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Ganghwa Island (강화도, 江華島 Ganghwado), previously romanized as Kanghwa Island, is a rural county (군, gun) of Incheon, South Korea. It is the fourth largest island in South Korea, with an area of 302.6km2. During the Goryeo Dynasty, it served as a temporary capital for 39 years during the Mongol Empire's invasion. The county of Ganghwa includes several other islands, most notably Seokmodo, the site of Bomunsa Temple.



Ganghwa is separated from the Korean mainland by a narrow channel, spanned by two bridges passable by cars. North Korea is directly across the channel on the north coast of the island. Since North Korea is across the Han River (the border), tension is felt in the northern part of Ganghwa Island. In fact, even from Ganghwa Bridge, the gateway to Ganghwa Island, you can see the mountains of Gaepung-gun, old Kaesong-si, in the distance. Ganghwado Island was a symbol of exile. Many people were sent to Ganghwa Island when they sent figures who were dangerous to keep alive but had a lot of political burdens to kill. After the Japanese Invasion and the Horan, it was designated as Ganghwa Yushubu and was one of the military important points to defend the outer areas of Hanyang. In the Joseon Dynasty, it was said that the importance of Ganghwa Island was the same as the 'heart of the country'.

Get in


By bus


There are frequent direct buses (W4200; 90 min) from Seoul's Sinchon Bus Terminal to the main town of Ganghwa-eup, as well as Bupyeong Station, Hapjeong Station, Songjeong Station, and Incheon Bus Terminal in Incheon. Local buses also connect to Gimpo (the city, not the airport).

Get around


There is a tourist information located inside the bus terminal. No English is spoken but they have English-language tourist maps. There is also a tourist information center at the ferry terminal in Oepo-ri. They speak English.

Local buses appear to be infrequent.


Ganghwa Dolmen site
  • 1 Bugeun-ri Dolmen (부근리 지석묘). A prehistoric burial site listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the largest stone here is 2.6×7.1×5.5 meters in size and weighs somewhere between 150 and 225 tons. Hourly buses from Ganghwa-eup. There is another cluster of dolmen at Gocheon-ri (고천리). Free.
  • 2 Ganghwa Stone Water Gate, 883-1 Chrysanthemum-ri. The floodgates of the Joseon Dynasty in Sinmun-ri, Ganghwa-eup. It is Incheon Metropolitan City Tangible Cultural Property No. 30.
  • Jeondeungsa Temple
  • 3 Ganghwa Gapgotdon, 1020 Gapgot-ri. Gapgot Dondae is an important fortress where Goryeo moved its capital to Ganghwa Island from 1232 to 1270, protecting the Ganghwa Strait in the war against Mongolia,.
  • 4 Bomunsa (보문사), San 293, Maeum-ri, Samsan-myeon. High up on Seokmodo Island, this temple is located in a scenic grotto with rock carvings and is famous as a place for women to pray for sons. Getting there is half the fun: take a bus from Ganghwa-eup to Oepo-ri (30 min, every 30 min), cross by ferry to Seokmodo (W2000; 10 min, every 30 min), and then take a shuttle bus (W1000) to the temple. ₩1500.
  • 5 Ganwha Chamsungdan, San 42-1, Heungwang-ri, Hwado-myeon. Ganghwa Chamseongdan is an altar located at the top of Mani Mountain, Heungwang-ri, Hwado-myeon. It is known that Dangun (檀君) was built during the ancient period, and on July 11, 1964, it was designated as Korea's Historic Site No. 136.



Ganghwa Ginseng and Hwamunseok, which is a mat woven with flower patterns a representative traditional Korean product, with its intricate handwork and designs.







There are several motels and yeogwan in Oepo-ri.

  • 1 Ganghwa Youth Hostel (강화유스호스텔), Oepori Mountain 177, Nae-myeon, +82 32-933-8891. Cavernous, charmless youth hostel, 10 min walk from the Oepo-ri ferry terminal.
  • 2 Asomeplace (어썸플레이스), Asomeplace, 1009-7 Seondoo-ri, Kil Sang Myeon (Sinchon subway station (No.2 station of subway No.2 line) Exit No. 4, walk straight to Artreon (Movie complex) bus stop, No. 3100 bus, Get off at Onsuri, You can ride the taxi or call for pick up services.), +82 10-6355-8822. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Pension Spa & Resort of Korea. 90,000won~310,000won.
  • 3 Elijah Resort (엘리야리조트), 2782-24 Haeannam-ro, Hwado-myeon, +82 032 937 5921. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Located in Ganghwa Island, Elijah Resort is about a 7-minute drive from Manisan Mountain. Nearby attractions include Dongmak Beach, which is about a 20-minute drive away. The resort features an infinity pool, an outdoor private BBQ area, an unattended convenience store and cafe, and a walking trail. There are a variety of room types, some with rooftop views. Costs range from \260,000 - \280,000 per adult per night.

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