Lighthouses of South Korea: Sinan

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 Sinan County, an island county of Jeollanam Province, located on South Korea's southwest coast in the region formerly known as Jeolla or Cholla. The county includes a large archipelago west of Mokpo. Although there are several famous and historic lighthouses on this coast, most of the more modern lights are not well known.

Navigational aids in the ROK are regulated by the Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs (MLTM). MLTM also operates the major coastal lights, but management of harbor lighthouses is in the hands of local port authorities. 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. Admiralty numbers are from volume M of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
Port of Mokpo - Lighthouses
Photos and information in English for the major lighthouses of the area.
Kiso's Lighthouses - Korea
Photos posted by a Japanese lighthouse fan.
Korean Association of Aids to Navigation - Sinan
Photos and limited information for five of the provinces's most famous lighthouses.
Lighthouses in South Korea
Photos available from Wikimedia.

Hongdo Light
Hongdo Light, Heuksan District
Korea National Parks photo

Sinan County Lighthouses

Jangsan District Lighthouses
Jangdo (Changdo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white flash every 6 s. 9 m (30 ft) round white concrete tower. Kim Bong-sun has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island southwest of Jangsando, marking the passage northward from Jindo toward Mokpo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4237; NGA 17612.

Heuksan District (Far Southwestern Islands) Lighthouses
Gageodo (Soheuksando, Sohuksando)
1907. Active; focal plane 84 m (276 ft); white flash every 15 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white. Fog horn (one blast every 60 s). KAAN's photo is at right, and Naver has a satellite view of the station, but Bing has only a distant satellite view of the island. This is perhaps Korea's most remote lighthouse. Located at the northwestern point of the island of Gageodo, about 100 km (60 mi) west southwest of Jindo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower status unknown. Admiralty M4227; NGA 17708.
Mulseongmal (Mulsogmal)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 156 m (512 ft); white flash every 10 s. 6.5 m (21 ft) octagonal white concrete tower. No photo available, but Bing has only a distant satellite view of the island. Located on heights at the southeastern end of Soheuksando. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4227.4; NGA 17710.
Manjaedo (Maury Island)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 195 m (640 ft); white flash every 5 s. 5.5 m (18 ft) round white concrete tower. A closeup photo (halfway down the page) and a second photo (also halfway down the page) are available, and Naver has a satellite view, but Bing has only a distant satellite view of the island. Located on an isolated high island about 50 km (30 mi) northeast of Soheuksando. Accessible only by boat and a difficult hike up the mountain. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4228; NGA 17704.
Hataedo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 6 s. 6 m (20 ft) round white concrete tower. A photo is available, and Naver has a satellite view, but Bing has only a distant satellite view of the island. Located on an island about 60 km (38 mi) north northeast of Soheuksando. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4226; NGA 17700.

Sohuksando Light
Gageodo (Soheuksando) Light
Korean Association of Aids to Navigation photo

* Hongdo
1931. Active; focal plane 89 m (292 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 14 m (46 ft) two-stage square concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white. 1-story concrete keeper's house and other light station buildings. A photo is at at the top of this page, a fine closeup and a second closeup are available, KAAN has a photo (second photo on the page), and Naver has a satellite view, but Bing has only a distant satellite view of the area. Hongdo is a small island about 115 km (72 mi) west of Mokpo. Ferry transportation to the island is available. Located at the northern tip of the island. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Dadohaehaesang National Park. ARLHS SKR-041; Admiralty M4222; NGA 17696.
Juk (Chuk) Hang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower. The Port of Mokpo's photo is at right, another photo (fourth from last photo on the page) and a view from the sea are available, and Naver has an indistinct satellite view, but Bing has only a fuzzy satellite view of the area. Located on one of the outermost of a large collection of picturesque rocky pinnacles obstructing the approach to Chuk harbor, the harbor of Hongdo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4222.2; NGA 17697.
Daeheuksando (Taeheuksando, Taehuksando) North Breakwater (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted red. Kim Bong-Sun has a photo, and Naver has a satellite view of the harbor and its breakwaters, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view. The Admiralty and NGA list a skeletal tower at this location. Daeheuksando is an island about 16 km (10 mi) long and about 130 km (80 mi) east of Mokpo; it is the largest and most populous of the Heuksan islands. Located at the end of the north breakwater of Daeheuksando harbor, at the north end of the island. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4223.4; NGA 17683.
Daeheuksando (Taeheuksando, Taehuksando) South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 8 m (26 ft) octagonal concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo is available, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater of Daeheuksando harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4223.3; NGA 17682.
Daeheuksando (Taeheuksando, Taehuksando) Inner Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green flash every 4 s. 9 m (30 ft) concrete post rising from a 1-story equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. Kim Bong-Sun has a photo, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater of Daeheuksando harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4223; NGA 17684.
Hojangdo (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 78 m (256 ft); white flash every 10 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) square white concrete tower. The tower is barely visible in Kim Bong-sun's distant view of the island, and Naver has an indistinct satellite view, but Bing has only a very distant satellite view of the island. Light lists previously described a round tower, and a 2009 aerial view shows a round post. Located on a small island off the north coast of Taeheuksando. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4222.5; NGA 17678.
Juk Hang Light
Juk Hang Light, Hongdo
Port of Mokpo photo
Hajukdo (Hajuk-to)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 100 m (328 ft); white flash every 5 s. 6 m (20 ft) hexagonal white concrete tower. The Port of Mokpo has a closeup photo, and Naver has a satellite view, but Bing has only a very distant satellite view of the island. This light marks the northern tip of the Heuksan islands. The original light was on a round tower. Located on an island about 8 km (5 mi) north of Taeheuksando. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4225; NGA 17676.
Daehangdo (Yeongsando, Yongsando, Taehand-do)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 51 m (167 ft); white flash every 4 s. 11 m (36 ft) round white concrete tower. A very distant view is available, and Naver has a satellite view, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the island. Located on a smaller island off the east coast of Taeheuksando. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4223.5; NGA 17688.

Docho (Tocho) District Lighthouses
Gyeongchido (Gyongchido, Kyongchido) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 47 m (154 ft); white flash every 4 s. 9 m (30 ft) octagonal cylindrical white concrete tower. The Port of Mokpo has a photo, and Naver has a satellite view, but Bing has only a distant satellite view. The original light was on a round tower. Located at the east end of an island about 10 km (6 mi) northeast of Ueuido. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4229; NGA 17648.
Jongdaram (Chongdar-Am)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 18 m (59 ft) square skeletal tower mounted on a square concrete pier. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef about 3 km (1.8 mi) east of Gyongchido. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4229.1; NGA 17649.
Docho (Touch'ado)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 6 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) octagonal white concrete tower. A closeup photo (3/4 the way down the page) and a second photo (first photo below the map) are available, Naver has a satellite view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the northern tip of Dochodo, marking the eastern entrance to the strait between Dochodo and Bigeumdo. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4230.8; NGA 17650.
Jeungdo (Jeung Do)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 4 s. 8 m (26 ft) round white concrete tower. A sunset photo is available,and Naver has a satellite view, but Bing has only a distant satellite view. Located at the north point of a small island about 3 km (2 mi) east of the Docho light. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4231; NGA 17656.

Bigeum District Lighthouses
Chilbaldo
1905. Active; focal plane 105 m (345 ft); white flash every 15 s. 8.5 m (29 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white. Several additional station buildings. KAAN's photo is at right, and Naver has a satellite view, but Google has only a very distant satellite view of the island. Located on a small island about 50 km (30 mi) due west of Mokpo. Accessible only by boat, and the island is a restricted bird sanctuary. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4212; NGA 17672.
Daegokdo (Daegogdo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 8 m (26 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on the south end of an island off the western entrance to the strait between Bigeumdo and Dochodo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4230; NGA 17643.
Bokdo (Bogdo, Pokto)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted black with one red horizontal band. A photo (14th photo on the page) is available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef about 6 km (3.5 mi) southwest of Bigeumdo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4229.5; NGA 17645.
Jangguseom (Janggu Seo, Changgu-so)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (69 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (29 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on an islet off the west coast of Bigeumdo, about 4 km (2.5 mi) northwest of Daegogdo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4229.8; NGA 17644.5.
* Wonpyeong (Wonpyong) Hang West Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 9 m (30 ft) round concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is red. A closeup photo is available, the light can be seen in an aerial photo of the harbor, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the west breakwater of Wonpyong harbor, on the north coast of Biguemdo. Probably accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4212.7; NGA 17669.
Wonpyeong (Wonpyong) Hang East Breakwater (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 9 m (30 ft) round concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is white. A closeup photo is available, the light can be seen in an aerial photo of the harbor, and Bing has a satellite view. NGA lists a light on a mast. Located at the west end of a detached breakwater of Wonpyong harbor. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4212.8; NGA 17670.
Chilbaldo Light
Chilbaldo Light, Bigeum
Korean Association of Aids to Navigation photo
Usedo (Use Do)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 68 m (233 ft); white flash every 4 s. 9 m (30 ft) round white concrete tower. The light can be seen in an aerial photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the west end of an uninhabited island sheltering Wonpyong. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4212.5; NGA 17668.
Sangsuchido
1996. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) round white concrete tower, mounted on a square base. The light is barely visible in an aerial photo, and Naver has a satellite view, but Bing has only a distant satellite view. Located at the northwest end of an island about 3 km (5 mi) southeast of Bigeumdo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4213; NGA 17652.

Anjwa District Lighthouses
Sangsachido
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); nine quick white flashes every 13 s. 13 m (43 ft) round concrete tower, apparently with lantern and gallery, painted yellow with a black horizontal band. No photo available, and Bing has only a fuzzy satellite view, but Naver has a satellite view. Located on a shoal about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) east of the Sangsuchido light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4213.2; NGA 17661.
Samdo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 4 s. 9 m (30 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, and Bing has only a distant satellite view, but Naver has a satellite view. Located on a tiny island off the northwest coast of Anjwado. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4213.5; NGA 17660.
Somajindo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 4 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) octagonal white concrete tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on he northwest end of an island in the passage between Anjwado and Palgeumdo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4214.5; NGA 17665.
Jido (Chido)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) round white concrete tower. The tower is barely visible in Kim Bong-Sun's very distant view of the island, and Bing has a satellite view. Located atop a small island about 40 km (25 mi) southwest of Mokpo and 3 km (2 mi) southeast of Anjwado. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4221; NGA 17614.
Bokhocho
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical tower. Entire lighthouse is green. The Port of Mokpo's photo is at right, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef off the harbor of Bokho, a small port at the southeastern end of Anjwado. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4219.5; NGA 17615.

Palgeum District Lighthouses
Palgeumdo (P'algum Do)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white flash every 6 s. 6 m (20 ft) round white concrete tower. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the western tip of Palgeumdo, an island just to the northeast of Anjwado. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4214; NGA 17664.
Bokhocho Light
Bokhocho Light, Anjwa
Port of Mokpo photo
Amchido
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a shoal off the northeastern tip of Maedo, an island northeast of Palgeumdo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4215.7; NGA 17633.
Hanapdeokdo (Hanapdokdo, Hanaptokto)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white flash every 6 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower. The light is seen in an aerial photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located atop a small island off the northestern tip of Palgeumdo. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4215.5; NGA 17632.

Amtae District Lighthouse
* Amtaedo (Amtae Do)
1913. Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 7 m (23 ft) round stucco-clad brick tower, painted white. Lantern removed. A closeup photo is available (second photo on the page), also a second photo (halfway down the page) and several distant views. The small tower is not seen in Google's satellite view, but Naver has a satellite view. This is clearly a historic lighthouse, but we do not know anything of its history. Located at the eastern tip of Amtaedo, the largest island of the Sinan archipelago. Accessible by a hiking trail. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M4216; NGA 17636.

Jaeun District Lighthouses
Oegaldo (Oegalto)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) round white concrete tower. A view from the sea is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a small island off the southwestern tip of Jaeundo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4210.8; NGA 17643.1.
Jinseomal (Chinso Mal)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 60 m (197 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a promontory at the western tip of Jaeundo. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4211.5; NGA 17666.
Odo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 72 m (236 ft); white flash every 4 s. 11 m (36 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, but Naver has a satellite view and Google has a very distant satellite view. Located on an isolated high island about 7 km (4 mi) northwest of Jaeundo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4211; NGA 17644.
Jaeundo (Chaun Do)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 9 m (30 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a promontory at the northeastern tip of Jaeundo. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4216.5; NGA 17640.

Jeungdo District Lighthouse
Hwangdo (Bigyeoseom)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white flash every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) round white concrete tower. The light is barely visible in an aerial photo, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the western end of a small island south of Jeungdo, marking the northern approach to Mokpo, about 30 km (19 mi) northwest of the city. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4216.7; NGA 17642.

Imja District Lighthouses
Daenorokdo (Daerorogso, Taerorok To)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 72 m (236 ft); white flash every 5 s. 7 m (23 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, but Naver has a satellite view and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on an island about 8 km (5 mi) west of Imjado. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4210; NGA 17712.
Sambongdan (Sambong)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, but Naver has a satellite view and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a sharp promontory at the northeastern tip of Imjado. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M4210.3; NGA 17714.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: North Jeolla (Gunsan Area) | East: Mokpo Area | South: Jindo

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Posted January 9, 2008. Lighthouses: 41. Checked and revised June 12, 2013. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.