Yeosu, South Korea

Sail into a picturesque harbor under the ethereal form of the Dolsan Bridge, a handsome suspension structure connecting the peninsula with the most important of the 317 islands that dot this stretch of the South Korean coast. Dolsan Park on the island is also connected to the peninsula by a Maritime Cable Car that carries passengers high above the bay with spectacular views of the buildings and the sea, especially for brave souls who choose the glass-floored gondolas. Yeosu has a long maritime history. It is here that the 16th Century Admiral Yi Su Shin invented the so-called “Turtle Ship” that allowed Korea to resist an invading Japanese Imperial navy. A replica of that vessel is on display. The Yeosu Fish Market is a good place to see the fascinating variety of foods that Korea harvests from their coastal waters, and possibly sample some as well. Odongdo island is a tranquil reserve connected to the mainland by a causeway, and good place to walk. Above the city, the Jinnamgwan is the largest single-story wooden pavilion in Korea. Further afield, the cliff-side Hyangiram Hermitage is a spectacular and photogenic temple-like complex that can be explored by a system of narrow paths and stairways carved into the cliff.  The nearby HeungGukSa Temple is another place to admire traditional Korean religious architecture and learn more about the culture.