Lighthouses of South Korea: Southern Busan

For most of its history, Korea was an independent kingdom, or at least an autonomous kingdom under Chinese influence. This came to an end in 1910, when Japan annexed all of Korea. At the end of World War II in 1945, the 38° parallel was established as the dividing line between U.S. and Soviet zones of occupation, and in 1948 separate civil administrations were established in the two halves of the country. The Korean War (1950-53) ended in a draw, with the armistice line falling close to the prewar 38° line. The Republic of Korea (ROK), commonly called South Korea, occupies the Korean peninsula south of the armistice line.

This page covers lighthouses of the southern part of the metropolitan area of Busan on South Korea's southeast coast. With a population of more than 3.5 million, Busan (formerly spelled Pusan) is Korea's second largest city and largest port. The city faces the Korea Strait, which connects the East Sea (commonly called the Sea of Japan in the West) to the East China Sea. It stands on an intricate and rocky coast, with numerous islands of all sizes offshore. Although there are several famous and historic lighthouses on this coast, many of the more modern lights are not well known.

Following several recent government reorganizations, navigational aids in the ROK are now regulated by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MOMAF). Management of lighthouses in Busan is the responsibility of the Busan Regional Maritime Affairs and Port Administration. In Korean, the word for a lighthouse is donghae (등대); dan is a cape, do is an island, and hang is a harbor .

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. KR numbers, where available, are from the Korean light list. Admiralty numbers are from volume M of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

Yeongdo New Lighthouse
Yeongdo Light, Yeongdo District, October 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Brian Yap

General Sources
Port of Busan - Lighthouse Facilities
First of four pages with information about the major lighthouses.
KAAN Major Lighthouse Information
KAAN is the Korean Association of Aids to Navigation. Click on the map for information concerning each province, and then scroll down for small photos. All the data is in Korean. An English version of the page has the names of the lighthouses, but no photos.
Kiso's Lighthouses - Korea
Photos posted by a Japanese lighthouse fan.
Lighthouses in South Korea
Photos available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - South Korea
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.

Yeongdo Lighthouses
* Yeongdo (Yong Do, Taejongdo, Mokdo) (1) (lantern)
1906. Inactive since 2004. 7 m (23 ft) round lantern mounted on a square 1-story brick base. Lantern painted white; the keeper's cottage is unpainted red brick. Brian Yap's photo appears at right, and Bing has a satellite view. Located about 150 m (500 ft) west of the modern lighthouse. Site open, tower closed.
**** Yeongdo (Yong Do, Taejongdae, Mokdo) (2)
2004 (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 82 m (269 ft); three white flashes every 18 s. Approx. 30 m (89 ft) round cylindrical steel tower with lantern and a large circular observation deck. Lighthouse painted white, lantern dome gray. Fog siren (blast every 45 s). Brian Yap's photo is at the top of this page, Michael Mellinger has a 2008 photo, Kiso has photos (5th lighthouse on the page), Lightphotos.net has a January 2013 photo, a view from the sea is available, and Bing has a satellite view. This modern lighthouse is one of Busan's best known tourist attractions. The station includes a natural history museum, lighthouse museum, and several interesting monuments and sculptures. The port authority describes it as an "open maritime cultural space." Yeongdo is an island about 8 km (5 mi) long and 4 km (2.5 mi wide) lying on the south side of Busan's main harbor. The lighthouse stands in a large park, Taejongdae Park, at the southeastern end of the island, where it serves as the port's landfall light. Site open, museum and observation deck open daily. Site manager: Port of Busan. ARLHS SKR-029; KR 410-2004; Admiralty M4356; NGA 16728.
Saengdo (Sangdo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 57 m (187 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 24 m (79 ft) round concrete tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. A closeup is available, Kristin Licitis has a nice view, Murat Tarman has a distant view, Lightphotos.net has a similar distant view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located atop a small island about 2 km (1.2 mi) south of the Yeongdo lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4355.9; NGA 16727.8.

Old Yeongdo Lighthouse
1906 Yeongdo Light, Yeongdo District, October 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Brian Yap


Nam Hang (South Harbor) Lighthouses
Nam Hang East Breakwater (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); red flash every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. A 2008 photo is available, Kim Cheol Hwan has a 2011 photo, another photo is available, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. There is also a 1980 photo of a previous light at this location. Nam Hang is the harbor on the west side of Yeongdo. Located at the end of the short east breakwater, at the entrance to the harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4368; NGA 16756.
Nam Hang West Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green flash every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A 2008 photo is available, Google has a distant street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the short west breakwater, at the entrance to the harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4366; NGA 16752.
Busan South Harbor (Songdo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); three quick white flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) octagonal cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Upper half of the lighthouse painted black, lower half yellow. A photo is at right, Andrew Chung has a good photo, Lee Iljoo has a photo, a 2011 photo and a 2008 photo are available, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located close offshore on the west side of the south entrance to Busan harbor. Accessible only by boat but easily seen from shore. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4369.45; NGA 16757.

Gamcheong Harbor Lighthouses
Dudo (Tudo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); white flash every 7 s. 8 m (26 ft) round concrete tower with gallery, painted white. A distant photo is available, SuHo Park has another distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Dudo is an island just southeast of the entrance to Gamcheon Hang (see below). Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4355; NGA 16764.
Dudo (Tudo) South
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 18 m (59 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a circular concrete pier. Lighthouse painted red. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located just off the southwest side of Dudo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4355.1; NGA 16765.
Busan South Light
Busan South Harbor Light, Seo District, November 2008
Panoramio photo copyright Moongs™; used by permission
* Gamcheon (Kamchon) Hang East Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 30 m (98 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. Kim Cheol Hwan has a view down the length of the breakwater, a more distant view also shows Dudo in the background, and Google has a satellite view. Gamcheon is a new harbor about 5 km (3 mi) southwest of Nam Hang. Located at the end of the east breakwater at the harbor entrance. Accessible by walking the pier from Amnam Park. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4355.4; NGA 16760.
Gamcheon (Kamchon) Hang West Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 30 m (98 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the west breakwater at the harbor entrance. Site and tower closed. Admiralty M4355.5; NGA 16760.5.
Gamcheon Hang Entrance Range Front
2011. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); continuous green light. 39 m (128 ft) square steel skeletal tower, probably used also as a communications tower. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located in a wharf area on the west side of Gamcheon harbor. Site status unknown. KR 410-2048; Admiralty M4354.81; NGA 16763.
Gamcheon Hang Entrance Range Rear
2011. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); continuous green light. 39 m (128 ft) square pyramidal concrete (?) skeletal tower, probably used also as a communications tower. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a ridge northwest of Gamcheon harbor, 775 m (0.48 mi) northwest of the front light. Site status unknown. KR 410-2049; Admiralty M4354.82; NGA 16763.5.
Jadam Mal (Doseung)
2005. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); six quick white flashes followed by one long white flash every 15 s. 14 m (46 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery; upper half of the lighthouse painted yellow, lower half black. Samuel Orchard's photo is at right, the lighthouse is at left in a sunrise photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a rock off the end of the Doseung peninsula, about 1.2 km (3/4 mi) southwest of the Gamcheon Hang entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4354.7; NGA 16769.
Songdo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); red flash every 4 s. 15 m (49 ft) round concrete tower, painted red. The lighthouse is at right in a sunrise photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a rock about 600 m (3/8 mi) west of the Jadam Mal light. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4354.6; NGA 16768.5.

Jadam Mal Light, Saha District, May 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Samuel Orchard

Dadaepo Harbor Lighthouses
Dadaepo North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); three red flashes every 8 s. 10 m (33 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the L-shaped north breakwater of Dadaepo harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4354.9; NGA 16771.5.
Dadaepo South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); green flash every 10 s. 9 m (30 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. The Coast Guard's photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater of Dadaepo harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4354.8; NGA 16771.
Gyeongdo (Kyungdo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) octagonal concrete tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on an island on the west side of the entrance to Dadaepo harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4354.5; NGA 16770.
Molundae (Morundo)
2007. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted black with a broad red horizontal band. A distant photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a skerry about 2 km (1.2 mi) southwest of the Dadaepo harbor entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4354.3.
Mokdo (Mokto, Namuseon)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 69 m (226 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 9 m (30 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. The Degree Confluence Project has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Located atop a high island about 8 km (5 mi) south of Gamcheon. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4353.5; NGA 16772.
Seodo (Sodo, So Do)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 119 m (390 ft); white flash every 6 s. 36 m (118 ft) hexagonal white concrete tower with gallery. A distant view is available, and Bing has a satellite view. The tower appears to be much taller than its listed height. Located on a high island about 5 km (3 mi) southwest of Gamcheon. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4354; NGA 16768.
Dadaepo South Breakwater Light
Dadaepo South Breakwater Light, Saha District
Korean Coast Guard photo

Gangseo District Lighthouses
Bukhyeongjedo (Pukyongjedo)
2003. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); white flash every 4 s. 19 m (62 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A portion of Eugene Gladkykh's photo is at right, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the shoal. The new light was repaired after being damaged by Typhoon Maemi only six months after it was built. Located on a skerry about 15 km (9 mi) southwest of Gamcheon. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4353; NGA 16775.
Namhyeongjedo (Namyongjedo) (2?)
2007 (station establishment date unknown). Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 28 m (92 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted black with one red horizontal band. Eugene Gladkykh has a photo, and another photo is available, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the shoal. This lighthouse was restored or replaced repaired after being damaged by Typhoon Maemi in September 2003. Located on an islet about 6 km (4 mi) south southwest of the Pukyongjedo lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4353.7; NGA 16775.5.
Nakdong (Nagdong) Hang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 10 m (33 ft); light pattern unknown. 11 m (36 ft) lantern centered on a square 1-story equipment building, mounted on a square platform supported by robust piles. Lighthouse painted yellow with red trim; piles painted red. A good photo is available (third photo on the page), and Google has a satellite view. Located on the east side of the channel entering Nakdong Hang. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Not yet listed by the international lists.
Bukhyeongjedo Light
Bukhyeongjedo Light, Gangseo District, May 2012
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by Eugene Gladkykh
* Sinjeon eo Hang South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with a lower gallery accessed by concrete stairs. Entire lighthouse is red. Google has a street view and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the south breakwater of a small boat basin in Nakdong Hang. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, and visitors can access the lower gallery. Admiralty M4353.953; NGA 16773.5.
* Sinjeon eo Hang North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); green flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with a lower gallery accessed by concrete stairs. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has a street view and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the north breakwater of a small boat basin in Nakdong Hang. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, and visitors can access the lower gallery. Admiralty M4353.954; NGA 16773.51.
* Daehang (Taehang-ni) East
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); green flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted white. A 2007 view is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater of a small boat harbor on the east side of the island of Gadeokdo. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4352.5; NGA 16775.7.
** Gadeokdo (Tongdu Mal) (1)
1909. Inactive since 2002. Approx. 14 m (46 ft) octagonal masonry tower attached to a small keeper's house. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo taken during the light station's centennial in 2009 is at right, the older light can be seen hiding in the middle of the complex in the photo below, and Google has a satellite view. The keeper's house is available for overnight accommodations, but primarily for organized groups. Located on the southern tip of Gadeokdo, an island about 8 km (5 mi) long about 15 km (9 mi) west southwest of Gamcheon. The site is part of a naval base, so visitors must call to register before visiting the light station.
1909 Gadeokdo Light
1909 Gadeokdo Light, Gangseo, 2009
Busan City (Busan Media Center) photo
** Gadeokdo (Tongdu Mal) (2)
2002 (station established 1909). Active; focal plane 105 m (344 ft); white flash every 12 s. 40.5 m (133 ft) octagonal concrete tower with lantern, gallery, and eight ribs, rising from a 3-story harbor control building. Entire structure painted white. A photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. However, photos of this major lighthouse are surprisingly scarce online. Located adjacent to the historic lighthouse. ARLHS SKR-043; Admiralty M4352; NGA 16776.
* Daehang (Taehang) North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted white. A photo is available (first photo on the page), and Google has a street view and a satellite view. It appears that decorative designs in light blue are painted on the tower. Located at the end of a breakwater at Daehang, on the west side of Gadeokdo. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4352.3; NGA 16779.
Gamsuseo (Gabsuseodo)
2007. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 17 m (56 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted black with one red horizontal band. A photo and a second photo are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a reef almost over the east end of the Geoga Tunnel, part of the Busan-Geoge Fixed Link. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4351.6.
Daejugdo (Daejukdo, Hodo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white flash every 6 s. 14 m (46 ft) round strongly-conical white stone tower mounted on a robust round concrete pier. Google has a satellite view. Located on an islet southeast of Daejugdo, a small island crossed by the Busan-Geoge Fixed Link in the center of the entrance to Masan Bay (Masan-man). Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4351.8; NGA 16778.
Gadeokdo Light
Gadeokdo Light, Gangseo
Korea Tourism Organization photo
Gadeokdo East Breakwater East End (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); yellow flash every 6 s. 21 m (69 ft) octagonal cylindrical tower, painted yellow. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the east end of a detached breakwater on the east side of Gadeokdo, north of Daehang. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4351.5; NGA 16782.1.
Gadeokdo East Breakwater West End (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); red flash every 4 s. 27 m (89 ft) square concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. The tower sweeps upward in a 1/4-circle arc. A good photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the west end of the detached breakwater on the east side of Gadeokdo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4351.4; NGA 16782.
Horando (Holando)
2006. Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 35 m (115 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. The light is to the left of the channel in a 2008 photo taken from the containership Marchen Maersk, and Google has a satellite view. This light and the Todo light (next entry) are about 500 m (0.3 mi) apart; the channel around the north side of Gadeokdo passes between them. Located on a small island off the northwestern side of Gadeokdo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4351.25.
Todo
2006. Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 35 m (115 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted green. The light is to the right of the channel in a 2008 photo taken from the containership Marchen Maersk, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island off the northwestern side of Gadeokdo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4351.24.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Northern Busan | South: Tsushima | West: Changwon and Geoje

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Posted December 4, 2007. Checked and revised April 2, 2014. Lighthouses: 35. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.