Nueseom Island

Nueseom Island in Ansan is named affectionately after its shape, that resembles a silkworm. Although the island seems just out of reach as it sits in the middle of the ocean, you can actually access it at certain times of the day. 

A path that only appears twice a day

Nueseom Island - ansan tando port
Image adapted from: @kimyoungsung777 via Instagram 

To get to the island, you have to first locate Ansan Tando Port. Then, keep a lookout for a path that disappears into the waters. It should be pointing in the direction of a row of windmills located on an island in the middle of the sea. 

Nueseom Island - windmills at nueseom island
Image adapted from: @dream.jinsoon via Instagram

You’ll wonder how to get to the island if you’re visiting during high tide. But when low tide rolls around twice a day, a concrete path that leads to the Nueseom Island and the windmills will reveal itself. Daily low tide timings are updated monthly by the staff.

Nueseom Island - sunset at nueseom island
Image adapted from: @dream.jinsoon via Instagram 

The now-exposed sea floor along the path itself is a sight to behold, and it is home to various tiny sea creatures. 

Nueseom Island - nueseom island
Image adapted from: @zorochoi via Instagram 

You’ll have to pay to walk on the tidal flats, and it costs KRW9,000 (~USD6.90) per adult, and KRW7,000 (~USD5.30) per child.

Nueseom Island - tidal flats at nueseom island
Image adapted from: @dataeson via Instagram 

You can even try your hand at harvesting oysters if you pay KRW10,000 (~USD8) per person. Buckets are provided, but you’ll probably want to make sure you’re dressed in the appropriate gear because you’ll get muddy all over. 

Nueseom Island - windmills at nueseom island
Image adapted from: @_qamera_ via Instagram 

Nueseom Island - posing with the windmills
Image adapted from: @dream.jinsoon via Instagram 

The scale of the windmills, coupled with the unique setting, will provide a one-of-a-kind backdrop for the photos you take here. 

Nueseom Island - humanoid sculpture
Image adapted from: 민정하지 via Naver

Watch out for a giant humanoid sculpture named “K” along the path that looks almost as tall as the windmills from certain angles. 

Walking trail with unique photo spots 

Nueseom Island - walking trail along the island
Image adapted from: @alf2mme via Instagram 

At the end of the concrete path stands Nueseom Island itself. Despite its tiny size, the island boasts some amazing scenery of the neighbouring islands and the ocean beyond. 

Nueseom Island - installations on the island
Image adapted from: 치올라 via Naver, @pomeloholic1 via Instagram 

One of the first things that greets you once you set foot on Nueseom Island is this art installation dubbed the “바람과 춤추는 물고기”, which translates to “Fishes that dance with the wind”. Each fish represents a species of fish that inhabits the surrounding waters of the island.

Nueseom Island - how the island looks like in autumn
Image adapted from: @sunny_9830 via Instagram 

Despite its small size, the island also has elevated platforms that you can trek up to catch beautiful views of the island itself, its windmills, as well as mainland. 

Nueseom Lighthouse Observatory

Nueseom Island - Nueseom Lighthouse Observatory
Image credit: @x2pic via Instagram 

Sitting at the peak of the island is the Nueseom Lighthouse Observatory.

Nueseom Island - Nueseom Lighthouse Observatory
Image adapted from: 하늘 via Naver 

The observatory has a dedicated lighthouse exhibit on the first floor that shares about Nueseom Lighthouse Obervatory’s own history, as well as about lighthouse-related information in Korea.

Nueseom Island - the interior of Nueseom observatory
Image adapted from: @travel_joalike via Instagram 

The second floor is a rest area, and there are counters with chairs that you can rest at sip drinks and enjoy the sea view.

Nueseom Island - binoculars
Image credit: Ansan City Corporation 

The top floor hosts an observation deck, complete with binoculars. And yes, there are also benches for you to sit and rest, and enjoy the cool sea breeze.

Nueseom Island - view from the top of the observatory
Image adapted from: Ansan City Corporation 

The view here is truly breathtaking and hard to beat. And the best part is that entry to Nueseom Lighthouse Observatory is free.

Getting to Nueseom Island

Nueseom Island is located offshore near Tando Port. As mentioned, access to the island from the port is highly dependent on the timing of the low tides, which are regularly updated by the staff. 

How to get there: 

  • Take bus 1004-1 or H51 to the Fishing Village Folk Museum.
  • Alternatively, take bus 123, 123-1, or 737 to Tando Island Bus Stop.
  • Walk against the flow of traffic and turn right, the windmills should be visible.
  • Follow the footpath towards the windmills and you should arrive at Tando Port.

Note that entry to the Nueseom Lighthouse Observatory is halted 30mins before closing time, and the closing time is 1 hour earlier from November to February.

Address: 717-5 Seongam-dong, Danwon-gu, Ansan-si, Gyeonggi-do
Opening hours (Nueseom Lighthouse Observatory): Tues-Sun 9am-6pm (Closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year, and Chuseok) 

For more interesting places in South Korea to visit, check out Anyang Art Park, which has 52 larger-than-life art installations; or Traditional Oriental Forest Land, a jjimjilbang with traditional charcoal-fired kiln saunas. These guides of 7 water parks in Korea11 things to do in Jeju to maximise your trip, and 10 trendy neighbourhoods in Seoul will also come in handy when planning your trip.

Cover image adapted from: @_qamera_ via Instagram, @alf2mme via Instagram, @dream.jinsoon via Instagram 

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