Sprawling Port City, Mokpo (목포)

Mokpo is a city located at the tip of Korea’s south western coastal region. It belongs to the South Jeolla province, and is an important trade port in Korea that connects the mainland to the holiday island of Jeju-do. Mokpo is highly connected to Seoul, with buses and trains that depart for Mokpo from Seoul on a frequent basis. The KTX, a high-speed rail connects Seoul to Mokpo in less than three hours.

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Arriving at Mokpo train station. The city of Mokpo gives off the vibes of both a city as well as the countryside.
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Usually quiet streets of Mokpo.

So where can you go in Mokpo? For a start, the most famous spot in Mokpo is probably the Yudalsan, or Yudal mountain. It is a short climb up the mountain with steps leading you up. Atop the mountain, you get a fantastic view of the city as well as the sea port nearby.

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A supermarket located at the foot of the mountain.
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A village that consists of mostly senior citizens.
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A small village house that seems to house a big family.
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Crammed hillside houses like these are a common sight in Korea.
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Forsythias in full bloom.
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2.8km till the final point of Yudal mountain.
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It took us about 20 minutes to get to the peak.
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At the Yudalsan Sculpture Park.

Near the peak of the mountain you can find the Yudalsan Sculpture Park, with some 100 over pieces of sculptures sprawled throughout the park. You can also find many elderly Koreans taking a stroll in the park while enjoy the scenery.

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A good spot to admire the cityscape of Mokpo.
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A city of new and old.

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Cherry blossoms starting to bloom.
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Making our way down the hill.
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More senior citizens enjoying their day out in the sun.
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We took a slow walk down the hill, and thought to ourselves how it would be like to stay at a place like this.

As Mokpo belongs to the Jeolla province, the dialect that the people use here are also slightly different from the rest of the country. In addition, food such as kimchi and seafood dishes also taste slightly different from those that you find in places such as Seoul or Busan. We found them to be richer and stronger in flavours. If you are not used to Korean flavours you may not take to these tastes straight away.

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‘Baek-ban’, or a variety of side dishes served with rice and soup.
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Marinated raw crab, a really popular dish in Korea and more so in the coastal cities.

Meals in Mokpo are generally cheap. The “baek-ban” (soup and rice with a huge variety of side dishes) cost about 7,000KRW per person, and there were so much food on the table we simply could not finish them all. In addition, you are always free to ask for a refill of your favourite dishes!

If you are planning to explore the other areas of Jeolla province such as the neighbouring Haenam, Boseong, Yeosu etc, head towards the bus interchange where there are regular buses that will bring you to those places. The bus interchange is about 20 minutes away by bus from Mokpo Station.

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Mokpo Bus Terminal.

Mokpo is a quiet and interesting city that promises to offer views to a different side of Korea. It was once an important and major city in Korea but has since then seen its importance and power dwindle down. Nevertheless if you are looking to experience a quieter side to Korea, Mokpo makes for an excellent destination with its developed transportation infrastructure and connectivity to other parts of the region.

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