Busan is famous for its diverse natural resources. Although it is a big city full of high-rise buildings, Busan is also close to the sea, rivers, mountains, and its amazing natural scenery will make your trip more interesting.
If you are ready to explore different, you should check out Gadeokdo Island. Even Busan locals are not fully familiar with this island, but it has unique scenery that will change your perception of Busan as a big city. In particular, fishing villages in every corner of Gadeokdo Island are the best spots to relax after a tiring day.
Daehang Fishing Village
Located in the southernmost tip of Busan, Gadeokdo Island is the biggest island in Busan. Neighboring the South Sea with various mountains include Yeondaebong Peak, it has been recently emerging as a relaxing getaway spot. After Galmaetgil Trail route 5-2 was opened as part of Busan Olle Trail, the treking route crossing the island has been getting attention as well.
Gadeokdo Island is also known as proof of painful Korean history. Especially, Oeyangpo Port and Daehang Saebaji Cave have remains of the painful past during the Russo-Japanese War and the Japanese Occupation of Korea.
As of now, Gadeokdo Island is no longer an island since it is now connected to the land through Geogadaegyo Bridge. There is an immersed tunnel under the sea between Gadeokdo Island and Geojedo Island.
In Gadeokdo Island, Codfish is one of the most famous local specialties. It is savory and chewy because it is grown in strong courses right in front of the island. Daehang Fishing Village serves another local specialty as famous as cod, which is gray mullet. The village follows a traditional fishing method called “Yuksomangjang.” It required throwing a net into the sea to capture a shoal of gray mullet and collecting them by lifting the net with six unpowered fishing boats. It has evolved to use a machine to lift the net. In this village, you can join a program to harvest gray mullet using traditional methods.
As you enter the village, the smell of salty water will welcome you. The way that small fishing boats are huddled around a small port will remind you of a typical fishing village bordering the South Sea. If you approach the sea along the breakwater, you will see a tall lighthouse against the endless blue ocean and small islets floating in it. At sunset, the lighthouse becomes a piece of art.
9-2, Gadeokhaean-ro 1207beon-gil, Gangseo-gu, Busan
Get off at Hadan Station, Busan Metro Line 1 → Transfer to Bus 520 → Get off at Daehang Village Bus Stop and walk for 4 min
Parking San 13-26, Daehang-dong, Gangseo-gu, Busan
Jeonggeo Village is located the northern part of Gadeokdo Island. Actually, it is a village in Nulchado Island neighboring Gadeokdo Island. If you cross Cheongagyo Bridge, which looks unfinished, you will be in Nulchado Island. A narrow path starts there and continues along the coast to Jeonggeo Village.
On your way, you will witness the breathtaking scenery of the ocean, which is different from that of Haeundae Beach or Gwangalli Beach. A structure floating like a board in the middle of the sea is an oyster farm. Even Busan locals are unaware that oyster farming is available in Busan. Along the way, you will find oyster vendors or processing facilities here and there, along with huge piles of seashells. This kind of scenery is certainly hard to come by in a big city.
The sea in front of Jeonggeo Village used to have intense waves. To prevent boats from capsizing, villagers had to wait until the waves calmed down. It is not a coincidence that the name “Jeonggeo” has a Chinese character, “Jeong (停),” meaning “wait.”
Low-roof houses line narrow alleys. Beside them, you will see ocean waves rolling on the beach. The distance to the sea is so close that it feels as if you can reach it just by opening the window. In Jeonggeo Village, the sea becomes your garden.
Although it was not particularly regarded as a tourist spot before, this village has become famous for its ocean-themed murals. The building with the phrase “Gadeokdo the Flowing Island” indicates the entrance to the village. As you walk along each alleys that can fit only two people, you can enjoy lovely and colorful murals. You can also view the ocean from the alleys, which you cannot do in Haeundae Beach or Gwangalli Beach.
The village is so quiet that you might find your camera’s shutter volume too loud. As it is a residential area, you must be careful not to disturb villagers as you explore.
Nulcha-dong, Gangseo-gu, Busan
Get off at Hadan Station, Busan Metro Line 1 → Transfer to Bus 58 → Get off at Seonchang Bus Stop and walk for 35 min