Top 5 Things to Do in Ulleungdo: South Korea

5 Things to Do in Ulleungdo:

Looking for the best things to do in Ulleungdo, South Korea? Accessible only by boat a few hours from the east coast of South Korea, Ulleungdo will give you the experience you are looking for. In this travel blog, I’ll give you my Top 5 Things to Do, with a focus on amazing places to take stunning photos.

A beautiful island
Stunning Ulleungdo, South Korea

Things to do in Ulleungdo:

1 – Sunrise at Naesujeon Observatory

I know seeing sunrise isn’t on a lot of peoples lists of favorite things they like to do during vacation, however, I highly recommend at least one morning to go to this observatory for some great views of the coast of Ulleungdo before and during sunrise.

Naesujeon Sunrise Observatory on Ulleungdo, South Korea
Looking toward the village of Jeodong on Ulleungdo from Naesujeon Sunrise Observatory

To get here so early in the morning, I’d recommend to have a car or get a taxi to drive you to the viewpoint. It’s not more than 10 minutes by car from Jeodong Village and about 15 minutes from Dodong Village. The cost of taxi should be around 5 to 10,000KRW depending where you leave from. Negotiate with the taxi though a cost of him sticking around to take you back to town though after you take sunrise photos as you may have a hard time getting a taxi if you don’t do a round trip.

Naesujeon Sunrise Observatory on Ulleungdo, South Korea
Sky brightening up from Naesujeon Sunrise Observatory on Ulleungdo

From the place the taxi drops you off, you just have to walk up nice wooden stairs to the observatory at the top of a small hill. From the observatory, you get great views of the coast and it faces sunrise in the East.

Naesujeon Sunrise Observatory, Ulleungdo
Naesujeon Sunrise Observatory, Ulleungdo

Sadly, when I was there, I wasn’t able to get great sunrise views as clouds obscured the sunrise. However, even without the great sunrise, it was an amazing place to be so early in the morning. Check out the map below for location:

2 – Haengnam Coastal Walking Path

Ulleungdo is famous for it’s steep cliffs and coastal rock formations, so the best way to experience this is walking alongside the coast. There is no greater place to do this, then on the Haengnam Coastal Walking Path between the village of Dodong and Haengnam Lighthouse.

Haengnam Coastal Walking Path
The Haengnam Coastal Walking Path

The path is extremely well maintained and has many bridges over the crystal blue water and also has some high vantage points like in the photo above in which to truly experience the wild coast and rock formations.

Beautiful waters of Ulleungdo, South Korea
The beautiful waters of Ulleungdo, South Korea

To get here, it’s easy to find from Dodong Ferry Terminal as this is where it starts. It continues on from there to Haengnam Lighthouse. It used to continue on along the coast to Jeodong, however, that is no longer possible. So if you want, you can continue to Jeodong through a bamboo forest path up some hills, or backtrack to Dodong.

Haengnam Coastal Walk, Ulleungdo
Beautiful Views along the Haengnam Coastal Walk, Ulleungdo

Check out the location below:

3 – Taeha Observatory

Located on the Western coast of Ulleungdo, you will find the Taeha Hyangmok Monorail and Observatory. As far as views go, I would consider this one of the best locations on the whole island of Ulleungdo for beautiful rugged coastal scenery. In fact, it’s considered one of the 10 most beautiful spots in all of Korea.

Taeha Hyangmok Observatory
Views from Taeha Hyangmok Observatory, Ulleungdo

To get here, you can take a bus from Dodong bound for Cheonbu and get off at the Taeha-ri bus stop. From there it’s a simple 10 minute walk to the monorail.

The monorail is a 4000KRW roundtrip ticket per person and only takes about 5 minutes to get to the observatory at the top. Once you reach the observatory, the views speak for themselves.

Taeha Hyangmok Observatory
Stunning Views from Taeha Hyangmok Observatory, Ulleungdo

Enjoy the views at the top of the amazing cliffs which make Ulleungdo so famous. I’d recommend to come here late in the afternoon for the best sunlight on the cliffs from the setting sun in the west.

Taeha Hyangmok Observatory, Ulleungdo.
Taeha Hyangmok Observatory, Ulleungdo

Check the map below for location:

4 – Dodong Observatory Cable Car

For more great views on Ulleungdo, my 4th recommendation for your trip is to take the Cable Car up to Dodong Observatory. It operates from early in the morning til around 7 or 8pm, depending on the season, so it’s great to get sunrise and sunset here as well. On really clear days, they say you can see the whole way to Dokdo from the observatory.

Dodong Observatory, Ulleungdo
Looking down on Dodong Village from Dodong Observatory, Ulleungdo

The cable car station begins in Dodong Yaksu Park and whisks people up to Manghyangbong Peak where the observatory is located. Tickets for adults are 7,500KRW roundtrip. As with any cable car, it’s subject to weather conditions. If the cable car is closed, there are hiking paths up to the observatory as well, or if you just want to save money.

I highly recommend to come to the observatory around sunset and stay for dusk as seeing the town of Dodong light up is amazing and worth the time at the top.

Dodong Observatory, Ulleungdo.
View of Dodong at Night, from Dodong Observatory on Ulleungdo

Check out the location below:

5 – Bongnae Waterfall

Bongnae Waterfall, at 82 feet high and 3 tiers is one of the finest waterfalls you can find on Ulleungdo. Amazingly, it’s the only reserve of fresh water for the residents on the island, so its a very important location.

The views of the waterfall are impressive though, and it’s a great place to spend an afternoon with family or friends enjoying a picnic or just a nice day out.

Bongnae Waterfall on Ulleungdo
Upper tier of Bongnae Waterfall on Ulleungdo

To get to Bongnae Waterfall, take a bus from Dodong bound for Bongnae Waterfall. The total travel time should be about 30 minutes. Admission to the falls is around 2,000KRW for adults.

Bongnae Waterfall.  One of the top 5 things to do in ulleungdo
Bongnae Waterfall on Ulleungdo

Check out the location below:

Where to Stay in Ulleungdo

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links through booking.com, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

There is a wide range of places to stay on Ulleungdo these days, from luxury to budget. Feel free to use the form below to search for yourself or see our recommendation below as well.

La Perouse Resort – Located more in the countryside, this hotel offers rooms with kitchenettes and fridges. There is mini-golf on the site and all rooms have flat screen tvs.

For other accomodation, use the link here to look for availability on booking.com: Hotels in Ulleungdo

Tips for Ulleungdo Travel

  • You can catch a ferry to Ulleungdo from Pohang, Gangneung and Donghae. Travel times take anywhere from 2.5 to 3 hours. Tickets are typically around 50,000KRW. Also, these ferries can be cancelled whenever the waves are rough. So be sure to have a backup plan if planning to go there or when you are trying to get back to the mainland from Ulleungdo. You can be stuck on the island for a few days if the ocean conditions are not great.
  • Ulleungdo is getting more popular with foreign tourists, but I’d still recommend to have some small Korean language knowledge to get around easier. You won’t find many english speakers on the island when ordering food or trying to get accomodation.

That’s it for this travel blog on Ulleungdo. Let us know any questions you may have in the comments below!

Michael Mellinger

Having traveled to over 50 countries, travel is in my blood. When not working, I love to take trips to the countryside in Korea or go to other countries to experience the culture and sights. Travel enriches so much of our lives and hope to promote travel through my posts.

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