Day Tripping on Korea’s Goeje Island

Posted by on Jan 5, 2017 in Destinations, Korea, Travel Photogrphy | 28 comments

Goeje Island

New Year’s Eve day (December 31, 2016) found me enjoying the spectacular ocean views of Goeje Island, Korea’s second largest island. Happy New Year and welcome to week 309 (1/5/2017) of Travel Photo Thursday.

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Offered through the Seoul Hiking and Nature Tour Group,  the tour left Seoul by bus around midnight on Friday, December 30th arriving at the harbor on Goeje Island some 6 hours later at around 6:00 pm. Some members of the tour opted for the sunrise hike. My bad knee kept me on the flat ground enjoying the first light of the day wandering around the peacefully quiet harbor area.

Goeje Island Tourist Map

There’s a lot to see and do on the island, and the highlight for me were the stunning views. I would love to come back in the summer time to enjoy the white sand beaches that dot the island.



Loved the muted colors of the early morning light and having the wharf to myself was a treat.


Goeje Island, South Korea


Goeje Island, South Korea


I could have worked out for free!


Goeje Island, South Korea


An hour or so later when the sun made its welcome appearance over the mountain we had our first glimpse of the blue waters that Goeje Island is famous.


Goeje Island, South Korea


Camellia Island

Next, it was back onto the bus and a short windy drive to the  Jangseung Port Ferry Terminal where we boarded a boat for the twenty minute ride to Achi Island (better known as Camellia Island because of the many camellia trees calling the island home) for a peek at a botanical garden, and more ocean views. I was a little apprehensive about this island excursion. My thought was there wouldn’t be any flowers this time of year. Thankfully, I was WRONG! Although the island was not in full bloom, there were enough flowers around to give that strong feeling of spring being just around the corner (or maybe the illusion!)




We were welcomed by these gorgeous pink blooms!


m_Goeje Island 7


You need two to three hours to see the entire island. The walk to the top is steep but an easy climb. Be prepared for lots of steps, too. I highly recommend good walking shoes.

Isn’t Mother Nature grand; treating us to these brilliant yellow blooms on the last day of the year!


m_Flowers 1


Sculptures dot the island providing many photo opportunities.


Camellia Island, Korea


Camellia Island, Korea


Of course, we have more of these ocean blue views to feast our eyes.


Camellia Island, Korea

Camellia Island, Korea

Camellia Island, Korea



You can’t miss the Greek amphitheater at the top surrounded by bronze busts of famous Greek philosophers.


Camellia Island, Korea


Each bronze bust is covered with symbols, including one with the Statue of Liberty.


Camellia Island, Korea

Camellia Island, Korea


A pleasant meander through the island’s herb garden took us back to the jetty. We arrived back to our waiting bus that whisked us off to Busan to ring in the New Year. Tune in next week for the Busan New Year segment!

Goeje Island is an enjoyable weekend trip from Seoul or Busan. If you’re looking for a tour that is no frills and easy on the budget, I highly recommend Seoul Hiking. Contact the Korean Tourism Association if you are looking for a more upscale tour. They should be able to point you in the right direction.

How did you spend the final day of 2016? Let us know in the comments.


Please welcome our co-hosts this week: Jan from Budget Travel Talk Ruth from Tanama Tales Rachel from Rachel’s Ruminations


You can browse the Travel Photo Thursday archives here.


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  1. Now I didn’t expect to see a Greek amphitheatre! You always have such interesting outings and shatter my preconceived notions of Korea (which are usually based on nothing other than the idea that everything will look somewhat Asian). Another good reason to travel AND to read the travel blogs of others! #TPThursday

    • Ha Ha Jackie! Korea still has surprises for me after all these years. I didn’t expect it either! I have to say I loved the bronze busts. Each one was covered with various symbols.

  2. Simply beautiful! What a great way to start a new year!

    • Hi, Jill! Thanks! Was a lovely trip. The awesome weather really helped make it, too.

  3. The sea looks like blue velvet. Beautiful. Looks like a great day trip out of the bustling city.

    • Hi Kathy! I couldn’t get enough of that blue sea. I think I took a hundred photos! Always nice to get out of the big city.

  4. We spent the last day of the year in our new home at Coolum Beach. Our daughter and her three dogs were visiting as was my sister-in-law. We’ve spent many holidays together here on the Sunshine Coast so it was nice feeling familiar and at home for the last day of the year. I liked seeing some Korean Islands in your post this week. I can only imagine the Camellias in Spring and Summer time.

    • Hi, Jan! It sounds like you had a fabulous new year. Coolum Beach looks fantastic. The camellias here in season are gorgeous!

  5. I generally ignore New Year’s Eve, so my last night was spent at home with hubby. Yours however, sounds really cool. Love the muted colours of the early morning. Sorry about the limits with your knee. M

    • Hi, Rhonda.

      I hear you. I’m not a big New Year’s Eve person either and must admit that I was asleep before the new year bells chimed. I was up early on New Year’s Day to welcome the sunrise with what seemed like all of Busan on Haeundae Beach. It was lovely to see the first sunrise of the year with thousands of red balloons released into the sky.

  6. This looks like such a fun trip to end the year/bring in the new year. I’m glad you were able to get away. Love that the islands still look picturesque even in winter. We spent our last day in Los Angeles looking through a Pixar Exhibit. Wishing you a very happy 2017!

    • Happy New Year, Mary! I had never been to Goeje Island, and it had been years since I had been to Busan. It is much warmer in Korea as you move south, so that was a lovely bonus! The Pixar Exhibit would have been fun!

  7. First time I hear about this island but is looks incredible. Our last day of the year was spent with friends and their family. They live quite far from us in the desert. We drove there, celebrated and spent the night. Next morning, we drove back to Los Angeles passing by mountains and rock formations. It was great to start the year like that.

    • Hi, Ruth! Happy New Year! Friends, mountains, and rock formations are an excellent way to start the new year.

  8. South Korea has never been on my bucket-list but you make it look tempting.

    • Hi, Lyn. Nice to read that my Korea posts are tempting you to visit. Many flights transit through the Incheon Airport. Perhaps you can do a stop over sometime.

  9. Reading this post just reminds me there is still so much of Asia that I am yet to see. I am planning on rectifying that in June, but sadly Goeje Island won’t be included in our plans. What a shame, it looks so beautiful. Great photos, the 2nd and 3rd in particular.

    • Hi Lyn, There is just so much to see and do in Asia. I have been living in and traveling around this continent for years, and I often feel that I’ve only scratched the surface.

  10. I spent the last day of 2016 making food for the party that I was attending that night. (Somehow, my cake balls were mistaken for sushi, and after it sitting out for hours, everyone was scared to eat it.) The water in your photos looks so peaceful. I especially like the first photo of the water. You know, I’ve only ever seen those public strength training stations in Asia.

    • Hi Michele, Happy New Year! I’m so sorry to hear about your cake balls. I can imagine the amount of time they took to prepare. The water was very peaceful that morning, and I loved wandering around the deserted harbor area with my camera. I had forgotten, but I have seen them in Portugal as well.

  11. Love your early morning photos, Nancie and it looks like a peaceful and symbolic way to mark the end of the year. It surprises me to see so much western influence in the sculptures (the Statue of Liberty and the Greek amphitheater) but it makes sense too as it goes both ways! And, I’m not sure if you noticed while you were in the Algarve last year, but those exercise stations seem to be a favorite fixture in the city and village parks around here too!

    • Hi Anita, You know, I had forgotten about the exercise stations around the Algarve. Now that you mention it, I do remember seeing them.

  12. What a beautiful way to start the New Year. Achi Island looks like my kind of place – a mix of great views, lovely blooms and art.

    • Hi Donna, It was. I’m not a party person at New Years, so this was perfect for me.

  13. This sounds like a great day trip! The photos look absolutely magical. I love the ones taken from the Camellia island. Great to hear there still was some flowers to see and over all seems like a great active day out! I would love to go there one day!

  14. We spent New Year’s Eve at home after traveling back from Los Angeles. Your travels around Korea look like a lot more fun. Thanks for sharing the great photos!

  15. I love islands so imagine I would enjoy visiting Goeje Island. The surprise of seeing the Greek theatre and the interesting busts would enhance the visit even more!

  16. What an interesting island! Thanks for sharing it with us.

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