Manjangul – the lava cave of Jeju Island. South Korea

Top 10 Most Beautiful Places on Jeju Island

Jeju-do, the largest island and simultaneously the smallest province of South Korea, is often called “Korea’s Hawaii.” “ATOR Herald” and the National Tourism Organization of Korea have compiled their TOP of the most picturesque sights of this unusual resort.

No matter what time of year you visit Jeju-do, there is always a colorful and vibrant atmosphere: in spring the fields are painted with juicy yellow rapeseed flowers, in summer the emerald sea gives you cool and freshness, in fall the miscanthus delights the eye, and in winter comes the beautiful time of camellia blossoms. You could write a whole book about what to see on the island, but we have made it easy for you by selecting a top list of Jeju-do attractions for the curious tourist


At the center of Jeju Island is the 456-meter-high Hallasan Volcano. It is considered extinct, but about 200,000-300,000 years ago it was still quite “alive. The eruptions were accompanied by abundant lava flows, so there is an extensive system of lava caves on Jeju-do – sometimes also called “lava tunnels.

One of the most important such systems is called Komunorim, and it includes Manjangul Cave. It is the largest in the system and is located in the northeastern part of the island.

The cave offers a variety of spectacular geological structures, including lava stalagmites and lava tubes. The explored length of the cave is approximately 9 kilometers, but only 1 kilometer is open to tourists. And still Manjangul looks huge and striking: in some places the passages of the cave reach 30 meters in height and up to 23 meters in width. Inside the tourist part of the lava tunnel is constantly kept at a temperature of 11-21 degrees Celsius to create a comfortable atmosphere.

Tidbits for tourists, with which their social networks after a trip here are huge stone and lava pillars and columns. Here is the largest lava pillar on Earth – the height of 7.6 meters. By the way, it is depicted on the sculptural composition in front of the entrance to Manjangul.


At the center of Jeju Island is the ancient extinct volcano itself, Mount Halla or Hallasan. Its cone is 1,950 meters high, and the mountain can be seen from almost any part of the island-which is not surprising, since it is basically the highest point in all of South Korea. For many Koreans, Halla is sacred.

The Hallasan Mountains have another name, Yeongjusan, which means “mountains high enough to pierce the universe” in Korean. It’s a picturesque name, don’t you think? However, the Hallasan Mountains themselves are extraordinarily beautiful – which led to the inclusion of Hallasan National Park, located around the volcano, as a unique biosphere reserve on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

There are 4,000 species of animals, 3,300 species of insects, and 1,800 species of plants. The park is most beautiful in spring, when everything is in bloom and it is not so hot to climb to the top of the extinct volcano.

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A short hiking route of only 10 km leads to the top of the mountain itself, so it is possible to reach the summit and return within a day. Hikers should be aware that the weather changes frequently due to strong winds, so it’s a good idea to have warm and waterproof clothes on hand before coming here.


It is not for nothing that Sonsan, a mountain peak with a peculiar geological structure and towering majestically over the ocean, is called a mountain fortress for its own sake, as it does look like one.

Seongsan Ilchulbong is a low volcanic cone formed about 100,000 years ago and located in the eastern part of Jeju Island. At the top of the peak there is a large crater about 600 meters in diameter and 90 meters high. Around the edges of the crater are 99 sharp rocks that create the shape of a giant crown.

The mountain range where it is located is great for trekking and horseback riding, as well as for meeting the sunrise. From the top of the peak one can watch a mesmerizingly beautiful sunrise, called “ilchul” in Korean, which is reflected in the peak’s full name, Sonsan Ilchulbong. Tourists should be warned that only the western slope is fairly gentle and easy to climb.

Note to lovers of subtle Oriental beauty: in spring, you can see a sea of bright yellow rapeseed flower buds in the fields around Sonsan Ilchulbong – these are some of the most popular landscape photos brought back by tourists from Jeju Island.


Hamdok Beach, located 14 kilometers east of Jeju City, the capital, is famous for its beautiful emerald-colored water and soft blond sand. In fact, it consists of two beaches: the larger one is considered a Korean family beach, and the smaller beach has become a favorite place for foreigners.

It is very picturesque: a combination of white sand and black rocks (the beach is separated from the rest of the island by mountains of volcanic origin and the majestic peak of Soubon in the east). It is worth noting that the water here is always calm and the entrance to the sea is shallow – the shallows are wide, so this place is ideal for families with children.

The beach is well equipped, and tourists have everything for the soul: changing rooms, showers, parking lots, near the beach you can easily find hotels and hostels, as well as a camping area. Fans of water sports can ride a motor boat, water skis and “banana”. And snorkeling fans will love exploring the island’s rich underwater world. The mountains to the east dampen the wind and make for great kayaking.


The beautiful bright yellow rapeseed blossoms we’ve already talked about in this review can be seen all over Jeju Island in the spring. But the most mesmerizing view of “seas of yellow flowers” can be seen in April in the eastern part of the island, on the coast of Sopchikhoji.

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The endless fields of yellow rapeseed and the magnificent seascape are, in our opinion, the perfect combination. Thanks to the bright sun and blue sea, the flowers on the Sopchikhoji coast have a brighter, richer color. You don’t even have to process the photos you take from here with photo editors.

In Jeju Island dialect, the word “khoji” from the coast’s name means “pointed cape. This is a great panoramic spot to take pictures of the island’s amazing scenery. Also, Songsan Ilchulbong Peak, which we told you about earlier, is perfectly visible against the ocean backdrop.


This place has a beautiful legend. According to the legend, two lovers hid in the crater from their parents who didn’t approve of their relationship and lived there all their lives. To this day, locals come here to pray to the guardian spirits of the place and ask for good luck and happiness.

The circumference of this picturesque crater is more than 2 km. If you look at it from above, it looks like a perfectly round stadium built by people.

The crater has maintained this remarkably regular shape since the volcano last erupted. Both outside and inside, it is surrounded by green vegetation and, in the fall, by the famous blossoms of the polyanthus rose. Once on top of it, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a breathtaking view of the island and the ocean .

Sangumburi is considered one of South Korea’s main natural monuments. On its rather compact territory there are about 420 plant species belonging to three zones at once: subtropical, temperate, and alpine. According to botanists, the crater is a treasure trove of plant life in Northeast Asia.


The only waterfall in East Asia that falls directly into the ocean. Even in the summer, Chong Ban does not dry out, but it is most impressive after heavy rains or in the spring when the snow melts.

Chonban is located on a high cliff, surrounded by old evergreen trees that lean back as if they were about to fall into the ocean.

Tourists who venture beneath the Chongban water wall will be able to examine the inscription in Chinese characters that tells of a servant of the Chinese emperor who sought here, even before Christ, the remedy for immortality. No one knows whether he found it, but the memory of this place is indeed difficult to erase.

By the way, just 300 meters to the east of Jongban, there is another waterfall, Sochonban, which Koreans consider a great place for summer vacations. There is also an observation deck with an extraordinary scenic view of the sea.


There are about 2,800 nutmeg trees growing in Pichzharim Reserve Forest that are 7-14 meters tall and 50-110 cm in diameter. It is the largest forest of nutmeg trees in Korea that is 500-800 years old. It is believed that the forest grew here from seeds that were used by villagers during sacrifices.

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In the middle of the forest is a nut tree that is believed to be the oldest tree on Jeju Island, about 6 meters in circumference and more than 800 years old.


The highest peak of Udo Island, the largest among the many islands surrounding Jeju-do. In fact, it is certainly small: the coastline of Udo is only 17 kilometers long, and there are about 1,800 residents who live here and are engaged in farming and fishing.

If you climb to the top of Udobong Peak, you can see almost all of Jeju Island, including Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak. Here at the top are the very picturesque Udo Lighthouse and the park where several famous movies such as “Home by the Lake,” “Now and Forever,” “Mermaid,” and others were filmed.

Besides Udobon Peak, Udo Island’s main attraction is its amazingly beautiful nature and meditative seclusion. To preserve its pristine ecology, the Koreans have created Udo Marine Park around the island’s coastline. The island has no restaurants, no noisy discos, and no entertainment venues like Jeju Island, but there is a starry sky, coral sand, moon path over the ocean, and an unforgettable sunrise!


Standing in the middle of the raging sea, the lonely Vedolgye Rock is one of Jeju Island’s most striking symbols and brands.

Like all unusual shaped rocks, Vedolgye also has its own story: legend has it that the rock was turned into a grandmother who waited a long time for her fisherman husband, and the fisherman himself turned into a small stone island near his rock wife after his death.

Historically, everything looks more prosaic: the rock was formed more than a million and a half years ago as a result of a volcanic eruption, when lava flows, solidifying, changing the shape of the island.

Tourists can safely recommend this place to admire the stunning sunset and the picturesque panorama of the ocean.

Even more interesting materials from ATOR – in our channel on Yandex.Zen .

Free online courses, webinars and electronic catalogs of tour operators you will find on the portal “ATOR Academy”.

Current SPECIAL OFFERS from tour operators on tours abroad and in Russia, look at the STR section of the portal ATOR .

Foreign journalists were shown the lava caves of Jeju Island

Jeju Tourism Organization is promoting the World Heritage Festival 2021 “Jeju Island Volcanic and Lava Caves” (6+), which started on October 1. The press tour with foreign journalists living in Korea was prepared to introduce the unique UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites in Korea, which were the first to be listed by UNESCO, as well as to create a premium cultural and tourism brand, PrimaMedia Korea reports.

A memorable photo of journalists after a tour of the caves

A memorable photo of journalists after a tour of the caves. Photo: Special Correspondent Jeon Hyunjun ([email protected])

On Oct. 7 and 9, the Jeju Tourism Organization invited four correspondents from overseas, including the PrimaMedia Korea News Agency (Russia) and Xinhua News Agency (China), to take part in a press tour to introduce the tourism resources of Jeju Island, including the UNESCO World Heritage sites.

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A special program was prepared for correspondents to experience the tourist attractions of Jeju Island in person.

On the first day of the tour, Jeju Tourism Organization Head Yang Pihilsu and World Heritage Festival 2021 Chief Director Kim Tae-uk (Cultural Projects) took part and introduced the World Heritage 2021 sites and answered questions about the festival.

Jeju Island’s tourism brand associated with the island’s unique nature was then introduced, namely the program: “The Republic of Thamnara,” a hike through the rocky trails of Kotchavol Hwangsan Forest, and “Visiting the Closed Sections of Manjangul and Gimnyongul Caves.”

Rope structure of the lava surface at the bottom of Manjangul Cave

Rope structure of the lava surface at the bottom of Manjangul Cave. Photo: Special Correspondent Jeong Hyunjun ([email protected])

Correspondents who went to explore the enclosed areas of Manjangul and Gimnyongul Caves were able to experience the island’s unique ecology and climate, as well as experience its amazing vitality.

Manjanggul Cave is one of the largest and longest caves on Jeju Island, and in the past it was considered the longest lava cave in the world with a length of 13.268 km. According to a recent study, the length of the passage from the 3rd entrance to the 1st entrance of Manjangul Cave is about 5.3 km, and the total length of the upper and lower tier of the lava cave is 7.4 km. The Manjangul Cave has a maximum height of about 25 meters and maximum width of about 18 meters, making it the longest and most majestic in the Komunorim Upland lava cave system.

This cave has great scientific and scenic value due to the excellent preservation of its structure and shape, its topography and lava formations. The single winding passage formed along the course of the lava flow is enormous. The entrance was formed by the collapse of the roof, revealing a typical lava cave.

The topography of the cave, its multilayered streamlined structure, cavities in the lava flows, canthal structure of the lava surface, lava lintels, lava stones and columns are perfectly preserved, and groove structures and lava rolls can be seen at the bottom of the cave. The 7.8 m high volcanic stone column is one of the highest in the world. The lava is frozen, flowing from the upper layer to the lower layer. On top of the cave Manjangul traces of collapse can be seen, apparently, they were swept down by the lava flow.

A memorial stone to the scientist Pu Junghui at Manjangul Cave.

A memorial stone to the scholar Pu Jong-hui at Manjangul Cave. Photo: Special Correspondent Jong Hyun ([email protected])

In 1946, Bu Jong-hyu, a teacher at Gimnyeong Elementary School in Jeju City, went on a hike with 6th grade students and discovered the 1st entrance to Manjangul Cave. A group of students in straw shoes with torches and a skein of rope about 20 meters long made several hikes into the cave and eventually discovered the 3rd entrance in 1947.

The Gimnyeonggul Cave, located near Manjangul, is 705 meters long and has long been called the snake cave because of its sinuous shape.

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Gimnyeonggul and Manjanggul Caves were among the first of many naturally occurring caves in Korea designated as a nature monument on December 3, 1962, but they were closed in 1991 because of stability problems and are now restricted to visitors.

In Gimnyeongul Cave, the passages are large and most of them are one-tiered, the middle layer is collapsed, and some are two-tiered.

The cave has a large winding passageway along the direction of the upper stream, the passageway is 12 meters high and about 4 meters wide, a passageway of this size is maintained until the lava waterfall appears about 2 meters high.

Reporter Jong Hyun-Jeong taking a commemorative photo at Manjangul Cave.

Reporter Jong Hyun-Jeong takes a photo at Manjangul Cave. Photo: Special Correspondent Jeong Hyunjun ([email protected])

The cave floor is full of siltstone sediments and the walls are full of secondary carbonate formations. The sand covering the bottom at the cave entrance is carbonate deposits of dunes carried away by the wind from the coast, and carbonate products of the cave are observed in Gimnyongul, Yoncheon, and Tanjomulgul caves.

The distance between Manjangul and Gimnyeongul caves is about 80 ~ 100 meters. It is assumed that the two caves were originally connected and then the middle part was blocked by lava flowing down the cave and tearing it into two parts.

In addition, and the results of recent geophysical studies have shown that it is highly probable that the two caves are connected.

The Jeju Tourism Organization hopes that foreign correspondents will widely introduce the tourism resources of Jeju Island to the world after participating in a special tour of Manjangul and Gimnyongul Caves.

Kim Taeuk, chief director of the World Heritage Festival, said: “To all those who still view Jeju Island as an unsophisticated tourist destination or think they know Jeju Island well, the Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Caves World Heritage Festival will reveal the unique natural world of Jeju Island whose value goes beyond one region or one country, a heritage that should be preserved by humanity.

World Heritage Festival Chief Director Kim Taeuk (left) and guide Park Changyu, guide at Manjangul Cave

World Heritage Festival Chief Director Kim Taeuk (left) and Manjangul Cave Tour Guide Park Changyu. Photo: Special Correspondent Jeong Hyunjun ([email protected])

World Heritage Festival 2021 is being held from Oct. 1 to 17 at the Natural World Heritage Site (Hallasan Mountain, Komunorim Upland Lava Pipe System, Sunrise Peak). The event is hosted by the Cultural Heritage Administration and the Jeju Island Administration, organized by the Korea Cultural Foundation and the World Heritage Festival Secretariat.

The themes of this year’s festival are “Memories of Fire – Nature, People, Way of Life” and “An Unexpected Encounter. “The last opportunity to experience the real Jeju-do Island as you have never seen it before,” is the slogan for opening the unique only festival in the world that takes place in a World Natural Heritage protected area.

Yang Jihyeon, manager of the Jeju Tourism Organization, said: “We will do our best to make the World Heritage Festival a regular cultural event that tourists from different countries will be happy to participate in.”

Special Correspondent Jeong Hyunjun ([email protected])

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