Asia,  South Korea,  TDM,  Travel Journal

Jeju Island (South Korea): 2nd Day of Visit

Today, we continue our visit with a rental car (see our article on car rental here)

Gwangchigi Beach

Our first destination is Gwangchigi Beach, the beach isn’t swimmable, but from this beach you can see Seongsan Ilchulbong in the distance

Well, it’s not as nice as if we had a drone 😀

Seongsan Ilchulbong is a volcanic cone formed by eruptions on a shallow seabed about 5,000 years ago, and the shape of the volcano can be clearly seen from above

Seongsan Ilchulbong

A few minutes by car later, we arrive at Seongsan Ilchulbong, a Unesco classified site

Apparently the sunrise here is very nice. I’m not sure about the usefulness of these stones, but given their position, it seems to me that the sun has every chance to pass through one of these holes in the morning

We pay 2000won/person to access the place and are ready for a 50 minutes hike (round trip)

It’s quite tiring, but we are well rewarded in the end. Unfortunately, we do not see very well the shape of the crater from above

But you can see very well the coast, the beaches and the different shades of blue

At the bottom, there is a wooden sign indicating two “shows” of Jeju Woman Divers

A community of women from Jeju Island, some of them octogenarians, earn their living by diving into the sea to a depth of 10 meters, without oxygen tanks, to fish for seafood such as abalones or sea urchins. With their knowledge of the sea and marine life, Jeju’s haenyeo (female divers) fish up to seven hours a day, 90 days a year, holding their breath for one minute with each dive
Jeju’s haenyeo culture contributes to the improvement of thestatus of women in the community, to ecology with its environmentally friendly methods and to the involvement of the communities in the management of fishing practices. It has been inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

You have to come down here. On the left is the restaurant of the female divers, where they sell directly the products of their fishing

It’s better to eat it raw (in sashimi), it’s freshly caught, and it’s better that way. Each plate you see costs around 30,000won

We choose to eat two abalones, 10,000won each. This is the specialty of Jeju. At this price, it’s really cheap, you can’t find it everywhere in the world. They contain a lot of omega-3

The women are busy preparing abalones for us

Then they give the plate to the women of the restaurant so that they can prepare us, in addition, wasabi, soy sauce and seaweed (which comes directly from the ocean I think). It’s super good! I recommend you if you like sashimi

We all wait for the show at 1pm, in the cooler. The show has little interest, they show us their equipment (very simple) and sing a little ..

…before diving next door

In a few minutes, one of them comes out, triumphant, with a huge octopus

Well, the interest of the “show” is quite limited, but it allows tourists to come to their small restaurant where they sell the products of their fishing. There is no fresher! In the distance, we see divers who have been fishing for more than 2 hours already. As soon as you see orange buoys, be aware that there are female divers next tothem

For those who want to know more, a museum dedicated to female divers is 10 minutes away by car, type Haenyo Museum on Naver Map

From here, you can also take a small boat trip, for 25,000won I think

I recommend you go see these ladies, taste the fresh abalone, but not necessarily wait for the show

It isn’t by eating two shells that one will not be hungry anymore. JB and I buy some snacks at the CVS (supermarket) next door, before going back on the road to ….

Manjanggul Cave

It is also a UNESCO classified site. You enter a “lava tube” and walk on cooled lava. There are 3 entrances and this tunnel is 7.4km long but only 1km is open to the public and we enter via the 2nd entrance

In the small building at the entrance you can see how a lava tunnel is formed. In fact, it is the part that does not move too much, on the surface and that cools down quickly, that serves as the “ceiling” of the tunnel. The lava goes deep down because it melts everything in its path. A tunnel can have several floors like this. And we can see on the tunnel the trace of the lava, indicating the level of the lava that was crossing this tunnel (at about 2m high). Click on the image to zoom in

I put here a picture of visitkorea because you can imagine that the camera couldn’t take a picture because of the darkness

Well, 1km to walk in a wet, cold (11°C on average) corner with little variety of landscapes, we found it a bit long. The positive point is that it does not slip despite the drops falling from the ceiling. Moreover, it is the 1st time that I visit a tunnel like that, I am happy to have discovered a phenomenon of which I was unaware of the existence (I admit that apart from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, we did not visit similar places)

Saryeoni Forest Path

We finish our visit by a small walk in the forest (place arranged in the forest rather). The place is magnificent! And moreover as we made a mistake at the main entrance, we ended up in a super quiet place, where there are only photographers and future brides and grooms coming to take dream pictures (with the light going through the trees and creating an incredible halo effect). That’s the description, but on our pictures it doesn’t look good (no typing!), we aren’t professional photographers

There are wooden planks everywhere and many Koreans lie down on them to take a nap. Too bad there is no hammock 😀

We can continue for long hours, if I remember correctly the path continues for another 8km I think. It is flowered, it is SUPER PLEASANT! But it seems that we can see even more flowers in summer. In short, I recommend this enchanting place, which isn’t very frequented by tourist buses

Korean barbecue

On this, we go back to the city center and enjoy an incredible barbecue. It is a barbecue chain(MapoGalmaegi is also found in Seoul), where we have a place around the grill to cook rice and vegetables, dipped in an egg sauce

Beef is also super tender and not that expensive (about 15,000won per person). We had a great time!!!


  • Seongsan Ilchulbong: entry 2,000 won/person
  • Haenyeo show : free
  • Haenyeo Restaurant: 10,000won abalone. From 30,000won the mini raw seafood platter (payment in cash). 1,000won the drink
  • Manjanggul Cave: entrance 2000won/person
  • Saryeoni Forest Path : free
  • Barbecue at MapoGalmaegi : from 15,000won/person
  • Accommodation : Ramada Jeju City Hall 59€/night
  • Rent a Car at Lotte Rent a Car: from 30,000won/day + 9,600won/day of insurance

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