A major seaport and industrial city, Pohang lies within South Korea’s North Gyeongsang Province. It’s renowned for its fresh fish market and laid-back swimming beaches, as well as offering a unique sunrise experience at what is the easternmost tip of the country.
Pohang is famed for its Jukdo Fish Market in the central Ogeori area which includes around 200 fresh seafood stalls, together with restaurants serving up affordable sashimi and the local dried Pacific herring specialty, Gwamegi. A traditional market also lies alongside, with locally-produced handicrafts and home wares on sale. One of the world’s largest steel companies, POSCO, dominates Pohang’s waterfront bay and its smokestacks are illuminated spectacularly by multicoloured lights at night. North of the city lies the swimming beaches of Chilpo and Wolpo where inner tubes are available for rent, while Songdo Beach is popular with windsurfers and Gyeongpo Beach has good snorkelling. Just to the east of Pohang in the small village of Homigot, a massive bronze sculpture known as “The Hands of Harmony” stretches up from the water. It is the furthest eastern point in South Korea and is particularly impressive at sunrise when the first rays illuminate the sculpture and stream between its fingers. A lighthouse and small museum are located nearby, together with restaurants serving up fresh seafood and souvenir shops. To the north of Pohang is the Buddhist temple of Bogyeongsa which nestles at the base of Mount Nayeon with numerous hiking trails available to explore its waterfalls and mountain hermitages.
Pohang is connected to Seoul, Busan and Daegu by train from the main railway station in the city centre, as well as by flights from Pohang Airport which lies just to the east. Two bus terminals offer long-distance services to cities across South Korea, while regular public buses provide transport in and around the city centre.
Megalithic burial sites and artefacts from ancient villages show evidence of human occupation in the Pohang area dating as far back as 1,500 BC. By the turn of the 20th century, it was still just a small fishing village, and it wasn’t until a modern harbour was developed in the 1930s that it grew rapidly, earning its city status in 1949.