This former sleepy port city in South Korea’s South Jeolla province is now a popular tourist spot after hosting the 2012 World Expo.
And, no wonder – it has man-made attractions as well as natural sights including 300-plus mountainous islands in its clear seas. The best months for swimming in this “beautiful water” (as Yeosu is known in Korean) are said to be June through October.
Where To Eat + Drink
Every manner of seafood is found everywhere in this seaside city. Try ganjang gejang (raw crabs marinated in soya sauce) at Rotary Sikdang restaurant, known for serving up 12 to 14 varieties of stews, vegetables and seafood on a turntable for just 6, 000 won ($7.40). Or, try crispy, lightly salted grilled eel or eel soup at Yongjin House (from $38 for a meal for two). (459 Seogyo-dong; 1028-7 Guk-dong)
What to Do
The best way to take in Yeosu’s famous waters and islands? From a vantage point on Korea’s largest cable-stayed bridge, Dolsandaegyo Bridge. Want an eagle’s eye view? Head to National Champion Paraglide for a 12-minute sightseeing trip from the air before landing on Manseong-ri Black Sand Beach, oneof two such beaches in the country. Or, do it by boat – board cruise ships from Yeosu Expo Station to the offshore islands. Taste Korean rural life at Naganeupseong Folk Village – its 100 families here still make vats of bean paste by hand. (Dolsan-eup, Yeosu-si, Jeollanam-do)
Where to Shop
While retail options are limited, you can head to Yeosu shinae (downtown).
There, try Jungang-dong’s shopping streets for fashion and jewellery. Get a brown bear from the Teddy Bear Museum for your LO while perusing fuzzy-wuzzies dressed up as sailors, dinosaur hunters and even the Mona Lisa. (Jungang-dong, Yeosu-si, Jeollanam-do; www.yeosu teddybearmuseum.com)
Where To Stay
For convenience, it’s best to pick an accomodation near the Yeosu Expo station. Splurge on the luxurious 261-room MVL Yeosu (price upon request), the city’s landmark hotel with an awesome ocean view. Or, go light on the pocket at The Hotel Soo – rooms (from $367 for a standard twin) come with a kitchenette and great night views.
Getting There + Around
Asiana Airlines and Korean Air operate stop-over flights (from 11 hours; sometimes connecting on Singapore Airlines) to Yeosu Airport in Suncheon. At the airport, rent a car or hire a private car (tip: Private drivers can also double as guides!).
Some text adapted from www.straitstimes.com and www.thepeakmagazine.com.sg / Additional Reporting: Christopher Ong Ujine
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