Peaceful Island Suitable for Family Resort

Geumildo Island

If you reach Maryanghang Port at Gangin, nearby Gamakseom Island attracts your attention. It's an uninhabited islet where more than 60 kinds of evergreen trees, including magnolia, thrive densely. As this forest was nominated Natural Monument No.172, tourists cannot actually step on to this islet, but just viewing this beautiful islet covered with evergreen forest at distance while waiting for the passenger boat at the port is also enjoyable. It's really wonderful how all those evergreen trees have filled up the little islet so densely and attractively. Even though people did not plant any trees at some places, wild plants spread their seeds and grew naturally, becoming the masters of their land.

While resting on a seaside rock enjoying the nearby scenery of Gamakseom Island, you can see the passenger boat bound for Geumildo Island preparing for sailing. It's a car ferry but I went on board by myself with my car left behind at the parking lot of Maryanghang Port. The car ferry sails among many islands, cruising continuously and carefully not to damage the many sea farms around the islands. It took about one hour and twenty minutes to reach Iljeonghang Port at Geumildo Island.

In the past, people went to Geumildo Island in that way. However, this old maritime traffic situation has changed quite a lot nowadays. This is because the two islands of Maryangdo and Gogeumdo and the two islands of Gogeumdo and Joyakdo were connected by a bridge. By crossing the Gogeumdaegyo Bridge, people can go to Gogeumdo Island, and then by crossing the Yaksandaegyo Bridge people can reach the Dangmokhang Port at Yaksan-myeon Joyakdo Island, where people can sail to Geumildo Island by passenger boat within half an hour.

About 4,000 residents live on Geumildo Island (golden day island), which is 18.9 square kilometers in area. In contrast to many other islands in the South Sea that were occasionally attacked by Japanese pirates, this island was not invaded by any pirates at all. Thus the islanders could live mostly in peace and this island became called Pyeongildo Island (peaceful day island). But recently most people call this island Geumildo Island according to the official name of Geumil-eup.

Scenic Beauty along the Seaside

By local bus it takes about 25 minutes from Iljeonghang Port at Geumildo Island to reach Geumilmyeongsa Beach. This beach has a very wide and attractive sand field that is rarely found on local islands in Korea. The length of beach shaped like a bow is more than 2 kilometers. The "cute little islands such as Sorangdo, Udo and Sodarangdo in front sea of this beach seem to be pounded by the rough waves that surge toward the beach from the limitless vast ocean. The waves along this beach are rather rough in comparison with other beaches in the South Sea.

Shellfishes like large clams and hard-shelled mussels can be found here and there along the beach as they are swept onto the seaside by the raging waves. If you collect various shells on this remote beach by digging in the sand with your hands, hours will pass by before you realize it. During the busy summer vacation period quite a lot of vacationers come to this remote beach but, as its sand fields are so extensive, the beach is never crowded.

The evergreen pine forest at Wolsong-ri near Geumilmyeongsa Beach is composed of more than 2,000 pine trees that are two to three hundreds years old. These huge old pine trees standing in a one-kilometer-long row show off a nice scenic vista. Walking along the trail in this pine forest, you can enjoy the romantic sounds of the waves. However sultry a day it may be in summer, if you sit down or lie down on a mat under the shade of the big pine trees, you can cool off in the summer heat.

The pebble beach at Yonghangri is one of the most secluded places on Geumildo Island and is rather deserted even during the busy summer vacation season. Though the length of the pebble beach is short, the little pebbles and the blue ocean present an attractive scene with a peaceful atmosphere. You may feel like picking up some nice looking pebbles but you should refrain from doing so. The residents may keep a close eye on you because the attractive little pebbles should be preserved here as part of the original natural scenery.

An island well-known for its Citron and Sea Tangle

Yonggul Cavern, another attraction of Geumildo Island, is somewhat difficult to approach. It's because guide maps for tourists published so far contained some mistakes about this cavern. As it is rather complicated to approach this cavern along the seaside from Geumil-eup, it's better to drive along the southern road at the Gudong-ri Crossroads. After driving 850 meters from the crossroads, turn to your left and drive about 1.4 kilometers, and then walk a little while. You will find yourself in front of Yonggul Cavern.

Waves come and go in the mysterious cavern by the sea. Outside the cavern stand steep rocky cliffs showing a wonderful scenic vista. There is a legend that says a dragon that used to live here was on its way to heaven and hit the rocky cliffs with its tail, and the cavern was made in the cliff. Tourists enjoy gathering the shellfish that the waves have rolled up on the seaside. The islanders dry the sea tangle on the pebble beach at the entrance to Yonggul Cavern. Geumildo Island is well-known for its sea tangle.

Sea tangle is a nice diet food as it has low calories and lots of dietary fiber that stimulate bowel movements and prevent constipation and obesity. However, to handle the sea tangle is a very difficult job and there is a joke that says sea farmers would prefer never to handle the sea tangle again. Some people say this humor caused the name of sea tangle to be "Dasima," which in Korean implies "Dasineun-an-hama (I would not do it again)".

Geumildo Island is well-known not only for its sea tangle but also for its citron, due to its mild and warm climate. In late autumn people can smell the sweet fragrance of citron all over the island. There is no one on this island who cannot help but be deeply impressed with the sweet fragrance of citron hovering in the cool and refreshing late autumn air.