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Gukhwa Island

Though closer to Dangjin-gun (Chungcheongnam-do), this island is administered by Hwaseong (Gyeonggi-do). It's only about 20 minutes by ferry from the port of Janggo in Dangjin-gun, while it's an hour away from the harbor in Hwaseong's Maehyang-ri, about 18 km from the island as the crow flies. As you pass the island's pier and walk towards the homes offering minbak accommodations, you may spot a vaguely familiar one-story structure. This was a tiny two-classroom branch school, now closed.

During the Joseon era, Gukhwa-do was an island of exile. Originally called Manhwa-do, its name and administration were changed during the Japanese colonization era from Manhwa-ri, Ujeong-myeon, Suwon-gun to Gukhwa-ri of Hwaseong-gun (all in Gyeonggi-do). In recent decades, the island has seen many changes and new developments. Presently, it has about 22 households, with about 60 residents in all.

Positioned just beside Gukhwa-do, like a brother, is Tokkiseom ("Rabbit Island"), which can be seen from Janggo and Waemok. At low tide, rocks and a sandy beach appear in the gap of about 500 meters that lies between the two islands, and you can actually cross between them on foot. The area around this path has an abundance of shellfish, including godung (conch). Once you've crossed over the low hills of the marina village, a completely different landscape unfolds. Unlike the island's eastern shore, covered by rugged rocks, you behold a beach stretching in a long bow-shaped arc, blessed with the perfect mixture of shells and sand. Its gentle slope and characteristic mix of sand and small pebbles make it a safe place to go in the water.

Unlike other parts of Korea's west coast, the water here is also very clean. During low tide, you can walk to the neighboring island of Maebakseom, west of this beach. The rocks and pine trees on the hills around the eastern tip of this beach add a picturesque beauty. Meanwhile, the beach at the island's northern end offers clear views of the uninhabited island of Ippa-do as well as Dori-do, where residents of Pung-do go to harvest clams.

FERRY SCHEDULE

1.FROM PORT OF GUNGPYEONG (Seohaedoseon Ferry No.1 : 031-356-9387)

FERRY SCHEDULE List
Departures Frequency Hours
PORT OF GUNGPYEONG ↔ Gukhwa Island ↔ Ippa Island
Peak season(July – Sept) 1(Regular runs) 09:00 09:40 10:00
2(Unscheduled runs) 11:00 11:40 12:00
3(Unscheduled runs) 13:00 13:40 14:00
4(Regular runs) 16:00 16:40 17:00
Off-season Oct. – June 1(Regular runs) 09:00 09:40 10:00
2(Unscheduled runs) 13:00 13:40 14:00
3(Regular runs) 15:00 15:40 16:00
※ Unscheduled runs can be arranged for groups of 10 or more(Inquire by telephone)

2.FROM PORT OF JANGGO (Gukhwa Ferry : 011-433-0405)

FROM PORT OF JANGGO List
Departures Frequency Hours
Gukhwa Island ↔ PORT OF JANGGO
Summer 1 07:40 ↔ 08:00
2 09:40 ↔ 10:00
3 11:40 ↔ 12:00
4 13:40 ↔ 14:00
5 15:40 ↔ 16:00
6 17:40 ↔ 18:00
7 19:10 ↔ 19:30
Winter 11/15 ~ 3/14 1 08:10 ↔ 08:30
2 10:40 ↔ 11:00
3 13:40 ↔ 14:00
4 16:40 ↔ 17:00
5 17:40 ↔ 18:00

FERRY TICKETS

1. Seohaedoseon Ferry No. 1

Seohaedoseon Ferry No.1 List
Ticket type Round-trip (KRW) One-way (KRW) Freight (KRW)
Adults 20,000 12,000 150/Kg
Children (12 and under) 10,000 5,000
Residents Free Free 100/Kg

2. Gukhwa Ferry

Gukhwa Ferry List
Ticket type Round-trip (KRW) One-way (KRW) Freight (KRW)
Adults 8,000 4,000 50,000/1ton
Children (12 and under) 6,000 3,000
Residents Free Free