▲ Eco-healing festival booths are set up on the beside of the path. Photo by Kim Jinmi
[This article is written by a JDC Junior Journalist. The JDC Junior Journalist program is an educational project sponsored by Jeju Free International City Development Corporation (JDC). JDC Junior Journalist articles are only briefly edited by mentors before publishing.]
Jeju earned the ‘Triple Crown’ when UNESCO designated it as a Biosphere Reserve, a World Natural Heritage Site, and a Geopark. Because of this, and since many people now search for peace and quiet during their busy lives, Jeju has a large number of tourists who come to feel Jeju’s nature from all around the world.
Saryeoni Forest on Jeju island, which starts from the Bijarim road in the town of Jocheon before leading on to Saryeoni Oreum, is being found by nature enthusiasts from all around the country. It is composed of a natural forest wooded with trees including Red-leaved Hombeam, Konara Oak, and Dogwoods, as well as and area planted with imported Japanese Cedar and Hinoki Cypress.
According to forest guide Yong Jeongok, the name Saryeoni means “a sacred place”. Saryeoni forest is the optimal healing place where people can relieve themselves of stress in nature and live a healthy life.
June 1, Saturday, was a muggy and cloudy day. However, not a few people were walking along the path either alone or with fellow travelers.
Jeong Jaeho from Suwon said, “I visited Saryeoni Forest to cure myself of my stained life of work.” He said it’s his fourth time to visit Saryeoni Forest. There are few forests in civic centers, so the forests there become devastated because tons of people flock to them, he said.
Moon Jihyeon and Nam Sangbeom, a middle-aged couple from Seoul, came to Jeju to climb Halla Mountain. Mr. Nam said the forest is denser than he thought. He also talked about the differences between forests in Seoul and Jeju. He said, “The forests in Seoul, they feel like artificial parks. But here, it is just like a real forest.”
A group of women who had just started their trek through the forest were walking, talking to each other delightedly. They’ve been to this forest twice before, together with their sisters as a group of four. One of the sisters, Park Gyeongjeong, said, “The path is flat, and the length of the trekking course is proper.”
What the visitors commonly mentioned was that Saryeoni has fresh air, and has a great natural landscape.
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