Monthly Archives: June 2014

Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak

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.20131107_072532From 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.

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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.

Along the way, there were lots of wind turbines for generating electricity.CIMG1861

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.IMG_7852It’s a sunny day so I won’t mind walking. There were a lot of interesting things to see on my way there:IMG_7851 IMG_7853And I could see this sneak peek of the peak (whoaaaa…..what a mouthful words….kekeke)IMG_7854

There’s a short cut to the parking lot of the park area, but my instinct to get lost made me choose the longest route to get there ( I was foolishly following the road sign for cars).IMG_7855

When I finally arrived, the first thing that I was looking for was not the entry ticket but food. Kekekeke….

This is the map of the area:IMG_7856 If you’re using smart phone with NFC chip, you can get the guide (but I think it’s only in Korean – I didn’t try it):IMG_7857 IMG_7858 IMG_7859

Seongsan Ilchulbong is one of Unesco’s World Heritage sites.IMG_7861There 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.IMG_786220131107_095226After that, I went inside the exhibition hall.IMG_7860There were beautiful photos of the Seongsan Ilchulbong area. These were my favorites:CIMG1862 CIMG1863Then, 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.IMG_7864 IMG_7863IMG_7865I think this was some kind of sun dial – but I’m not so sure:IMG_7866And I’m not sure either about this spot, perhaps an area where you could ride a horse:IMG_7867From 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. IMG_7878 IMG_7879

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.IMG_7880 IMG_7884This terrace was the first rest area on the way to the peak:IMG_7888 IMG_7887 IMG_7886 IMG_7885

There were several sacred rocks and they even have names. There’s a notice sign warning people to behave appropriately  around these sacred rocks.

IMG_7890 IMG_7891IMG_7889IMG_7892 IMG_7895 IMG_7917IMG_7897IMG_7901 IMG_7900Here and there there were hidden places where you could take a peek of the beautiful scenery of the island:IMG_7894 IMG_7893IMG_7899 IMG_7903 IMG_7905  IMG_7910 IMG_7911 IMG_7913 IMG_7914 IMG_7918  IMG_7919IMG_7921 IMG_7920I was amazed to see this grandma climbing the steps with the aid of her walking sticks. Fighting!

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This was the highest viewing deck to view the island:20131107_110839IMG_7922

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.

IMG_7923 IMG_7924 IMG_7925 IMG_7930IMG_7926There were benches where people can sit while listening to a guide explaining them how the peak was formed. Too bad, the explanation was in Korean but the tour guide was eye-catching:

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The peak was formed from a volcanic eruption. The eruption created a crater with stones around it that looks like a crown.IMG_7927 IMG_7928 IMG_7929IMG_7939 IMG_7944  IMG_7946 IMG_7945 IMG_7948IMG_7949IMG_7943IMG_7931 IMG_7932 IMG_7933 IMG_7935 IMG_7934People 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.

IMG_7950 IMG_7951 IMG_7952 IMG_7953 IMG_7954 IMG_7956IMG_7955  There were several viewing decks on the way down to the entrance where people could rest and took pictures.IMG_7957 IMG_7958 IMG_7959IMG_7960

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.

IMG_7961 IMG_7962  IMG_7964 IMG_7963IMG_7965IMG_7973IMG_7974 IMG_7977 IMG_7969There was a female-divers-show but looking at the stairs to go down to the pier, I decided to pass. IMG_7967IMG_7966  IMG_7968 IMG_7970IMG_7971 IMG_7972I 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. IMG_7979IMG_7980

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