within an hour of
hiking blazing our own trail we made it to a lovely pagoda that had a great overlook of the sea and surrounding islands. We hung out here for a bit, shared fruit and snacks, and sadly watched the weather turn from beautiful to cloudy. And then it started to sprinkle! All within a matter of a few minutes.
We didn’t let the drizzle ruin our fun on Gaedo Island! Using branches to clear the spiderwebs, we carried on and followed the semi-cleared trail. We summited two peaks (Bonghwasan Peak is 328.5m and next was Cheonjebong Peak at 337m). The views from the top, and the ridge inbetween these two peaks, were outstanding! Here’s a series of pics from the majority of our hike, covering the two peaks and the ridges before and after them:
We finished the hike around 3:30pm, and by this time the drizzle had turned into a pretty good rain shower. We walked on the roads towards the city to find some hot cup noodles (ramen) and a celebratory beer. We hid under a little shelter as we attempted to warm up and regain our energy. The little village in Gaedo was quit nice. It had one restaurant but it was closed, unfortunately.
At 5:20pm we caught the last ferry of the day, and safely arrived back to Baekyado. What a journey! Each time we’ve gone to an island here off Yeosu, we haven’t been disappointed. We continue to be amazed by the beauty and wonderful hiking trails (although this time a bit rustic) these islands have to offer. Thankfully, there are several more islands to visit, and these island-hopping adventures will be able to keep us busy for an indefinite amount of time! Here’s my favorite panoramic pic from the Cheonjebong Peak (337m) on Gaedo Island: