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Diving in South Korea

South Korea has great seasonal diving that’s not to be missed, with warm waters from the South China Sea in summer and colder currents in winter combining to make for some unique dive experiences.

Diving in South Korea

Quick facts

South Korea has something for everyone. It’s got Seoul; a buzzing metropolis and the driving force behind one of the largest Asian economies. It’s got culture; the traditions of a 5000-year history are revered and blend comfortably in their high tech surrounds. It’s got food and festivals; from the Boryeong mud fest to Chuseok, the harvest celebration, there’s always something happening and something good to eat. And it’s got the countryside; from temples to the mountains and forests of its national parks to pristine beaches on remote islands, there’s always somewhere to escape the bustle. All this hasn’t gone unnoticed; a “Korean Wave” has swept over Asia, and points further, garnering increased attention for the country, its culture and its charms. Thankfully for divers, there’s another wave (or two) found at some of the many dive sites readily accessible from all the major cities, including Seoul, which is abundantly covered with dive shops. South Korea has great seasonal diving that’s not to be missed, with warm waters from the South China Sea in summer and colder currents in winter combining to make for some unique dive experiences.

Recommended training

For those looking to get certified, start with the PADI Open Water Divercourse. For certified divers, the PADI Enriched Air Diver course and the PADI Digital Underwater Photographer courses are popular specialties. South Korea is also a great place to become a PADI professional.

When to go

Cold snowy winters and hot humid summers. Spring and autumn (May and October) are great times to visit.

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Jeju Island - This large volcanic island off the south coast is a stunning destination and arguably the favorite holiday and dive destination in South Korea. There is abundant marine life including nudibranchs, abalone and frogfish. The range and size of the soft corals delight divers with colorful walls to explore on many sites. Bum-Sum, Mun-Sum and Sup-Sum are popular sites where divers experience the best of Jeju Island. Topside, Jeju boasts captivating waterfalls and pristine beaches. Uljin - Located on the eastern coast, Uljin is a popular dive destination. Deco Point and Iron Tower are two well-known sites in this region. There are also a number of shipwrecks to explore along this exciting coastline. The marine life is varied and includes numerous types of eels which frequent many of these sites and wrecks off the coast. Above the surface, Uljin offers a charming coastline and plenty of natural rural beauty for visitors. Dong Hae & Gangneung - Also on the eastern coast of the pristine waters here attract an array of fish species that mesmerize divers. Young Jin along with Munam, Bongpo, Chuam and Ingu Beaches are popular with local divers. While you are in the region, Mukho Harbor, Mureung Valley and Odaesan National Park are easily accessible topside highlights. Nam Hae - An island that is actually connected by road, Nam Hae is a great getaway location for divers in the south of the country. Most of the sites around Nam Hae are home to a wealth of marine species including wrasse, starfish and octopus. Geojae, Tongyoung, Namhae, Mijo and Sangju are popular dive sites here. At Hongdo Island, part of Dadohae Marine National Park, sea cliffs topped with lush evergreen trees plunge into blue waters that are sure to delight divers. Nam Hae’s many islands and hidden beaches make this a favorite destination.

What to see

Huge and abundant soft corals, frogfish, abalone, varied nudibranchs and giant kelp.


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Other attractions

Visit Jirisan National Park, the oldest and most famous in South Korea. Stroll through Seoul and absorb some of the high tech energy. Sample the fresh produce (and the beaches) in the picturesque port of Yeosu.

Getting there

There are international airports at Incheon, Gimpo, Gimhae, Daegu, Yangyang, Jeju, Cheongju, Muan. Incheon International Airport (IIA) is the largest airport in South Korea and the primary airport serving Seoul.


Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

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