The sprawling port city of Mokpo, set on a small peninsula jutting out into the West Sea, is the end of the line for trains and expressway traffic, and a starting point for sea voyages to Jeju-do and the western islands of Dadohae Haesang National Park. Korea’s National Maritime Museum is appropriately located here, and the craggy peaks of Yudalsan Park rear up in the city centre and offer splendid sea, city and sunset views.
Mokpo is the hometown of late South Korean president and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Kim Dae-jung. Come October, it’s also the base of the Formula 1 race, held at a racetrack 15km south of town. It’s a surprisingly vibrant, hip, youthful city with a large population of expats working as English teachers or in the shipping industry.