Sedate little Samcheok is the gateway to an unusual mix of sightseeing spots. Within an hour’s bus ride are spectacular limestone caves, an inimitable ‘penis park’ (phallic sculptures, not body parts) and pretty beaches tucked away in quiet coves. The town has a rousing Full Moon Festival in February, with tug-of-war competitions.
The only sightseeing spot in town is the Mystery of Caves Exhibition, in a building that resembles a wedding cake dripping with brown icing. The exhibits (some in English) contain elaborate detail on cave formation and there’s a 20-minute IMAX film at 10.30am, 2pm and 3pm.
The tourist information centre is beside the express bus terminal. Staff speak English and Japanese and detailed bus schedules are available in English for buses to Hwanseongul and Haesindang Park.