Daepo Jusangjeolli Cliff
The cliffs at Daepo-dong, Seogwipo City are among the most spectacular in all of Jeju and even Korea. Here you can find well-developed columnar joints formed by the flow of lava from the Nokhajiak Oreum (volcanic cone) 140,000 to 250,000 years ago.
Columnar joints are naturally formed heptagonal, hexagonal or square vertical pillars made from rapidly cooling Aa lava as it contracted, causing the rock to crack and form horizontal layers, called sheet joints, or vertical columnar joints. The value of the cliffs at Daepo-dong is recognized internationally and they are part of Jeju's Global Geopark.
Geomun Oreum is 456m above sea level and was formed between 300,000 and 100,000 years ago when lava from volcanic activity meandered along the northeastern coastal slopes. The lava also created a series of unique caves (also known as ‘lava tubes’) including Bengdwigul, Manjanggul, Gimnyeonggul, Yongcheondonggul, and Dangcheomul-donggul. Geomun Oreum is also home to precious woodlands providing habitat to a variety of rare migratory birds.
Following Geomun Oreum’s designation as UNESCO World Natural Heritage, a trekking course was developed (only 400 can enter per day). There is also an impressive Jeju World Natural Heritage Center where visitors can learn about the geological history of Jeju Island in an interactive museum tour and there is a 4D cinema experience to learn about Jeju’s mythology.
The Haenyeo Museum
The Haenyeo Museum is dedicated to the unique female divers of Jeju Island known as haenyeo. Exhibits display traditional haenyeo homes and food along with various utensils used by female divers. Others display haenyeo outfits and diving equipment, such as goggles and traditional working outfits. The culture of the haenyeo is also given pride of place.
The Haenyeo Museum also has an observatory with excel-lent views of the Hado-ri area, with a garden with various sculptures and a rest area. The first floor lobby has a souvenir shop where visitors can purchase a variety of souvenirs related to haenyeo.
Seongsan Ilchulbong Sunrise Peak
Seongsan Ilchulbong, also called ‘Sunrise Peak’, is an archetypal tuff cone 182 meters high formed by hydrovolcanic eruptions about 5 thousand years ago. Its preserved bowl-like crater displays diverse inner structures of great geological worth to understanding hydromagmatic volcanic processes.
Once a hydromagmatic volcano, it was formed by piles of volcanic ash and the interaction of hot ascending magma and seawater or groundwater. Its crater is about 600 meters in diameter and has a dip of strata up to 45 degrees and it is 90 meters from sea level to the crater floor. It was designated as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site and is also part of the Global Geopark on Jeju Island, to preserve its worth permanently as the natural heritage of humankind.
Yongduam Dragon Head Rock
There are plenty of stories about how Yongduam, or Dragon’s Rock to the north of Jeju City, came to be. One legend has it that a dragon, shot by an arrow when stealing jade from Mt. Hallasan, fell down and sank into the ocean and his head turned to rock. Another says a white horse was turned to stone after dreaming of being a dragon.
Near the rock are various cafes, bars, and restaurants and the coastal road from here traveling west is a popular spot for couples. There are plenty of photo and picnic spots along the coast and the city’s nearest beach at Iho is just a few kilome-ters to the west.
Jeju Stone Park
Jeju Stone Park is an ecological and cultural park that displays the history of stone culture pivotal to the history and culture of Jeju Island. The park currently includes the Jeju Stone Museum, traditional thatched-roof houses, and the Jeju Stone Culture Exhibition Hall along with beautiful and atmospheric grounds.
Following the exhibition pathway, visitors will find stone sculptures such as Grandmother Seolmundae and Five Hundred Generals and traditional local thatched-roof houses amidst the forest. The Jeju Stone Museum is located under-ground so as not to interfere with the natural landscape. Because the park covers a wide variety of exhibitions in a large area, visitors may want to take enough time to look around in the park.
Yongmeori Haean, or Dragon Head Coast, is named because the layered sandstone is shaped like the head of a dragon entering the water. There are astounding views of Mt. Sanbang, the imposing result of volcanic activity some 800 thousand years ago. Sanbang Temple and Bomun Temple are on the mountain and if you walk along the stone steps between the two temples will find Sanbang Grotto. From the coast there are breathtaking views of the southwest of Jeju Island, including Hyeongje Islet and the coast at Mt. Songak.
There are some legends associated with Yongmeori, including the tale of a Chinese emperor who sent out a mission to find a king to be born on Jeju by cutting off the island’s vital energy. Upon seeing a dragon entering the sea near Mt. Sanbang, the mission killed it, leaving its body for dead.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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