Jeju-do Island: The Eastern Part

Jeju-do Island is the largest island on the Korean Peninsula. It is also called “The Hawai of South Korea”. It is the home of some of the most beautiful natural landmarks. The climate on the island is humid subtropical and this is the reason why it has turned out to be the preferable vacation spot for many Koreans. During 2011, it was classified as one of the new natural wonders of the world. The interesting places on the island are located East & South. The Hallasan Mountain is situated at the very center of the island. This is the highest mountain in South Korea – 1950 m. While the island is relatively small, the distances are not so small at all thanks to the huge mountain Hallasan. This means that in order to go from the North to the South or from the East to the West and vice versa, you have to take on a long journey.

Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak

Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak

The rocks of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak

One of the most significant landmarks on the Jeju Island is Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak. It is also called Sunrise Peak because of the lovely sunrise from the view. This majestic 182-m., inactive volcano is rising in the Eastern end of the island. The afforested crater is surrounded by serrated rocks that look like a giant crown. The crater of the volcano is 600 m. wide in diameter and 90 m tall. The object is part of the world heritage of UNESCO.

The crater of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak

Me at the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak

Climbing up to the entrance at the top of the volcano is 25 minutes long. The path and the stairs are marked and maintained well, so the climbing is suitable for people of all ages. On the way there, do not miss to look back because there are amazing, scenic views that open up in front of your eyes.

View from Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak

View from the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak

If you are lucky, near the beach that you can go down to, you can also see the famous female divers called “haenyeo”. These are a group of women, ranging from 70 to 80 years that dive 10 m. deep into the sea without oxygen masks, in order to find mussels, abalones, sea urchins and cucumbers, snails and other seafood. The first haenyeo were known to emerge as early as the 18th century. Thanks to them, for long years on the island, and even maybe until today, the matriarch ruled. You can read more about these women here.

Entrance fee

  • For adults – 2 000 ₩
  • For children – 1 000 ₩

The Manjanggul cave/Manjang

This remarkable lava tunnel has been formed by a volcanic eruption and is an object of the world cultural heritage of UNESCO. The tunnel has been formed 2.5 million years ago and is well-preserved even until this day, unraveling a beautiful view to our sight. Only one kilometer of his total longitude is opened for tourists.

The floor of Manjanggul Cave

Manganggul Lava Tube

This cave was rather different than the ones I had seen before due to the lava formations. Aside from that, the cave also offers interesting structures such as lava stalagmites and stone pillars.

Lava Stalactites

Another interesting part of the tunnel is the so-called lava raft. It has been formed when rock fragments were falling from the ceiling or the wall during the lava flow, after which they were spread out and hardened at one spot. The most famous lava raft has been called “The Stone Tortoise” because it has been formed like the Jeju Island. In some cases, the fallen rocks have been covered entirely with lava; they are looking like balls and they are called lava balls.

Lava raft called the Tortoise
The Stone Tortoise

The final point of our walk to the lava column! It has been formed by the confluence of the lava from the ceiling to the floor, after which it has hardened. With the height of 7.6 m, this is the highest lava column in the world.

Lava Column

The temperature inside the cave is between 11 ~ 21℃. Inside, you can find a lot of information for the type of volcanic cave. The entire walk will take about 30-40 minutes.

Entrance fee

  • For adults – 2 000 ₩
  • For children – 1 000 ₩

Gimnyeong Songsegi Beach

Not far from the Manjanggul cave is located one of the most beautiful beaches on the Jeju Island. The crystal clear waters, combined with the electric blue watercolor and the white sand captivate the hearts of every visitor.

Gimnyeong Songsegi Beach

Gimnyeong Songsegi Beach

Commuting through the island can be realized by car or by the town buses. The buses are very comfortable and all of them have Wi-Fi. They move relatively regularly but as I mentioned already, the distances are large, so keep in mind to watch for the time.


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