Tour of Jeollabuk-do Province: Jeonju Hanok Village & the Byeonsanbando Peninsula
Coastal Tour of Byeonsanbando Peninsula (Buan)
Jutting off from the mainland on the western coast, Buan-gun County in Jeollabuk-do Province is famous for Byeonsanbando National Park, one of the main attractions of Byeonsan Mountain (alt. 508m).
The Byeonsanbando Peninsula is a paradise of towering mountains, deep valleys, refreshing waterfalls, and lush forests. Natural treasures aside, the peninsula is also home to Naesosa Temple (circa the 7th century) and the Gomso Salt Field, one of the few solar salt field in Korea. Along the coast towards the west of the peninsula are beaches as well as the Chaeseokgang Cliffs and Jeokbyeokgang Cliffs, decorating the shores with columns of craggy rocks. Not sure which site to choose? Take a drive with us along the coastal road of Byeonsanbando Peninsula for a mix of natural wonders and manmade marvels!
Recommended tour of Byeonsanbando Peninsula, BuanJeokbyeokgang Cliffs → Gyeokpo Beach → Chaeseokgang Cliffs → Naesosa Temple → Gomso Salt Field → Saemangeum Seawall
- Jeokbyeokgang Cliffs
- One of the main tourist attractions of Byeonsan Bando, the Jeokbyeokgang Cliffs are a 2-kilometer-long stretch of gnarled red rocks and coastal cliffs. So beautiful that they’re said to be the “masterpiece of the gods,” the cliffs make for a fascinating landscape.
☞ Click here for more on the Jeokbyeokgang Cliffs
- Gyeokpo Beach
- Gyeokpo Beach is located between Jeokbyeokgang and Chaeseokgang cliffs towards the western end of Byeonsanbando Peninsula. Though relatively small (only 500m in length), the wide beach marks the beginning of the Chaeseokgang Cliffs and is a popular travel destination. Groves of pine trees bordering the sand help give the beach its cozy ambience. Numerous restaurants, accommodation facilities, restrooms, and shower facilities can be found along the beach as well, making it both a quaint and convenient travel destination. Another popular spot in the area is the coastal road in the west that leads to Byeonsan Beach and Gosapo Beach.
☞ Click here for more on Gyeokpo Beach
- Chaeseokgang Cliffs
- The Chaeseokgang Cliffs, starting at the left end of Gyeokpo Beach, are a series of impressive columns of sediment that were formed by waves nearly 70 million years ago. The Chaeseokgang Cliffs look vastly different from the Jeokbyeokgang Cliffs and are said to resemble thousands of books stacked up towards the heavens. At low tide, large rocks are visible at the base of the cliffs, giving visitors a chance to walk right up for a closer look. One of the main attractions of Byeonsanbando Peninsula, Chaeseokgang has been officially designated Scenic Beauty No. 13 along with the nearby cliffs of Jeokbyeokgang.
☞ Click here for more on the Chaeseokgang Cliffs
- Naesosa Temple
- On the southern end of the Byeonsanbando Peninsula lies Naesosa Temple, a historic temple built in the 7th century. Lined with stately firs, the road from Iljumun Gate (first gate of a temple) near the ticket office of Cheonwangmun Gate wraps visitors in the timeless fragrance of pine, subtly alluding to the almost tangible peace of the temple ahead. Known for its history as well as its beauty, Naesosa is home to: a thousand-year-old zelkova tree; the Goryeo Dongjong Bell, a copper temple bell and national treasure produced in the early 13th century; and the Yeongsanhoe Goebultaeng, a Buddhist painting depicting followers meeting for a Buddhist sermon.
☞ Click here for more on Naesosa Temple
- Gomso Salt Field
- As you drive along the west coast of Byeonsanbando to the easternmost part of the peninsula, you’ll come across Gomsohang Port, which is famous for its salted fish. Drive just one kilometer more past the port and you’ll see Gomso Yeomjeon (Gomso Salt Field) to the left. This particular field is one of the only salt fields in Korea that produces cheonilyeom (solar salt). Known for its rich mineral content, shiny crystals of salt can often be found strewn about the expansive field.
☞ Click here for more on Gomso Salt Field
- Saemangeum Seawall
- Saemangeum Seawall, which connects Gunsan and Buan counties in Jeollabuk-do Province, is registered in the Guinness Book of World Records (2010 edition) as the longest seawall in the world, measuring an impressive 33.9 kilometers in length. Built over a period of 20 years, Saemangeum was born out of an initiative to reclaim the coastal land. Developers hope to use the land, which is about two thirds the size of Seoul, for the construction of a multi-tourist city in the next coming years. Each of the five sections of the seawall comes complete with large rest areas, observation facilities, restrooms, and a parking lot, allowing visitors to stop anywhere along the seawall for a perfect view.
☞ Click here for more on the Saemangeum Seawall
Recommended Local Foods of Buan
As you drive along the coastal road, you’ll find plenty of restaurants near the beaches and tourist sites of Byeonsanbando Peninsula serving up bajirak-juk and baekhap-juk. Each of these local dishes is a type of porridge made with bajirak (short-necked clams) or baekhap clams. Bajirak-juk is made with rice, mung beans, and whole clams. Though it can be found in many places in Korea, it is especially tasty in the Buan region. Baekhap-juk, on the other hand, was once a dish served only to the kings of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). This particular dish is popular among the health-conscious as it has over 30 different nutrients.
There are many mid- to low-priced accommodation facilities like Daemyung Resort and Starhills Hotel [Good Stay] near Chaeseokgang and Gyeokpo Beach in Byeonsanbando and Wangpo Motel [Good Stay] near Naesosa Temple.