Seongsan Ilchubong or “Sunrise peak” is one of Jeju’s most striking sights. Seongsan means a hill in the shape of a castle and ilchubong means a high point with a beaitful view. It’s easy to see why this is so called after spending time here. It also plays host to Jeju’s best sunrise and the site opens up an hour before sunrise so you can experience the full majesty of the experience. Every year there is also a sunrise festival to bring in the New Year and fishermen will light up their boats in celebration.
Haenyeo Divers Experience
When you first hear about this incredible divers- it sounds like some sort of wind up. Sea mermaids catching sea food with a knife whilst holding their breath underwater! Sounds unlikely, right. These remarkable women – some of whom are old as 80- can hold their breath for minutes and dive under water to catch their fish.
The history of these divers is equally impressive and these women would learn how to dive and catch shellfish and seaweed from an early age. Why women? This was partly due to the fact that there were many more women then men on Jeju Island for a long time. The impact of the Korean War meant women did more economically productive work than had been the case. This skill was then passed down through generations and is possible to watch today. You can see them in action and admire their culture. It’s also possible to visit a museum dedicated to learning more about Haenyeo culture whilst in Jeju. Just make sure not to try and match their breath-holding feats yourself whilst swimming in the ocean!
You are spoilt for choice on a Jeju Island tour when it comes to beautiful beaches. Despite the fact that the island is made up of black volcanic rock- the majority of the beaches are white sand. This is because the beaches are created from crushed sea shells. However, there are black sands beaches at Geommeolle where you can see the dark sands which create a unique view!
Amongst our favourites is the stunning Woljeongri branch which offers up splendid views as well as a whole host of charming cafes. This include the beachfront café- Will be a Whale – with a huge sculpture of a whale welcoming you in. There’s also horse-shaped lighthouses to admire at Taewoo Beach. Amongst the most famous of Jeju’s beaches is Hyeopjae. It has miles upon miles on white sand beach and offers vistas towards the forestry Biyangdo Island. With clear waters- it’s a really popular swimming spot and a definite must-do on any Jeju trip.
A bit of an offbeat choice for our final must-see but this park captures a distinct aspect of the local culture. Lovelandis very much an adults-only entertainment centre. It was opened in 2004 by art graduates from, mainly, Hongik University. There are various sculptures centred around the themes of sensuality and eroticism. The park aims to raise awareness of a positive sex culture and it makes for an interesting experience to wander around on your Jeju Island tour.
Jeju is guaranteed to have something you’ll really enjoy. With 200km of coastline there is always access to the sea and more beaches than you’d ever have time to experience. At the centre of the island is Mount Hallasan. This volcano is stands at over 2,000 metres and is the beating heart of the island. Fortunately, it has been dormant for over 1,000 years. We spend three days on Jeju on our South Korea adventure tour and can arrange additional days to take in the natural beauty if you would like.
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