Following is a teaser of the must visit places in Jeju-do island. These are places that you should not miss and are unique to Jeju. Stay tuned for the following pieces detailing my Korea trip in November 2013.
1. Seongsan Iichulbong
Seongsan Ilchulbong, also called ‘Sunrise Peak’, is an archetypal tuff cone formed by hydrovolcanic eruptions upon a shallow seabed about 5 thousand years ago. Situated on the eastern seaboard of Jeju Island and said to resemble a gigantic ancient castle, this tuff cone is 182 meters high, has a preserved bowl-like crater and also displays diverse inner structures resulting from the sea cliff.
2. Jeju Stone Park
Jeju Stone park Dol Hareubang (literally “Old Grandfather” stone statues) seen throughout Jeju Island), Bangsatap (small, round towers made of many stones that were believed to ward off misfortunes), Jeongjuseok (low stone symbols showing that Jeju didn’t need high fences against potential encroachments), and Dongjaseok (child-looking grave stones revealing what people on Jeju Island thought about their afterlife. Overall, surrounded by beautiful nature, the park offers the unique culture and history of Jeju Island.
3. Mt. Hallasan National Park
Hallasan (Halla Mountain) located exactly at the center of Jeju Island. Also called Mt. Yeongjusan, meaning ‘mountain high enough to pull the galaxy. Hallasan National Park (Korean: 한라산국립공원, 漢拏山國立公園) was designated as the 9th national park in 1970. It features the highest mountain in South Korea, the shield volcano Hallasan on Jeju Island. It was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2002, and a World Heritage Site in 2007
4) Manjanggul lava tube
Manjanggul Cave (만장굴) is one of the finest lava tunnels in the world, and is a designated natural monument. A lava tunnel is formed when the lava that was deep in the ground spouts from the peak and flows to the surface. Manjanggul Cave has a variety of interesting structures inside including 70cm lava stalagmites and the lava tube tunnels. Only 1km of the 13,422m Manjanggul Cave is open to the tourists. The inside of the tunnel sustains at a temperature of 11~21℃, creating a comfortable atmosphere. There are rare animals such as bats living in the tunnel, which makes this tunnel valuable for researchers as well. The stone pillars and stalactites are widely spread and the tunnels shows off the cave’s topographical features. The Stone Turtle is especially eye-catching because it is shaped like Jeju-do Island.
Jeju Love Land is a theme sculpture park based on sensuality and eroticism. Twenty artists, mainly graduates of top art school Hongik University, helped open it in November 2004. It was the first such museum in Korea at that time. The spacious park (39,667m²) is home to over 140 sculptures (40 within the gallery and 100 outside). The park as a whole looks like a piece of land art.