Muuido lies approximately seven kilometers southwest of Incheon International Airport. Although it is small in size, it offers plenty of activities for a weekend trip from Seoul. It is a great destination for camping. Hikers can also enjoy the multiple trails that offer great views of the Yellow Sea. If you're just looking to relax, there are beachfront pensions and huts that are great for beachgoers. Best of all, Muuido is extremely close to Seoul.
The Scouting Report
Excited? You should be. Here's what you'll find in this here scouting report:
Muuido is well known by movie enthusiasts because of the 2003 film Silmido. Silmido is a film (based on a true story) about convicts who were trained by the South Korean army. Their mission was to assassinate the North Korea President. The name of the movie, Silmido, is also the name of a small island very close to Muuido. The island is where the convicts were trained. Visitors can walk over to Silmido from Muuido (it is only a 10-minute walk or a 20-minute swim) when the tide is out. Once on Silmido, hike over to the other side of the island (it is a very small island). It offers a great view of the Yellow Sea.
Silmi Beach is one of the two main beaches on Muuido. Hanagae Beach is the more developed and popular beach. It also has more to do. Silmi Beach is quieter and it also has plenty of lodging. It is within walking distance from the ferry drop-off.
Once you get off the ferry, keep following the road until yo see a sign for Silmi Resort. Silmi Resort is on Silmi Beach. It is also easy to navigate based off the map. The downside of Silmi Resort is you don't get an uninterrupted view of the Yellow Sea. Silmido is obvious in your way. Yo have to pay a small fee (under 5,000 won) to enter Silmi Beach.
Muuido offers some great beachfront camping. However, in order to get to this secluded campsite, campers need to hike 2.5 kilometers, the majority of which is uphill. The hike is worth it as the campsite is sparsely populated. It is unknown to most visitors to the island. To find out more about this campsite, take a look at the Muuido Camping page.
Hikers can also just enjoy the network of trails running over and around Muuido. They offer some great elevated views of the Yellow Sea. If you're looking to cool off, you can head to the northwest side of Muuido which is more developed. In order to access the hiking trails, you need to follow the directions to the Muuido campsite.
Most visitors head over to the main resort area (Hanagae Beach) of Muuido. you can either walk or take the bus. The only bus on the island will take you to the resort area. In order to enter the resort area, you need to pay an environmental protection fee (around 2,000 won). Within the resort area, you can find affordable pensions and beach huts to stay at. That is also where the main beach area is.
Muuido is not overly developed which is one of its strengths. The reason it is not overly developed is because of the tide, which is one of its weaknesses. Depending on the time of the month, you may have to go swimming at very odd times.
Compared to some of the other islands around Incheon, Muuido offers some great swimming (when the tide is in). This is not to say the water is super clear (it is cloudy). Rather, the sea floor feels great. It offers a very natural foot massage. There are no barnacles and the water is at a reasonable depth. The depth accommodates swimmers and non-swimmers alike.
When the tide does go out, it is a good chance to go mud-flats walking. You will also see many locals who go out looking to catch seafood. This is an experience enjoyed by most visitors.
Things to Do
Don't be afraid to sample some of the local seafood dishes. Most of the seafood is fresh. A Seoul Stop favorite is Clam Noodle Soup (바지락 칼국수, baa-jee-rak kal-gook-soo). It is a warm, clam noodle soup that has a broth that isn't overpowering. All the restaurants are locally owned and worth a try.
There are also convenience stores on the island that can provide essentials like toothbrushes, toilet paper, charcoal, beer, barbecue grills, etc.
Check out the Muuido photo album to see more pictures of the island.
How To Get There
Muuido can easily be accessed by bus from Incheon Airport. Head to the third floor of the airport and walk out of exit (door) 7. You can take either bus 2-1 or bus 222. Both buses' last stops will be at Jamjindo Ferry.
At Jamjindo Ferry, you can buy return tickets for 3,000 won. The ferry arrives frequently. While on the ferry, don't be afraid to feed the seagulls. The ferry takes 10 ~ 15 minutes.