October 9, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Jeju Island, South Korea

Photo Credit: www.qldaccommodation.com
Jejudo is a volcanic island, 130 km from the southern coast of Korea. The largest island and smallest province in Korea, the island has a surface area of 1,846 sqkm. A central feature of Jeju is Hallasan, the tallest mountain in South Korea and a dormant volcano, which rises 1,950 m above sea level. 360 satellite volcanoes are around the main volcano. Jeju Island lies about 50 miles south of the Korean peninsula. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, there are 3 things you should see if you ever get the chance to visit: First are the  Geomunoreum lava tubes, second is the Seongsan Ilchulbong tuff cone, and third is Mount Halla.
Geomunoreum Lava Tubes
Photo Credit: Tinnhanhviet.com

Geomunoreum (456m above sea level) in Jeju refers to the oreum (Jeju dialect for ‘small volcano’) located right next to Hamdeok Elementary School, Jocheon-eup, Jeju. The oreum was formed between 300,000 and 100,000 years ago when lava from an active volcano moved along the northeastern coastal slopes and sculpted the  landscape of Seonheulgot. The lava also created caves that are known as the Lava Tubes.  These caves are the Bengdwigul, Manjanggul, Gimnyeonggul, Yongcheondonggul, and Dangcheomuldonggul caves.
Seongsan Ilchulbong Crater
Photo Credit: www.world-heritage-site.com

The Seongsan Ilchulbong tuff cone is a crater that rose from under the sea as a result of a volcanic eruption about 100,000 years ago. The Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, Jeju is located on the eastern end of Jejudo Island and it is supposed to be the best feature of the crater. The whole crater is about 600 meters in diameter and 90 meters in height. Other features of the Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak are the 99 sharp rocks that surround the crater. These give the crater the shape of a gigantic crown. Both the south east and the northern sides of the crater are steep because of the cliffs.However, grass grows on the western side as it is not as steep and it is connected to the Seongsan Village.Spring is a great time to visit, that is when the rapeseed flowers are in bloom. Another must do activity is watching the sunrise from Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak.
Mt. Halla

Photo Credit: Bing.com

At 1,950 meters, Mt. Halla is the tallest mountain in South Korea and the most prominent landmark on the island. This area was volcanically active for the last 2 million years, though the final formation of Jeju Island occurred between 400,000 and 700,000 years ago. It is a shield volcano with shallow-sloping sides. Parallel volcanic cones called oreum are also characteristic of the island’s geology. Jeju has 368 oreum — the highest concentration in the world — and they give the island very distinctive looking panoramas. Mt. Halla has a number of uniquely famous formations including Yeongsil Crater, Byeongpungbawi Rock, Samgak Peak and Seonnyeo Falls, among others.
Mt. Halla was designated a national park in 1970 and covers an area of 151.3km2 (8.3 percent of Jeju Island), of which 60 percent or 90.9km2 is a nature protection zone.


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