The Sea Diamond: Haegeumgang In Korea
Haegeumgang (해금강) is aptly named the Sea Diamond and it’s located off the coast of Geoje Island in southern Korea.
Originally called Galgot Island as it looks like the stretching roots of the arrowroot, the island shoots up 116 meters into the sky and used to be covered in herbs. It had so many herbs that 3,000 people along with Seo Bul visited the island in search of herbs of immortality for the Emperor of China. Boats leave from a port shared with the fisherman called Jangseungpo. Tourists are taken out of the port between two light houses and into the dark blue ocean, where, depending on how choppy the water is, people can stand out on the narrow deck for thirty minutes on the way over to the rocks enjoying the open seas, or stay inside until arrival.
(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a certain percentage of a sale if you purchase after clicking. These funds go to maintain the site. Thank you for your support.)
Haegeumgang consists of two islands in the Hallyeo Marine National Park off the south coast of Korea and was designated as the Natural Asset No. 2 in 1971. The area isn’t just popular with tourists, fisherman head to this area to catch rock fish in the spring, sea bream, parrot fish, and bass in the summer and black porgy in the fall and winter. The fishermen here are serious and the most keen can be spotted sitting precariously on the rocks having been dropped off by a boat in the morning with only their fishing rods, reels and bait to accompany them for the day.
The boat from port takes tourists around the rocks and inside the Shipjagul Cave. Shipjagul (십자굴) means “cross” in Korean and is fitting as the cave looks like a cross when seen from above. The boat slowly enters the cave in the center of Haegeumgang that stretches 100 meters from east to west and 180 meters from south to north. After a few minutes inside swaying back and forth allowing visitors to snap some pictures between the high narrow rocky walls, the captain of the boat puts the motors in reverse and slowly backs out to the open blue waters once more to continue the tour. Having seen the karsts in Thailand and Vietnam, I wasn’t sure if these would be nearly as stunning on the outset, but for some reason rocks that jut into the sky from the sea and show the lines of history in their walls are always pretty awesome and these were no exception.
The guide/boat captain on the boat will likely point out some of the named sections of the Sea Diamond while on the tour. The Bride and Groom Rocks, or the Candle Holder Rocks, are called so because in high tide the tallest rock supposedly “looks like a groom welcoming his bride on a pony”, according to the Geoje tourist guide.
Multiple rocks around the islands have names telling you what they depict and some of the fun of the tour is trying to find them or just seeing what you see. It’s sort of like asking children to spot “pictures” in the clouds. What do you see when you stare at the rocks of Haegeumgang long enough?
If you’ll be headed to Geoje for a weekend away, check out the Samsung Hotel or the Daemyung Resort for a comfortable stay on the island.
I would highly recommend getting a boat out to these gorgeous rocks in the ocean. They make for some fabulous views while on a trip out to see for a few hours. This can also be combined with a visit to the nearby Oedo-Botania, a botanical garden set on an island in the ocean that can only be reached via boat. Another naturally beautiful area on Geoje Island to check out would be the Bamboo Forest. Don’t miss these areas and you’re sure to have an amazing time on Geoje Island.
Haegeumgang/ The Sea Diamond
San 1 Galgot-ri, Nambu-myeon, Geoje-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
경상남도 거제시 남부면 갈곶리 산 1
From Seoul Nambu Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus to Tongyeong.
From Tongyeong Intercity bus Terminal, take a bus to Haegeumgang.
Bus schedule: 07:20, 10:50, 13:20, 14:10, 15:10, 18:20, 19:40, 20:20
(subject to change/ Inquiries: +82-55-644-0018)