Of all the wonderful outdoor opportunities Yeosu has to offer, kayak is probably the most overlooked. Being a coastal city, Yeosu had plenty of access to water and the views from our beaches are pretty amazing. While the beaches, Cable Car, and ferries may get most of the attention on the waterfront, there are several facilities for renting and using sea kayaks around the bay, and each has its benefits as well as drawbacks.
The Yeosu Expo Site
- Probably the easiest place to rent a kayak, but the views are largely of the port, some Expo buildings, and Odongdo. While not the most aesthetically pleasing location for kayaking, the Expo is right across the street from the train station and the workers speak a decent amount of English.
- Ungcheon is a new an upcoming area of Yeosu that has changed drastically in the time we’ve lived in Yeosu. What was once a small cluster of restaurants and a man made beach is now a huge new district with apartment complexes, movie theaters, buffet restaurants, bars, and a beach park that has exploded in popularity. While the Ungcheon area has exploded, so have the different activities offered. Head down to Ungcheon Beach Park for a multitude of rentals for the family, including kayaks. Biggest downside to Ungcheon is the rules on how far you can kayak which is supremely limiting.
The Soho Yacht Club
- This is our favorite place to rent kayaks in Yeosu. Although not the most easily accessed or communicated, success in obtaining a boat in Sohodong ensures the best views and water that Yeosu has to offer. Not as highly trafficked as the other two locations, Soho Yacht Club is a far more relaxed environment with brilliant views of Yeosu’s nearby islands and hillside neighborhoods.
- Fees: kayak rentals are free to Yeosu residents, but are also supposedly free for anyone willing to fork over an ID card. If there is a fee for out-of-towners, usually around 5,000 won.
- Safety: life jackets are required to be worn at all times, and must be buckled. They are available for free.
- Equipment: Kayaks, paddles, and life jackets are provided, but you’ll need to bring your own swimsuit and towel (you’ll get wet).
- Translation assistance and information: as always, 1330 (02-1330 outside of Seoul) is your best friend as a traveler in Korea. They can help you with communication or simply finding out what times the rental facilities close before you make it all the way to the water.