Pohang Travel Guide
Pohang isn’t on the itinerary of many travellers to Korea. It’s not hard to imagine why – as an industrial city dominated by steelworks, it doesn’t make for an attractive postcard. However, if you dig deeper, you’ll find reasons to venture off the beaten path.
Close by, a pair of millennia-old temples see few foreign tourists. A fishing village is home to this country’s easternmost point. And in summer, it hosts a fun fireworks festival. Ready to leave the crowds behind? Check out this under-touristed city for a day or two.
Come check out our Pohang visitor suggestions as we cover the best things to do in Pohang, South Korea.
Begin your time in Pohang by dropping by Bogyungsa Temple. Founded at the dawn of the 7th century, this Buddhist hall of worship is ancient. Despite this fact, it is not dissimilar to many other temples around the country.
Thus, it puzzles many visitors why this place is so popular. In actuality, this sight is most famous for the waterfalls and hiking trails accessible from its grounds. A dozen waterfalls are reachable from this temple – visit in the spring, when rainfalls ensure heavy flows.
Want to spend time amidst this inspiring natural landscape? Try a temple stay – you’ll get to participate in the monastic life, afterwards, you’ll know who you truly are.
If you’re still in the mood to check out temples after Bogyungsa, be sure to visit Oeosa Temple. Like its cousin, Oeosa came into being during the Silla Period – carbon dating puts it around the 6th century.
It got its name from a folk tale – one day, two monks came upon two dead fish in a lake. As they gazed upon them, one suddenly sprang back to life. Oeosa was a word for “fish” back then, giving their temple its current name.
In addition to the usual Buddha statues, you’ll find plenty of fish statues and carvings around. Apart from this, it’s another peaceful temple in a stunning mountain environment. Check out the small museum on site – it’s free and contains a bronze bell from the 13th century.
Over the latter half of the 20th century, Pohang became one of South Korea’s most prominent industrial cities. POSCO is one of its largest firms, contributing the steel that led to the rise of this Asian tiger.
Learn about its history by visiting the Posco Museum. Through its exhibits, you’ll learn about the development of the steel industry in Korea. From the 50s to today, incredible volumes of steel rolled off their lines, helping this nation rise to greatness.
After checking out the museum, you’ll have the option to go on a factory tour. As you move through the facility, your guide will explain each process in a relatable way. For this reason, it is an excellent attraction for those into the industry.
If you are visiting Korea between late May and Early June, be sure to attend the Pohang International Fireworks Festival. Each night, a different team will put on an impressive pyrotechnical display above Yeongil Bay. Before the show, there are also parades, street performers, and plenty of amazing Korean street food – don’t miss out.
If you need to escape the city during your time in Pohang, make plans to check out Naeyeonsan County Park. It protects the land around Naeyeonsan Mountain, a peak that rises 930 metres above sea level. With trails that lead to stunning waterfalls, a day here will go a long way toward recharging your batteries.
Pohang is an important fishing port on the East Sea. See the latest catches of their fishers by dropping by the Jukdo Market. Within, over 200 vendors hawk everything from giant tunas to a bewildering array of shellfish. A hop, skip, and a jump away, restaurants stand ready to prepare the freshest seafood you’ve ever eaten. If you are a fan, you owe it to yourself to have a meal here.
Stand at Korea’s most eastern point at Homigot Sunrise Square. Each New Year’s Day, Koreans from across the country gather to witness the first sunrise of the new year. Don’t worry if you’re not around then – plenty come to watch at other times of year as well.
Art lovers will appreciate the sculptures found here. Cast in bronze, they depict a set of hands that symbolize the land and the ocean. Together, they make a case for reconciliation and co-existence, something we should all get behind.
If you are visiting Pohang during the summer months, the heat can be rather stifling. Cool off by spending an afternoon on Yeongildae Beach. With off-white sand, refreshing water, and samishi restaurants within easy reach, there are few better places to relax on a summer day than here. Do as the locals do and pitch a tent – it will shield you from the sun as you relax.