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.
I could have worked out for free!
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.
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!
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!
Sculptures dot the island providing many photo opportunities.
Of course, we have more of these ocean blue views to feast our eyes.
You can’t miss the Greek amphitheater at the top surrounded by bronze busts of famous Greek philosophers.
Each bronze bust is covered with symbols, including one with the Statue of Liberty.
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.
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