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TravelJeju Travel
Midnight at the pond of the GodsMt. Halla’s mysterious waterfalls
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승인 2010.08.29  15:48:36
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According to local legend, seven nymphs used to secretly arrive at midnight to enjoy some outdoor bathing at a pond called Cheonjeyeon, a place which translates as “the pond of the Gods.”

Another well-known supernatural bathing place is the waterfall at Cheonjiyeon, meaning “the pond of heaven and the earth.” While the gathering of nymphs is a favorite theme in the ancient stories of the ponds of Jeju, local legend also describes the existence of other mystical beings inhabiting the island’s waterfalls.

An example is the Jeongbang waterfall. Known as the only waterfall that falls directly to the sea in Korea, ancient Jeju legend has it that a powerful dragon, whose spirit has cured illnesses and caused rain to fall during a drought, lives here.

Cheonjiyeon, Cheonjeyeon and Jeongbang waterfall, Jeju’s top three waterfalls, are well-known as important tourist attractions on the island. Tourists who come to see the pouring cool water of the waterfall marvel at the beauty of nature, however equally as interesting are the legends that surround the places.

There are only a few waterfalls on Jeju because the island consists mainly of basalt with the water sinking into the ground. However during the rainy season, many dormant waterfalls come to life, for example Eongtto waterfall, the best of the well-known mysterious waterfalls of Jeju.

Eongtto waterfall

▲ Photo courtesy Seogwipo City Hall

This waterfall will not spring to life until after at least 7 centimeters of rain has fallen at one time. Eongtto is a combined name with Eong, a Jeju dialect word for rock, and Tto, Jeju dialect for entrance. The height of the waterfall is 50 meters and it exists around a warm-temperate forest. Eongtto waterfall is located near Seogwipo City, and is equipped with an observatory and Olle (walking) trail 7-1 passes nearby.

Seonnyeo waterfall

▲ Photo by Oh Hee Sam

Seonnyeo is a fairy in Korean. According to a fairy tale, seonnyeo took a bath in this waterfall. This waterfall is located in the middle of Aheunahopgol valley near Eoseungsaeng oreum in Mt. Halla and a temple, Chunwangsa, is located near this waterfall. However Seonnyeo is not easily accessible because it is in the heart of the valley. The river flows to the Eoseunsaeng catchment area, which is an important source of water for Jeju citizens.

Rain waterfall

▲ Photo by Oh Hee Sam

The aptly-named Rain waterfall, located on Yeongsil valley in Mt. Halla, also appears after rainfall. The waterfall is visible from the Yeongsil hiking trail of the mountain. There is a temple, Jonjaam, under the waterfall which was used as a base camp to climb the mountain as an escape route for those exiled from the mainland in the Joseon Dynasty period.

Samdan waterfall

▲ Photo by Oh Hee Sam

Samdan waterfall, located on Tamna valley, comes in three sections. The first cascade of Samdan falls is 15 meters high and the water then flows farther along to form the second 3 meter high fall of water. The last cascade of Samdan fall is 7 meter high. Tamna valley, which is 300 meters deep, is the most dangerous valley on Jeju Island and is a restricted area.

Seongneol waterfall

▲ Photo by Oh Hee Sam

Seongneol waterfall is located on Seongneol oreum. The water flows to a catchment area, which is a source of Namwon in Seogwipo City. This waterfall has also been declared a restricted area.

Ikki waterfall

▲ Photo by Oh Hee Sam

Ikki waterfall is located on Y valley, which is also a catchment area, so it too is not accessible. The height of this waterfall is 3 meters. Ikki means moss in Korean and it surrounded this waterfall before disappearing during a typhoon.

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