Lighthouse Isle (등대섬)

This week is my husband’s summer vacation so we decided to make some short day trips to the eastern and southern parts of Korea.  One of the trips we took was a day trip to Somaemuldo (소매물도), a beautiful island off of Tongyeong and a part of the Hallyeohaesang Maritime Park (한려해상국립공원).   Somaemuldo is famous for the beautiful Lighthouse Isle (등대섬), an islet adjacent to it, and some bizarre rock formations.

The Trip

From Busan West Bound Intercity Bus Terminal (부산서부시외버스터미널), we took the 6:10 A.M. bus to Tongyeong Bus Terminal (통영종합버스터미널).  The bus ride took about an hour and a half.

Bus Ticket to Tongyeong

As soon as we got off the bus, we grabbed a taxi to Tongyeong Passenger Ferry Terminal (통영여객터미널).  It took about 10 minutes to get there.  Though there are buses that go there, we opted to take a taxi because we wanted to take the earliest ferry we could get.   It was around 7:45 when we got to the ferry terminal.  Luckily, we were able to buy tickets for the 8:00 A.M. ferry.

Return ferry tickets (Tongyeong – Somaemuldo)

When we were on the ferry, we relaxed and enjoyed the beauty of Hallyeohaesang National Park.  We passed by so many islands, big and small.  I watched the ferry as it ripped the deep blue sea.  It reminded of the popular Korean drama, “The Legend of the Blue Sea.”

Hallyeohaesang National Park (한려해상국립공원)

Last year, I found out that this area was one of the filming locations of the aforementioned Korean drama.

Somaemuldo is just an hour ferry ride from Tongyeong Passenger Ferry Terminal (통영여객터미널).  I felt like it did not take that long.  Maybe because I was enjoying the ride.

A rock formation near Somaemuldo

As soon as we got off the ferry, we started the trek to Lighthouse Isle.  I thought the trail would be as easy as the one on Jangsado Island.  But I was wrong!  It was way tougher.  The trail was mostly steep.  We had to ascend and descend on wooden stairways a few times.  I was not ready for that tough trek.  Carrying a fully packed backpack made the trek way tougher.  I really thought I wouldn’t make it.  I wanted to give up but the gorgeous view kept my spirits high.

The Lighthouse Island and the deep blue sea, as seen from Somaemuldo. (소매물도에서 바라본 등대섬와 푸른 바다.)

The Lighthouse Isle is a separate island from Somaemuldo.  We were lucky to get there while the tide was low.  We heard that some people who visited this island before had to swim to get to the other island.

The “Boulder Bridge”

After the exhausting trek, I made it to the lighthouse!  But my backpack didn’t.  I left it at the lower part of the island.  It was a lot easier to walk without it.

I made it!

Somaemuldo is surely one of the most beautiful islands I’ve ever seen.

My model 🙂

Though, I’d say it’s one of the toughest treks I’ve had.  Walking up and down the trail with my fully packed backpack was a nightmare.   So if you are planning to visit Somaemuldo, make sure to pack light.  Packing light means just carry a camera or your phone and a bottle of water.

Would I recommend this trip?  Yes, I certainly would recommend visiting Somaemuldo.  It is worth the money and the pain.

Somaemuldo as seen from Lighthouse Isle. (등대섬에서 바라본 소매물도)


Travel Budget

Bus Fare: Busan – Tongyeong – 10,900 KRW ($9.68) one way

Taxi: Tongyeong Bus Terminal – Tongyeong Ferry Terminal – 8,300 KRW ($7.37) ( Bus fare should cost around 1,300 KRW ($1.15) and take around 30 minutes)

Ferry Fare: Tongyeong – Somaemuldo – 18,650 KRW ($16.56)  & Somaemuldo – Tongyeong – 17, 150 KRW ($15,21)

Total Transportation Expenses per person: 65,900 KRW  ($58.51) or 2,941 PHP

*Note: I did not include food allowance because it will depend on your food choice.  There are plenty of restaurants near Tongyeong Ferry Terminal and near the dock on Somaemuldo.  There are also couple of convenient stores and cafeterias on the island.*

Travel Tips

  1. Bring your I.D. (Alien Registration Card or Passport)
  2. Pack Light
  3. Eat Breakfast
  4. Bring Water
  5. Wear comfortable outfit 
  6. Be ready to get wet. (The tide isn’t always low. )


Other Things To Do in Tongyeong

If you have time to spare, there are other things to do while in Tongyeong.  Here are some of them.

  1. Ride the Hallyeo Waterway Viewing Cable Car 
  2. Experience the Skyline Luge Tongyeong.
  3. Stroll around, Dongpirang Mural Village, a filming location of the Korean drama, “Innocent Man” which starred Song Joong-ki.
  4. Rent and ride bikes at Tongyeong Hansan Marina Hotel and Resort, one of the filming locations of the Korean drama, Legend of the Blue Sea.
  5. Take a ferry to Jangsado Island,  one of the filming locations of Korean dramas, My Love from the Star” and “Uncontrollably Fond”.
  6. Watch the gorgeous sunset at Dara Park.

See more photos from our trip on Facebook.

A Day Trip to a Gorgeous Korean Island: Somaemuldo

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