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Discover the life of a fisherman in the lush waters of Yeongdo Island

Written and photographed by travel writer Moon Cheol-jin

Discover the life of a fisherman in the lush waters of Yeongdo Island
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It's green everywhere. The bare branches of the trees have turned green and the warm spring sunlight has started to get hot. Yes, it's that time of the year again, the time when you would miss the sea. There are few places where the sea is as varied as in Busan. Haeundae, where shopping, sightseeing and recreation come together; Gwangalli, where neon signs and extravagant nightlife meet; Gijang, which retains the atmosphere of a small fishing village; and Yeongdo, surrounded by the sea on all sides. You'll need a whole week just to explore the sea, which is why Busan is called the city of the sea. Here's how to get the most out of Yeongdo, the island that showcases the pristine beauty of the city's sea.
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Yeongdo Haenyeo Culture Exhibition Hall


Haenyeo fishing is a unique and rare maritime culture in the world. The haenyeo fishing industry began in 1887 when the first Jeju haenyeo arrived in Yeongdo, an island in Busan. At that time, Busan was a golden fishing ground for agar and seaweed, and the market for these products flourished, making it a base for haenyeo who left Jeju for the mainland.

Later, in the early to mid-1970s, many haenyeo from Jeju moved to Busan in response to their husbands' jobs, and the haenyeo culture settled in Yeongdo. With the rise of the export industry during the industrialization period, husbands were away from home for long periods of time, and the haenyeo worked in Yeongdo as breadwinners and heads of households. This background has led to the opening of the Yeongdo Haenyeo Culture Exhibition Hall and the erection of a haenyeo statue. The Yeongdo Haenyeo Culture Exhibition Hall provides a vivid insight into the history of the fishing industry and the life of the haenyeo in Yeongdo.

Yeongdo Haenyeo Culture Exhibition Hall

  • Address : 2-36, Jungninam-ro, Yeongdo-gu, Busan
  • Opening hours : Tuesday – Sunday 09:00~18:00
  • Holidays : Every Monday
  • Transportation information : Exit 8, Nampo Station, Busan Subway Line 1 -> Transfer to Bus No. 508, 71, 7, or 5 at Yeongdodaegyo·Nampo Station → Get off at Namgogyo Station, 7-minute walk
  • Parking : Yeongdo Haenyeo Culture Exhibition Hall Public Parking Lot
  • Inquiry : +82-51-419-4505
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Yeongdo Haenyeochon


Haenyeochon is located on the first floor of Yeongdo Haenyeo Culture Exhibition Hall. Seventeen Yeongdo haenyeos spend six hours every day, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., scouring the waters for seafood to serve immediately. From sea pineapple, turban shells and sea cucumber to abalone and octopus, the seafood is fresh from the waters off Yeongdo. The instant noodles with octopus and other seafood are also not to be missed. With the crashing waves of the Yeongdo Sea as a backdrop, you can't ask for much more than a slice of seafood and a chilled glass of soju. If you visit in the evening at sunset, you'll be in for an emotional experience and probably cry out for another bottle.

Another characteristic of Yeongdo Haenyeochon is the gimbap served with the seafood. In addition to the haenyeo, there is also a couple who owns a gimbap shop, and thanks to the TV show, the image of a plate of seafood and gimbap has become a trademark that comes to mind when you think of Jungni Haenyeochon. Even now, when you visit the place, you can experience the unique taste of gimbap and seafood together.

Yeongdo Haenyeochon

  • Address : 1F, Yeongdo Haenyeo Culture Exhibition Hall, 2-35, Jungninam-ro, Yeongdo-gu, Busan
  • Opening hours : Monday - Sunday 09:00~18:00
  • Transportation information : Exit 8, Nampo Station, Busan Subway Line 1 → Transfer to Bus No. 508, 71, 7, or 6 at Yeongdodaegyo·Nampo Station → Get off at Namgogyo Station, 7-minute walk
  • Parking : Yeongdo Haenyeo Culture Exhibition Hall Public Parking Lot
  • Inquiry : +82-51-419-4505
  • Discover the life of a fisherman in the lush waters of Yeongdo Island1
  • Discover the life of a fisherman in the lush waters of Yeongdo Island1
  • Discover the life of a fisherman in the lush waters of Yeongdo Island2

Yeongdo Sea Fishing Site


Now that you're in Busan, why not try your hand at fishing? The Yeongdo Sea Fishing Site in Ha-ri, Dongsam-dong, Yeongdo-gu, makes it easy for beginners to enjoy fishing. It costs KRW 20,000 per person and you can also rent a fishing rod for KRW 5,000. Bring your own bait and board a boat that departs every hour from 5 a.m. and drops you off at the sea fishing spot, which is two to three minutes away from the marina.

This raft-like sea fishing site is actually quite large, despite what it looks like from a distance. The spacious yard is well equipped with shade, dining tables, toilets and other amenities, and you can even cook your own meals. In between casting your line into the sea and waiting for your catch, take time to explore the surrounding seascape. The contrast between the quiet fishing village and the towering apartment buildings is strange. The rock formations along the shore are a wonder to behold. Fishing is fishing, but it's also great fun to see the island from the water.

Yeongdo Sea Fishing Site

  • Address :764-7, Dongsam-dong, Yeongdo-gu, Busan
  • Transportation information : Exit 8, Nampo Station, Busan Subway Line 1→ Transfer to Bus No. 88A, 8 or 30 at Yeongdodaegyo·Nampo Station -> 6-minute walk after getting off at Ha-ri Station
  • Parking : Hari Port Public Parking Lot in Dongsam-dong
  • Fee : KRW 20,000 (Participation fee)/KRW 5,000 (Rental of a fishing rod)/Prepare your own
  • Inquiry : +82-51-405-0204, 0207

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