Monday, June 11, 2018

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Jeju

These are the four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Jeju Island:


Wednesday to Monday 9AM to 1PM
Admission fee: 2,000 won

Jeju World Natural Heritage Center
9AM to 6PM
Admission fee: 3,000 won

Jeju Island has 368 oreums or volcanic cones. Of the 368, two have been designated as World Heritage Sites: Geomun Oreum and Seongsan Ilchulbong. Hiking in Geomun Oreum is a popular activity, and there are three trails to choose from:
  • Summit Course — 1.8 km / 1 hour / no guide
  • Crater Course — 5.5 km / 2.5 hours / guide required
  • Full Course — 10 km / 3.5 hours / guide required
The number of hikers per day is limited to 450 and advance reservation is required.

For those who don't want to hike around Geomun Oreum, the Jeju World Natural Heritage Center offers an indoor museum where one can learn about Jeju Island and its Natural Heritage sites.

Directions by bus: From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus 211 or 221 to 거문오름입구 Geomun Oreum bus stop (40 minutes).

Manjanggul Lava Tube
9AM to 6PM (Closed 1st Wednesday of every month)
Admission fee: 2,000 won

Geomun Oreum has a lava tube system stretching 36 kilometers and includes one of the largest lava tubes in the world: Manjanggul Lava Tube. Manjanggul Lava Tube is about 7.4 kilometers long but only 1 kilometer is open to the public.

Directions by bus: From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus 201 to 김녕리 Gimnyeong-ri bus stop (55 minutes) then transfer to bus 711-1 or 711-2 to 만장굴입구 Manjanggul bus stop (10 minutes).

I did not get to visit Geomun Oreum and Manjanggul Lava Tube, but I did get to hike the other two UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

Seongsan Ilchulbong
Summer 710AM to 7PM
Winter 730AM to 6PM
Admission fee: 2,000 won

Seongsan Ilchulbong is a 180-meter high volcanic tuff cone. Tuff cones are formed from the interaction between rising magma and bodies of water. Tuff cones are between 100 to 300 meters high and have steep sides and a wide and broad crater at the top. Seongsan Ilchulbong's crater is about 600 meters in diameter. Visitors can go to the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong by huffing and puffing for 20 minutes (at least) on wooden stairs.

Directions by bus: From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus 201 or 211 or 212 to 성산일출봉입구 Seongsan Ilchulbong Entrance bus stop (95 minutes).

Aerial view of Seongsan Ilchulbong (Photo from World Natural Heritage Jeju)

The viewdeck at Seongsan Ilchulbong's crater

For those who don't want to climb Seongsan Ilchulbong, but just want to view it from afar. It can be seen from Gwangchigi Beach or from Sinyang Beach (at the entrance of Seopjikoji).

Seongsan Ilchulbong seen from Gwangchigi Beach

Seongsan Ilchulbong seen from Sinyang Beach


Hallasan (Halla Mountain), a dormant volcano rising 1950masl, is the highest mountain in South Korea. The above–mentioned sites (oreums and lava tubes) and Jeju Island came about because of this volcano.

There are five hiking trails in Hallasan. All trails are less than 10 kilometers per way and can be hiked in just a day. Only two of the trails go to Dongneung Peak where the Baengnokdam Crater Lake can be seen. No camping is allowed on the mountain and hiking cut-off times for each trail is imposed.

Hallasan Hiking Trails (Photo from Hallasan National Park)
Seokgulam Trail is a 1.5 km trail to Seokgulam Temple.

Trails that reach Dongneung Peak:
  • Seongpanak Trail — 9.6 km / 4.5 hrs each way
  • Gwaneumsa Trail — 8.7 km / 5 hrs each way
Trails that go up to Nambyeok Bungijeom (Nambyeok Junction) only; no access to Dongneung Peak:
One can choose to go up and down the same trail. Or choose to go up Seongpanak Trail and descend via Gwaneumsa Trail, or vice versa. Or up the shorter trail, Yeongsil, then down via Eorimok or Donnaeko, or vice versa.

Directions by bus to Seongpanak: From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus 281 to 성판악 Seongpanak bus stop (40 minutes).

Directions by bus to Gwaneumsa: From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus 182 to 제주대학교 입구 Jeju National University Entrance bus stop (75 minutes) then transfer to bus 475 to 관음사 등산로입구 Gwaneumsa Mountain Trail Entrance bus stop (15 minutes).

Directions by bus to Donnaeko: From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus 181 or 231 or 232 to 중앙로터리 Central Rotary bus stop (90 minutes) and transfer to bus 611 or 612 to 충혼묘지광장 Chungmon Cemetery Square bus stop (25 minutes).

Directions by bus to Eorimok or Yeongsil: From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus 240 to 어리목입구 Eorimok Entrance bus stop (40 minutes) or 영실매표소 Yeongsil Ticket Office bus stop (55 minutes).

Eorimok Trail


Yeongsil Trail

Note: Since I was staying in Jeju City, the directions I have provided above start from Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal. If you are staying in Seogwipo City, use Google Maps to find nearby bus stops and what buses to take. If you can read Korean or have the patience to use Google translate (though the translation is not perfect), the Jeju Bus app or the Jeju Bus website is a more accurate option than Google Maps.

This article is now available as a mobile app. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.

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