Saturday, November 6, 2010

Jeju Guide: 성산 일출봉 Seongsan Ilchulbong or Sunrise Peak

Seongsan Ilchulbong is one of the most famous landmarks in Jeju. It formed as an under the sea volcanic eruption 100,000 years ago, but what you see today is a 600 stair climb to the top of a ridge overlooking a grass covered crater. Slow erosion from this ancient vent has actually connected it with the mainland of Jeju which is wide enough for a small, tourist centered village to arise along with a strip connecting the mainland conveniently just wide enough to fit a road.

Climbing to the top can be a bit arduous, especially if you happen to have climbed Hallasan in the days before climbing Ilchulbong. But, nice views await you along the way and from the top. Many come here to view the sunrise (no wonder, considering it's name) and we had planned to do the same, but were unable to get up in time. We weren't too bothered by this though, when we realized it was the first cloudy day we'd had since arriving in Jeju.

The surrounding area of Ilchulbong is quite nice to take a walk around as well. We saw some horses grazing in the fields and we wandered down some stairs to see this beach.

As one of the most famous sites in Jeju, you'll find yourself among millions of tourists climbing up along with you. As this is close to the ferry for Udo (cow island), a favorite among tourists as well, you may find yourself in the area anyway. It seems most tours consider this a must do, so when you visit Jeju, you may also feel the same.

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