(KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Whatever you do, do not leave the city of Yeosu without a good view of it at night.
When the sun sets, the city comes alive with colourful nightlights scattered across the bridges and islands. The cool breeze blows away the perspiration from your brows as you stroll across the city, smelling the salty air of the sea.
Alighting from the train at Yeosu Expo Station, you can guess it is a city of youth; evident from animated young couples chattering away with excitement. The southernmost city of South Jeolla Province is famous for its attractions that include food, music, culture, the beach and, most importantly, the city itself.
Stepping outside the station, visitors are greeted by a model of a turtle ship, designed and used by the legendary Admiral Yi Sun Sin, who fended off Japanese invasion in the 16th century. The city takes pride in the war hero who improved the country’s naval force single-handedly during his time as one of commanders of Jeolla Province.
While on the subject, why not pay a visit to Yi Sun-sin Plaza?
Located on the northern end of Dolsandaegyo Bridge, which looks ravishing at night, the plaza is the starting point for the Romantic Bus tour.
The tour, which will start operating on Saturday (Aug 5), visits photogenic spots across the city. During the tour, a pair of actors will put on a skit about two lovers travelling through time - through multiple rebirths - to finally unite with each other.
The tour starts at 7.30pm, lasts about 1 ½ hours and costs 20,000 won (S$24).
Frankly, the tour is bit of a hit and miss. The open-roof double-decker bus has no air-conditioning and the infamous Korean summer heat can get a little overwhelming.
Some may find the skit cheesy and annoying. Koreans know that the most popular song featuring Yeosu is Busker Busker’s Nightscape At Yeosu Seashore, but that does not mean you have to put it on loop for the last 20 minutes of the tour.
“Some of the test audience found it annoying that a skit constantly interrupts them when all they want to do is enjoy the night view. But we’re getting feedback and working on it,” said a Yeosu city government official.
During the media preview, the officials said they would work on the complaints that the skits were too long.
Of course, the main attraction of the tour is the city itself. The view of the sunset over the quiet sea town is enjoyable and relaxing.
The tour ends when the bus arrives once again at Yi Sun-sin Plaza, where the skit ends with a musical-like final scene of the lovers finding each other.
But instead of taking a taxi ride to elsewhere, turn left and take a walk towards the Nangman (romantic) Pocha street.
“Pocha” refers to Korean street vendors selling food and alcohol. The pocha on the street offers Yeosu’s famous seafood dishes. Along with Nangman Pocha, the city also encourages street musicians to perform.
If you want a better view of the city, hop onto the cable car operating between Jasan Park and Dolsan Park. However, it can get warm during summer days as the cable car does not have air-conditioning.
When you are on the Jasan Park side, take a taxi ride up north to Odongdo Island. The small island is accessible on foot, via Dongbaek Train or on bicycles that can be rented near the entrance of the island.