Ulleungdo is one of Korea’s real gems of natural beauty but it can be really difficult to get to, especially as an English tourist. It can be even harder to figure out how to get around once you’re here because the best information is only in Korean. Having lived on Ulleungdo for while I have learnt some tips that even locals Koreans won’t know, so here is Ulleungdo Travel Hacks: the ultimate guide to getting around!
Ulleungdo Travel Hacks #1 – Booking A Ferry Ticket
Korean websites are notoriously tough to use and trying to book a ferry ticket online is no different! In this Ulleungdo travel hacks video I give a basic breakdown on how to book your ticket to Ulleungdo:
The ferry ride to Ulleungdo takes around 3.5 hours and it can get very rough. If you tend to get seasick I would highly recommend getting seasick medication. You can buy from the shop at the ferry terminal if you forget to buy before you leave.
Ulleungdo Travel Hacks #2 – Booking Accommodation
This can always be pretty daunting but with the wonders of modern technology this is now a breeze! If you do not already have the Airbnb App, do yourself the biggest favor in the world and get it. Of all the travel hacks I could probably give, this is the best.
If you click on the logo below and sign up using our link you’ll get $45 off your first trip. (We will also get credit when you book a trip, so everybody wins!)
There are loads of places you can book into on the island and you don’t have to worry about speaking any Korean. Travel Hacks!
As a recommendation I’d suggest the host in the link below; she hosted my parents when they visited the island and they had a wonderful time. Her English is near perfect and she can help you with transport to and from the ferry, as well as tips and ideas for the island. It is located near Hakpo beach which is a great swimming spot and has beautiful sunsets!
The other option is to use booking.com. It is also a pretty painless way to book accommodation in English but it does mean you will need to sort out your own transport there. Taxis are easy to find around Dodong and Jeodong but they can get quite pricey.
If you’d rather stay in a hotel, and Ulleungdo has many great hotels, check out the booking.com link below. We are part of the booking.com affiliate program so we get a small commission if you use the link below, it costs you nothing extra but helps us keep the blog going!
Ulleungdo Travel Hacks #3 – The Ulleungdo Mobile App
The bus times around the island can be confusing and frustrating and it seems that most people blog about how terrible the buses are. The fact is that the bus between Dodong and Cheonbu only runs every 50 minutes, so if you happen to miss it, you will need to wait another 50 minutes.
There is a great app that you can download and it will make your life infinitely easier! Honestly, this is the top of all the Ulleungdo travel hacks, I just have it at number 3 for a better flow. Click on the picture below to download the app on the Google Play Store or search for ‘Ulleung’ and it will be the first app to come up. Use it an you can properly plan your trips so you are not left frustrated by the bus.
Unfortunately the app is only in Korean so here’s a short video on how to use the app and make sense of the bus times!
Not only does the app allow you to access the bus timetable, it also shows what attractions are open, what time sunrise and sunset are and the weather.
Ulleungdo Travel Hacks #4 – The Ulleung locals
Ulleungdo has reputation for grumpy locals who have next to no English; this is NOT true! The residents of Ulleung tend to be incredibly warm and welcoming and will usually try their best to work with English. My Korean is still appalling and I manage AND my parents have zero Korean and they survived for nearly 10 days out here.
The Google Translate App or ‘Papago’ can be invaluable when you’re trying to express something more complex than buying a ticket or if you’re trying to read the menus of the local restaurants. Just be careful, my mom wanted to buy some tea at one point and ended up asking if it was diseased, instead, by accident!
Ulleungdo Travel Hacks #5 – General Travel Hacks
The weather here on Ulleungdo can change pretty quickly so it is a good idea to keep your eye on a weather app and dress appropriately. Keeping an umbrella or raincoat handy is a good idea but the weather prediction for the day is often quite accurate.
It is much colder here than on the mainland. The past few weeks it has been consistently 10 degrees colder than Seoul. Keep a jersey if you don’t like the cold.
Apart from the GS and CU shops, which there are only 3 on the whole island and only in Jeodong and Dodong, we have not been able to find sunscreen. The weather is cooler but the sun can get vicious!
There are so many little gems with the restaurants here it is really worth your while to explore what is on offer. If you need help deciding what to eat or what kinds of food you’d like to order, check out our guide to the best and worst of Korean cuisine.
On a quick note, the best barbecue is in Dodong, right at the top of the hill, just below the hospital. The best Tangsuyuk is in Taeha at the Ulleung Ban Chom, wonderfully flavoured with cinnamon. The best Jjajang Myeon is at the Taeha Ban Chom. If you want Japanese food, find Woosanguk in Jeodong, along the road walking towards Naesujeon. For more details follow our blog!
There are public toilets pretty much everywhere you go and they are mostly in really good condition, so don’t worry about this. Like most places in Korea, Ulleungdo has great public facilities that are well kept and clean.
The Ulleungdo travel hacks should make your visit to the island a breeze! Make sure to check out our blog for the best places to visit and things to do on your visit to Ulleungdo.
For a complete overview of Ulleungdo, what to see and what to do, make sure to read the most comprehensive English guide to Ulleungdo Island online, with a free, downloadable pdf guide.
Happy travels and blue skies!
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