Best things to do in Jeollanam-do 2022

January 01, 2023

Just as Italians say that you haven’t eaten real Italian food until you’ve gone to Sicily, Koreans will tell you to venture far South for the best Korean food. Jeollanam-do is the country’s greenest province, filled with thousands of islands, green tea fields, and seafood.

Big thank you to U-weekly and Korea Tourism Organization, I get to experience the beauty of Jeollanam-do with celebrity host Pornsak. We savoured the region’s fresh seafood, natural produce and explore the cities of Boseong, Suncheon, Mokpo and Yeosu.

Here are some highlights of our trip!


Purple Island

This is the perfect Instagram worthy spot in Jeollanam-do. Over 400 houses were painted purple. Other than constructing purple telephone booths and a big purple bridge, lavender was also planted to complete the dazzling purple landscape.

Owing to its purple scenery, this unique remote destination is called Purple Island. United Nations World Tourism Organization designated Purple Island as the World’s Best Tourist Village in 2021.
It cost 3,000 KRW to enter the Purple Island. However, if you wear purple (hat, scarf, shoes, etc.), you can get in for free.




Naganeupseong Walled Town

Travel back in time in Naganeupseong Folk Village in Suncheon. This charming folk village became an UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011. It is considered the best preserved Korean fortress town in the country, therefore it is a destination you absolutely need to see in Jeollanam-do.

The hanoks in this village are called chogajib. At present, the village still houses close to 100 families and their chogajibs are still in their original condition with thatched roofs. Not only are the homes in their original state, but there are actual residents that occupy the homes and still live a very traditional lifestyle.

Walk along the top of the fortress wall and get a beautiful view out over the rooftops covered in straw. There are also various houses that host workshops from the blacksmith, to straw crafts, paper art, fabric dying, and so on.





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Boseong Green Tea Field

Boseong is the largest producer of tea in the country and is famous for it’s beautiful rolling tea fields perched atop the mountains that overlook the sea. These tea plantations have been around since the days of Japanese Occupation and the fields are incredibly picturesque. No matter which way you look, there is beauty all around. You can do a mini-hike up to the top of the mountain and treat yourself to some green tea ice cream once you’ve made it back down.



Wando Abalone catching

Wando is an island in the southern part of South Korea known for its production of seaweed products and its high-quality abalone. Here, follow the expert out into the sea and watch them pick the abalones. Thereafter, you can have sashimi abalone!






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Naejangsan National Park

Autumn in Korea is the most magnificent. This is the time of year when you can count on brilliant blue skies, incredibly comfortable weather, and a country bursting with every spectacular shade of orange, yellow and red!

Naejangsan National Park is hands down one of the most beautiful places in Korea for autumn foliage. Take a stroll along the maple-tree lined roads and enjoy the beautiful lush forests and mountains.






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Mokpo Marine Cable Car

Mokpo is surrounded by mountains and sea, so taking the marine cable car is the most dramatic way to view the city. This is the longest cable car ride in Korea, spanning 3.2km long over the sea. We suggest riding the cable car during sun set and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the port and surrounding islands.


ARTE Museum Ocean

You might have heard of the Arte Museum in Jeju before, and yes, there’s one in Yeosu! This is Korea’s largest immersive media art exhibition. Themed “The Ocean”, experience varying visual intensities and sensuous sounds, such as blooming flowers, crashing waves and shiny stars.

Suitable for all ages, everyone can move freely in each area to experience as if beyond different time and space! After a visit to the museum, don’t forget to grab a cup of coffee at Café A. View other art attractions here.




Gamcheon Culture Village

Once a dilapidated neighbourhood which housed refugees following the Korean War, Gamcheon Village was transformed in 2009, when the government turn the area into a creative community. Under the theme, “Dreaming of Busan Machu Picchu,” painters and sculptors added their artistic touch to the streets and homes of Gamcheon.

Now, many tourists flock here to marvel at some of the most beautiful street art in Korea. The alleyways, staircases and winding streets add an exotic charm for visitors to explore the picturesque village. That is why it is also known as ‘The Santorini of South Korea’. One of the best things to do is simply get lost in its labyrinth of alleys or drop by one of their cafes to enjoy the lovely scenery over your favourite drinks.







Cockle Bibimbap

The first meal we had during this trip was Kkomak Bibimbap. I mean, I usually eat cockles with my Char Kway Teow, so I can’t imagine how does it taste when you toss these saltwater clams with gojuchang (chilli bean paste) and served with flavoured rice.

This is a popular dish during winter because they grow plump and sweet during this season. When mixed thoroughly, the cockles contrast beautifully with the crunch from the vegetables. Every bite is a party in the mouth. This is the restaurant we visited.

Bamboo Set Menu + Grilled Short Rib Patties

Damyang in Jeollanam-do is the home to the most number of bamboos in Korea. It has a Bamboo Theme Park, Bamboo Festival, a large bamboo garden and bamboo museum. But for the wandering gourmand, Damyang’s best bamboo creation is Daetong-bap, steamed rice in bamboo stalk.

The fluffy ice is steamed with chestnuts, jujubes, pine nuts and grains, in a thick and fully formed bamboo. The fragrance of the rice comes from the natural bamboo oils and the bamboo is only used once. The rice is served with tteokgalbi (grilled short rib patty), so delicious! Get it from House by the Museum.




Famous Mokpo Octopus Assorted Seafood Stew

Mokpo is the home of the sea, it is also a place overflowing with various seafood such as octopus and crabs. When you are there, you got to try their spicy seafood stew which includes the most famous ingredients from Mokpo such as trifold octopus, seasoned crabs and abalone. Just looking at the picture above can make your stomach growl! Both comforting and hearty, this is perfect to warm you right up in Korea’s cold weather.

After you are done with the stew, add in some rice and gochujang to make your own seafood bibimbap! This is one of the favourite ways of cooking and enjoying fresh seafood by the locals.





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Ssiat Hotteok


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No visit to Busan would be complete without sampling the city’s famous ssiat hotteok, a delectable fried pastry stuffed with sugar, honey, nuts and sunflower seeds. There are a number of stalls and cafes selling this sweet treat, so don’t miss your chance to try it! You most likely won’t be able to eat just one!


If you love food, love island-hopping, love historical sites, add Jeollanam-do to your vacation bucket list now! It is great all year round, you can even find green scenery during winter.

There are many things to enjoy in Korea, including Hansik, Korean cuisine. The Korea Tourism Organization has chosen the following 14 best dishes that are rated “must-eat” foods when in Korea. Read more here. Check out other guide books here.

Thank you U-Weekly and Korea Tourism Organization for planning such a wonderful trip! I can’t wait to be back!