Myeongwol Pangnamu(Nettle Tree)
Instead of a busy schedule visiting several tourist attractions in a day, I much enjoy slowing down a bit and visit local towns. Taking a walk in a small village and see how people live can be more interesting. Myeongwol is a peaceful town where visitors would definitely enjoy walking around and enjoy the atmosphere. I visited in a grey winter day. I was the only person walking around except the locals there. Some newly built cozy houses with the old beautiful nettle trees along the small valley made unique view of the town.
1.5Km north from the town is Myeongwol fortress. On the top of the wall, beautiful scenery and the wind will welcome you.
View from Myeongwol Fortress
Silver grasses at Ecoland was beautiful and made me to shoot a lot of photos. Silver grasses in Sangumburi was awesome and I felt like lying down and look at the sky. These are all come with a bit of entrance fees.
Silver grasses at Saebyeol Oreum (volcanic cone) comes free of charge and yet the most breathtaking. From the entrance, take the left hand side path which is quite stiff. You might want to give up every 10 steps if you are not fit enough. Then you look down the scenery and that gives you more energy to climb up. Once you are at the top the wind will almost blow you off. Coming down from the other end is a lot easier but I still suggest you to experience both paths.
Just like other hidden(?) places, this is well known to Koreans but not to foreign tourists. You can only reach there by cars or taxis. It is about 25 min driving from Yongmeori Coast(Dragon Head Coast) or 30 min driving from Hyeopjae beach.
View at Saebyeol Oreum
As I am interested in building my own house in Jeju. I have decided to visit some famous buildings in architecture.
Jun Itami and Tadao Ando have designed a few buildings in Jeju.
Church The Ark
I don’t have a big budget to build such beautiful places but just looking around those buildings gave me an inspiration.
Genius Loci by Tadao Ando
Bonte museum: http://www.bontemuseum.com/eng_new/main.php
Church The Ark: Open daily 10am-12pm, 13pm-16pm except Mon, Public holidays and Sat afternoon.
Genius Loci is located in Phoenix island resort.
Seogwipo had a beautiful blue sky with the shining Sun but when I reached Saryeoni forest, drizzling was rather heavy. Well, what’s new in Jeju? It is usual to have a nice sunny day at the seaside and heavy snow at Junggansan where only 2-3Km away from the sea. I was well prepared with a rain proof poncho.
I was with my 2 nieces and of course I brought rain proof jackets for them. They still wanted to carry umbrellas. Well, it’s good to rent a car so I can bring lots of stuff. We started walking in to the forest. Interestingly, there were quite number of people on a weekday morning of June. We were the slowest hiker as my young nieces often attracted by gravel on the path, trees and flowers along the way. It’s okay not to walk long distance as long as I enjoy the nature and the company. A bit of foggy air makes the forest more mysterious and I feel like I was exploring a magical forest with little elves.
Definitely Saryeoni forest is more beautiful on a rainy day!
Tip: try the hot dog at the small road side shop at the entrance of the forest, near Dombae Oreum side. It is worth!
Two kids at rainy Saryeoni forest
Hiking in Mt. Halla is definitely a great experience but it takes good fitness and a day of effort. Travellers who don’t have a lot of time and good physical conditions can still enjoy mini mountain hiking experiences with breath-taking views by hiking some oreums(volcanic cones). There are about 360 oreums in Jeju.
7Km south from Sehwa downtown(Gujwa-eup), Darangswi(also called Wollangbong) is a popular destination for many Koreans. About 400m high, this oreum offers one of the most breath-taking views in Jeju. Akkeun-Darangswi(small Daranswi) oreum is located right next to it and you will see other oreums near by. Seongsan ilchulbong and Udo are all in one view. Bijarim (forecst park) is only 3.4Km away from the entrance of Darangswi. Here is my recommendation. Take a taxi(one trip costs KRW7000 from Sehwa downtown) to Darangswi. From Darangswi, take a walk to Bijarim. After visiting Bijarim, you can take a bus back to Sehwa downtown.
View from Darangswi