26 July 2012

Jeju Island in 3 Days

Jeju Island, the Hawaii of Korea, where couples usually go for honeymoon, and the place of many UNESCO Nature Heritage sites, is really beautiful and romantic. Some people say we need to spend at least 1 week to explore and experience the most of this island, but in my opinion 3 days are enough. Trust me, many places in Jeju only look good in advertisement, they're good at selling it. There are no interesting places in the North and West part of Jeju Island, so you can focus on East and South. East and South parts are amazingly naturally beautiful! Here's the itinerary I recommend.

Day-1: East of Jeju Island

Manjanggul / Manjang Cave
Spending time: 30-45 minutes
Hallasan, located in the middle of Jeju Island is the only volcanic mountain in Korea. It created several small volcanic mountains throughout Jeju Island, called Oreum in Korean. One of the biggest Oreum is Geomun Oreum, famous with its large lava tube system and designated as a UNESCO Natural Heritage site. It has few lava tunnels/caves formed by lava flow in the northeast direction thousands years ago: Bengdui Cave, Manjang Cave, Gimnyeong Cave, Yongcheon Cave, Dangcheomul Cave and Seonheul Vertical Cave. I think you do not need to visit all the caves, just pick the best and the most popular one: Manjang Cave. It stretches for 1,3km, but only 1km is opened for tourists. There is a unique rock in the end of the tunnel, formed by flowing lava. There's also a unique turtle rock located in the middle of the tunnel. The structures inside the cave are different in each section. When you see that, you will realize how strong and powerful lava can be.