While it has been our humble home and the basecamp for many of our adventures, Yeosu is probably most notable for the Yeosu Expo which was held in 2012. This area of town has enormous buildings that were constructed to host a conference for oceanic sustainability and conservation a few years ago, but still hold a few attractions for visitors today. In a continuing effort to bring more people to our lovely city, we present our four favorite Yeosu Expo attractions as well as an English map we’ve made of the area. If you would like more information about our city guide of Yeosu, click here.
1. Hanhwa Aquarium
This uncommon attraction (outside of Korea’s major cities) is the host to many interesting species. While being both aesthetically pleasing as well as diverse in its population, this small aquarium hosts a myriad of animals. Probably the most famous attraction is the Beluga Whale exhibit. Hosting shows daily, the Hanhwa Aquarium is a popular attraction for seeing the whales, penguins, and numerous seals. Worth a day trip for sure, and make sure you see the whale show!
At the end of a long man-made walking bridge lies an island known as O-dong-do. Known for its beauty and blooms in the spring, this island has many hiking trails to keep visitors occupied even after the pedals fall. Many rock formations draw visitors’ attention, but the light house and tourist center should not be missed. For people unwilling to make the short trek accross the causeway, there are small motorized passenger trains connected to golf carts which can get you to the island with little effort.
3. Big “O” Show
Probably the most famous attraction of the Yeosu Expo is the “Big-O Show!” This spectacle of water, lights, and sounds is sure to delight any visitor.
A note for Korean visitors: bring/buy a rain poncho to protect from the watery mist that sprays across the audience.
A note for foreign visitors: be prepared for the most hilarious fight against airborne water spray you’ve ever seen. Everyone knows that they’re going to get sprayed, but it’s a shrieking and howling spectacle of aquatic avoidance and surprise. The laser show is amazing, and you will undoubtedly have a good time, no matter your proclivity towards water.
4. Sky Tower Cafe
Last on our menu for destinations at the Yeosu Expo is an establishment that actually has a menu. This cafe, near the trains station, holds spectacular views of the area and gives newly arrived visitors a glimpse into their day’s plan as much as it gives recently finished visitors a summary of the expansive Yeosu Expo complex from high above. It costs 2,000 won per person for a ticket to ride the elevator to the top, but it is definitely worth it!
5. Bonus: The Cable Cars!
Although not completed in time for the actual expo event, the cable car to Dolsan is a majestic ride across the bay where any visitor can experience the light show emanating from Yeosu’s shorefront. The ride takes roughly ten minutes starting from Jasan Park which is located next to the Expo and drops visitors off at Dolsan Park which holds our favorite views of the bay. This area is as “Must See” as the Expo itself and deserves a visit around sundown to experience the incredible city lights. There are two options of cars: regular and glass bottom!
Finally, I’d like to say that there are other places to see at the Expo and it is also a wonderful place to just spend the day exploring. You can easily spend an afternoon wandering around, or a full day visiting each of the locations listed above.