|Seongsan Ilchulbong in |
Day 3, Nov/19/2012, 4.30 pm: Next stop is Seongsan Ilchulbong, also called ‘Sunrise Peak’. Seongsan is formed by volcanic eruptions upon a shallow seabed about 5,000 years ago. It is situated on the eastern seaboard of Jeju Island, and said to resemble a gigantic ancient castle. The summit is 182 meters high, has a bowl-like crater and displays diverse inner structures resulting from the sea cliff. These features are considered worthy from geological view point, providing information on eruption and deposit processes of past volcano activity of Seongsan Ilchulbong.
Our bus is parked at a special bus parking destination area and we ascended to the entrance of this famed UNESCO world heritage site. After Kent paid for the entrance fee we started our ascend up Seongsan on uneven tar and cement road. The view up the mountain had been portrayed in many Korean movies. On the right there is an entrepreneur who setup a ride-a-horse for tourist but the horses just go round and round an open field at the foot of the mountain, rather than go up the mountain. As I go higher and look back, the view of Seongsan-ri village at the foot of Seongsan became more spectacular. I was told that sunset view at Seonsan Ilchulbong is worth the 20 minutes climb to the summit, so we hurried along.
At midpoint to the summit, we stopped at a viewing area. Here the view of Seongsan-ri village is at its best. The breeze from the sea added the chill to the cool weather. After resting for 5 minutes we continued up to the summit. Jagged rocks with forest ring with are found along the way and they were given names by the imaginative kind to add aura of excitement and a jolly good time clicking away. The sides of the mountain plunge vertically into the surf makes it one of Jeju-do most impressive sights. Flora along the way was also identified and labelled by the authority. As we round a final fleet of steep stairs, the ancient crater of Seongsan Ilchulbong come into view at last. A platform had been built, similar like a football stadium platform, for tourists to rest and to view the crater, open sea and sunset. The summit crater is covered with grass, undulating and shaped like a punch bowl, though there’s no crater lake here because the volcanic rock is so porous. We spend some 15 minutes at the summit and before descending down to our bus. On the way down we managed to catch the sight of the sun going down.
Here are some pictures I took while at Seongsan Ilculbong:
Location: 284-12, Ilchul-ro, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, South Korea.
Tel: +82-64-710-7923, +82-64-783-0959