Mokpo or Mokpo-si (목포시, 木浦市) is one of five designated cities in Jeollanam-do. It is comprised of 26 dong, and as of 2004 it has a population of 242,380, including 663 foreigners. It lies on the western coast of the province, bordered by Muan county to the north, Yeongam county to the south, and by the Yellow Sea to the west.
Mokpo is a centuries-old city whose port was first opened to international trade in 1897. Not only commercial vessels but ferries traverse the seas between the city and the islands that comprise Mokpo and Shinan. The city has earned a reputation as a stronghold of the Koeran mob, an idea reinforced by the 2004 movie 목포는 항구다 (Gangster's Paradise). Nevertheless, Mokpo is a fairly popular destination for residents in South Korea's southwest. Its size ranks it among the largest places in Jeollanam-do, and it is expected to grow in coming decades as part of the Namak New Town initiative. Other big draws include hiking, shopping, studying and/or teaching, and travelling to neighboring islands.
Geography and administrative divisions
Mokpo is approximately 80 km from the city of Gwangju. To the northeast it borders on the county of Muan, to the south it faces the county of Yeongam, and to the north and west are a large number of islands.
As Mokpo is located between Nagasaki in Japan and Shanghai it has been an important port city since the 19th century.
The wind that blows in from the sea is strong and temperature variations during the day are large. The average yearly temperature is 13.4℃, the average in January is 2.3℃, and 26.5℃ in August. An average of 36 days a year reach over 30 ℃, and there are only 13 days a year where the temperature falls below －5℃. The average yearly precipitation is 1,126mm.
Restaurants and Bars
For those with a craving for Western food, Mokpo has two McDonald's restaurants, a Pizza Hut, and a Hollys Coffee, in addition to countless pizza and chicken restaurants. There are also several western bistro-style restaurants near the Peace Park / Gatbawi area of Hadang. Mokpo is famous for its seafood restaurants, as well.
As the average Korean, Japanese, and Chinese restaurants are in abundance throughout Korea and are easy for foreigners to find, the following restaurants reflect a sampling of restaurants considered to be either popular or are western-friendly choices and other ethnic foods.
Compared to other corners of Jeollanam-do, Mokpo is well-served by department stores, making it a convenient option for residents in nearby counties There is an E-Mart (Mokpo), Formo, and a GND shopping mall. There are two movie theatres as well: CGV (Mokpo) and Primus Cinema (Mokpo), both in Sang-dong.
One of Mokpo's distinctive features is Yudalsan, a small mountain that overlooks the sea and the city. Additionally, Mokpo has two museums, the Mokpo Natural History Museum and the National Maritime Museum that are reasonably priced and well-stocked.
Yudalsan-View from Kohado.
For accommodation information, please browse this list.
Mokpo has a domestic airport with six flights daily to Seoul, and one each to Busan and Jeju. Opening in 1969, Mokpo Airport is expected to close upon eventual completion of the oft-delayed international airport in Muan