Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Phoenix Head Island at Korea

Tranquil Fishing Villages, Majestic Sea Views at 'Phoenix Head Island'

The island of Seungbong, whose name translates as "head of phoenix," is located about 42 km southwest of Incheon and is regarded as the most attractive in the Deokjeok Archipelago thanks to its magnificent ocean views. Home to a village of some 200 residents, it is just 3.5 km long and 1 km wide, meaning it only requires three to four hours to look around.

The island is an 80-minute journey from the Yeonan Pier ferry terminal. As there is no public transportation on the island, walking is the best way to travel. Only a 10-minute walk along the scenic ring road from the wharf leads visitors to a calm fishing village, a welcome respite from hectic city life.

After passing the village, the island's only beach, Iilre Beach, appears to the right. The sea road along the beach leads to a forest where towering black pines offer shade from the scorching sun. At the other end of the forest is a walking path with an ocean view that leads to Mok Islet, one of the island's top attractions. Further along the path, visitors can see a rock shaped like a candlestick with an expanse of sea and sky in the background.

A few minutes' more walk leads intrepid explorers back to the ring road, and then to Jurangjuk Park. Travelers can take a rest here as it is equipped with a pavilion and amenities such as picnic tables, water fountains and restrooms.
A 20-minute trek along the seashore in front of the park takes visitors to Namdaemun ("South Gate") Rock, which represents some of the island's most beautiful scenery. Its fame comes from the fact that the rock -- which looks like a gate or an elephant, depending on where the viewer stands -- can only be viewed when the tide recedes.

Shortly afterwards, a fan-shaped rock comes into view along the seashore to the right, and the walk comes to an end back at the fishing village. As a lot of people visit on weekends, advance booking is recommended for ferry tickets. These can be purchased online at

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