Separated from South Korea’s mainland by a narrow channel, Ganghwa is the largest island in the Yellow Sea’s Ganghwa archipelago. It’s renowned for its fascinating archaeological sites, as well being home to an abundance of seasonal produce and traditional handicrafts.
Things to do in Ganghwa
The prehistoric Goindol Rocks are one of the most impressive archaeological sites on Ganghwa Island and have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander amidst these rock tombs believed to have been built by megalithic cultures in the 1st millennium BC and uncover the mystery behind their creation.
Follow the stairway of Chamseongdan that leads up the slopes of Manisan Mountain for outstanding views of Ganghwa and the Yellow Sea. Manisan Mountain is of cultural significance to Koreans, as it was here that their founding father Dangunwanggeom is said to have offered sacrifices to the heavens.
Make a day trip to the island of Seokmodo, home to the 7th-century Bomunsa Temple and a 600-year-old Chinese juniper tree. It’s nestled within a scenic grotto dotted with rock carvings and has long been visited by local women praying for the birth of a son.
Ganghwa Island is famed throughout South Korea for its local produce that includes high-quality ginseng and a distinct tasting radish. If you want to purchase a unique Korean handicraft to take home, keep an eye out for Hwamunseok mats, which feature intricate floral patterns and designs.
Getting around Ganghwa
Ganghwa Island is connected to the mainland by the Ganghwa Bridge, with buses taking around 90 minutes to reach Seoul. You can travel around Ganghwa Island by bus or catch the ferries that connect to the surrounding islands.