The size of Jeju is always the same, but every time I go there is something new.
Little by little here, little by little, I find treasure there.
This is the reason why Jeju is still pretty, no matter how many times I see it.
●Any modifier is not enough
‘Island of Fantasy’ alone is not enough to express all the charms of Jeju. I wonder if there is a better modifier, but I can’t think of anything. There is a limit to the number of implied words. Jeju Island is a beautiful place that makes you want to list and paste dozens of things over and over again. In particular, seeing Saeseom and the surrounding landscape, my affection for this island grew.
I thought Marseille, France, had the best harbor view, but the view of Seogwipo Port near Saesom on a clear day was even better. From Seogwipo Port filled with cruises and ships, to the bridge connecting the artist’s promenade, to the dense forest of trees, to Hallasan, the symbol of Jeju Island, which embraces all these features, the impeccable scenery welcomes us. The daily life of Jeju people and the natural beauty of Jeju, where can you see it other than in Jeju? This is the reason why I didn’t even enter Saesom before and stopped at Saeyeongyo Bridge and stood endlessly.
Saeyeongyo Bridge, which has a fairly unique shape, is also a must-see. Saeyeongyo Bridge, which comes from the meaning of ‘a bridge that creates new relationships’, is said to have the purpose of making a beautiful relationship between Seogwipo and travelers who visit Saeseom. It was made in the shape of the traditional Jeju boat ‘Tewoo’, and it is lit up at night and is famous as a photo restaurant.
Now it’s time to explore the island. Early in the morning, it was a weekday, so it was more relaxed and peaceful. I was walking through a green forest where only a little bit of intense sunlight was coming in. As I circled around the island, I saw Seopseom and Beomseom on the left and right of Saeseom. I walked very slowly for about 40-50 minutes and completely filled Jeju with my heart. Suddenly, I wondered why it is called Saesom. It was not named Saeseom because there were a lot of fresh birds. It is said that in the old days there were a lot of birds (bands) that were mainly used to cover thatched roofs on this island, so it was called Saesom. Not very important information for travelers. It is enough just to have the stability of the warm temperate forest covering the island and the Seogwipo sea.
The island reached by foot
Jeju also has a mysterious sea. It is an island that can only be entered if the time is right. Seogeondo, also known as Rotten Island, is located in Gangjeong-dong, Seogwipo-si. It is said that it originated from the very barren land, and it is said that it is a rotten island because a whale died and rotted without being able to get out of the drenched pit. Although interesting, the first two stories are said to be inaccurate due to folk etymology. Rather, it is said that the island was named because it is made of rotten tuff.
In fact, Seogeondo is made up of tuff formed from volcanic bodies that exploded in the sea. It is an underwater volcano. It is said that the sound of Rotten Island changed and it was called Seokgeunseom, and it is said that it was changed to present-day Seogeonseom. In addition, fragments of earthenware and animal bones dating from the 1st century B.C. were found inside the island, suggesting that it was inhabited by people.
Although this geographical point of view is important, the sea splitting phenomenon also arouses curiosity for travelers. Seogeondo Island, the only spot in Jeju where the sea splits, drains out when the time is right and reveals a barren appearance. Twice a day, at low tide, a miracle of being able to walk in occurs. The road leading to Seogeondo is all stone fields. It can be a little inconvenient, but it’s bearable for entering an unknown world. Contrary to the size of the island, the walking time is quite short. In 20 to 30 minutes, you can take pictures and explore all the places where the road has been built.
If you want to observe Seogeondo for a longer time, you can use nearby facilities. Since you have time until the water runs out and fills up again, you can visit Wolpyeong Port, Beophwan Port, and Gangjeong Port along Olle Trail 7, or visit nearby Jungmun Tourist Complex, Hwangwooji Coast, Oedolgae, and Saeseom. If you want to stay comfortably, you can use the caravan accommodations built near Seogeondo Island.
When the water fills, Seogeondo becomes an island that cannot be walked on again, but its barren appearance disappears, and it provides a peaceful landscape in harmony with the nature of Jeju. You can enjoy two opposing views in one travel destination. In addition, dolphins often appear in the waters off Seogeondo, so it is good to expect good luck.
Plunge into the emerald sea
I wonder if it would be meaningful to discuss which of the seas in Jeju is more beautiful, but Sinchang Windmill Coastal Road has a unique charm that is different from general beaches. It is also a space where we can check our wisdom that uses nature well without damaging it.
Passing Hyeopjae Beach and Panpopo-gu, and reaching Sinchang-ri, Hangyeong-myeon, a wind power generator welcomes us. If you move slowly along the coastal road, you will see Singemul Park, where you can enjoy the sea up close. Singemul means ‘gaemul’ newly discovered on the beach, and it is said that the water is very cold in summer. First, the public bath in the park catches the eye. There are men’s and women’s baths surrounded by stone walls, and it is a special space that embraces the sea of Jeju. It is a space that is actually used, so be careful when taking pictures.
An ecology experience center has also been established. There is a well-equipped promenade for walking on the sea, and there are also a barley statue, an offshore fishing site, and a Wondam experience center. You can walk around it in about 30 minutes. It is a space where you can enjoy the nature of Jeju while feeling the sea breeze. It is also unexpectedly fun to meet a very small, nameless stone island. The road leading to the island is well-maintained, making it easy to explore. In fact, it is an embarrassing size to call it an island, but it is a strange fact. There are traces of a space that looks like a post office on the island, and you can enjoy the sea of Shinchang-ri from a different perspective through the square window.
Jeju travel is said to depend on the weather, but Windmill Coastal Road is a little different. Because it shows various appearances depending on the weather. On a clear day, of course, you can appreciate the emerald blue sea of Jeju. A perfect landscape painting is completed with a white wind generator and black stones on a vast canvas created by the blue sky and the sea. The sunset scenery is also a masterpiece. Taking pictures in time for sunset can create a work that is as good as a professional one.
Cloudy and rainy weather is also not a variable. On dark and cloudy days, there is a strange atmosphere that can only be felt in such weather. It was such an unusual atmosphere that something was about to happen. Once you get to Sinchang-ri, you’ll get an idea to enjoy it one way or another. If you’ve been to Hyeopjae and Geumneung Beach, I suggest you go down a little further to see this place.
The taste of everyday life in Jeju
An easier and more reliable way to penetrate the culture and daily life of the region is through food. Jeju is definitely undergoing many changes. Not only local traditional food, but also exotic food and colorful cafe culture have taken their place. This time, it’s not fancy, but I’ve been exposed to food that fills the stomach. Pork is recommended if you are looking for an authentic taste. Whether it is black or white pork, the pork eaten in Jeju is somehow more savory. Tourists eat a lot of beef jerky that comes in 600g each, but the old-fashioned rectangular five-gyeopsal is also attractive. In particular, the taste of grilling it with various vegetables on the lid of a pot attracts locals. Lastly, if you eat fried rice, a Korean dessert, you can say ‘I ate pork very well’.
Breakfast is also a concern when traveling. Even if you don’t normally eat breakfast, you will be thinking about hotel buffets and local food. There are a lot of options in Jeju, but geukgi-guk and Jeju-style haejang-guk are not to be missed. It is a dish that is unfamiliar from the name, but once you taste it, you may remember it over and over again. Geek-guk is a traditional Jeju food that has been passed down from time immemorial, but it is not easy to find these days. The reason is that it is difficult to secure sea crab, the main ingredient, and the cooking process is complicated. You can find it at Mandolong Haejangguk in Seogwipo. Geengguk, which is boiled with sea crab and seaweed, has a clear and refreshing broth. The meal is natural, and it is also perfect for seafood. Once you taste the soup with the pleasant taste of the sea, it is hard to put down your spoon. Jeju-style haejangguk is a deep meat broth made from beef head and brisket, and bean sprouts, brisket, and seonji to add texture and cool taste. The seasoning is responsible for the bitterness. There are so many famous restaurants that it is fun to choose. Also, most of the naejangtang is sold together, so if you choose one and share it, the enjoyment and taste will be doubled.
*Excellent travel products experienced by reporters
summit tour [In to the 섬 시리즈 1탄 (제주도+5섬 트래킹 3일)]
Jeju article and photo = Reporter Lee Seong-gyun [email protected]
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