▲ Tobogganing is one of the most popular winter sports on Jeju Island. A snow-covered Mt. Halla is a perfect place to enjoy tobogganing and trekking. Photos by Yang Ho Geun
Jeju’s overused pseudonym, “Korea’s Hawaii,” seems to overlook the fact that snow frequents the island every year, be it ever so sparingly except for in one location – Mt. Halla. Here, tons of snow falls during the colder months. This snowfall is caused by a cold northwesterly wind from Siberia that passes over the island every year. Though an annoyance to some, this change of landscape affords beautiful winter vistas of Mt. Halla to those who dare to brave the elements.
This transformation creates a perfect environment for one of Jeju’s lesser known winter sports, tobogganing. There are no officially-designated sledding areas at present, but you can enjoy this activity essentially anywhere that there is a snow-covered hill.
▲ Hallasan Tour Bus operates from the Jeju Welcome Center to the entrance of Eorimok until Feb. 6. Photo by Yang Ho Geun
One popular location is near the Eorimok entrance of Mt. Halla. The sledding ground is private property but it is open to the public, and toboggans can be rented for 3,000 won a day.
This year, due to fear of foot-and-mouth disease affecting livestock (even though there have been no reported cases on the island), the Jeju provincial office asks that people not use grasslands. As a result, the turnout has been smaller compared to past years.
If Eorimok is too difficult to reach or if you wish to stay closer to Jeju City, you can easily catch a bus to Jeju National University, where there are a few ideal places to participate in this winter pastime.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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