On one of my long weekend breaks, I decided to try my hand at solo traveling over to Tongyeong, Korea, a port city along the southeastern coast. This quick guide is to help anyone else who’s thinking of visiting the “Napoli of Korea.”

Looking back, Tongyeong was probably my least successful weekend trip in Korea! I did manage to see some seriously beautiful views. However, there were so many mishaps, which I covered in this random post, it’s only looking back at my photos that I can really enjoy what I saw.

I’m breaking this up into two posts, this one which is a quick guide to answer any questions you might have planning your own trip, and the other one which will cover all the different things to do in more depth. Hopefully, your trip is about 1,000x smoother than mine was!

A Quick Guide to Tongyeong, Korea

Where is it?

Located in Gyeongsangnamdo, Tongyeong is a bustling port city, often dubbed the country’s own version of Napoli. Situated on a smaller peninsula facing the South Sea, it has something for both nature lovers, history buffs, and those interested in Korean culture.

What is it?

Nature-wise, Tongyeong’s islands offer easy getaways, hiking trails, and beautiful views of the sea. While the main part of the city might feel a bit claustrophobic, it’s easy to hop on one of the ferries and escape the clutter and noise. There are often pensions and camping areas on some of the bigger islands, so you can stay overnight.

For history buffs, check out everything dedicated to Yi Sun Shin, an admiral who became a famous war hero during Korea’s naval wars with Japan. He was highlighted in Korea’s most viewed film The Admiral: Roaring Currents (명량). Tongyeong served as his base, and there are numerous attractions throughout the city dedicated to his name.

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  1. How much did you spend taking taxi around? Would it be possible to book a taxi for a few hours to explore the island?

    1. I probably spent at least $100 USD on taxis but it’s been quite a while so I’m not sure. You could always try negotiating with a taxi driver and asking him if he’d stay with you for the day. It’s not as normal as other countries I’ve been to, but it’s not totally unheard of. We did this in Gyeongju for a few hours because it was the same way (everything spread out and unreliable public transport).

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