Discover Korea’s Grandest Landscape, Namhae

Photo: Landscape of Namhae

Officially called Namhaedo Island, Namhae in Gyeongsangnam-do is the fifth largest island in Korea. The island is connected to the mainland by bridge making it feel less like an island. However, the island is indeed open to the sea on all fronts, creating a beautiful coastal landscape. The sea around Namhae is designated the Hallyeohaesang National Park, which boasts an outstanding natural environment and splendid landscape. The area features the Daraengi rice paddies of Gacheon Village, which the enduring people of Namhae developed; Namhae Geumsan Mountain overlooking the scenic views of the Hallyeohaesang National Park; and Jukbangryeom in the Jijok Strait of Namhae, a time-honored fishing practice in Korea; all of which were designated places of scenic beauty by the government. Also an interesting and traditional feature is Mulgeon Windbreak Forest, a natural monument established to break the sea breeze and trap fish. As such, Namhae is a place of beautiful sea landscape and many scenic views unique to Korea.

Photo: View of Gacheon Daraengi Village (left) / Clouds over Geumsan Mountain (right)

Nearby Attractions

Gacheon Daraengi Village

Photo: Layout of Daraengi rice paddies (top) / Coastal cliff view (bottom left) / Jigetgil Trail (bottom right)

Nam-myeon in Namhae-gun mostly consists of coastal cliffs. As such, it is exposed to the rough sea and its land is barren. Situated in Honghyeon-ri, Nam-myeon in Namhae-gun, Gacheon Daraengi Village is set against Seolheulsan Mountain (480 meters above sea level) in the back and a steep coastal cliff down below. The village is famous for its terraced rice fields, which are recognized as a unique feature in Korea. These terraced fields were artificially created on mountain slopes to make way for rice farming. Depending on the size of the slopes, the paddies form various layers.

To look around the village, take the route beginning from the bus stop down to the village, rather than the one beginning by the tourist information center. This way, you can go past the village and go down to the coast overlooking the paddy fields. After the village, the road divides into the Jigetgil Trail, a walking path leading to the terraced fields, and a path that goes down to the coast. If you go down to the coast, you will be walking on a suspension bridge connecting bed rocks; the view of the incoming waves down below the cliffs is splendid.

☞ Address: 21, Nammyeon-ro 679beon-gil, Honggyeon-ri, Nam-myeon, Namhae-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do

☞ Directions: From Namhae Intercity Bus Terminal, take a taxi approx. 40min.

☞ Inquiries: +82-55-863-3427, +82-10-9750-2319 (Korean only)

☞ Website: www.go2vil.org (Korean, English)

 

Geumsan Boriam Temple

Photo: Clouds around Boriam Temple (left) / View of Boriam Temple (right)

Geumsan is the major mountain in Namhae. Meaning as beautiful as silk, the mountain is part of the Hallyeohaesang National Park. It is possible to go up to the entrance of Boriam Temple by car for a convenient tour of the temple. You can drive from the parking lot up to the temple, or take the shuttle bus that goes up to the entrance to the temple. The path that leads to the summit of Geumsan Mountain is by the entrance to Boriam. From there, one can get a birds-eye-view of Sangju Silver Sand Beach below, which blends well with the surrounding mountains and cliffs. Geumsan Boriam Temple is home to one of the nation’s three Haesu Gwaneum Statues (Buddhist Goddess of Mercy), one that is believed to help people fulfill their prayers. The view of the Hallyeohaesang National Park there is recognized as the best scenic view in Namhae

☞ Address: 665, Boriam-ro, Sangju-myeon, Namhae-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do

☞ Directions: From Namhae Intercity Bus Terminal, take a taxi approx. 30min.

☞ Inquiries: Boriam Temple +82-55-862-6115 (Korean only), Hallyeohaesang National Park Geumsan Region +82-55-863-3525 (Korean only)

☞ Admission: Boriam Temple cultural assets 1,000 won (Round-trip shuttle bus 2,000 won)

 

German Village

Photo: Rooftops of the German Village (top) / Namhae German Exhibition Hall (bottom left) / Entrance to German Village (bottom right)

The German Village was built to accommodate Korean-Germans who returned to their motherland after living in Germany. In the 1960s, a large number of miners and nurses were sent to Germany to earn foreign currency. They not only contributed to the modernization and economic development of the country but were one of the driving forces behind Korea’s growth. The German Village is where the miners and nurses settled down when they returned to Korea. The village has been developed into a tourist resource.

The village is home to many beautiful residential buildings with white exteriors and orange roofs. Most of the buildings have a German name like Heidelberg or Frankfurt. The higher up you go on the mountain from the entrance, the better view you can get of Mulgeonhang Port and the Mulgeon Windbreak Forest. With all its colors, the village blends strikingly well with the blue sea. Most of the buildings are run as pension facilities. Recently, the German Culture Experience Center has been established, featuring Namhae German Exhibition Hall, a German culture promotion hall, a German restaurant, and a gift shop. Near the Center, you can find beautiful gardens of various flowers at the House N Garden.

☞ Address: 92, Dogil-ro, Samdong-myeon, Namhae-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do

☞ Directions: From Namhae Intercity Bus Terminal, take a taxi approx. 30min.

☞ Inquiries: +82-55-867-8897 (Korean only)

☞ Website: 남해독일마을.com (Korean only)

 

Mulgeon Windbreak Forest, a beautiful forest at sea

Photo: Tourists walking through the windbreak forest

Looking down below the German Village, you will see a long band-like forest along the coast. This is the Mulgeon windbreak forest. From a long time ago, forests were created for various reasons and purposes, such as breaking the wind, gathering fish, or preserving the good spirit in a village. The Mulgeon windbreak forest was formed about three hundred years ago to break the wind from blowing into the village from the sea and gather fish by taking advantage of their liking of the green color. The windbreak forest spans about 1.5 kilometers along the coast with around 10,000 trees, including species of zelkova, deciduous trees, and winders. The Namsong Marina Fishing Resort near the village is a vantage point overlooking the windbreak and the German Village.  

☞ Address: 59, Dongbu-daero 1030beon-gil, Samdong-myeon, Namhae-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do

☞ Directions: From Namhae Intercity Bus Terminal, take a taxi approx. 37min.

☞ Inquiries: Samdong-myeon Office +82-55-860-8155 (Korean only)

 

Primitive fishing, Jukbangryeom

Photo: Jukbangryeom set-up

Jukbangryeom is a time-honored, primitive fishing method in Korea. This fishing practice is unique in the world and can only be seen in Namhae. The practice uses a bamboo trap set up in a fan shape. The V-shaped installation on the sea that is seen from Changseongyo Bridge is Jukbangryeom. Changseongyo is the bridge connecting Samdong-myeon in Namhae-do and Changseon-myeon in Changseon-do, another big island in Namhae. The flow of the seawater beneath the bridge is fast and strong. The channel between Changseon-do Island and Namhae Island is called the Jijok Strait, where the currents are one of the strongest in the nation. Jukbangryeom takes advantage of such rough tidal current. Densely-tied bamboo is installed in a V-shape in the direction opposite of the seawater flow. Due to the fast-flowing currents, fish lose the strength to swim and get trapped into imtong, a weir made of bamboo. The fish most commonly caught is anchovy, but other seafoods are also caught, including hairtail, mackerel pike, pomfret, and shrimp. In particular, jukbang myeolchi, which is anchovy caught in Jukbangryeom, commands the highest price and is sold nationwide. Near Samdong-myeon, there are many restaurants that offer dishes made of anchovies such as the myeolchi-ssambap (anchovy, rice, and side dishes, eaten wrapped in lettuce) and myeolchi-hoe (fresh, raw anchovy).

☞ Address: 73-50, Dongbu-daero 2964beon-gil, Changseon-myeon, Namhae-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do

☞ Directions: From Namhae Intercity Bus Terminal, take a taxi approx. 45min.

☞ Inquiries: Samdong-myeon Office +82-55-860-8155 (Korean only)

 

Enjoy the sea! Sangju Silver Sand Beach & Dumo Village

Photo: Sangju Silver Sand Beach

As an island, Namhae has numerous sites to enjoy the sea. With clean and clear seawater and quality mud flats, the sea of Namhae is great for various activities such as swimming and sea leisure sports. The most famous beach in Namhae is Sangju Silver Sand Beach in Sangju-myeon. The fine and firm sand makes it look like the beach has been sprayed with silver powder. The name Sangju Silver Sand Beach also captures the beauty of the sandy beach. Also splendid is the two kilometer-long pine tree grove surrounding the sandy beach in a semi-circle. With Mokseom Island in front of the fan-shaped beach, the mountain surrounding the beach on each side, and the gentle waves and shallow sea make the beach ideal for swimming. Situated in Sangju-myeon, Dumo Village is well-known for leisure sports like sea rafting and kayak and activities like the traditional gaemaegi fishing method and deep sea fishing on board a boat.