The article ‘10 reasons travelers can't keep away from Jeju Island’ was published on July 12, this year by CNN Travel, CNN International's new travel website.
Mt. Hallasan -The highest mountain in South Korea The dormant volcano Mt. Hallasan stands 1,950 meters above sea level, but you can hike up and down in a day if you start early. There are 5 climbing courses. Hallasan National Park was UNESCO designated as World Natural Heritage site. Its dominance is reflected in the local saying: “Jeju is Halla, and Halla is Jeju."
Photo courtesy Jeju Provincial Government
Lava tubes - In granting Geomun Oreum lava tubes World Natural Heritage status, UNESCO stated: “The Geomun Oreum lava tube system, which is regarded as the finest such cave system in the world, has an outstanding visual impact even for those experienced with such phenomena. It displays the unique spectacle of multi-coloured carbonate decorations adorning the roofs and floors, and dark-coloured lava walls, partially covered by a mural of carbonate deposits.” Another UNESCO Geopark, the Manjang cave is more than eight kilometers long and you can walk one kilometer of its eerie passageway.
Photo courtesy Jeju Provincial Governmen
Grandfather stones- With just a tad of irony, Jeju boasts "three plenties" -- wind, rocks and women. The second of these is due to its formation from an outpouring of lava. Ninety percent of its surface is basalt. Dolhareubang stones, also known as “Old Grandfather” stones, are carved from porous basalt - a common volcanic rock on the island. They are also known as symbols of fertility. The common belief is that if a couple rub the nose of a Dolhareubang, they will give birth to a boy and they rub his ears, they will give birth to a girl. Jeju Stone Park is the best place to see Jeju’s authentic stone culture.
Photo courtesy Jeju Stone Park
Haenyeo, Jeju’s deep-diving women “In years gone by, when Jeju's men disappeared for weeks in fishing boats, someone had to stick around to haul those rocks and put dinner on the table. As rice won't grow on this wild, windy island, women learned to dive for octopus, abalone, clams, squid and seaweed. Nowadays, the powerful sea-women (haenyo) who dive 10-20 meters without any breathing apparatus, are renowned throughout the country.” The haenyo's average age is 65, with some diving into their 80s in darned wetsuits.
Photo courtesy Jeju Provinial Government
Beautiful beaches - Jeju is well known for its beautiful beaches and they are popular with tourists throughout the year. Jungmun beach, Iho beach, Gwakji beach, Hamdoek beach and Shamyang are among the most popular beaches.
Photo courtesy Jeju Tourism Organization
Loveland - If any of Jeju's honeymooners need to get in the mood, this is a right place to go about it. Visitors to the park will be met by over 140 sex related sculptures, of all shapes and sizes, situated throughout the 39,669 square meter museum. A trip to Jeju Love Land is sure to be an experience to remember and the sculptures and exhibits at the park will fill your day (and your relationship) with fun, humor, relaxation, and, of course, a little bit of eroticism.
Photo courtesy Jeju Lovelan
Olle walking trails- An "olle" was originally a Jeju word for the narrow path leading from a house to the street. Olle Trails are a series of extensive walking and hiking paths that cover Jeju. Founder and Jeju native Suh Myoung-suk was inspired to develop these trails after walking the “Camino de Santiago”, or Way of St. James, in Spain. There are now 21 trails covering 422 kilometers on the island. If you wish to glimpse into the real Mother Nature of the island, walking Olle trails might an option.
Photo courtesy Jeju Olle Foundation
Water/oxygen/massage therapy “At Hanwha Therapy Resort, let jets of water massage you from every angle. Float in the pool with the lights out and music playing, lie back in an oxygen room, get wrapped in a sheet and cocooned in hay in a crib, then wake up in a tropical rain shower. Or try the herb sauna and outdoor spas at Jeju Waterworld.
Phoo courtesy Jeju Olle Resort
Seaweed and sea urchin soup Beyond raw seafood, the array of local specialties includes pheasant, whole grilled mackerel in sea salt and barbecued pork from Jeju's black pigs. But if you really want to get a taste of the island try some of the seaweed and sea urchin soup. The urchin averse can opt for vegetarian health food at Yeonoonae outside Halla Arboretum serving potato pancakes and a green tea and perilla-seed soup. Lush as the orchards look, local tangerines are shockingly expensive, even from the gruff sales people at the roadside, but they're better than the tangerine-flavored chocolate.
Photo courtesy Korea Restaurant Association
Sunrise Peak (Seongsan Ilchulbong),Sunrise from a volcanic crater Go to the 182-meter-high cone rising from the sea with a wide, green crater on the island's eastern edge. Now reached by a bridge, the approach is dominated by a shopping arcade and coach park, while a sing-song American voice pipes through loudspeakers, "Refrain from throwing garbage!" ignored by crowds jostling for scenic photo spots.
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