Jeodong (저동) is one of the larger towns on Ulleungdo and also has a large ferry terminal that you can reach via Pohang on mainland Korea. It is next door to Dodong, Ulleungdo’s largest town, and in the near future it will have a road that connects it to the Northern part of the Island. This will make travel around the island a lot more convenient as at the moment it takes just over an hour by bus to get from Dodong to Cheonbu.
Like Dodong, there is a lot to see and do in Jeodong and some superb places to stop for a coffee or meal. It takes about 10 minutes to get to Jeodong by bus from Dodong. For more information about using the buses on Ulleungdo and some extra travel hacks, check out this useful post on the ultimate travel hacks.
Here is the best in and around Jeodong:
So technically Bongnae Waterfall is not in Jeodong but you do need to go through the town to get there. This waterfall is actually the source of most of the water on Ulleungdo. It is set in the beautiful forests of the island and has a great platform to give you the best view of the waterfall.
After a short bus drive you will get dropped off near some cafes and you will then have to walk the rest of the way up. It takes about 20 minutes to reach Bongnae Waterfall. There is a 4000 Won entrance fee to the waterfall and the walk is steep so wear comfortable shoes.
Bongnae Wind Cave
In summer it will get very hot but at the bottom of the trail you will see a little cave. This cave is a natural air conditioner. The shape of the volcanic rocks causes the air flowing through it to maintain a constant temperature, so in summer the air is wonderfully cool and in winter it will feel warm. It is a novel place to visit and is great to rest weary feet!
The bus to Bongnae waterfalls starts in Dodong but it is easy enough to catch in Jeodong itself. Make sure to check the bus timetable as there are 2 buses that go through Jeodong, one to the waterfall and the other goes to Naesujeon.
Jeodong Sea Walkway
There used to be a sea walkway that went from Jeodong all the way to Dodong. Unfortunately a large part of the Jeodong section has collapsed and it does not look like it will be repaired any time soon. That doesn’t mean that it is completely useless though!
You can still walk a short way along the path which gives you a different view up to Haengnam lighthouse. The soaring cliffs of Ulleungdo tower over you as you walk and the waves crash on the rocks just below your feet.
If you enjoy fishing you can join the many fishermen lined up up on the rocks next to the walkway. If you enjoy snorkeling you can have one of the craziest snorkeling experiences you will have when you dive off the rocks into the nearly bottomless ocean right next to the island. And if you feel like doing something adrenaline inducing, take a leap off the last bridge on the walkway.
Ulleungdo Squid Festival in Jeodong
If unusual festivals is your thing, then you won’t want to miss out on the Ulleungdo Squid Festival held on the first weekend of August every year in Jeodong. Squid is pretty staple to Ulleungdo’s seafood diet and at night you can always see the bright lights from the squid boats on the horizon. 오기동이 is the squid mascot of Ulleungdo.
The main event of the festival is catching squid with your bare hands. Other events include a fishing contest, catching mudfish, riding on a fishing boat, a squid dish contest, raft racing and more. For more details on this festival and other festivals in Korea, read this post on off the beaten track festivals in South Korea.
Mongdol beach is also not technically in Jeodong but right next door in Naesujeon. If you catch the Naesujeon bus from Dodong (not the Bongnae bus) it will drop you off at the top of the road that leads down to the Beach.
Like almost all of the beaches on Ulleungdo, Mongdol beach is very rocky but you can still have a great time swimming here. The word Mongdol refers to the round rocks covering the shore.
In summer you may arrive to see lots of water activities like water skiing, banana boats and snorkeling. Snorkeling around Ulleungdo is fantastic and if you’re interested be sure to read this post on the best places to snorkel on the island.
There is also a scuba centre where you can book to go for a dive around the area. It is very popular so you may want to book in advance! The phone number is (054)791-2768, but you may struggle to make a booking over the phone if you don’t speak Korean.
Naesujeon Sunrise Observatory
If you want a fantastic view over the East side of Ulleungdo then you must visit Naesujeon sunrise observatory. Unfortunately this is a pretty isolated part of the island and it seems like most people get there by either taking a taxi or as part of a guided tour.
I was feeling adventurous one day and decided to walk up there from Mongdol beach. At the beach I had seen a sign to the observatory saying 2.3km which doesn’t sound too bad, except that it is up a very steep hill. It took nearly an hour to get all the way to the top but the view was worth it.
From the observatory you can see all the way back to Jeodong, the Haengnam lighthouse and Dokdo, allegedly . On the other side you can also see to the neighboring islands of Gwaneumdo and Jukdo, and looking inland you have a great view of Seonginbong, Ulleungdo’s highest peak. You will also get a completely unobstructed view of the sunrise over the ocean, as long as it isn’t overcast! Sunrise in Summer is around 5am, and at Chuseok around September it is about 6am.
Seokpo Dullegil Trail
The start of the Seokpo Dullegil Trail is just a few minutes away walk away from the Naesujeon Sunrise Observatory. The trail is a 3.4km forest trail that connects the East of Ulleungdo with its Northern side. Of all the trails on the island this is probably the one with the least hills but it is still through the typical, primeval forest of Ulleungdo. There are numerous viewing platforms along the way and, if you have the time, this hike is a great way to explore more of Ulleungdo’s natural beauty.
When you reach the end of the trail there is not much apart from a restroom, but if you carry on along the road you will find three well-hidden memorials of Ulleungdo. This is starting to get quite far away from Jeodong but it is worth mentioning here because you will only reach this area by going through Jeodong or coming around North past Cheonbu and Gwaneumdo.
Ahn Yong-bok Memorial Hall
This memorial hall opened in 2013 and is in memory of the Korean fishermen who fought to defend Dokdo from Japanese fishermen. Like all museums and memorials on Ulleungdo you will find many records that confirm Korea’s control over Dokdo and Ulleungdo. It also contains historical documents detailing Ahn’s activities, where he went to Japan twice in 1693 and 1699 to get Tokugawa Shogunate’s edict that both islands were Korean possessions. You can read about it in the Korean Herald article here.
Dokdo Volunteer Forces Memorial Hall
The ‘Dokdo Volunteer Forces’ was a civil organisation formed by 33 residents of Ulleungdo who went to Dokdo to defend it from the Japanese from 1953 to 1956 when the Korean National Police took over. This memorial recognises the monumental task these 33 civilians undertook to defend Dokdo from invading forces. It is a small but interesting memorial that looks at what these 33 Koreans had to endure.
Russo-Japanese War Memorial
At the start of the Russo-Japanese war, Japan saw its chance to seize Dokdo, which it had been eyeing for strategic purposes, and this memorial commemorates that period.
None of these memorials are well advertised and it was by complete chance that I found them. You can reach Seokpo by taking a bus from Cheonbu, you will see it on the timetable for the buses going to Gwaneumdo and Nari Basin.
Ferry trips from Jeodong
Apart from getting to and from the mainland from the Jeodong ferry terminal, you can also get tickets to visit Dokdo. Dokdo is a kind of pilgrimage for many local Koreans because of the contentious history with Japan. They try and encourage as many foreign tourists to visit because that gives them international recognition of being in control of the island.
If you have some time that you’re looking for something to do, consider visiting Dokdo, you will thoroughly impress any local Korean you meet!
Fresh fish in Jeodong
If you love fish then you will want to take some time exploring Jeodong. Every morning there is a fresh fish market at the edge of the harbour. The fishing ships sell their latest catch here and you are guaranteed that it is straight out of the ocean.
Another option is Squid Town (오징어타운) just next to the ferry terminal. Here you will find tanks of fresh fish to buy. This fish won’t be quite as fresh as the market but they are kept alive in the tanks.
Where to eat in Jeodong
Like Dodong, Jeodong has a wide range of places that you can eat and drink at. There are only 2 places that I will recommend here:
Woonsanguk is a Japanese restaurant. It is a small restaurant next to the harbour as you go along the road away from Jeodong towards Naesujeon. If you are looking for traditional Japanese food and some of the best Sushi you will eat, then this is the restaurant for you. Fashionably decorated and with a welcoming host, Woosanguk is great place to stop for lunch.
This is our go-to coffee shop in Jeodong. They serve a variety of coffees, teas and smoothies that are all delicious. If you are feeling hungry they also make great sandwiches. If the staff see that you are English they will offer you their menu in English and the service on the whole is really good.
Final thoughts on Jeodong
There is more to do just around Jeodong than in the actual town but it is a good place to stop for coffee or a meal in between travels. It is also a relatively convenient town to get accommodation in, depending on where your ferry arrives and is leaving from. If you only speak English Ulleungdo can be an incredibly difficult place to book accommodation as most hostel and pension owners only speak Korean. Thankfully we have resources like Airbnb and booking.com.
Use the Airbnb link below to sign up and you will get a $40 discount on your first booking, and we get a little bonus as well!
Or check out what is available through booking.com. We are part of the affiliate program so if you use the link below we get a small fee but it doesn’t affect your cost at all!
If you haven’t already be sure to check out what else Ulleungdo has on offer and advice for travelling around the island:
- Ulleungdo Travel Hacks
- Taeha and Hakpo
- The best snorkeling on Ulleungdo
- Taeha Monrail
Happy travels and blue skies!
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