The Blue City, Geoje (거제)

Geoje, a city located in the South Gyeongsang Province, is the second largest island in Korea. It is also easily accessible by bus or car from Busan, the second largest city in Korea. Geoje is a historically significant place, as it held the largest prisoner-of-war camp during the Korean War. About 170,000 POWs were housed in the prison war camp during the three-year war. In the last few decades Geoje has also grown to be a leader in the shipbuilding industries.

There are a wide range of tourist and scenic sites in Geoje, many of which are located near the sea. Here in this guide we introduce a few must-go places in Geoje

1. Windy Hill (바람의 언덕)

Probably one of the most famous attractions in Geoje is the Windy Hill, located at the southern part of Geoje island. Fans of Korean dramas and variety shows might feel like they have seen this place before. Other than appearing in shows, this place makes for a fantastic location to just sit down and enjoy the constant cool sea breeze, hence its name Windy Hill.

Visitors to Windy Hill often find themselves starting off from Hakdong, a village located about 15 minutes’ bus ride away. Here at Hakdong, you can find affordable motels, restaurants and convenience stores easily.

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Waiting for our bus from Handing where we stayed to Windy Hill.
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Arrived at the foot of Windy Hill.
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Restaurants and cafes scattered all around the dock.
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If you do not have a car, you can choose to take the public bus which would bring you close to the foot of Windy Hill.
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A common sight in Korea, elderly Koreans selling food in such makeshift tents.
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The short climb up Windy Hill.
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Here we are at Windy Hill!
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A windmill is located nearby as well to harness energy from the constant wind.
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Green and blue everywhere.
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Visitors come from all over Korea.
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Perfect spot with a perfect view.
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Coffee time at one of the many cafes nearby.
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Heading back to the bus stop.

Most of the buses from Hakdong Village near Windy Hill runs to Windy Hill, but bus intervals can range anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes.  Another alternative, which we found much more practical was to take a cab from Hakdong Village to Windy Hill, which cost us no more than 8,000KRW.

  • Address: Nambu-myeon, Geoje-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
  • Subway: NA
  • Opening Hours: NA
  • Website: http://tour.geoje.go.kr
  • Contact Number: +82-55-639-4165
  • Email: NA

2. Hakdong Pebble Beach (학동 몽돌 해수욕장)

Named as such due to the appearance of the black pebbles on the beach, Hakdong Mongdol Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the Gyeongsangnam-do province. The beach is about 40 minutes’ drive away from the bus terminal, and there are plenty of motels and restaurants located in the area to cater to tourists. In summer, this place is a hive of activities with visitors coming from all over the country to soak in the summer fun.

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Look at all the black pebbles.
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In summer, this place turns into a mega playground.
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Cyclists planning their route from the beach.
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The row of seafood restaurants along the beach.
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Our breakfast of seafood stew at one of the restaurants that were open in the morning.
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The clean motel that we stayed in for the night. It directly faces the beach.
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The main road of Hakdong.
  • Address: 18-1, Hakdong 6-gil, Dongbu-myeon, Geoje-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
  • Subway: NA
  • Opening Hours: NA
  • Website: http://tour.geoje.go.kr
  • Contact Number: +82-55-639-4165
  • Email: NA

3. Historic Park of Geoje POW Camp (거제도포로수용소유적공원)

For the history buffs, Geoje POW Camp provides visitors with a deep insight into the happenings of the Korean War. The outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 led to the capture of a large number of communist POWs by the ROK and US forces. The island of Geoje was then chosen to house these POWs due to its strategic location as an offshore island in the southernmost part of Korea. Upon the signing of the 1953 armistice that brought a temporary halt to the war, the camp was closed and then turned into an exhibition park in 1997.

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The entrance to the POW Camp.
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Ensuring that the war will never be forgotten.
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Quite pricey for an admission ticket, 7,000KRW.

Tickets to the camp cost 7,000KRW per adult and 3,000KRW for children. The camp is open from 9am to 5pm from November to February, and 9am to 6pm from March to October each year.

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A tank relic on display.
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As you pass through the first building at the camp, you will be greeted by the key players on both sides of the Korean War.
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Posters in different languages, including simplified and traditional Chinese.
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A mockup of compound 62.
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How POWs were transported to and from the camp.
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The actual ground of the camp kitchen.
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As well as actual ground for the bunkers.
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The inside of the bunker.
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More relics on display.
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Some structures like this have been preserved.
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As we head out of the camp, we pass by a souvenir shop.

There you have it, 3 interesting places to check out in Geoje. Geoje is a fantastic place to check out, with plenty of beautiful sights and a deep history to boot. Getting to Geoje is also easy with the newly built bridge that connects Geoje to Busan. The next time you visit Busan, do consider checking out its sister city Geoje, which is only less than an hour away by bus!

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