[SOUTH KOREA 2012] Day 5: Jeju Day 2 (East Course)

DAY 5 (15 Nov): Jeju Day 2 East Course
- Manjanggul Cave
- Jeju Haenyeo Museum
- Seongsan Ilchulbong
- Trick Art Museum
- Seongeup Folk Village

After the eventful first day, we continued our second day of our Jeju tour with Mr. Kim. Mr. Kim was an affable man, prone to laughing, his eyes squinting whenever he laughed. We let him take the reins for the second day of our tour, and just sat back for the ride.

Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave is another one of those interesting natural geological formation, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It's basically a lava tunnel, where only 1km of the tunnel is opened to tourists. The walk inside was very dark, so you had to be extra careful of the steps. We arrived together with like 2 other tour buses (apparently there was a school trip) so had to be extra careful since kids were excitedly hopping about. It was an interesting trek, although my camera skills were shoddy so there weren't a lot of photos of the cave, unfortunately.

The entrance to the Manjanggul Cave.
One of the only pictures we managed to capture of the formation. 
This was basically the "centrepiece" of the cave. From this point onwards you make your way back to the cave entrance.

Jeju Haenyeo Museum
Next stop of our east course trip was the Jeju Haenyeo Museum. The haenyeo women are amazing! They're female divers who made their living to collect all manners of sea creatures for a living. They can dive up to 20meters in the water with nary a diving equipment but their handmade mask and stay underwater for God knows how long. Seriously, I am so amazed. Fun fact: in Jeju, families would often hope for girls as they're more "valued" compared to the boys, precisely because of the amazing haenyeo. If that doesn't give you a sense of how cool Jeju is, then I don't know what will. These women are beautiful, awesome, inspirational people, and although there are fewer haenyeo than there were back in 1960s, there are still thousands of haenyeo making their living on Jeju Island. We didn't manage to stop by any of the haenyeo seaside businesses, although I really wish we had!

I am in love with Korea's architecture.
That is the smiley Mr. Kim!
View of the seaside from the observatory.
It was a beautiful day!

Seongsan Ilchulbong
After that, we had lunch at a restaurant nearby the next attraction, which was Seongsan Ilchulbong. This was, no contest, my FAVOURITE place. F-A-V-O-U-R-I-T-E. It's another UNESCO World Heritage site, and understandably so. The place is magnificent.

Our first view of the peak from our car.

But first: lunch! We needed the energy to climb up that steep, steep peak.

There was a scheduled haenyeo show at the seaside below, but I was more interested in climbing the peak. My sister and her friends didn't want to go up, so I climbed upwards alone. The crater is 90m high, so I imagined I must've climbed up that high for about 30minutes. There were two elderly Japanese women who climbed up in front of me - my God they were spry for their age! I was puffing along with them and thankfully managed to keep up. Koreans and Japanese are active people - there were lots of kids who were on their field trip who climbed up to that 90m-high crater when my sister and friends couldn't. Proud and pleased that I decided to climbed up here because it was worth it.

The climb upwards was beautiful, but nothing can compare to making it on top of the crater.

This is only one side of the crater. It's 600m in diameter!

I climbed up a 90m-high crater and all I got was this crappy pic taken by someone else. Ah well, thanks ahjussi!

Overall, a HIGHLY recommended visit. After climbing down, found my sister and her friends at the souvenir shop where they sold all sorts of stuff. Almost bought myself a hanbok, but it was too pricey for something that I'd only wear once in a lifetime ;A;

Trick Art Museum
Our next stop was the Trick Art Museum. After the magnificence of Seongsan Ilchulbong, any other attraction would've been diminished to me to be honest, but Trick Art Museum was amusing and had lots of interesting photo ops, so we unleashed our camwhore selves.

After the museum, we decided to head back since we were tired from two days of non-stop touring. We passed through Seongeup Folk Village (no pictures from my camera unfortunately!) on our way back. Made dinner and passed out basically. The next day was our flight back to Seoul.

My only regret was not being able to go to Mt. Halla :( Although as I understand it, Mt. Halla would've taken HOURS to trek through, and a walk through the Olle Jeju Trail would've been a great accompaniment and would've taken some additional hours as well. So maybe next time I'll come and spend 5 days in Jeju during spring ;) I would have to go with someone who doesn't mind trekking through the island for hours though, heh.

Go to Day 4 (Jeju Day 1: West Course) | Go to Day 6 (N Seoul Tower, Hongdae)
South Korea 2012 Masterpost