The Korea Herald


Ride bikes in red sunsets on Seonyu Island


Published : Aug. 5, 2011 - 18:20

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Seonyu Island in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, is a romantic spot where travelers can ride bikes, enjoy a beautiful sunset and spend the night in a tent on the beach.

While the Gogunsan Islands consist of 16 manned islands and 47 desert islands, Seonyu Island is the main one, linked with Jangja Island, Daejang Island and Munyeo Island via bridges.

Historically, Seonyu Island was once an important military spot in the Goryeo Kingdom and Joseon Dynasty.
The sun sets on Myeongsasimni Beach on Seonyu Island (Seo Young-jin/KTO) The sun sets on Myeongsasimni Beach on Seonyu Island (Seo Young-jin/KTO)

During the 16th-century Japanese invasion of Korea Admiral Yi Sun-sin rested on the island after winning the Battle of Myeongnyang against the Japanese navy in the Myeongnyang Strait in 1597.

Seonyu Island is quiet and suitable for bike riding. A 14-kilometer course spreads out along the island’s coastline, also leading to the famous tourist spot Myeongsasimni Beach.

The sand of the beach is very fine, forming costal sand dunes. The waters are shallow and calm. At the end of the beach, the huge rock Majubong is located.

When the tide ebbs, the shore becomes a great educational place for children to see and touch clams.

The sunset at Myeongsasimni Beach is one of the best scenes in Korea. Some people say Seonyu Peak and Dae Peak are good places to enjoy the sunset. But in summer, it is best to see the sunset on the beach under a tent.

Another bit of beautiful scenery may be seen at the Okdol Beach under Seonyu Peak. While the Myeongsasimni Beach can be crowded during peak summer season, the Okdol Beach is quite unoccupied. The beach is covered with small pebbles and the waters are very clean.

Recently in Seonyu Island, trekking courses have been built linking various peaks and fishing villages. The trekking courses are divided by three sections ― Mount Namak-Dae Peak course, Seonyu Peak course and Myeongsasimni Beach course. Walking one course takes about three to four hours. If you climb up Dae Peak, the highest peak on the island, you can see Chunchangdae Beach on the north and Byeonsanbando on the south.

You can also enjoy sea fishing on a boat around the island.

Seonyu Island is scheduled to be linked with the mainland in 2013. The Saemangeum Seawall will be linked to Sinsi Island, located near Seonyu Island. There will be a bridge built between Sinsi Island and Munyeo Island.

For more information, call Gunsan City’s tourism department at (063) 450-6110.

(Source: Korea Tourism Organization)

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By Kim Yoon-mi (