Surrounded by soaring mountains and lush valleys, Donghae is a picturesque coastal city overlooking the Sea of Japan. Beautiful beaches line the coast, renowned for its whale spotting and outdoor activities.
Things to do in Donghae
Spend a day exploring the beautiful Mureung Valley, nestled between the peaks of Mount Dutasan and Mount Cheongoksan. Follow one of the many walking trails that traverse the mountain slopes, visiting the photogenic Yongchu Waterfall and the iron Buddha statue at the historic Samhwasa Temple.
On the northern slopes of Mount Dutasan lies the ancient fortress of Dutasanseong, which was once one of the largest fortresses in Korea built to take advantage of the natural topography. Take in the magnificent views of Mureung Valley from its elevated position and admire the well-preserved ancient stonework.
If you’re interested in whales, visit the Donghae Whale Fossil Museum, which boasts an impressive collection of cetacean bones and fossils. It’s located across the street from Mangsang Beach, which has white sand and shallow waters ideal for swimming.
Venture beneath the city streets to discover the limestone cave of Cheongok, which features one of the longest ceiling craters in South Korea. Admire the stalactite curtains and travertine terraces, then visit the cave museum to learn about the geological forces behind their formation.
Getting around Donghae
Donghae is three hours’ drive east of Seoul and is connected by express buses and trains. Ferries depart from the port to Ulleung Island, with buses the main means of getting around Donghae.