Beautiful Southern Coastal Town, Tongyeong (통영)

South Korea’s seaside escape.

Tongyeong (통영) is a beautiful coastal city located in the South Gyeongsang Province, a little further south from Busan. It is also known as the headquarters of Korean hero Admiral Yi Sun-sin, whose heroics during the wars against the Japanese during the Joseon Dynasty earned him widespread fame and recognition.

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Tongyeong is a cluster of islands located about 2 hours’ drive away from Busan.

So why should you visit this coastal city that is only accessible by road? The two places below should help you to make up your mind!

  1. Dongpirang Wall Painting Mural Village

‘Dongpirang’ means eastern hill in Tongyeong dialect. The mural village was born on October 2007 after an association gathered people throughout the country to come down to paint on the walls of the village. Like many other mural villages in Korea, expect to find beautiful views of the surrounding areas, pretty cafes to sit and relax in as well as a hive of activity such as busking and magic performances during weekends.

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Near the entrance to the mural village.

 

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The amazing view of cherry blossoms atop the mural village.

 

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The mural village is also a filming site for dramas.

 

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A view of the Gangguan port.

With a fantastic view of the Gangguan port as well as pretty wall murals decorating almost every wall in this village, Dongpirang Wall Art Mural Village gives you a mural village experience unlike those in Seoul. Come in spring when the flowers bloom or autumn when the trees are covered in red leaves, we promise you will not regret the trip.

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Such a beautiful coastal town.
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We came at the best possible time.
  1. Gangguan Port

As do any coastal city in Korea, ship repairs and fishing make up a bulk of the local people’s livelihood. While in Tongyeong, check out the Gangguan Port which is located at the foot of the Dongpirang Wall Art Mural Village. Here, you can find the locals hawking seafood by the road side. If you listen attentively enough, you will realise that most of them are speaking in the Tongyeong dialect.

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Fishing vessels docked at the Gangguan port.
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A local woman hawking her dried seafood.

 

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Sea squirts are very popular with the locals.
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Gangguan port is located right at the foot of Dongpirang Wall Art Mural Village.
  1. Yi Sun-sin Park

Tongyeong was the headquarters of Admiral Yi Sun-sin during the Joseon Dynasty. To remember his heroics during the many wars of the Joseon Dynasty, the park was created with a statue of him overlooking the south sea. It was initially named Hansan Battle Memorial Park, and has a traditional cultural hall, a pavilion and a square.

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A statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin facing the sea.
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The park is located about 15 minutes’ walk from Gangguan port.
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This place was the grounds of the battle of Hansan in 1592.

What should you eat in Tongyeong? We found a restaurant near the bus interchange that sells affordable seafood meals. We ordered the oyster porridge, which costs 8,000KRW and was pleasantly surprised by both the size and the portion of the oysters served!

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There were more than 10 oysters in a bowl.

A tour of the three places recommended would take you about a day. Go with the order as listed and you should find yourself comfortably moving from one place to the other. Tongyeong is a beautiful coastal city with its own dialect and charm. It is also much more quieter as compared to the other big cities such as Busan or Geoje.

 

 

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