For a complete list of Steve's Hike Jeju articles please click here and as always you can send your feedback to Steve and The Weekly on our Facebook page.
The Journey These are the top 20 sites in sequential order for Day 51: Venture Maru, The Jeju Weekly office - Halla Arboretum, Goangi Oreum / Namjosun Oreum, base 1 - Halla Arboretum, Goangi Oreum / Namjosun Oreum, peak - Halla Arboretum, Goangi Oreum / Namjosun Oreum, base 2 - Halla Arboretum, Goangi Oreum / Namjosun Oreum, reference point - Halla Arboretum, Goangi Oreum / Namjosun Oreum, base 1 - Eodo Oreum, parking lot - Eodo Oreum, peak - Eodo Oreum, base 2 - Eodo Oreum, peak 2 - Eodo Oreum, base 3 - Eodo Oreum, peak 3 - Eodo Oreum, parking lot - Cheola Oreum, base - Cheola Oreum, peak - Cheola Oreum, base - Nuun Oreum, base - Nuun Oreum, peak - Nuun Oreum, base - Venture Maru, The Jeju Weekly office
View The Jeju Weekly's Hike Jeju 2011 in a larger map Spent oil change for scooter -- 7,000 gas for scooter -- 8,000 7-Eleven -- 6,350 gas for scooter -- 8,000 sauna -- 5,000 7-Eleven -- 8,000 jimjilbang -- 7,000 Total -- 49,350 won
Consumed a lot of hard tack, a little peanut butter, 4 sandwiches, chocolates, 4 hot teas, 2 hot coffees, ample amounts of beer and an additional hard liquor mixture, endless amounts of water
Thoughts from Day 51 This day... I emerged from a zombie-like trance out of a jimjilbang knowing the end is much sooner than later. What was later, my time out of the gate. Five oreum today, the first two, a pair, were the most significant at Halla Arboretum. This was followed by the deceptive, yet appreciative Eodo Oreum, some distinctive boy statues, known as dongjaseok, at Cheola Oreum and last at Nuun Oreum, into a view of fog. I scouted two more future oreum for the next hiking day’s journey. A long, and wet ride home, relatively speaking.
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
Halla Arboretum. I have never been. Glad I went. There’s so much offered on Jeju. It’s hard to separate the fluff from a worthwhile experience. Just south of Shin Jeju on road 1139, Halla Arboretum, is in no way flawed. It is, being close to the city, I would say, presented as sanitized nature, a place that can welcome suits and high heels no problem. It’s a nature zoo. I avoid Shin like the plague, no wonder I never went here, I was rarely, if ever, close to this area. Thankfully, it was raining. The tour buses in any parking lot scare me. I do not want to share the space with thousands. Only a few at this place, but the capacity for many is true. I went up both Goangi Oreum and also along its path it skirts Namjosun Oreum, as well. Highly developed nature trails. Signs everywhere. I do question one that read: “Non-Spontaneous Plants Garden in Jeju-Island.” What possibly does that mean? I could only imagine how many people frequent this place on a nice day. I’ll pass. On approach I went through the guard shack to the right and proceeded to scooter past. The worker was quick to jump out and corral me back to the regular parking area. I also saw another white rabbit.
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
Eodo Oreum. From Jeju City approaching Hallim on road 1136, one finds Eodo Oreum. It had a monstrous rock sign at the front of it. It took me three times to find the real trail. The first time I went up through a tangerine grove and up a peak, the second time, around and up a wide grass path. Last, the real walking route was grand and went up and around the inside portions. This may be one of the only areas where it is lighted, for how long, at least at night? Maybe this is a locals only type of place. According to the sign, with a total height of 143 meters, 75 meters of rise, it originally means a hill on a corner. In addition, “It consists of two peaks of which the east peak is a main one. There was a beacon on the west in Joseon Dynasty. It is covered with black pines all over the slopes and tangerine oranges and kiwi were planted on the south slope.”
Cheola Oreum. Only a dirt road leads to a hard-to-find cemetery route. Going up even farther, one can find two incredible stone boy figures facing each other inside the rocked-in grave enclosure. Impressive. Perhaps, the only thing of note here. Cheola is east of Eodo Oreum, on the cutoff street between roads 1136 and 1135 out of Hallim.
Nuun Oreum. Last, it sits just a few kms west of Saebyeol Oreum off road 1135. A footpath leads to the top, maybe 10 minutes worth of walking and that’s it. Cloudy, foggy and drizzle made for a less-than-impressive vantage point.
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
Under-balleyhooing the western oreum. Once I swept through Jeju’s eastern oreum and had a taste of the west, I put the east’s strength at about 10 to 1. Now, with a significant cluster of western ones completed, it’s down 4 to 1. The east dominates for many reasons, one being its rural-ness. And, its natural formations. It’s tough to appreciate an oreum when a main artery highway cuts the island within eyesight at a peak, as road 1135 does along the western interior. Both sides’ trails have a feeling of an old musty attic. For every great oreum, there’s a few that peaked a decade or so ago in maintenance, and plenty more that are actually unfit to be climbed for any beneficial use.
Untapped potential. Many of the oreum are a mystery. I have yet to find an English-speaking person with any real useful knowledge about oreum. As stated before, the passport idea could be one way to draw more attraction to underused oreum, as well as alleviate the overused ones. Road signs (these can be very discreet) would be nice, and for preservation, mandatory designated signs at every entry and exit points, thus telling a hiker any other spot is not kosher to go up.
Random thoughts. Another reason Geomun Oreum is incredible, it does not allow walking sticks on the course. Brilliant. … What would it be like to own an oreum? I once posed a similar question to a sibling as a child: What would it be like to have a stoplight in front of one’s house? Rather routine and boring, was the response. An oreum, probably, would be the same. … Are oreum just glorified hills, as I have heard a few times before? … Why are so many people quick to say Jeju has 368 oreum? It’s a sacred number on the island. Tell me about the oreum, not the number.
A few remain. I’m at 125 completed. I have a remaining list and am going to solicit a number of people’s help who have lived for a long time on the island to see if there are any other additional, significant ones hiding out there that have any worth. Where are you, oreum?
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
All materials on this site are protected under the Korean Copyright Law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published without the prior consent of Jeju Weekly.
Mail to email@example.com | Phone: +82-64-724-7776 Fax: +82-64-724-7796
#505 jeju Venture Maru Bldg,217 Jungangro(Ido-2 dong), Jeju-si, Korea, 690-827
Registration Number: Jeju Da 01093 | Date of Registration: November 20, 2008 | Publisher: Hee Tak Ko | Youth policy: Hee Tak Ko
Copyright ⓒ 2009 All materials on this site are protected under the Korean Copyright Law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published
without the prior consent of jeju weekly.com.