Travel Highlights

Multifaceted Charms of Tongyeong

  • Tag Food Tour
  • Date09/28/2020
  • Hit12664

Tongyeong (credit: Tongyeong City Hall)

Tongyeong is a well-known tourist destination, with romantic coastal views of the sea and many islands. The harbor area is great for exploring the local culture, from mural villages to delicious foods. It’s also a great starting point for heading off on an adventure with ferries traveling to the many surrounding islands. If you still want to enjoy the sea views but avoid any boat rides, you can visit coastal parks or go for a drive on the main island! Whatever your preference, Tongyeong has something for everyone!

Local Culture

Bird’s-eye view of the city from Tongyeong Cable Car

View from Mireuksan Mountain (top, credit: Tongyeong City Hall), Tongyeong Skywalk (left) & Tongyeong Cable Car (right)

The panoramic view of Tongyeong as seen from the cable car is unlike any other! Departing for the peak of Mireuksan Mountain at 461 meters above sea level, the cable car is the longest in Korea, stretching a distance of 1,975 meters! The height makes for a thrilling experience while the length allows riders to fully take in the beautiful views from every angle. After arriving at the summit, step out on the skywalk if you are brave enough. The panorama includes all of downtown Tongyeong, as well as Geoje Bridge. The boats moving around the harbor resemble the many islands both large and small which dot the sea.

Tongyeong Cable Car
  • Address: 205, Balgae-ro, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (경상남도 통영시 발개로 205)
  • Directions: Take Bus No. 141 or 181 from Tongyeong Bus Terminal Bus Stop to Cable Car Base Station Bus Stop and walk for approx. 5 min
  • Operating hours
    - October-March: 09:30-16:00
    - April & September: 09:30-17:00
    - May-August: 09:30-18:00
    * Ticket sales may end 2-3 hours early
    * Operations may be closed in the case of adverse weather conditions
    * Closed for maintenance on the second and fourth Monday of each month (will close the following day in the case of a public holiday)
    * Extended hours possible in May, August & October
  • Fares
    - Round-trip: Adults 14,000 won / Children 10,000 won / Senior citizens 11,000 won
    - One-way: Adults 10,500 won / Children 8,000 won / Senior citizens 8,500 won
    * Adults (ages 13-64) / Children (ages 4-12) / Senior citizens (ages 65 and older)
    * Free admission for children ages 3 and younger
    * Reservations not available, tickets sold on site
    * Must present identification for senior discount
  • Inquiries: +82-1544-3303→1→0 (Korean, English)

Once is never enough! Skyline Luge Tongyeong

Skyline Luge track (credit: Skyline Luge Tongyeong)

If the cable car is the best way to experience Tongyeong by air, Skyline Luge is perfect for the ground. Your heart will race as fast as your luge cart as you zoom down the curvy track! The carts are designed for safety and are very easy to use. After a short two-minute lesson, anyone and everyone will be able to operate the cart with ease. Skyline Luge is great for families, as children between 85-110 centimeters tall are allowed to ride with an adult. Anyone over 110 centimeters tall can ride by themselves.

Skyline Luge Tongyeong

Take in the view from the Skyride, a special lift that will take you to the luge track starting point at 100 meters above sea level. At this point, you will attend a short lesson on cart usage. After picking your course, it’s time to ride down. The track includes various thrilling sections, from curves to tunnels, all taken at high speed! After night falls, bright lights illuminate the tracks, making the ride more exciting.

Skyline Luge
  • Address: 178, Balgae-ro, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (경상남도 통영시 발개로 178)
  • Directions: Take Bus No. 41 or 181 from Tongyeong Bus Terminal Bus Stop to Luge Bus Stop and walk for approx. 3 min
  • Operating hours: 10:00-18:00
    * Closed Tuesdays
    * Above hours apply for September 2020; subject to change monthly
    * Closed during adverse weather conditions
    * Ticketing both on-site and online may be limited during peak season and on weekends & public holidays
  • Fares
    - Skyline Luge & Skyride: 3 rides 25,000 won / 4 rides 29,000 won / 5 rides 32,000 won
    * Additional 2,000 won charged for children riding with an adult
    - Skyride round-trip ticket: 11,000 won (only available on-site)
    * Above fares are per person
    * Refer to the website for family discount rates
    * Tickets purchased on-site are valid for date of purchase only. Online tickets valid for 90 days from purchase date
    * Tickets non-transferable
  • Inquiries +82-70-4731-8473→1 (Korean, English)
    * Availability of language assistance will vary by staff work schedule
  • Website www.skylineluge.com (Korean, English)

Beautifully decorated mural villages of Dongpirang & Seopirang

Dongpirang Village

Dongpirang and Seopirang Mural Villages are two of the biggest reasons why Tongyeong is the great cultural destination it is today. The two neighborhoods are set to the east and west of Tongyeong Jungang Market. Built on a steep slope and becoming an eyesore as it fell into disrepair, Dongpirang Village was slated to be bulldozed. The residents living here obviously rejected this idea, and with the help of volunteers, set about to transform their neighborhood with whimsical murals. It quickly became known as an attraction by word-of-mouth, and Seopirang soon followed suit.

Dongpirang Village (top), Seopirang Village’s 99 Steps (left) & Butt Chairs (right)

The murals in Dongpirang Village were created by amateur artists, but this gives the village a friendly, approachable feeling. It’s easy to see the love each artist had for the village through the styles and colors they chose. Seopirang Village also offers sculptures and photo spots in addition to the murals. Some of the most popular attractions include 99 Steps, Butt Chairs, and Malttukbakgi (Korean game similar to buck buck) Chairs.

Dongpirang Mural Village
  • Address: 100, Dongpirang-gil, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (경상남도 통영시 동피랑길 100)
  • Directions: Take Bus No. 101, 141, 301, 401 or 530 from Tongyeong Bus Terminal Bus Stop to Jungang Market Bus Stop and walk for approx. 5 min
    * Please use common manners when visiting as this is a residential area.
Seopirang Mural Village
  • Address: 22, Chungnyeol-ro, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (경상남도 통영시 충렬로 22)
  • Directions: Take Bus No. 101, 141, 301, 401 or 530 from Tongyeong Bus Terminal Bus Stop to Seoho Market Bus Stop and walk for approx. 4 min
    * Please use common manners when visiting as this is a residential area.

Picnic in the forest at Café Positives Tongyeong

Café Positives Tongyeong

If the hills of Dongpirang Village have you feeling exhausted, this café is for you. Café Positives Tongyeong is perfectly Insta-worthy, designed to give off the vibe of going on a secluded picnic. Guests can choose to enjoy their drinks and desserts inside the cozy café, or outside on the patio or a picnic blanket. The café menu changes throughout the year, using fruits as they become seasonally available. We recommend ordering the apple cider and green grape tart when they’re on the menu.

Café Positives Tongyeong
  • Address: 6-33, Jungangsijang 4-gil, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (경상남도 통영시 중앙시장4길 6-33)
  • Directions: Take Bus No. 101, 141, 301, 401 or 530 from Tongyeong Bus Terminal Bus Stop to Jungang Market Bus Stop and walk for approx. 5 min
  • Operating hours: 11:00-19:00
    * Hours as of August 2020; subject to change
  • Signature menus: Apple cider (ice) 6,500 won / Apple cinnamon milk (ice) 6,000 won, (hot) 5,500 won / Sau latte (ice) 6,000 won, (hot) 5,500 won / Green grape tart 6,000 won
  • Instagram: @positives_tongyeong

The taste of the sea brought to the table, Beoksudajji

Beoksudajji Set Menu

Tongyeong is famous for its culture of “dajji,” where the restaurant prepares enough food to match the amount of alcohol ordered, a complete reversal of the standard format. Being surrounded by the sea, naturally, most of the dishes at Tongyeong restaurants include some type of seafood. To provide the freshest taste, the menu changes based on the seafood available in market that day.

Dishes at Beoksudajji

Beoksudajji is perfect for visitors looking to try out this local food culture! Dining here is like eating in a family home from the past. The restaurant became quite popular after being introduced on a TV program. One of their specialties is the ge hoe (raw crab), which is similar to ganjang gejang (soy-marinated crab) but has a unique taste. The meal is served in courses, starting with cold dishes and slowly getting warmer. By the time the last dish is served, you will be stuffed to the brim! Feel free to avoid any dishes you are not comfortable eating, such as raw octopus, fish, and crab.

Beoksudajji
  • Address: 41-5, Dongchung 2-gil, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (경상남도 통영시 동충2길 41-5)
  • Directions: Take Bus No. 101, 141, 301, 401 or 530 from Tongyeong Bus Terminal Bus Stop to Culture Plaza Bus Stop and walk for approx. 8 min
  • Operating hours: 12:00-22:30 (break time 15:00-17:00)
    * Closed Tuesdays
  • Price: 40,000 won per person
    * Menu changes daily
    * Orders start from 2 people

Local Tongyeong foods

Chungmu-style gimbap (top), honey bread (left), & uzza (right)

Taking in the local attractions is great, but tasting the regional food is just as important! Some of Tongyeong’s foods include Chungmu-style gimbap, uzza (noodles in udon broth and black bean sauce), honey bread, and ppaedaegi juk (porridge made from dried sweet potato). Chungmu-style gimbap is a simple take on the classic gimbap, with just white rice wrapped in seaweed; it goes great served with seokbakji (radish kimchi) and ojingeo eomuk muchim (spicy squid salad). Uzza, combining udon with jajangmyeon, offers a taste special to Tongyeong! If you’re looking for gifts to give out when you return home, Tongyeong honey bread is a great choice! The fried bun has a red bean filling and is coated in honey. All these local foods can be found around Tongyeong Jungang Market, so be sure to include a visit here in your itinerary!

Local food street
  • Address: 323-1, Tongyeonghaean-ro, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (경상남도 통영시 통영해안로 323-1)
  • Directions: Take Bus No. 101, 141, 301, 401 or 530 from Tongyeong Bus Terminal Bus Stop to Culture Plaza Bus Stop and walk for approx. 3 min

Coastal Vistas

Meeting the moon in Tongyeong, Dara Park

Sunset viewed from Dara Park (credit: Tongyeong City Hall)

Located out of the main city area on the southern part of the island, Dara Park provides views of the mountains and sea. It has long been known as a great spot for taking in the moon, but many people also visit for the sunset. The park is filled with people on December 31 every year, all looking to end the year with a beautiful view. The drive to reach the park is also famous for its beautiful coastal views.

Dara Park
  • Address: 1115, Sanyangilju-ro, Sanyang-eup, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (경상남도 통영시 산양읍 산양일주로 1115)
  • Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 30 min from Tongyeong Bus Terminal

Tongyeong’s main coastal park, Yi Sun-sin Park

Yi Sun-sin Park Yi Sun-sin Park

Yi Sun-sin Park is dedicated to Admiral Yi, who fought off the invading forces during the Imjin War (1592-1598). Even now, visitors can feel his protection by looking at the 17.3-meter-tall bronze statue of Admiral Yi gazing out to sea. The park is near Tongyeong Harbor, offering views of the port, fishery market, and Dongpirang Village. If you’d like to get away from the city, follow the park’s boardwalk. The many sculptures along the way create great photo zones and the ocean breeze will blow your cares away.

Yi Sun-sin Park
  • Address: 205, Mendehaean-gil, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (경상남도 통영시 멘데해안길 205)
  • Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 20 min from Tongyeong Bus Terminal

Uninterrupted ocean views, Mystique Lounge

Mystique Lounge

Mystique Lounge is perfectly situated for a break on the way to Dara Park or during the return trip. With large windows that let in plenty of natural light, you’ll feel like you’re right at the beach, even while sitting inside. However, if you want to get even closer, be sure to grab a seat on the terrace or the rooftop. We recommend the refreshing grapefruit ade and sweet mille-feuille to refuel! If you just can’t bear to leave, there are pensions around the area so you can easily extend your trip.

Mystique Lounge
  • Address: 1215-52, Sanyangilju-ro, Sanyang-eup, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (경상남도 통영시 산양읍 산양일주로 1215-52)
  • Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 20 min from Tongyeong Bus Terminal
  • Operating hours: 10:30-20:00 / Open all year round
    * Hours subject to change depending on the current COVID-19 situation
  • Signature menus: Mille-feuille 6,500 won / Grapefruit Ade 6,500 won / Real vanilla latte (ice) 6,500 won, (hot) 6,000 won

Island Getaways

Divided by the sea, Somaemuldo Island

Somaemuldo Island (top), Lighthouse Island (left), & sea road between the two (right)

Of Tongyeong’s 567 surrounding islands, the most famous is by far Somaemuldo Island. The fame comes from the 50-meter-long sea road that connects the island with the smaller Lighthouse Island twice a day during low tide. The path is made of large and small stones, all smoothed out by the rolling of the waves. It’s a good idea to check the tide timings beforehand so you don’t get stuck on Lighthouse Island. Additional things to see on Somaemuldo Island include a vast field of poppies and fantastic rock formations, such as Nammaebawi Rock (Brother and Sister Rock), Gongryongbawi Rock (Dinosaur Rock), and Chotdaebawi Rock (Candlestick Rock). The ocean around the island is also great for scuba diving!

Somaemuldo Island
  • Address: 65, Somaemuldo-gil, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (경상남도 통영시 한산면 소매물도길 65)
  • Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 20 min from Tongyeong Bus Terminal to Tongyeong Ferry Terminal and board a ferry to Somaemuldo Island
  • Ferry information
    - Travel time: Approx. 1 hr 30 min from Tongyeong Ferry Terminal to Maemuldo Island
    - Ferry schedule
    Tongyeong→Somaemuldo: Weekdays 06:50, 10:50, 14:30 (Overnight guests only) / Weekends 06:50, 09:10, 10:50, 12:30, 14:30 (Overnight guests only)
    Somaemuldo→Tongyeong: Weekdays 08:25, 12:30, 16:30 / Weekends 08:25, 10:40, 12:30, 14:00, 16:30
    * Ferry schedule subject to change depending on season and adverse weather; please refer to the website for updated information
    - Fares: Adults 32,700 won / Teenagers 29,500 won / Senior citizens 26,400 won / Children 15,950 won
    * Adults (ages 19-64) / Teenagers (ages 13-18) / Senior citizens (ages 65 and older) / Children (ages 12 and younger)
    * Above fares are round-trip
    * Fares increased 10% on weekends, public holidays, and during peak season
    * All passengers must board 10 minutes prior to departure
    * Phone reservations not accepted
    * On-site ticketing available only for the same day
    * ID (passport or Alien Registration Card) required
  • Websites : www.maemuldo.go.kr (Korean, English)

Island of art, Jangsado Sea Park

Jangsado Sea Park (Credit: Jangsado Sea Park Corp.)

If nearby Geojedo Island has Oedo-Botania, then Tongyeong has Jangsado Sea Park. The island is decorated with man-made sculptures, many giving off their very own unique, art film vibe. Every aspect of the park, from the artwork to the flowers to the surrounding sea, is in harmony with one another. With beauty like this in the background, every photo taken here will turn out wonderful. The best time to visit is in spring, when the many camellia trees bloom bright red!

Jangsando Sea Park
  • Address: 55, Jangsado-gil, Hansan-myeon, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (경상남도 통영시 한산면 장사도길 55)
  • Directions: Take a taxi for approx. 20 min from Tongyeong Bus Terminal to Tongyeong Ferry Terminal and board a ferry to Jangsado Island
  • Operating hours: April-September 08:00-19:00 / October-March 08:00-17:00
    * Closed the day before and day of Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day)
    * Last admission two hours before closing
    * Hours subject to change depending on local weather conditions
  • Admission: Adults 10,500 won / Teenagers 8,000 won / Children 5,000 won
    * Adults (ages 19 and over) / Teenagers (ages 13-18) / Children (ages 3-12)
    * Must present proper identification for discount
    * Must pay for admission to Jangsado Sea Park at Tongyeong Ferry Terminal
  • Ferry information
    - Travel time: Approx. 3 hr 20 min (round-trip)
    * Time includes 1 hr 20 min round-trip ferry, as well as 2 hours on the island.
    - Ferry schedule: April-September 09:00-17:00 / October-March 10:00-16:00
    * Hours may vary, excluding set departures at 10:00 and 13:00
    - Fares
    Ferry: Adults 21,000 won / Children 13,000 won
    * Adults (ages 13 and over) / Children (ages 3-12)
    * Additional 1,000 won charged per person on weekends, public holidays, and peak season (July 21 – August 31)
  • Website: jangsado.co.kr (Korean, Chinese)
More Info
  • Main tourist attractions
    Bijindo Island
    Yeonhwado Island
    Mireukdo Island
    Yukjido Island
    Hansando Island
    Yeondaedo Island
    Maemuldo Island
    Udo Island
    Manjido Island
  • Tongyeong website: www.badaland.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
    * Website provides information on tours to the surrounding islands.
  • 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay)

* This column was last updated in September 2020, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.