Hello, everybody. In our first podcast I screwed up explaining Wolmido. I’m sorry for that! Even though I grew up very close to Wolmido, I have only known about fun things to do there… I knew nothing about its history and geography. I am writing this post, now, so you can have a real introduction to Wolmido!
Before Wolmido(월미도) was called by 월미도, 어을미도, 어미도, 얼미도,얼도,월성. If you learned how to read Korean from Aaron’s post, it would be so easy to read and you will notice that all of those names’ sounds are very similar. Here, ‘얼” refers to “얼다, 어르다, 사랑하다” in Korean, which means “flow and love” in English. “미” means “water,” and “도” means “island.” So, together, Wolmido means “the island water’s flowing.” It has also been introduced abroad as the “Rose Island,” after a French general. (He lead an attack against Korea because we tortured their missionaries, Byeong-in yangyo in 1866. But don’t worry, now South Korea and France are good friends!)
<Map of Wolmido>
In the podcast, I said that Wolmido is not an island. Actually, I was right and wrong at the same time! You see, today, Wolmido is not an island anymore. In the 1920’s we built stone embankments and connected it to the mainland. It was also developed as a vacation spot for the Japanese who enjoyed Wolmido’s seawater baths, resorts, etc. At that time, we were colonized by Japan (1910-1945). It was very popular for a while, but between Japan’s Pacific War (Aaron’s note: World War II) and the Korean War, all of our facilities were destroyed and we used it as a main military base. Douglas Macarthur’s famous Incheon Landing Operations began at Wolmido.
Douglas Macarthur in Incheon landing
In 1987, Korea’s government set it as a street of culture, and held many festivals and performances to promote Wolmido again. That’s how it has become Incheon’s most famous tourist spot. Today it is an essential stop on every tour of Incheon and all people from young to old enjoy Wolmido very much. Let’s look at some photos!
You can see the beautiful ocean on the right side.
Playing with Seagulls!
Seagulls love shrimp — it’s their favorite snack! You can see how seagulls are fast at catching their food. Wolmido is very attractive and very good for sightseeing day.
I’m gonna tell you how you can spend a wonderful day there!
First, you can go to Wolmido theme park.
It’s a small amusement park, but still you can ride vikings, Disco Pangpang with a funny DJ, bumper cars, merry-go-rounds, roller coasters and a sling shot, etc. Wolmido’s viking is the most famous viking in Korea. (Aaron’s note: in case you’re confused, in Korea, vikings have nothing to do with plundering and pillaging… it’s the generic term for giant swinging ship rides!) It goes too high! Almost 90º! Aaron and I were almost died. He kept saying, “I feel alive! Oh my gosh! 꺄악~” haha.. and another funny thing is we can ride it continuously without paying. As long as I move to a forward seat, I can ride again and again continuously. However, I recommend that you only ride one time because we rode two times and I almost threw up and should have took a rest for 30 mins!! Disco Pangpang is also very fun. If you can understand Korean, you can’t stop laughing because of the funny DJ. Personally, I recommend that you ride this sling shot!
It’s pretty new and looks very fun even though it requires so much bravery or liquor. Haha, we didn’t try it because my Aaron seemed to be scared. (ㅋㅋㅋㅋ) Anyway, isn’t it fun to ride many fun things next to the sea? You can see the beautiful sea while enjoying your time on your rides.
Second, you can enjoy lots of seafood and nice 칼국수(Kalguksu) next to the beautiful ocean.
If you go to Wolmido, you will see lots of restaurants. They all sell clams, so you can enjoy sea shell BBQ there, but the price is a little more expensive than the others because it’s kind of a tourist spot. If you have a lot of money, then you can have it by the beautiful ocean, but if you don’t want to spend much money there, then you can enjoy 칼국수. Kalguksu means “knife cut noodle,” and normally it has thick noodles and the soup is very deep with clams. It’s really delicious with Kimchi!
Third, you can see Wolmido and Incheon’s greatest view: Wolmi mountain.
During day time
Actually, the height is only 108m, very low like a park, even though we call it a mountain. If you go here, you can refresh with so many trees. At the top, there is an observatory. So you can see these kinds of great views and how so many ships are moving there. Incheon is a very big seaport.
Isn’t it so beautiful? If you are in Incheon or Seoul, you should visit here. Honestly, I haven’t done this yet, but most of my friends who visited always recommend me to go here! It’s very good for dating, relaxing, and exercising. You can see some unique parts of Korea as a port. If you stay in Incheon’s downtown, Seoul, or the other cities, you would never see this side of Korea. It seems very cool for me as a native of Incheon. It would give you a valuable experience to know Korea more.
(Aaron’s note: one of the coolest things about Incheon, to me, is walking through some of the boat captains’ shopping streets where huge pulleys, nets, anchors, and the like are all for sale by grizzled old salty sea dogs!)
That’s it for my intro to Wolmido. If you have any questions, please let me know. I really love my hometown, Incheon! Go, Incheon!
P.S – I’ve heard a lot about Aaron’s hometown, South Carolina, but, I would like to know more and I would like to introduce it to many Koreans, Vietnamees, Japanese, etc., (all over the world) about his hometown. So please post about your hometown, Aaron!