KIMCHILANDIA CHRONICLES: JEJU ISLAND – LAVA RUINS, A LABYRINTH, AND A GIANT SAUCER

Kimchilandia Chronicles – Chronological recounting of Lonewulf’s great Korean adventure
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Seongsan Ilchulbung (see source at the bottom)
Gimnyeong Maze Park
Manjanggul Lava Tube
From here on, I will classify my Kimchilandia entries per theme. This is because our Jeju trip, albeit short, featured soooo many different tourist spots that putting all one-day’s worth of activities in one entry is a Herculean task.
And besides, I don’t want the amazingness of a particular attraction to diminish; which I think would happen if I would squeeze them in one entry. Especially as Jeju island is the home of 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
So anyway, let me start by featuring first the destinations that are ‘nature’-related.
MANJANGGUL
The Manjanggul Cave, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a proof of why the island of Jeju is frequently likened to Hawaii. Well basically, because Jeju is a volcanic island, just like Hawaii.
Manjanggul Cave is… wait, I am really suspicious that this phrase is redundant because this other cave in Jeju also ends with a –gul, which I would bet for fifty bucks is a suffix that means “cave”. Just like all palace names in Korea end with –gung, all palace gates end with –mun, and all mountains end with –san.
So anyway, Manjang(gul) Cave is a tourist spot where you can get to see different rock formations from solidified lava (And if my memory serves me right, these are called igneous rocks). You can actually hike the kilometre-long cave, tread on ex-magma, marvel at stalactites and stalagmites which are also ex-magma, and see the claimed longest lava column in the world. Lava what? See the pictures below.
Going down the lava tube
going subterranean
solidified lava
there were info boards down there for a more interesting trip
Turtle Rock
the longest lava column in the world
last picture before exiting the tube
saw another grandfather stone while resting
Shortstride and Arigato by the lava column sculpture
GIMNYEONG MAZE PARK
Yes, it is a park. And it is a maze. A life-size one! And if I tell you that I love mazes soooo much, you would understand why this part of the trip was love love love.
I think it was in The Avengers movie that I first saw a life-size hedge maze. Nope, not that recent movie that featured Hulk and Thor. I was referring to an old movie from my childhood starring Uma Thurman and Ralph Feinnes. Since then, I got obsessed with mazes that the teen version of me liked to scribble mazes at the back of my notebook, and has even successfully created two cardboard mazes (the size of a chess board), one of which is two-decker, and requires a marble to play. /*I know, sounds geeky. Or sad. But please remember that I was that lonely autistic siblingless child whose only concept of child’s play was fiddling with inanimate objects*/
Just a trivia, nothing significant: The second and the last movie I have seen with a hedge maze in it was Harry Potter. YES! The Triwizard Tournament part, remember?
I hate these two, they were able to get a discount at the entrance just because they told the ticket girl that they walked from the lava tube to the maze park. Too bad, I didn’t mention it when I was paying. 😦 So anyway, a little tip, you may walk from Manjanggul Lava Tube to the maze park and get a discounted entrance fee. 🙂
Argh! We can’t find the exit.
We thought we found the exit. Alas! It was the starting point. Lol. We started to feel that the maze game was already eating up our time for our next activities, so we decided to move to the next destination.
Before I proceed with the next, let me share with you a little trivia.
 
KOREVIA # 9 –  The geography of Jeju Island is divided horizontally into two regions: the northern half, Jeju-si, and the southern half, Seogwipo-si. Both halves have quite urbanized capitals, Jeju City (where the airport is located) and Seogwipo City (where we stayed). However, if you are to plan your trips to the different tourist attractions in Jeju, which are scattered all throughout the island, it would be better to divide it vertically. For us, we spent Day 1 visiting tourist spots in the East side of Jeju, and Day 2 on the West side.
SEONGSAN ILCHULBONG
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site. I’m not sure why it was dubbed the Sunrise Peak, but I’m guessing it’s because the view of this wonder during sunrise is simply awesome. Look at this.
color bomb (see source at the bottom)
Anyway, we weren’t really able to go very near, much less climb it, due to time constraints. But we were able to take some decent shots with it in the background. 🙂
And here’s another shot.
(see source at the bottom)
By the way, if you are wondering what the third UNESCO World Heritage Site is, it is Hallasan (or Mount Halla). I did not feature Hallasan because we were unable to visit it. But in case you are curious, it is located at the heart of the island. It also has a lot of trails. And if we only had enough time I would have insisted that we trek one of the trails, or at least have a picture at the foot of the mountain. =) Here, just some photos I took online.
Jeju is simply lovely, isn’t it? And we’re just getting started. 🙂
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Sources of some photos:Asiaenglish.visitkorea.or.kr
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About lonewulf

I am a self-confessed 'jologs', a country boy who now works in the big city. I studied Applied Math, and am now completing Finance while working as a risk analyst. I feel extremely happy whenever I dance, draw/sketch, and write. I also like to read books, eat (not fruits, or vegetables), sleep, and travel.

3 comments

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