After a night in the countryside at the Grandparents’ house, we set off for an overnight trip to Tongyeong on our way to Busan. The kids and I struggle with long car trips, so it’s always better to break up trips into smaller sections. The port city of Tongyeong seemed like a perfect stopover for beauty, culture, sea, and history! We chose a smallish hotel with pretty average reviews but a very decent price and views across the bay. It turned out to be clean, comfortable and waking up to watch the fishing boats come into the port was good fun.
Tongyeong Samdo Sugun Tongjeyeong Naval Station
During Joseon times, the city served as a naval headquarters. These headquarters operated for 292 years, since 1603. were built in 1603. The highlight is the magnificent Tongyeong Sebyeonggwan Hall. After the famous pavilion in Gyeongbokgung palace, it’s the largest wooden building of the Joseon dynasty. We arrived early morning and we enjoyed the whole grounds to ourselves. There are traditional hanboks and military uniforms to try on and plenty of information in English for us to discuss the history and what each of the buildings was used for.
Dongpirang & Seopirang Mural Villages
These two hilly areas of Tongyeong are covered in colourful murals. The windy streets lead up to excellent areas to take in the surrounding views. We decided to stick to Dongpirang as we didn’t have all day to explore (we were heading to Busan that afternoon.) You’ll find plenty of cafes, many with rooftop decks and sea views, to rest your legs and refuel.
Yi Sun-sin Park
Admiral Yi Sun Shin is most famous for leading victories against the Japanese navy during the Imjin War (1592–1598). He’s also credited with building improved turtle ships that helped win numerous battles for the Joseon Dynasty. This park is dedicated to him and located at the site of the Great Battle of Hansan. The scenic coastal path offers stunning sea views and even a small children’s playground to keep the little ones content after all the history lessons.
There is so much more to see and do in Tongyeoung. We could have spent several days exploring the coastline, the fish markets and sampling the local food. However, this was a pleasant and worthwhile stopover. Next time, I’d especially like to ride the cable car.