VIDEO: Exploring Korea: Relaxing on Jukdo Island in Boryeong

Photos by ChiHon Kim
Photos by ChiHon Kim

VIDEO: Exploring Korea: Relaxing on Jukdo Island in Boryeong

by ChiHon Kim
Stripes Korea

Travel can be messy. Sometimes things go wrong, from hopping on a wrong train or getting in a fender bender with your car. These things, as well as numerous other travel mishaps, happened to me over the past few years.

The most recent stupid travel mistake I made occurred during a trip to Boreyong. It was a weekday and I was excited to explore Sanghwawon(상화원), a beautiful park on Jukdo Island located between famous Daecheon and Muchangpo Beaches. Though Jukdo was once a secluded island, you have easy access to it thanks to the sea walls completed in 1997.

The park is perfect for casual walkers of all ages, a 2-kilometer-long trail covered by a roof that loops around the entire island, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful views of bamboo groves and beaches no matter what the weather is like. However, if you go to park when it’s closed, which it is Monday through Thursday, you’re out of luck no matter what the weather. So, I was out of luck and had to reschedule. (Note: Sanghwawon is only open Friday to Sunday and national holidays. And the park only welcomes travelers between April and November.)

To check off Jukdo Island from my travel bucket list, I took a day off on a Friday and drove to Boreyong. The Jukdo (죽도) Island is about a 90-minute drive from Humphreys, and just a 50-minute drive from Kunsan Air Base. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life reconnect with nature, I recommend you stop at Sangwhawon on Jukdo Island. It was a great way for me to rejuvenate myself!

Once I stepped into the park, a 200-year-old tree and old-world traditional house greeted me. The area around the Sangwhawon is a bit crowded because of the limited days it is open, so arrive as early as possible. Admission to the park is 7,000 won ($ 5.62) per person. You might think it’s a bit on the expensive side, but it does include free rice cakes and a cup of coffee or tea near the entrance when you show your receipt. Just look for the hungry crowds eating and drinking on rocks and benches.

The best way to explore this island that is covered with a dense forest is simple: Leisurely walk clockwise from the entrance along the path. If you’re not a big fan of photography, leave your phone behind to fully enjoy and soak in the nature. Breathe fresh air, smell the tang of salt sea and listen to the sound of waves breaking on the beach.

Make a stop at a special meditation spot where you can sit back and enjoy the sea breeze, stunning scenic view and peacefulness of the morning. From the spot, I felt like I could reach out and touch the ocean. If you have time to kill, bring some books. There is separate spot in the park called the Sea Library where guest can read books amidst the tranquil scenery.

The theme of the park is “Nature in the Raw,” so don’t expect any convenience stores or eateries. Instead, there is only an honesty box in the middle of the park where you can get bottled water. If you’re thirsty, just grab one, place your won or dollar into the honesty box and be on your way.

The highlight of Sanghwawon park is the hanok (or traditional house) village nestled on the hillside at the end of the path. The traditional houses are more than 100 years old and have their own different histories as they were moved to the island from all over the peninsular and perfectly restored to their original state.

After taking in the beauty of the traditional architecture, go up the hill where you can overlook the glittering ocean. You’ll see many couples and families trying to find the perfect photo-op with the clear blue ocean and historic hanok village in the background.

If you need peace and relaxation on your itinerary, head to Sangwhawon in Boryeong soon.

Jukdo Island


ADDRESS 월전리 산154-1 (KOR), 408-52, Nampobangjoje-ro, Nampo-myeon, Boryeong-si, (ENG)

HOURS 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Last admission at 4 p.m.) Take note: The park is open to public from April to November.

PHONE 041-933-4750


Burger Ne Burger

If you love seafood, make your way to the famous beach areas near Jukdo island. The eateries sit along Daecheon Beach and Muchangpo Beach and give you lots of seafood options. They typically have raw fish, spicy stew, ramen, grilled clams, and kalguksu made of the freshest seafood.

If you are not in the mood for seafood, head to Burger Ne Burger(버거네버거) near the Jukdo island. It only takes 5 minutes to drive from the Sangwhawon.

Burger Ne Burger is where you want to go for mouth-watering burgers and ice-cold beer. Although there is limited seating inside, it happens to have a roomy patio with ocean views, making these burgers worth the wait.

At this place with no frills, you’ll find a welcoming staff, classic burgers, cool drinks, and plenty of locals. I opted for a Double Burger for 11,800 won (or $9.50). They offer a couple of selections of bottled beer at a reasonable price, so added a golden ale named Big Wave for 8,000 won to wash my burger down.

My verdict on the burger? It was really delicious. In fact, it was the best burger that I’ve tasted in recent years. It was love at first bite with its flavor explosion. The juicy patties were cooked to perfection, not oily or even greasy at all. On top of this, the burger buns with a subtle butter aroma, made the burger perfect. Before your trip to this village on the coast, don’t forget to include this great burger joint on your itinerary.

Burger Ne Burger


ADDRESS 관당리 800-6 (KOR), 13, Yeollinbada 1-gil, Ungcheon-eup, Boryeong-si, (ENG)

HOURS Mon & Tue 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thu & Sun 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.,

Fri & Sat 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., (Closed every Wednesday),

Note: Last call for food is 30 minutes before closing time.

PHONE 010-9558-7277


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