7 Nov 2013
7.45 AM on the bus to Seongsan Ilchulbong.
I woke up at 6.30 AM and then prepared my self for today’s journey to Seongsan Ilchulbong. The hostel was still quiet that morning and I skipped breakfast again because the breakfast was not served until 8 AM. I guessed, most of the people who went for holiday woke up around that time.From the hostel, I crossed the street and entered the Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal building. I went to the ticket locket and bought a ticket for bus no 700 (KRW 3000). You can also buy the ticket directly from the bus driver.
Inside the bus, there were 4 seats on a row. There weren’t seat-belts for the passengers. The announcement inside the bus were in 4 languages (Korean, English, Japan and Mandarin).
7.58 AM – at one of the bus stop, an Ahjumma told the bus driver to wait because there’s an elderly who wanted to take the bus but couldn’t walk fast. They paid the bus fare with a card like t-money. Before taping the card to the device, they told the driver their destination and then the driver selected a menu to cut the balance appropriately. The bus fare calculation was not automatic yet.
8.40 AM – the bus passed the Manjanggul Cave. There were taxis at the bus stop to the cave because the cave entrance was about 2.5 KM from there.
After passing the Sehwa-ri bus stop, I noticed that the announcement in 4 languages were only for bus stop at tourist attractions. Sehwa-ri is famous for the women-divers (haenyeo). There’s a museum of Sehwa-ri female divers there.
Around 9 AM – arrived at Seongsan area.
I got off the bus at the wrong bus stop. T_T. It’s because I saw the road sign saying Seongsan Ilchulbong. I got off once I saw it, but it’s the bus stop to Seongsan Harbor. There were 2 bus stops from there to the Sunrise Peak.It’s a sunny day so I won’t mind walking. There were a lot of interesting things to see on my way there: And I could see this sneak peek of the peak (whoaaaa…..what a mouthful words….kekeke)
When I finally arrived, the first thing that I was looking for was not the entry ticket but food. Kekekeke….
Seongsan Ilchulbong is one of Unesco’s World Heritage sites.There were a lot of food vendors near the park entrance. Mostly sold street-food snacks. I chose the rice cake (Tteokbokki) sold by this Ahjumma (KRW 3000). It was chewy, spicy but sweet.After that, I went inside the exhibition hall.There were beautiful photos of the Seongsan Ilchulbong area. These were my favorites: Then, I went to the ticketing office. The entrance ticket was only KRW 2000 – cheaper than the Teokkbokki. There were a lot of tourists, mostly were school children. I think this was some kind of sun dial – but I’m not so sure:And I’m not sure either about this spot, perhaps an area where you could ride a horse:From the ticketing office, it was an uphill climb to the top of the peak. Normally, people need only 50 minutes for round trip from bottom to the top.
Photographers usually go to this place to catch the sunrise….well….I wasn’t that dedicated to catch the sunrise….it was around 10.30 AM when I started the climb. This terrace was the first rest area on the way to the peak:
There were several sacred rocks and they even have names. There’s a notice sign warning people to behave appropriately around these sacred rocks.
Here and there there were hidden places where you could take a peek of the beautiful scenery of the island: I was amazed to see this grandma climbing the steps with the aid of her walking sticks. Fighting!
There was a terrace with long benches where you could rest while enjoying the view. It was windy up there. I sat for a while, drinking and eating chocolate to replenish my energy.
A little climb up from the deck and I finally arrive at the peak. It took me 1 hour to reach the peak.
The peak was formed from a volcanic eruption. The eruption created a crater with stones around it that looks like a crown. People usually stayed only for a while at the peak. They only stayed to take pictures of themselves with the great background view of the crated and the island and then went down.
As a tourist, I admired how the Korean government manages this complex. It was clean and the infrastructure was great. They made 2 sets of sturdy stairs, one to climb uphill and the other to went down. Each route showing the beautiful views of the island to the max.
It took me another hour to went down from the peak. It was a good sport and I couldn’t stop clicking my camera. Even on my way to the exit, I still stopped here and there to take pictures.
There was a female-divers-show but looking at the stairs to go down to the pier, I decided to pass. I glanced again at the peak. I wanted to spend more time there but my stomach protested loudly. I finally said goodbye to Seongsan Ilchulbong and went to find a delicious lunch.