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HONGDO






Tadohaehaesang is not like the other Korean National Parks covered in this web page, because this is a "water park"!  And why not?  Coastal Korea with its thousands of islands, rocks and waterways is just as wonderful as the inland, - extremely scenic -, and a lot of the islands are remote, untouched,- and thereby also unspoiled.

I have chosen to display some pictures from the island Hongdo, - an island about 115 km. out in the Yellow Sea-, making it the island most far away from the south west coast of the Korean peninsula.
And it is truly fantastic - - -
The island is small,- only about 6 km. long and 2,5 km wide-, so you can easily cover the whole island in just a few days, although the old traveler's rule "the longer time, the better" also counts here.

The name Hongdo means "Red Island", and it makes good sense since the rocks,- especially in the morning sun -, appear reddish. The main island is mostly bounded by fantastic vertical cliffs rising from an incredible blue sea, but equally spectacular are the many smaller rocks and islands around,- often with very strange, and very picturesque and beautiful forms.
In other words:  A photographers dream!

The island consists of two main parts separated by a very narrow and low section in-between. Each part is dominated by a mountain,- Kittabong on the northern part of the island, and Yangsanbong on the southern part.  The mountains are mostly covered by low vegetation and forests with big trees, but since the island is so isolated from the rest of the world and completely free from pollution, many very rare and unique plants and flowers grow here. Therefore the island is protected as a nature reserve, and of the same reason it is actually not allowed to roam around everywhere on the island as I did!
Roaming around can also be a problem, because there are no roads here. There are two villages, Il-gu and I-gu, but if you want to move from one village to the other, the best and fastest way is by boat.
The alternative is a long, strenuous hike over the Kittabong mountain, but it is very well worth it to try.

During my visit to Hongdo, I got an extra bonus: A typhoon!
Due to the typhoon, all traffic between Hongdo and the mainland was suspended for three days, so the many korean day-trippers suddenly found themselves stranded on the island, and could not report for work or school or whatever for the days to come.  That caused some concern, and also it looked as if the tourists were bored to death,- wasting the waiting time with sleeping, eating or gambling.
To be bored was actually not necessary at all!  The typhoon brought low hanging clouds, and some spectacular waves, that made the rocks and the coastline look absolutely fantastic in those special conditions.
In other words:  "Mother Nature" gave us another fantastic performance with great opportunities to experience something beautiful and exiting,- and as usual -, it was absolutely free of charge!

But for now,- please enjoy some of my impressions from the remote island of Hongdo, with its spectacular sky and its fantastic surroundings of rocks and incredible clear, blue sea.
 
 



Hongdo
- arriving by landing craft, - still there are no proper port facilities back in 1997 -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- against the light, - view to the magnificent rocks to the right of the landing beach -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- landing on the the beach -
- not much white sand here,- but the water is absolutely FANTASTIC! -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- rocky Hongdo coast -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- view from Kittabong to village Il-gu and the beach below -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- Hongdo rocks -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- view to village Il-gu, - clinging to the mountain side -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- Hongdo rocks, - viewed from Kittabong - -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- more Hongdo rocks, - viewed from Kittabong - -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Hongdo
- Hongdo is the home to several rare plants, - maybe this is one of them??? -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- other beautiful flowers on Kittabong -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
View from the island's highest mountain, - Kittabong -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 
 


Hongdo
- view down from Kittabong ridge -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
A rare view! In clear visibility, you can see the neighbour island,- Huksando in the horizon.
Behind Huksando,- and many more islands-, you find the Korean mainland some 115 km. away!
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- Hongdo rocks -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- typhoon waves hitting the breakwater in front of village Il-gu -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- giant waves hit the shore, and shrouds village Il-gu in foam after the typhoon -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- Il-gu Bay -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- tomb and rock , - from the eastern side of the island -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- Il-gu Bay in mist -
 - as seen from the trail down from Yangsanbong mountain -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
Another tomb with excellent feng shui, - and Il-gu Bay below -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- spectacular view from the eastern side of Hongdo -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Hongdo
- and here, - looking down - - -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 
 


Hongdo
Il-gu bay in spectacular light, - late afternoon after the typhoon - -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Hongdo
- typical Hongdo rocks in early morning light - -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 
 
 


Hongdo
- Hongdo rocks, - a closer view from the sea -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Hongdo
- a final view, - one of Hongdo's vertical walls, - straight into the sea -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 

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    Updated:   June 22nd. 2003
                     Nov. 02nd. 2004
                     Nov.12th. 2004
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                    July 10.2006
                     March 26.2008