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통영 Tongyeong

소매물도 Somaemul-do

Preparing for a future journey to 거제도 Geoje-do, I have come to the peninsular city of 통영 Tongyeong. The bus terminal is in the new part of town on a little inlet. I soon hopped on a bus to the old part of the city to the south. The city is on a narrow strait. Near the central shopping district is the old fish market (every coastal city needs one) and a ferry terminal. I arrived midafternoon and I got a ride to 소매물고 Somaemul-do (Little Maemul Island).
소매물도 Somaemul-do is a small island on the edge of Korea out in the Korean Strait. There is a small town above the ferry dock on the steep rocky slope. I arrived with many other people and the first thing we all did was rush to find a hotel room. There was a nice, modern hotel, but really expensive. The other little places were full. I asked a couple cute girls for some help locating a vacancy for me. They found a family-owned and operated inn. The old woman who owns the hotel was nice enough to give me a 25% foreigner discount! Great especially as I had only a little cash on this disconnected island (ie no internet, no credit cards).
After settling in my room, I went to the island's only open restaurant. Being an island, every item on the menu had seafood, but I don't like seafood. So I decided to ask for something but without any seafood. The boy acting as my waiter said everything had seafood. I then ask for just some plain rice, but he goes "Just rice? Are you okay!?" Uh, no, I'm hungry, that's why I'm at this restaurant... but he did finally come back with a little microwave bowl of rice. I can't believe this "restaurant" doesn't cook their own food...
The main attraction of the island is a hiking trail. We got a nice view over the Korean Strait looking to nearby islands and out to the horizon towards Japan. At the top of island's hill is an abandoned building. I took it upon myself to step over the dirty floors and up the staircase to the roof where I was awarded with a gorgeous 360° view. It was quite breath-taking. Shame I don't have any pics to share...
<< 14 Feb 2010
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20 Feb 2010