If you’re interested in exploring the lesser known areas of South Korea, the area in and around Haenam is the place to go! Located in South Jeolla Province, South Korea, it is much less populated and inundated with lights than other areas of South Korea. You can experience both the ocean and mountains in one day.  As public transportation is limited, it is recommended that you rent a car.

Four Places to See in Haenam:

1. Duryun Mountain (두륜산).

Duryun has a few different hiking areas, which can take you to beautiful views and Buddhist temples. We chose to take the cable car up the mountain. Once up the mountain, you can take stairs to the highest point. As a foreigner, the stairs feel like you’re cheating, but the view from the top is fantastic!

2. Mihwangsa Temple (미황사)

The temple is in a very picturesque location near the mountains. The temple is beautiful with an interesting history. They also have the option of a temple stay, if you want to experience staying in the temple overnight.

3. Jindo Bridge

The Bridge has a breathtaking view at sunset and is usually lit up at night, which can be quite beautiful. It leads to Jindo Island, which has interesting sites to see as well!

4. Ddangkkeut (땅끝)

Ddangkkeut is a small town and is also the southernmost area of Korea, which includes the southernmost tip of South Korea that is not an island. It is a beautiful area along the sea, offering nice restaurants and great views. You can take a tram up a mountain to the observatory, then walk down to the water and the tip of the peninsula. There are maps located along the hiking path, so it’s easy to find the tip.

Two Places to Eat In Haenam for the Adventurous:

1. Young-Gwang Haemultang in Haenam (영광 해물탕).

Haemultang is a spicy soup with a large variety of seafood. It can be a bit shocking when you see it, but it’s delicious!

2. Cheonil Restaurant in Haenam (천일식당).

This restaurant will serve you a variety of Korean side dishes in a traditional setting. Be careful of what you might think is sashimi. You might accidentally eat jellyfish like I did! Don’t worry though, the rest of the food is primarily beef and vegetables!

Been to Haenam? Know any other great spots in Korea? Tell us about it below!

Jindo Bridge Image: Flickr.com/usaghumphreys