Fall is my favorite season in Jeju. The hot and sticky summer can be draining and the warm days and cool nights of October are a welcome respite.
Being a photographer, I also enjoy fall because of the changes it brings to the Jeju landscape. The leaves change color of course, but there is more to fall here than that. The lush, green grasses of spring and summer turn orange and brittle in autumn, swaying in the wind as they catch the last light at sunset. It’s a scene I never get tired of seeing.
The famous oreum, volcanic cones that dot the island, seem barren of life at first glance, and yet they too have their own special qualities in fall. Devoid of greenery and colorful flowers to catch your eye, they instead offer up their beauty in the form of shapes, lines, and textures.
Finally, fall, for me, is all about the light. In late afternoon it’s lower in the sky than it is in the spring or summer. It’s warmer. It’s softer. Put simply, it’s pure magic. Put all these elements together and you can see why fall is so popular for tourists and locals alike.
▲ Photo by Douglas MacDonald
Here are a few of the best places to enjoy fall in Jeju:
(1) 1100 Road: Of course we all know that Mt. Halla erupts into a kaleidoscope of colors in the fall, but the winding roads that take you there are just as beautiful. The colors of the foliage lining the 1100 Road are incredible and especially vibrant on a rainy day.
(2) Sangumburi Crater: While the crater at this famous tourist spot in Jocheon-eup is well known, it’s the acres of pampas grass that sway on the hill below that are the real star of the show.
(3) Oreum: Choose an oreum, any oreum, and climb to the top on a sunny, fall day. Bring some snacks and drinks. Wait for sunset. You won’t be disappointed. My personal favorites are Saebyeol Oreum in the west (Aewol-eup) and Yongnuni Oreum in the east (Gujwa-eup).
Finally, if you want to enjoy fall without too much effort, just go outside on a cool, crisp afternoon - after 3 pm is best - and choose any tree-lined street in your neighborhood. Walk in a westerly direction and enjoy the atmosphere as sunlight streams through the colorful leaves.
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