Destination: a full day of Jeju (Jeju-do) – part 3 of 3
Meet Oedolgae, Jusangjeolli, Cheonjaeyeon, Jungmun Saekdal Beach, Sanbanggulsa, and Loveland – all in the same day.
The nice part of going on a guided tour is the ability to meet with like-minded travelers, visit a bunch of places, and (perhaps nicest of all), not have to think about how you’re going from A to B. As a (usually) independent traveler, that last point is nice to take a break from every now and then. The schedule on many a guided tour is tighter than I’d personally like, but that’s the tradeoff at play. In any case, it was a beautiful day at some of Jeju’s most beautiful places.
Oedolgae (외돌개) or ‘lonely rock’. The unfortunate resemblance to a portion of male anatomy was noted by the tour guide, though this was merely one part of an Olleh hiking trail. The size and shape was perfect during the Goryeo Dynasty. According to the legend, the Koreans disguised the rock to look like a giant military general, and the Mongol soldiers occupying Jeju-do committed suicide as a result.
Another legend comes straight from tour2jeju.net:
It is also called Grandmother rock (Halmangbawi) as legend has it that an old woman waited for her husband to return from a fishing trip. When he didnt come back, she became a rock. On the tip of the rock, some trees and grasses grow, resembling human hair. It will givfe you the impression that the old woman forehead, sorrowful eyes and nose can be faintly seen on the left side of the rock. The open mouth will make you feel like the old woman is calling for her husband.
Not a tall building in sight.
The Olleh hiking trail hugging the coast of the island.
Jusangjeolli (주상절리) - AKA columnar join rocks, AKA just freakin’ gorgeous. The scientific interest here is vast, thanks to the different formations.
Formed by hot basaltic lava that cooled, the 4 to 6 polygonal columned rocks are naturally created, yet look carved.
One of the only places you’ll see palm trees on Korean soil is nearby.
We’ll get to Cheonjaeyeon waterfall in a second – for now, the ‘Fountain of Five Blessings’ offer longevity, wealth, honor, love, and sons if your coin lands in the stone bag in the center.
Cheonjaeyeon waterfall (천재연폭포) was the next stop. Although three waterfalls were in the area, one was separated from the other two – naturally, I had to check that one out.
Jungmun Saekdal Beach (중문 색달 해변) - at 560 meters long and 70 meters wide, it’s not the biggest beach in the world, but it’s perfect for an afternoon in the sun. One unusual factor was where the water was deeper and shallower – the deepest part was nearer to the shore, then stayed fairly shallow as far out as I went. There’s a spot just off the picture where the sand rested higher than sea level – one could literally go out in the sea, walk through the deeper part, up to the shallow part, and eventually have a seat in an area where the waves would lap up near you, but never quite you.
Sanbanggulsa (산방굴사) - the mountain temple on Sanbangsan features more stairs than flat land and a gorgeous view of the coast. One legend indicates this mountain was the peak of Hallasan before it was broken off and thrown here. A grotto shrine is also here, complete with a spring water well that drips from the ceiling. You’ll need it after the hike to the top.
Loveland (러브랜드) – nothing quite like going from a beautiful Buddhist temple to an outdoor park celebrating sex. Above is one of dozens of outdoor sculptures – Entitled 기쁨조 (gi-bbeum-jo), which translates to joy group or happy squad.
If you’re of drinking age, I sincerely hope you don’t need me to explain this one to you.
As the sun set and the artificial lights came on, the nine-meter statue by the entrance actually looked brighter and better lit.. Entitled 욕망 (yok-mang, or ‘Desire’).
Ratings (out of 5 taeguks): How do I rate destinations?
Ease to arrive:
Worth the visit:
© Chris Backe – 2011
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