Upon sunset, the city comes alive with colorful nightlights scattered across the bridges and islands across the seashore. The cool breeze blows away the sweat from your brows as you stroll across the city, smelling the salty air of the sea.
|The nighttime view of Yeosu, South Jeolla Province. (Yonhap)|
Alighting from the train at Yeosu Expo Station, you can guess it is a city of youth; evident from animated young couples chattering away with excitement. The southernmost city of South Jeolla Province is famous for its attractions that include food, music, culture, the beach and most importantly, the city itself.
Stepping outside the station, visitors are greeted by a model of a turtle ship, designed and used by the legendary Adm. Yi Sun-sin who fended off Japanese invasion in the 16th century. The city takes pride in the war hero who improved the country’s naval force single-handedly during his time as one of commanders of the Jeolla Province.
While on the subject, why not pay a visit to Yi Sun-sin Plaza?
Located on the northern end of Dolsandaegyo Bridge -- which looks quite ravishing at night -- the plaza is the starting point for the Romantic Bus tour.
The tour, which will commence operation on Aug. 5, visits photogenic spots across the city. During the tour, a pair of actors will put on a skit about two lovers traveling through time -- through multiple rebirths -- to finally unite with each other.
The tour commences at 7:30 p.m., lasts about 90 minutes and costs 20,000 won.
Frankly at this point, the tour is bit of a hit and miss. The open-roof double-decker bus has no air conditioning and the infamous Korean summer heat can get a little overwhelming.
Some may find the skit a bit too cheesy and a little annoying, and the choice of background music is not all that great either. Koreans all know that the most popular song featuring Yeosu is Busker Busker’s “Nightscape at Yeosu Seashore,” but that does not mean you have to put it on loop for the last 20 minutes of the tour.
“Some of the test audience found it annoying that a skit constantly interrupts them when all they want to do is enjoy the night view. But we’re getting feedbacks and working on it,” said an official from the Yeosu city government.
During the media preview, the officials said they would work on the complaints that the skits were too long.
Of course, the main attraction of the tour is the city itself. The view of the sunset over the quiet sea town is quite enjoyable and relaxing.
The tour ends when the bus arrives once again at Yi Sun-sin Plaza, where the skit finally ends with a musical-like final scene of the lovers finally finding each other.
But instead of taking a taxi ride to elsewhere, turn left and take a little walk toward the Nangman (romantic) Pocha street.
“Pocha” refers to Korean street vendors selling food and alcohol. The pocha on the street offers Yeosu’s famous seafood dishes.
|Nangman Pocha street in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province. (Yonhap)|
Along with Nangman Pocha, the city also endorses street musicians to perform.
If street performance is your thing, you may want to pay a visit around Aug. 4-6 for the Yeosu International Busking Festival, which combines street performances with art markets and other events.
The nighttime stroll at literally a stone’s throw away from the sea, to the tunes of street musicians, is an enchanting experience, if you like that kind of thing.
If you want a more wide view of the city, hop onto the cable car operated between Jasan Park and Dolsan Park. But take caution when riding it in summer during the day, as the cable cars have no air conditioning.
When you are at the Jasan Park side, take a taxi ride up north to Odongdo Island. The small island is approachable by foot, via Dongbaek Train or via riding a bicycle that can be rented near the entrance of the island.
Visit http://tour.yeosu.go.kr for information on tourist attractions across Yeosu in Korean, English, Chinese or Japanese.
By Yoon Min-sik
|The nighttime view of Dolsandaegyo Bridge in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province. (Yonhap)|