The Great Korean Road Trip – Day 2 – Ganghwa Dolmens

Distance Traveled Today: 72km

Distance Traveled Total: 158km

When I was filling out my potential itinerary of things to do, I had “Ganghwa-do” as a single activity, expecting to be here no more than a few hours. However, a few recommendations later from a very helpful guy at the information booth and my itinerary filled up. I doubled back from Kyodong Island onto Ganghwa to check out the

two museums adjacent to the main Ganghwa dolmen. I also had the southern island of Seongmodo on my schedule and did make it to the Mineral Saunas on the south side of the island. However, the highlight was unexpectedly one of those last minute add-ons.

Jeff, the UNESCO volunteer was here 10 yrs ago.

Unlike the Dolmen sites at Hwasun and Gochang, the dolmens in Ganghwa are separated into 8 not so easy to access locations. The booth guy gave me the addresses to the 8 and saw a map of them in one of the museums to get my bearings, so I thought, what the hell, a world heritage site rarely lets me down. The first one was okay, but it was the second one, the Osang-ri cluster, was probably the best set of tombs I’ve seen in Korea. I was there about an hour, including a rain and bathroom break and not a soul in sight. The isolation probably highlighted the moment since I had it all to myself. If you ever visit the dolmens in Ganghwa, this one is worth the trouble.

Oseong-ri Dolmen Ganghwa UNESCO
The mountain backdrop made it better. Excuse the saturation…I probably shot it on auto.
There are about 10 dolmens in the Osangri cluster, which is the biggest cluster outside of the main one near the museum.
Osangri Dolmen Sites UNESCO World Heritage Site
Maybe this is minor, but these are the first table style dolmens I’ve seen that have a little door.

Other stops –  The Mineral Hot Spring of Seongmodo (the reviews are terrible, but it was okay to me), History Museum of Ganghwa, and Natural History Museum.

Other notes – Kakao Maps is not updated for Seongmodo Island, directing me towards a dirt road to get to the hot spring. Bah!

See you tomorrow.

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Julio Moreno

Julio is a California native who has lived abroad since 2009 as an expat in South Korea and New Zealand. He is especially passionate about experiencing other cultures and visiting as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites as possible.
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