History of Jeju
Jeju-do which stands for the Jeju Province as per the South Korean dialect, are even referred to as the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. Jeju is the sole self-governing province of South Korea, positioned solely within the area’s largest island. Jeju is cozily settled along the South Korea Strait lying towards the southwestern area of Jeollanam-do Province. Later on it got separated and was established as an individual identity in the year 1946.
15 Must Visit Jeju Island Attractions
1. Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak
Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak (182 meters high) rose from the sea in a series of volcanic eruptions beginning over 100,000 years ago. The site resembles an old fortress on a coastal cliff and was originally a volcanic island but was later connected as sand and gravel accumulated in between. The sunrise seen from the peak is considered one of the most fascinating scenic views in Jeju.
2. Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave is the longest lava tube in the world. It is 5 meters wide, between 5 to 10 meters high and is over 13 km long. The lava tube, which formed about 2.5 million years ago, has been well preserved, revealing a splendid interior that is out of this world. Only one kilometer of its total length is open to tourists.
3. Cheonjiyeon Falls
Cheonjiyeon Falls create a splendid view of water falling from a steep cliff with a sound that drowns out all others. Cheonjiyeon, meaning “God’s pond,” derives its name from the legend that the seven fairies serving the King of Heaven came down to the pond on stairs of cloud and bathed in its clean waters. The waterfall is 22m high, 12m wide and 20m in depth. The clear and deep water of Cheonjiyeon Falls is renowned as a habitat for Mutae eels. Also, the annual Seven Fairies Festival is held every May.
4. Hallasan Mountain
Situated in the heart of Jeju Island, Mount Hallasan (1,950 meters) is the highest mountain in Korea and a dormant basalt volcano. About 360 parasitic cones, or oreum in the Jeju dialect, are found on the volcano’s flanks, creating a remarkable landscape. On top of the mountain is a crater lake called Baengnokdam, which is 3 kilometers in circumference and 500 meters in diameter. The landscape is beautiful throughout the year and a diverse and rare ecosystem can be found at different altitudes. As such, Mount Hallasan is a Natural Conservation Area.
5. Teddy Bear Museum
If you love Teddy Bears, then this is a MUST VISIT place. The Teddy Bear Museum lives up to its name, boasting quite an impressive variety that have been loved for more than a hundred years the world over. There are two galleries that boast teddy bears from various countries. You can also enjoy yourself at the museum shop, café, restaurant or the outdoor park where you can view the spectacular Jungmun Sea.
6. Yeomiji Botanic Garden
Yeomiji Botanical Garden at Jungmun Tourist Complex is the largest botanical garden in Asia, the magnificent glass Yeomiji Conservatory has collected and displayed 1,200 species of subtropical and tropical plants. Yeomiji is a Chinese word consisting of three letters with “yeo” meaning “such,” “mi” “beauty” and “ji” “land,” which combines to mean a “garden paradise”. In Yeomiji Garden, there are several greenhouses with different theme - flower garden, an aquatic plant garden, cactus and succulents garden, jungle garden & tropical fruits garden.
7. Jeongbang Falls
Jeongbang Falls (정방폭포) is only water fall in Asia that falls directly into the ocean. On the wall of the water fall, there is an inscription written “Seobulgwacha”, referring to Seobul passing by this place. Seobul was a servant of the Chinese Emperor Jin (BC 259~210) who was ordered by the Emperor to find the substance that would make him immortal. Seogwipo is also said to have gotten its name to mean Seobul headed back west.
8. Yakcheonsa Temple
Yakcheonsa, which means ‘temple where medicinal water flows,’ was built in 1981 by Buddhist monk Hae-in. He founded the temple after visiting the small cottage that was originally found on the site. Visitors to Yakcheonsa will have plenty to explore. The main temple has multiple floors and balconies that overlook a beautiful three-meter-tall Buddha, contained in a large prayer hall. The main temple is filled with murals of Buddhist legends.
9. Jusangjeolli Cliffs
Jusangjeolli Cliffs refer to the set of blackish, rock pillars of rectangular or hexagonal shapes on the east coast of Jungmun Tourist Resort. As if carved by stonemasons, the pillars are evidence of nature’s awesome power. Most commonly expressed as vertical columnar jointing, the formations are created via sudden cooling of lava that shrinks in mass. The sight of waves crashing against the columns is both serene and beautiful. On days with rough weather, waves can rise as high as 20 meters.
10. Cheonjeyeon Falls
Cheonjeyeon Falls (천제연폭포), named ‘The pond of God’, consists of 3 parts. Around the falls, a variety of plant life thrives, such as the rare ‘solipnan’ reeds. To the east, there is a cave where cold water pours from the ceiling to create a waterfall.
11. Yongduam Rock
Situated to the north of Jeju City, Yongduam was created by strong winds and waves over thousands of years. However, there are plenty of other stories of how it came to be. One legend has it that a dragon stealing precious jade from Mt. Halla was shot down by an arrow from the mountain deity. When he fell down on Yongduam, his body immediately sank into the ocean and his head rapidly froze looking at the sky. Another legend has it that a white horse, who dreamed of being a dragon and ascending to the sky, came to be caught by a soldier and froze into the rock.
12. Jeju Folk Village Museum
With a total of 117 houses and facilities, Jeju Folk Village Museum has restored the scenes of the village to that of the 1890’s. Among them are Mountain Village, Hill-Country Village, Fishing Village and Shamanism Village. On land of more than 40 acres it has been reconstructed following long-term research and analysis of experts. Some of the extensive range of folk items on display are 1,627 woodenware, 1,046 bamboo ware, 1,699 earthenware, 1,544 porcelain ware, 765 wax candles, 921 ironware and 579 other items. The Jeju Folk Village Museum is the island’s main tourist attraction where customs of the old days can be explored.
13. Seonimgyo Bridge
Seonimgyo Bridge is an arch bridge on Jeju Island over Cheonjeyeon Waterfall that has seven nymphs carved on both sides. The bridge is also called Chilseonyeogyo (칠선녀교) or Seven Nymphs Bridge. The nymphs symbolize the Korean legend of the descent of seven beautiful nymphs from heaven at night. Seonimgyo Bridge is the first arch bridge or Ojakgyo (오작교) design in the region.
14. Jungmun Beach
Jungmun Beach (중문해수욕장) has a sandy shore so fine that it is called Jinmosal. The white sand beach is 560m long and the water has an average depth of 1.2m. Different shades of black, red, and grey are beautifully mixed into the white sand of the beach. This helps to accentuate Jeju-do Island’s black Hyeonmuam stones. To the right side of the beach is a natural sea cave called Haesikgul Cave.