Yudalsan Mountain (유달산)
This mountain is pretty small at only 228m, but it’s position in the Shinae area makes it a great place
to take in the lovely views of Mokpo city, it’s harbour, and the surrounding coastline. You can also see
into the Old Downtown area which was once occupied by the Japanese. Sights on the easy hikes include a bell
tower, five pavilions/pagodas, a statue of Admiral Yi, and some leftover artillery from the Korean War. This
is all aside from the mountain’s (unofficial) most famous attraction... The Vagina Tree. A tree which is
parted in the middle and looks like a woman with her legs open. Apparently, women often go there to pray for
Best times to visit Yudalsan are in the Spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom; or at sunrise or sunset,
when the views are particularly beautiful. Entrance is free. For information on how to get there, and some
history of the area, have a look at the
Visit Korea website.
Old Downtown (Shinae Area)
In this area, you’ll find many remnants of the time when Japanese occupation was in place. ‘Happiness House’
(행복이 가득한 집) is an interesting little museum where you can find out more about the history of the area, or have
lunch in it’s café/restaurant. There is also still a Japanese garden in the Old Downtown area which you can visit,
and the former Japanese Consulate is a pretty building which has been used since as the city hall, municipal library
and culture centre. Worth a look. Check out this great blog post which gives a
description of some of Mokpo’s history, and the colonial buildings which still remain in the area.
Peace Park (평화광장)
Located in the Hadang area, Peace Park is home to Mokpo’s dancing water fountain, where there is a
water and light show 2 or 3 times a night. Fireworks are also sold around this area and it is popular
to buy some and set them off with friends or family. The boardwalk here is nice to stroll along, and
during Formula One time, you can see some race cars etc on display here.
The Gatbawi Rocks, Jeongbawi and Satgatbawi, are famous in Korea as they are said to resemble a few
different things. Popular comparisons include soldiers wearing helmets or two monks wearing traditional
‘gats’ (Korean Hats). They are located in the ocean and can be viewed by walking along the dock from
the end of Peace Park.
Mokpo Culture Street
This is located along the waterfront in Hadang. There is not a great deal of English signage in the
area, but you can find a few things here which may be of interest. The Natural History Museum, Maritime
Museum and Pottery Museum can all be found here – check out the 4D ‘Movie Experience’ in the Natural
History Museum! Fun for the kiddies.
Nearby Gatbawi are two different harbor cruise boats, on which you can spend time cruising around
Mokpo, eating dinner and singing in the nori-bang (karaoke rooms).
This mountain is home to a Culture Centre and theatre which hosts occasional music and drama performances.
Mokpo Fish Market
This is found in the Shinae area, near the ferry terminals and train station. A fairly large fish market
like most others in Korea. A good place to pick up fresh food, and maybe even sample some live octopus!
Asia’s biggest lotus pond is located in Muan, Haenam County, about 10 minutes drive from Mokpo, and holds
a festival each Autumn. A beautiful sight worth checking out – take a taxi and expect to pay about 20,000 won.
Alternatively, take the number 800 bus there.
Korean Formula One Grand Prix
2010 Korean Formula 1 Grand Prix
This event takes place each October, with the first one happening in 2010. The race track is located
in Yeongam, just outside of Mokpo. This is the one time where you will generally have to book accommodation
ahead in Mokpo, as hotels and motels fill up fast!
Yudalsan Spring Flower Festival (유달산꽃축제)
This takes place at Yudalsan Mountain each year and there is a programme of events, but it’s more about
just climbing the mountain and admiring the pretty flowers.
Summer Water Festival
This takes place in August every year by the Peace Park. You can rent jet skis and have lots of water-related fun!
Mokpo is the last stop on the KTX high speed train. If you want to take a taxi to the station, simply
saying ‘KTX’ to the taxi driver is enough to be understood. The journey to Seoul takes about three to
three and a half hours, and terminates at Yongsan Station. If you book a table seat for four people you
can get a discount on your tickets and you’ll have to pay around 28,000 won each, instead of the usual fare.
If the train is sold out, try going to Gwangju and changing to the KTX there.
People tend to take taxis a lot in Mokpo and often overlook the great public transport system (especially
the local buses), as there is not much English information out there. There is a great blog which explains the bus system
in Mokpo in a bit more detail.
Long Distance Buses
There is one bus terminal in Mokpo, where you can take buses to Seoul Express Bus Terminal with a
journey time of four to four and a half hours. You can also take a bus to Busan, however the journey
is very winding and has been known to make many people feel travel sick. To avoid this, you can take
a bus to Gwangju and change to a more direct Busan-bound bus there.
There are only two airport buses a day which go to Incheon International Airport. These depart at
2.30am and 8.30am.
There is one train station in Mokpo, and it is located in the Shinae area. From here, you can
take trains North towards Gwangju.
The ferry terminals of Mokpo Harbour are located in the Shinae (Old Downtown) area, and you can
catch ferries here to the surrounding islands, which are beautiful and very popular to visit in the
summer. Ferries run to China, Jeju (many choices of ferries) and smaller islands in Shinan County.
Some bigger boats have facilities such as restaurants, nori bangs and jimjilbangs (saunas). Tell the
taxi driver your final destination (e.g. Jeju) and he will take you to the correct terminal.
There are two airports nearby Mokpo – one in Muan, and one in Gwangju.
The Old Downtown (Shinae) area is where you will find all the big chain restaurants like Mr Pizza and
Han’s Deli, as well as many cafes. There is not much nightlife around there though. The main area for
restaurants and bars in Mokpo is Rose Street (장미의 거리), a pedestrianised area in the Hadang district. This
is a fairly new area where most of the foreign teachers live, and here you will find a wide variety of both
Western and Korean places.
Restaurants in the Rose Street area:
11 am Coffee Shop
This place is located on the corner near to Moe’s Bar, and serves lunch until about 3pm. Come here for
coffee, or sample as close to authentic Italian pizza and carbonara as you can get in the area.
Korean Meat Restaurant (Gogi Bar - 고기 바)
This small Korean restaurant is located two doors down from WA Bar and, although slightly more
expensive than other Korean restaurants (the set beef menu is 20,000 won per person), it’s well worth it.
A Western Buffet style chain restaurant, which is fairly pricey as far as eating out in Korea goes,
but worth it if you want quality ‘all you can eat’ food, with heaps of fresh fruit, vegetables, salads,
meat, Korean and Western dishes. There are also nice desserts and ice cream , which are included in
the price. Ashley can be found on the 2nd floor of the Megaline Movie Theatre building, near the bottom
end of Rose Street.
This is an Italian restaurant and can also be found at the far end of Rose Street. The pictures of the food
on the poster outside don’t look particularly appetizing, but we’re assured that the food is actually pretty good!
This samgyapsal (Korean barbeque pork) restaurant is popular as it’s open 24 hours! Perfect for
a drunken pig-out at 5am!
Korean Traditional Restaurant
This is located across the pond from Rose Street, in front of the Buyeong Apartments. This
is a nice place which mainly serves soups and stews.
This is located at the bottom end of Rose Street (opposite Gran Piatto) and is a small Korean
soup shop, serving a wide selection of nice soups.
This is a great sandwich shop, located in one of the streets behind Rose Street (turn right
after Moe’s Bar). The staff usually take forever to make each order(!), but the sandwiches are
worth the wait.
Nanta Pizza 난타 비자
Head down to the end of Rose Street and turn right to find this little pizza shop, where
you can find great Western-style pizzas for only (drumroll please)….. 5,000 won! Bargain.
This chain pizza place can be found by the main road at the entrance to Rose Street, near
the pond. Pricey pizzas but a good treat with a tempting salad bar.
There is a Korean dakgalbi (spicy barbequed chicken with vegetables and rice cakes) restaurant
just off Rose Street. Walk up the street as if you’re heading towards the pond and away from ‘New
York’ bar. It’s along a small side street on the right hand side..
Another chain, this steak and salad place can be found along the main road on the way to the
bus terminal. Alternatively, just say ‘VIPS’ to a taxi driver and they should know what you’re
This is a steak and buffet restaurant and is also located on the road heading towards Emart
and the bus terminal
All of the below bars are also located in the Rose Street area:
This is one of the most popular bars around and is renowned for serving great drinks – although
they can be a little pricey. A decadent interior can make for a romantic and cosy night when the
bar is quiet – however be prepared for it to be rammed full of people on a Saturday night with no
Inside the classy Moe's Bar
This place is named after the character from The Simpsons, and aptly has a large yellow sign
outside featuring his face! The bar is located on the 2nd floor on a street just off Rose Street,
beside 11am coffee shop. Despite being advertised as a ‘Bar and Grill’, it doesn’t actually serve
food anymore – but does have delicious free popcorn! And don’t expect a cheesy Simpsons-themed
interior – Moe’s is filled with comfy couches and a great selection of worldwide beverages, and
has a classy yet relaxed atmosphere.
This is a fairly new bar and is becoming increasingly popular with the local expat crowd. Located
just off Rose Street (walk up the main part of Rose Street to the pond, turn right, and it’s at the end
of that street on the 2nd floor of the building on the corner); Mustang is regularly used to hold the
This popular chain bar is located near the top of the main part of Rose Street, 2 mins walk from
the pond. A lively place with international beers, this bar is popular throughout Korea, and it’s no
different in Mokpo.
Beer Hite Plus
A typical Hof serving good soju and chicken, this is located on the 2nd floor, above a huge Korean
barbeque restaurant, which has outdoor seating at the back. Located near the middle of Rose Street.
A small quirky bar which is also a popular choice and looks like a little wooden house from the outside.
This place is popular, not only for drinking in, but also for games like billiards, poker and
foosball. Located right down the far end of Rose Street (furthest away from the pond, down the
main section of the street).
Dream Park Arcade
Not technically a bar! But a good place to spend an evening! A large arcade with games and batting cages.
Located about halfway along Rose Street, on the opposite side of the road from WA Bar, Jokki
Jokki serves great soju cocktails.
Hospitals and Clinics
on the same street as VIPS restaurant (the main street connecting Shinae to Hadang) is ‘Hospital
Street’ – a whole row of clinics and doctor’s offices where you can go if you are sick. On the 2nd
floor, there is a clinic called ‘Hana Negna’ with a good English doctor. This is a good place to
stop off as your first port of call for diagnosis.
Mokpo is full of hotels and motels and, other than when the Formula One is on, it should be easy
to find a place to stay without booking ahead. This is typical of Korea. A large number of nice
places can be found in and around Hadang. Sunshine Motel is by the waterfront and has nice views.
Another recommended choice is ‘Adam’, or its sister hotel ‘Eve’, which are located near the Lotte
Mart. The area around the train station (Shinae) also has some motels.
The Old Downtown (Shinae) area near the train station is the main shopping area in Mokpo City.
Mokpo is well catered-for in terms of supermarkets, with a Home Plus (Tesco), Emart and Lotte
Mart all being located here. The Lotte Mart can be found in Hadang, near the waterfront; HomePlus
is also in the area, but on the opposite side, heading towards the bus station. Emart can be found
just near the bus terminal, and has a McDonalds as well as a Korean food court.
Nori bangs (singing rooms) can be found everywhere in Mokpo, but there is a large row of popular
establishments on the main section of Rose Street. There is even one place which includes an area
where everyone plays Nintendo Wii! Imaginatively, it has been nicknamed ‘The Wii Bang’.
There is a large jimjilbang beside the pond at the entrance to Rose Street in Hadang. This is
open 24 hours a day, and you can enjoy all the usual facilities (saunas, steam rooms, pools, etc.),
as well as sleeping there if you want a cheap place to stay.
There are a few cinemas in Mokpo. In Hadang alone, you can find three – Lotte Cinema, CGV and
Megaline. Lotte Cinema is located near the waterfront, across from Lotte Mart supermarket, and also
includes a bowling alley and pool club. Megaline can be found by the bottom end of Rose Street
(near P-Club), and CGV is also in this area, on the other side of Rose Street.
Yedam Dental Clinic is the big dentist office (about 4 floors high) behind the 24-hr Lotteria
in Hadang, and is apparently the best place to go if you are an English speaker. Ask for Dr.
Park Byoung Chul, as he speaks good English and is a great dentist..
Doctor Jo is an English speaking Doctor, and can be found up the street beside the NH bank
and pharmacy. Go up the big marble stairs and her office is on the 1st floor - the door is
pink! Say, “Yeonsan-dong Lotte Super” to a taxi driver and they’ll take you there.
‘Don Shin Dae Han Bang Byeong Won’ has great English speaking staff, with an acupuncture/
Chinese medicine clinic and thorough physical therapy. It's inside the big red fronted hospital
on the main street just down from the 24 Lotteria in Hadang on your way to Old Mokpo. Tell a taxi
driver the name above, and they will drop you off right in front of it.
There is a very small shoe repair shop next to the NH bank, near Homeplus.
The main post office is at Third Square, diagonally across from Homeplus. This specializes
in unusual or difficult requests, like sending registered post or sending to uncommon overseas
destinations. For standard postage, the other branches throughout the city (many in Hadang and
Shinae) are fine.
There is a large bookstore (‘Alpha’) with English language books in Hadang . Walk to the
end of the Rose Street area, cross the street and turn left. A couple of minutes walk, and
you’ll find it on your right.
The Mokpo Catholic Community Center (take bus number 1there) holds an English mass on
Sundays at 6pm in Yonghaedong.
A few foreign teachers in Mokpo volunteer at an orphanage in Yongdang-ildong, teaching
English and organizing fundraising events.
There are many gyms to choose from in Mokpo – simply head to Hadang and you’ll be spoilt for choice.
As well as the traditional weight rooms and fitness centres, there are boxing gyms, taekwondo centres
and much more.
There is a stadium between Hadang and Old Mokpo which is not generally used to host many events.
However, there is a running track there which is open to the public and is used by many running clubs
A great shop for servicing or purchasing a bike is ‘Scott Bike House’ – it’s beside the 7Eleven
across from Peace Park. The owner's name is Lim and he is very friendly, just speak slowly!