Ulleungdo Island - Part 1/3

After spending the night in Danghae, we woke early the next morning to catch the speedboat ferry to Ulleungdo Island. Ulleungdo is a remote island 84 miles off the east coast of South Korea and it claims to be one of the country's best kept secrets. This circular island is the top of a stratovolcano that last erupted over 9,000 years ago. The island is breathtaking with high mountains, steep cliffs, jagged rocks, an abundance of green trees and plants, and small villages nestled here and there along the coast. The island prides itself on having no thieves, no pollution, and no snakes.

The speedboat ferry ride took about 3 hours and wasn't cheap but the trip was well worth the price. The upper deck of the ferry (the deluxe seats) were only a few dollars extra and were more spacious and comfortable.

The ferry docked at Ulleungdo

http://maps.google.com coordinates: 37.5021,130.859528

Views from the ferry as we neared the island:

New walking trails being carved into the side of the cliff.

My traveling partner, Ashley, did an amazing job of coordinating this trip for us. We had the ferry, rental car, and lodging all reserved ahead of time. The rental car man said that he'd meet us when we got off the ferry and sure enough, we could hear him yelling "Ash-uh-lee!" before we saw him. Of course being the only non-Asian people on the ferry, we were easy to pick out from the crowd.

The rental car place was right next to the pier. It was a small trailer! We crawled inside to pay, get the keys, and a map. The only information the man took from us was a name and phone number! Of course on an island that is only 28 square miles in area with one road, there wasn't a need for any more than that. He said he'd see us around the island and sure enough we did run into him about four times in the 48 hours we were on the island :) There are some buses and taxis on the island but I highly recommend renting a car to anyone coming here. It was inexpensive and allowed us to explore wherever we wanted and at our own pace.

The one main road goes almost the entire way around the island. It shouldn't be much longer before they have it all connected. The road is very curvy and very narrow in parts with a rock wall on one side and the sea on the other. The village streets were tricky to drive through with parked cars, traffic, and pedestrians to watch out for.

We stopped at a store to ask directions to the gas station and
this young man actually got in his truck and led us there!

We stayed for two nights at the Chusan Ilga Pension, a small inn located on the edge of a cliff with amazing views. The reason we stayed here is because we've seen it pictured in front of the tall Mt. Songgatsan in many books and brochures of South Korea. It was a cozy place to stay. There are many other hotels and even a new resort on the island as well.

There was a moveable shower head attached by a hose to the sink. That's it. You shower in the middle of the bathroom and the water runs into the drain on the floor!

We could climb out the large sliding windows to the balcony.

Beautiful despite the gray clouds :)

The famous view that brought us here :)

Related Posts:

"We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment."
~Hilaire Belloc


  1. That's fascinating and your pictures are beautiful! Maybe I'll get to go some day! JRenner

  2. Dear Johnnie and Angie, many thanks for your lovely Blog. this is really helpful. Do you have by any chance the E-Mail contact details of Chusan Ilga Pension?

    1. Hi Bini, I'm glad you found the blog helpful! I am sorry but I do not have the e-mail of the Chusan Ilga Pension. We had a local travel agent contact the Pension by telephone to make our reservations for us.

  3. Hi guys! The blog is great and I loved the photos! I am currently teaching in Korea and my mom is coming over in July for a short holiday. We are planning on going to Ulleundo, and Chusan Ilga Pension looks fantastic! I wanted to find out if you perhaps have the contact number or email address of the travel agent that you used to make the reservations?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Sam, thanks for the comment! Our trip was four years ago and the travel agent was in the small town we lived in. I'm sure that any travel agent or even just a friend who speaks/reads Korean and English could help you make reservations. Here is the Chusan Ilga's website that has phone numbers listed - http://www.chusanilga.com

  4. It looks like Chusan Ilga is closed now.