There’s a lot of rock jutting out of the sea around Ulleungdo.
Imaginative locals have named the shapely formations after the creatures and things they resemble: Elephant, Bear, Lion, Turtle, Candlestick. There’s even a “Noodle” rock stretching up from the ground a quick jaunt inland: a tall cliff wall lined with long stringy indents that look a little like the salty dried spaghetti snacks served at Thursday Party bars throughout Korea.
Some of the rocks truly do echo their namesake; Elephant rock’s trunk may be a touch wide, but you can still see it dipping into the water for a long drink.
Candlestick rock? Okay, there may not be wax dripping off it, but the shape is there, sort of.
Other similarities were, we thought, a little questionable. This is the tallest, pointiest, shell-free turtle I’ve ever seen.
We tried to last until sunset here, watching the light drift down behind the turtle, leaning against a rolled-up tarp on a deserted concrete porch we spotted on the shore, but between my soaked-through boots, wet feet, and the cold wind, the bus back to Dodong was calling.
Luckily, the pre-sunset glimpse was sweet enough.