Geoje island (거제도) has many similarities to Busan, and you should definitely pop by when you are in Busan. While Busan is the 2nd largest city in Korea, Geoje is the 2nd largest island in Korea. At least Busan gets the attention it deserves in recent times, Geoje is still playing catch-up to to ever popular Jeju island.
More direct flights from Singapore to Busan
Singapore Airlines’ regional subsidiary SilkAir launched non-stop flights between Singapore and Busan in South Korea back in 1 May 2019. Korean low-cost carrier Jeju Air also launched direct flights between Singapore and Busan on 4 July 2019, while also piloting a new travel class on the route. Another Korean carrier Eastar Jet also announced that they will be launching direct flights between Singapore and Busan in months to come.
Be ready to get mesmerised by the beauty of Geoje island
Geoje island is about an hour bus ride from Busan via a direct bus service. The only drawback would be public transport service on the island may not be exactly that convenient. However, we thought what you are about to see will be worth the “hassle”.
Dubbed ‘Korea’s Paradise,’ Oedo Botania is an island treasure that is an absolute must-visit on any itinerary to South Korea. One of the most secretive islands in Korea’s past, Oedo, is a little bit of paradise less than two hours from Busan and offers nature at its best for anyone looking for a respite from the city. The small, 14.5-hectare island, just a 20-minute boat ride south of Geoje Island, gives the impression that you’ve been transported to Europe. Made famous by the Korean drama Winter Sonata, the island was discovered 40 years ago by husband and wife Lee Chang-ho and Choi Ho-suk, who transformed the little island into a lush European-style garden, which houses over 3,000 species of plants.
Oedo Botania can be reached by ferry from the docks nearby on Geoje Island. You must fill out a report & present a form of identification (passport will suffice) upon boarding.
Oedo Botania (#외도보타니아)
📍 17, Oedo-gil, Geoje-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (경남 거제시 외도길 17)
This attraction is a visual feast for photography enthusiasts, and is a serene spot away from the city. Located in a tranquil little port village of Dojangpo, Windy Hill is surround by quaint colourful shophouses by the sea. Indie and folk music would have fitted the scene perfectly.
Climbing to the top, there were endless fields of Lallang, and the windmill set nicely against the sunset. The features of the windmill, coupled with pastures of green and yellow lying underneath its feet, made the scene look like it was from an animation movie.
Windy Hill In Geoje Island (#바람의 언덕)
📍 Dojangpomaeul, Geoje-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
(경상남도 거제시 남부면 도장포마을)
Maengjongjuk Theme Park (맹종죽테마파크) is a natural 90,000 square meter bamboo forest on the side of a hill. Expect the quirky little things along the way like any good theme park would have, but the highlight should be the mostly tall looming bamboo stalks everywhere. The smallest bit of blue sky peeping through the leaves adds to the meditative nature of the surroundings. Bamboo forests are a quintessential place to visit in Korea and this one remains an underrated one, as people will rave about the more popular one in Damyang. This place will be great for families, as it also features a play area for the kids.
Maengjongjuk Theme Park (맹종죽테마파크)
📍 700 Geojebuk-ro, Hacheong-myeon, Geoje-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
(경상남도 거제시 하청면 거제북로 700)
Baek Jong Won’s Alley Restaurant recommendations
Highly rated food programme hosted by South Korea’s popular chef Baek Jong Won – Baek Jong Won’s Alley Restaurant (백종원 골목식당), visited the island and as usual “transformed” some selected eateries. No guarantee that these eateries were able to maintain their standards after the show, but its probably still worth trying.
Ssaem Gimbap 쌤김밥 was a little takeaway stall selling Korean rice rolls 김밥 and “bento” for fishermen. Actress and host of the show Jo Bo-ah coined the names for both the dishes, that were transformed by Baek Jong Won during the shoot. Wrapped in the Gimbap is a local Geoje seaweed, while the ramyun has a special “sauce” developed by Baek Jong Won that enhances the flavour of the soup.
풍년보리밥 (translated to “Bountiful Barley Rice”) obviously as the name suggests sells barley rice. They only serve barley rice with various Korean side dishes during lunch, which is actually a very Korean way of eating. Based on the Baek Jong Won way of eating, just choose a sauce and pour it into the rice with the side dishes, stir it well like eating Bibimbap. If you stay till the night, you can probably also try the stewed fish, which is supposed to be what the boss is good at.
원조백도거제김밥 sells Chungmu Gimbap, which is a specialty of neighbouring city Tongyeong. This type of rice rolls is served where the ingredients are separated from the rice rolls. In this shop, the rice roll is served with radish kimchi and sea squirt, which is suppose to be easily available in Geoje. However, the taste of sea squirt may be an acquired taste and not everyone will appreciate it.
So did we convince you enough to visit Geoje island the next time you are nearby or in Busan?