REMOTE ISLAND EXCURSION TO CHEONGSANDO (청산도)

by - April 24, 2018

Did you know there are over 3,000 islands in Korea? Mid-April to beginning of May is the perfect time to visit Cheongsando, one of the five inhabited islands of Jeolla Province to experience the ultimate slow life. It is the home of the 'SLOW WALKING FESTIVAL' in April that provides different nature walks with beautiful views of Cheongsando. Out of all the walks, the #1 course is famous for it's yellow rape flower fields (unfortunate name I know but it's correct) overlooking the ocean and, also where the famous movie, Seopyeonje (서편제) and KBS drama Spring Waltz (봄의 왈츠) were filmed. It takes about 5.5 hours to drive down south from Seoul to Wando without any traffic and from Wando, you have to take a 50 minute ferry ride to Cheongsando. It is not easy to get to, but it's definitely worth the trip if you are in Korea. 



Having three kids, our plan was to stop by Damyang Bamboo Forest 👈 and Boseongn Green Tea Plantation on the way down to Wando. I wanted to take our time and spend all day at Cheonsando, but there was forecast for rain the next day, so we cut our trip short at Boseong Green Tea Plantation and went down to catch the 2:30 pm ferry to Cheonsando from Wando. When we got to the ticket booth, the teller told us that before we buy the tickets, we should know that there is a chance they might cancel the ferry back due to strong winds. This meant that we might not come back that night. My husband and I looked at each other for a while and when I was just about to say, I guess this wasn't meant to be, my husband says, we should pack our tooth brushes just in case! So, we bought our one way tickets and off we went! We just crossed our fingers and hoped that would be able to come back on the same day. 



The last ferry ride back to Wando, where we were planning to stay over night was at 6 pm, so we knew we only had about 2 hours in Cheongsando. When I searched online, people were recommending to take public transportation or a tour bus, so I was thinking we probably have time for only one destination. Not knowing what to expect, my husband and I decided on the ferry that if they have a cab, we will ask the driver to take us around for 2 hours. When the ferry arrived to Cheongsando, we had to navigate and push through ahjummas from tour groups with our three kids to get off the boat. Luckily, we were the one of the first ones to get off and hopped in a minivan cab. The cab driver called 50,000 won for driving us around for 2 hours. We tried to negotiate because "give me a discount" (조금 깍아 주새요) is my first response when I am shopping no matter what, and if that doesn't work, I play the "I have three kids" card. 😜 This normally works, but not this time. The driver told us that there are only 3 cabs on the whole island and this is the standard price! As soon as we heard that and didn't see any other cabs around, we said okay kids, get in the car! And this was the best decision we made because the driver was born and lived his whole life on the island. He took us to all the popular places including his secret spots, even took pictures of our family, and drove us back to the station just in time for us to get back. There was no way, we could've visited all those places in two hours on our own. So, if you visit here with kids, I highly recommend this cab option. Our cab driver's name is Kim, Joo Hwan and his number is 010-6552-8747 or 061-552-8747. He does not speak English, but we loved him. 


Our first stop was the most popular and famous spot where the movie Seopyeonje and KBS drama Spring Waltz were filmed. It was so windy, but our kids loved running around against the wind. And the view was breathtaking.










Our cab driver also took us around local farms with cabbage flowers and barley fields.






Next stop was SangSeo DohlDam Village, a stonewall village where people still live. We saw a few locals there, one lady even let us into her little animal house, but it was mostly quiet and empty.








After giving us a tour of the whole island, we stopped by to grab a quick snack for the kids before heading back to the terminal. We were so glad that ferries were running, so we could get back to Wando for the night. 




Wando Ferry Terminal 
Ferry times from Wando to Cheonsando
7:00, 8:30, 10:00, 11:30, 13:00, 14:30, 16:00, 17:30
Ferry times from Cheongsando to Wando 
6:50, 8:30, 10:00, 11:30, 13:00, 14:30, 16:30, 18:00
*Ferry times are subject to change depending on weather and season. 
*No reservation necessary, but advised to arrive at least hour early.

Where we stayed in Wando:

Our room was clean, spacious and comfortable. The location was perfect. All the famous destinations in Wando are near by. However, there are no special facilities or activities within the resort. Don't think of it as a "resort" where you can hang out all day. It was raining when we were there and there was nothing for us to do except watch TV in our room. I also don't recommend their breakfast. It costs 15,000won per adult and 10,000won for child 7 years old and up. The food just wasn't good. Definitely not worth the money in my opinion. 







Our kids passed out as soon as their heads hit the pillow! If you liked this post, please like it, share it, leave a comment below, subscribe to my blog, and follow me on Instagram. Thank you! 

*Complimentary room was received for this post and room pictures are from their website.

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