Transitions commence new adventures. Make 'em last…
After a 2-hour bus ride west from Busan, Michelle and I arrived to the port town of Yeosu quite tired and hungry. First thing we noticed upon our arrival was how quiet the town was. While we thought Busan was fairly mellow, no equitable comparison could be made on how stagnant Yeosu felt. The once thriving 2012 World Expo fairgrounds were a ghost town. The buildings appeared like they had not been reopened since the Expo’s final day and had since been collecting dust. In addition, there were more empty or out-of-business shopfronts than normal as it seemed Yeosu’s heyday had simply come and gone. However, that didn’t bother us much at all. We seeked a relaxing, stress-free trip, and we were able to immediately discover that Yeosu would be quite conducive to producing just that.
So after chccking-in and briefly relaxing at Yeosu’s Backpacker’s hostel, we set off to get a late lunch. Now, I’m not much of a seafood guy, but Michelle is quite fond of any seafood and Yeosu is known for their crab.
Michelle savored every bit of crab while I essentially sat on the seafood sideline and sampled a few things that I discovered I did not particularly like. With my lightly-filled stomach and Michelle in good spirits, we then walked to Odongdo.
Odongdo is one the 317 islands within the Yeosu peninsula, yet it is conveniently connected to the mainland by a 1000-meter cement bridge. The wind was strong and cold, but we managed to make it across and hike around a bit.
It was pretty cold and once we realized that we got a good feel for the island, we decided to bounce back to the mainland for some hot coffee. The luxurious MVL hotel was close, so we decided to stop in, but soon realized that a cafe latte would cost 15,000won ($15) each. No way! So we ditched that idea and then conveniently walked to Cafe Indigo, which was adjacent to the MVL, and enjoyed some great coffee drinks at a reasonable price. After coffee I was getting hungry, cranky, and crazy….
The next day we headed to Jinnam-gwan, which is known for having the largest floor space of all historic local government buildings still existing in Korea.
The city of Yeosu served as a strategic point to counter subsequent Japanese invasions. Jinnam-gwan was built amid other government buildings in 1599 by Naval Commander Yi Si-eon, but was burned down during the Imjin War against the Japanese in 1716. However, it would soon be rebuilt in 1718, along with several other surrounding government buildings. In 1911, during the Japanese occupation that spanned from 1910 t0 1945, Jinnam-gwan served as Yeosu Elementary School and became significantly damaged by the end of the occupation. Restoration would take place in 1953.
We then headed to the Yeosu Fish Market and wondered around awhile and then ate some wonderful sashimi.
Alive one minute, cut into slices the next. I’ve had super fresh Red Snapper several times before, but it never tasted quite this good as it was in Yeosu. Wow! It was spectacular.
Stuffed to the brim with sashimi, Michelle and I then headed to a large sauna on the outskirts of town and had a wonderful time relaxing there. I fell in love with their round rock beds.
Maybe it was the heat, but the sauna made us both extremely hungry. Since I wasn’t exactly up for any seafood, Michelle suggested a locally famous sweet-and-sour pork (Tang-su-yuk) restaurant that a friend of hers encouraged us to try. Thank you, Michelle’s friend! It was by far the tastiest, thickest, and shall I say, healthiest sweet-and-sour pork dish I’ve ever had. I’d visit Yeosu just to eat here. It was loaded with so much flavor and makes my mouth water just by thinking about it now. It was supreme.
The following morning before we were to return on a train back to Seoul, we spent some quality time hanging out at Dolsan Park, which gave a wonderful view of Yeosu and the aesthetic bridges that connect to it. A little trespassing along the hillside allowed me to get a decent shot.
Michelle and I had a delightful time chatting and laughing together at Dolsan Park. It was a very memorable time for us. I always enjoy cozy, serene moments being surrounded by nature and having Michelle by my side, and I honestly didn’t want to leave the tranquility we both shared at the park. All in all, our time at Dolsan Park created a great ending to such a wonderful trip together. I look forward to many more…
Until next time…