Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jeju Island : Seongsan Ilchulbong (God's Masterpiece)

Seongsan Ilchulbong, also known as Sunrise Peak is one of the hottest attraction of Jeju Island.
Jeju Island (Island of Gods) herself is a volcanic island created naturally through volcanic eruptions almost 2 million years ago. Seongsan Ilchulbong is known as a volcanic turf cone, naturally created by a hydrovolcanic eruptions upon a shallow seabed approximately 5000 years ago. In another words, Seongsan Ilchulbong literally rose from the seabed as a result of natural volcanic eruptions under the sea.
This magnificent natural creation stands 180 meters tall with a crater measuring 600 meters in diameter and 90 meters high. The crater resembles a giant punch bowl. However, there is no crater lake here as the volcanic rock is too porous to retain any water. Reported to have 99 sharp rocks surrounding the crater, Seongsan Ilchulbong resembles a giant crown.
Seongsan Ilchulbong is located at the most eastern tip of Jeju Island and hence is a perfect place to watch sunrise, hence she is also known as the Sunrise Peak. The park has a time table for the entire year of when the sun will rise each day so that visitors can timed their visits. However, if one wants to watch sunrise from Seongsan Illchulbong, one would have to stay overnight at Seongsanri, in order to rise early and make the 20 to 40 minutes climb, depending on your fitness, to the summit.
The climb up can look daunting. When we were at the foot of the hill, we were wondering whether we could actually reach the summit because it definitely looks like a long climb. Word of caution here. If you are visiting Seongsan Ilchulbong, make sure that you do not come in your evening wear and high heels! Apparently there are over 500 steps to climb and walk to reach the steep hillside before you commence you climb to the summit. Honestly, I did not bother to count because I was more concerned of making sure that I reach there.

The beauty of the walk and climb is that, each step that you take makes you want to take the next one and before long, as you look down and over the cliff, a magnificent scene will greet your eyes and take your breath away. Suddenly, you feel all alive (still puffing and grasping for air mind you),  and marvel at one of GOD's masterpieces. 

Truly, He is the Master Sculptor but then again, if HE can CREATE the entire universe, what is a small volcanic turf cone......
The view of Seongsanri village below from the half way mark up to the summit...Truly breathtaking...
A natural rock formation that resembles the head of bear along the climb to the summit ...
Finally ....we MADE IT....at the summit of Seongsan Illchulbong at 180m ....
Now, this is a scene that you don't see everyday and definitely not your normal postcard picture of Seongsan. Caught this little boy helping nature by contributing a bit of nutrition to the beautiful purple flowers that are aplenty at the foot of the hill.....

3 comments:

  1. Beautiful place.... Love to come here one day.. :)

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  2. CathJ...you should ..you should or maybe have your second honeymoon here ...hehehe

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  3. CathJ..btw...our little daughter Chenya is a `kimchi' girl....hehehe

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