Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Asian Eyes' Korea - Seonim Bridge

Seonim Bridge with its 
7  nymphs playing their 
musical instrument adorn
 the arch bridge.
          Day 3, Nov/19/2012, 1.30 pm: After lunch we walked across Seonimgyo or Seonim Gyo (Gyo is bridge in Korean) to Cheonjeyeon Waterfall. Seonim Bridge is an arch bridge on Jeju Island over Cheonjeyeon Waterfall that has seven nymphs carved on both sides. It is 128 m long, 78 m high, 4 m wide and 230 tons in weight. It crosses from east to west over the stream between the second and third tiers of Cheonjeyeon waterfall. The bridge is also called Chilseonyeogyo (Seven Nymphs Bridge). The nymphs symbolize the Korean legend of the descent of seven beautiful nymphs from heaven at night. It was completed in 1984, and cost the Korea Tourism Organization about 400 million won to construct. There is a fee for tourists who use the bridge. There are 100 guard rails and 34 stone lanterns which light up at night. On the bridge's steel columns, there are 14 nymphs, 7 on each side with each nymph about 20 m in length. All the nymphs are playing their own musical instruments. It is now a tourist attraction which connects Cheonjeyeon with the Jungmun and is intended for pedestrian use.
          From the middle span of Seonimgyo I can see the cascading river originated from where Cheonjeyeon Waterfall falls against a green wild scenery. This bridge is for pedestrian only and many tourists posed for pictures while strolling on it. Most of them were heading to the same destination where we were going - Cheonjeyeon Waterfall. Here are some pictures that I took while at the bridge:
Location: 666-7, Cheonji-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do 666-7, South Korea.
Coordinates: 33.251609°N 126.416802°E
A Dol Harubang (Stone Grandfather) guarding the entrance to Seonimgyo.
Kent explained about Dol Harubang and its significance to honeymooners. Women rub the nose for a baby boy. We saw a few Korean couples indeed rub the nose of the Dol Harubang, maybe taken in by the legend. Good Luck to those who did that.

Signboard showing the way to Cheonjeyeon Waterfall outside the entrance to Seonimgyo.

Entrance fee collection at the beginning of Seonimgyo.

Makeshift souvenir shop at an opening area between Seonimgyo and Cheonjeyeon Waterfall selling similar looking gift items.
Coconut for sale at the souvenir shop. At US$5 each, I just laughed and shook my head at the unbelievable price.
At the entrance of Seonimgyo where the arch started. A good exercise after a heavy black pork steamboat lunch just now.
Chonjeyeon River that flows from Chonjeyeon Waterfall in the midst of a green lung.
Side view of Seonimgyo where I can make out some of the fairies paying musical instruments. I was told there are a total of 14 fairies, 7 on each side, each playing a different kind of instruments.
The 7 fairies being immortalized on a slab of marble after the Seonimgyo. 
Fountains of 5 blessings - Honor (Dragon), Sons (Carp), Longevity (Tortoise), Wealth (Boar) and Love (Mandarin Duck). It is a wish fountain where one throw coins into urn of their wish. The money collected will be used in helping the under privilege in South Korea. What a novelty way to help. I threw all the coins I can find. May it helps someone, somewhere, sometime.

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