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Ulleungdo is an island to the east of the Korean peninsula. It is a largely rural island rich in natural beauty and popular with Korean tourists. It sees little foreign tourism and is not set up well for those who do not speak Korean, a fact somewhat offset by the warmth of the local residents.

Hyeonpo Port, opposite side of Dodong-ri

Get in[edit]

Ulleungdo does not have an airport, so access is only possible by ferries, which arrive at both its Dodong and Jeodong ferry terminals. Ferries are operated by Dae-A Express [1], Seaspovill[2] and Dae-zer [3]. Departure points from the mainland include Gangneung and Mukho in Gangwon, and Pohang and Hupo in North Gyeongsang. The Mukho Ferry Terminal is in the city of Donghae. There are 4-5 boats a day in peak season, and 1-2 during the quieter winter months. Fares vary based on operator and ferry terminal, but are all around 50-60,000Won for a standard one way single. First class seats cost an additional 20,000 or so.

Timings and frequency of services vary month by month, for exact timings check the websites listed above. Ferries may be cancelled or delayed due poor weather. Note that the sea around Ulleungdo can be rough and seasickness is frequently encountered on these ferries.

Route Ferry Departure Departure from Ulleungdo Travel Time
Gangneung to Ulleungdo Seaspovill 08:00 varies 3 hours
Mukho to Ulleungdo Ocean Flower 10:00 17:30 2 hours 20 minutes
Sea Flower 09:00 16:00 3 hours
Pohang to Ulleungdo Dae-zer 09:50 15:30 3 hours 30 minutes

Get around[edit]

Dodong Port

Local buses link the two main towns of Dodong and Jeodong, and can transport you to popular sites including Bongnae Falls, Nari, and Gwaneum-do Island. Up-to-date bus schedules can be found at the tourist information booths in Dodong and Jeodong and from the link below (Korean language only, both on site and online). Though the tourist information workers speak little to no English, they do have on hand English language maps and site information, and can help decipher the bus schedule for you. As of May 2016, the basic fare is 1000 won to travel between Dodong and Jeodong, other fares (including the hour-long Dodong-Cheonbu trip) are 1500 won. The buses do stop running a lot earlier than on mainland Korea, so bear this in mind, as it is difficult to get a taxi at night unless you are in Dodong or Jeodong.

In addition to the bus system, which is cheap and runs very punctually, taxis are a good option to get around the island. You can catch them at the Dodong Port when you get off. A taxi ride around the island should set you back around 80 to 90,000 won a day. There is also the option to rent a car but knowing someone who speaks the language would be a big plus.

Bus timetables can be found by following this link to the City Hall website.

See[edit][add listing]

Rich in tourist attractions, Ulleungdo will not leave you wanting for things to see.

  • Nari 'Bunji' Basin north of Seonginbong, it is a caldera basin and the largest flat area on the island. Residents earn their income by cultivating medicinal plants.
Nari Bunji
  • Seonginbong Peak (984m elevation), Ulleungdo's highest point.
  • Bongnae Falls 25 metres high, it is the only source of drinking water for the island. Next to it is Punghyeol, natural air vents that blow cool subterranean air.
  • Gwaneum-do Island with its suspension bridge linking it to Ulleungdo.
  • Jugam Mongdol Beach there are no sandy beaches at Ulleungdo but this beach boasts of the clearest waters and the most incredible scenic views. It should take a little over an hour to get there from the port.
  • Dokdo Museum in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the independence of Korea it was built in 1995. It holds ancient documents recording the history of Dokdo.
  • Songgot-bong near the Chusan Harbour on the north shore, is the name of the mountain whose steep cliffs rise from the water. From here you can also spot the interesting rock cropping sticking out from the ocean, Gongam.

Do[edit][add listing]

Yaksu Park
  • Haengnam Seaside Walkway this is the highlight of a trip to Ulleundgo. The walkway travels 2.6km along the rugged cliffside coastline from the town of Dodong to the port village of Jeodong. It begins on the northern side of the Dodong port. It is not difficult, but includes some steep stairways, bridges over the water, and a long spiral staircase. The Haengnam Dodong lighthouse has an offshoot trail. The walk is beautiful and best done from Dodong to Jeodong. You can catch a local bus from Jeodong back to Dodong.
  • Island ferry and bus tours. The bus tour costs around 15,000 won and last about 4 hours. But the timetables vary depending on the company. Contact Ulleungdo Tourism at 82-54-791-0066 for more information. The high speed ferry takes about 2 hours to go around the island. There are two to four rides daily. For the exact times contact the Ferry Association at 82-54-791-4477.
  • Nari-bunji or Nari basin is at the center of the island and the center of the ancient volcano that formed the island. It is a circular valley about 1 mile in diameter that includes two historical Korean homes to see. This is also the start or end of a trek up over Mt. Seonginbong. The local bus #1 will take you around the island from Dodong to Cheonbu where you can catch a second bus up to Nari.
  • Seonginbong is the large mountain in the middle of the island. At the foot lies rare plants found only there. It is a good 5 to 6 hour (roundtrip) hike from Dodong-ri; for a roundtrip from Nari 'Bunji' Basin budget 3-4 hours.
  • Yaksu Park directly translated, 'yak' means medicine and 'su' means water. The mineral spring is supposed to have healing properties. It is a short 10 minute walk uphill from the ferry terminal and is also where you can find the local temple, the Ulleungdo historical museum, the Dokdo Museum and ride the cable car.
  • Cable Car Ride this is a must-do activity. From the car you can get a panoramic view of the island. It goes up to the nearby Manghyang Peak and on a clear day, you can see Dokdo.
  • Dodong Lighthouse north of the Dodong Port, it is also called the Haengnam lighthouse. On a clear day you can see Dokdo from the top. You can have a leisurely 1 hour walk up a staircase from the ferry terminal.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Ojing-eo Bulgogi

Some of the food items that are unique to the island is honghap bap, seasoned rice with mussels; sanchae bibimbap, rice mixed with sprouts and roots found natively'; yakso bulgogi, barbequed beef that was raised on herbs and vegetables growing on the island. Other food items special to Ulleungdo is the cuttlefish and the hobak yeott (squash candy).


Most of the restaurants in Dodong-ri are clustered in the same small area. It is a couple of minutes past the information centre then on the straight road towards Jeodong-ri. Here are two that serve the specialty dishes at decent prices.

Ulleung Yakso Sutbul Garden open from 8 am to midnight in the peak season, this place offers yakso bulgogi and honghap bab. Prices range from W6,000 to W15,000. Call at 82-54-791-0990.

99 Sikdang here you'll find their famous ojing-eo bulgogi (spicy grilled squid mixed with veggies) at around W9,000. Also you'll find another island specialty, taggaebibap (shellfish with rice) at W14,000. Call 82-54-791-2287.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Pension house at Chusan-ri

The island is strewn with different types of housing for tourists. You'll have motels, minbaks or pension houses that rent out equipped rooms, tourist hotels, etc. Dodong Port is where everything meets; this is the end and starting point for the transport vehicles. About 10 minutes out of Dodong, in the mountainside you'll find the Ulleung Marina Tourist Hotel (82-54-791-0020). A room should set you back around 70,000 won. The Chusan Ilga Pension (82-54-791-7788) is right below Mt. Songgotsan in Chusan-ri, Buk-myeon, the other side of Dodong-ri. It's between two steep mountain faces on a cliff overlooking the ocean and a great view of the Elephant Rock. A room should cost around 60,000 won. For a less expensive alternative, you can stay at the Seonginbong Motel (82-54-791-2677). Recently newly renovated, it is right by the marina at Dodong and will set you back about 40,000 won. Jeodong has one hotel, Dokdo Hotel, which is situated on the harbor and costs 90,000 won for a double (ondol or Western bed).

Camping is also an option. You may camp on the beaches; usually this is limited to a summer option. These are mondol beaches, which means they are rocky sloping places that join the sea. Not awesome, but you may be able to manage a spot with a small tent. Be aware the winds are strong. A list of beaches in clockwise order around the island: Naesujon (this is supposed to be the best option when it isn't under water), Tonggumi, Namyang, Chusan, Jukam. The former beach at Sadong is non existant due to the new port. A free campground used to be available in Nari basin (Nari-bunji) but it was closed in August 2012 due to a contamination issue with the local spring water.

Chusan-ri coast


For more information on all of these sites, you can contact the Ulleung Tourist Office at 82-54-790-6465. Operators should be able to communicate in English as well. If not, there's always the trusty 82-54-1330 that have operators speaking English, Japanese and Chinese.

Get out[edit]

  • The hotly disputed islets of Dokdo can be reached from Ulleungdo.
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