Among South Korea‘s wealth of islands, Bijindo is one that topped our list for so long. After a lot of talking about going, we finally drove to Tongyeong and caught the ferry over to Bijindo. As far as islands go, this one is pretty small but is definitely worth the journey, if you’re seeking a place as far away from it all as one can get in Korea.
Flights to South Korea are cheaper than you think! Check here for the best prices and the most convenient routes!
This travel guide is part of our series on South Korea Travel and East Asia Travel. It was originally created on September 12, 2014. It has been maintained and updated (as of December 28, 2018) to reflect current viewpoints and travel trends.
If you ever look up a photo of Bijindo from above, you’ll see that it’s almost two islands. Some folks say that it’s shaped like a dumbbell. Another fun thing to know about Bijindo’s shape is that it’s one of those awesome places where you can watch the sun rise and set from the same place.
When to Go
As one of the best beaches in South Korea, Summer is definitely the busiest time there. However, you can still enjoy the water in the late summer, as well as the hiking throughout many parts of the year.
Getting to Bijindo
Courtesy of Korea Tourism
- Visitors leaving from Seoul should take an express bus from the Nambu Terminal or Seoul Express Bus Terminal towards Tongyeong. It’ll take about 4 hours without heavy traffic but during holiday weekends, that time can easily go up. You can check bus schedules here.
- From the Tongyeong Bus Terminal, you can take buses 101, 231, 301, 530, or 600 and head towards Seoho Market (통영서호시장).
- Get off there and walk in the market’s direction but instead to the Tongyeong Port Passenger Terminal (통영여객터미널).
- From there, you can book tickets for a ferry to Bijindo. Boats leave at 7:00, 11:00, and 14:30. Boats take about 45 minutes and you’ll be asked at the counter to purchase a return ticket for a specific date and time.
Slow down and find a hotel in nearby Tongyeong before your journey to Bijindo! (Booking | Hotels.com | TripAdvisor)
Where to Stay
If you get to the island early enough on a weekend, you can grab a primo spot on the beach with your tent. It’s one of the few places in South Korea where people don’t crack down on plopping down right on the sand in the summer. If that changes, please let us know and we’ll edit accordingly. Also, you can get a pension, of which there are a few on Bijindo. To book, you’d have to contact them by phone and flex your Korean language muscles. Another way to keep in close contact with Bijindo is to stay in nearby Tongyeong and day-trip back and forth.
Things to Do
Many folks like hiking to the top of one of Bijindo’s mountains and there’s a trail that’ll lead you there. The views from the top look pretty awesome are a great way to get a feel for the place. Of course, a lot of people come to just hang out on the beach, watch a few waves if any come in, and relax on one of South Korea’s most beautiful patches of sand. Then, there’s the beautiful sunset sandwiched between the gorgeous day and just cool enough night. When the sky started its transformation from cerulean to a shade of black not too dark thanks to stars and the moon.
Note: Those in search of food on Bijindo should keep in mind that it’s a tiny island, so there aren’t many restaurants. Bring your own food and drinks when you go.
Our Thoughts and Yours, Too!
Bijindo is wonderful in so many ways and we’re happy to have spent some time there. It’s easy to think of reasons to come back and it all comes back to that wonderful sunset. Who wouldn’t want to watch Bijindo during the golden sunset hours? Wouldn’t you?
Ever been to Bijindo? What did you think of it? Want to go back like we do? Let us know in the comments section below:)
6 thoughts on “Enjoying Bijindo Island in South Korea”
Oh you make me long to see just one Bijindo Sunset! Those pictures are fantastic. You are right, the sun is always setting somewhere in the world:) But I personally think that they are all unique in some way… Bijindo most especially:)
Thank you for your kind words! I think I got lucky with a remarkable view and some willing “models”! It is amazing that the sun sets the same in every part of the world, but it always looks different from place to place and day to day! Each one is a unique gift to share with those around us! Thank you for your engagement and kind words!
Hi; thanks for sharing your time there with us. can remember back to when i had enough vision to enjoy a sunset or sit and do some cloud watching. and yes everyone has a place or two where they want just one more hour or just one more day. take care, max
Thank you so much, Max! I truly appreciate your kind words. Looking forward to more from you as well!
Oh, I love every sentence of this post. Beautifully written. And great pictures; that sunset looks surreal. 🙂
Thank you! It was such a beautiful island among the many that Korea has to offer. I really appreciate you stopping by. Hoping to see you again!