[WOW Korea] Introducing Jindo Island

For this week’s #wowkoreasupporters mission, we are tasked with introducing one of the islands in Korea! It was a surprise for me to know that Korea actually has 3,358 islands, big and small! Apart from the already well-known islands such as of course, Jeju Island, I have decided to introduce Jindo Island!

Jindo is located at almost the Southernmost part of the Korean peninsula. Source: itv.com

Jindo is located at almost the Southernmost part of the Korean peninsula. Source: itv.com

Maybe for some of you, when I mention Jindo, you would think of this cute little thing:

Jindo is home to the Jindo dog. Source: theworldofanimals.proboards.com

Jindo is home to the Jindo dog. Source: theworldofanimals.proboards.com

Yes, the Jindo dog! It is a breed of dog which originated from Jindo. It is valuable to Koreans as it is native to Korea, it is a national treasure and there is even a Jindo Dog Research and Testing Center in Jindo!

But for now let us move on to some of the attractions in Jindo!

Jindo Bridge

If you’ve been to Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul right outside Gyeongbukgung, you definitely would have seen this statue of Admiral Yi Sun-shin.

General Yi Sun-shin statue in Gwanghwamun Square. Source: exploringkorea.com

Admiral Yi Sun-shin statue in Gwanghwamun Square. Source: exploringkorea.com

The Jindo Bridge is famous not only because of its design or because of its convenience linking the island to the main peninsula, but also because it is the site where the Battle of Myeongnyang of the Imjin War took place under Admiral Yi Sun-shin’s command. The Battle of Myeongnyang was significant because Admiral Yi and his fleet were able to defeat the Japanese fleet 13 ships to 133 ships!

It is also for this reason that every year, the Myeongnyang festival is held in Jindo to celebrate this victory and Admiral Yi’s amazing battle. I was able to attend the festival with a school trip sometime in 2012, and it was really an eye-opener because the feeling is very different from that of the festivals in Seoul. There is something very local, very traditional, something that tells me that this local spirit is really what being Korean is about too, not just what we see in the city. If you are interested in experiencing the local Korean culture and festival, I would highly recommend you to go to the Myeongnyang Festival! This year it is on October 9th to 12th so if you are going to be in that area at that time, why not consider joining in the festival?

Jindo Bridge which connects Jindo with Haenam. Source: spie.org

Jindo Bridge which connects Jindo with Haenam. Source: spie.org

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Performers with Korean traditional instruments at the Myeongnyang festival

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Cartoon Admiral Yi and his famous turtle ship

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Some figures depicting the battle that you can find along the Jindo Bridge

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Some fun games too!

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A parade was held and the locals were so friendly! They invited some of us to join them in their dance ^^

Jindo Sea Way

Apart from the Jindo dog and the Battle of Myeongnyang, Jindo is also famous for another reason, which is the seaway that appears leading to nearby Modo-ri for 2 to 3 times a year.

It's almost like magoc isn't it? Source: amusingplanet.com

It’s almost like magoc isn’t it? Source: amusingplanet.com

And look at the  crowd all walking towards the island itself! Source: holidaysia.com

And look at the crowd all walking towards the island itself! Source: holidaysia.com

This is a natural phenomenon that occurs for about 2 to 3 times a year when the tide recedes so much, and there is a festival usually held in April to commemorate this event! You can not only travel on the sea path, but also take time to enjoy local food, and even pick up some fresh clams or crabs for your meal later!

Getting to Jindo

There are buses from express bus terminal in Seoul that goes to Jindo, but only 4 times a day (07:35, 09:00, 15:30 and 16:35), it takes about 5 hours 40 minutes.

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