Conference trip to Jeju (South Korea)

19-22 November 2008

A bus tour was organized for the afternoon of the last day of the conference. The next day, we rented a bus with driver for the day (taxis are very cheap in korea) and toured around the east of the island.

The bus brought us to the south coast of the island to see the basalt lava formations of Jusangjeolli.

The dol-hareubang ("Stone grandpas") have become the symbol of Jeju.

[HDR] One of the three Cheonjeyeon waterfalls

The next day we had our private mini bus with driver to show us around. We had a few wishes and asked the driver for other suggestions.

[HDR] When I go on some trip I always check whether there is some UNESCO world heritage around. This time, on Jeju, there appeared to be lava tubes. Most of the caves are closed to the public, but the Manjanggul tube can be visited. This is where I definitely wanted to go, and as everyone agreed, it was our first stop.

[HDR] The tunels are natural and created by streams of lava during the many eruptions on Jeju.

[HDR] Actually there are two tubes, ther is one above this one as well. When lava once flowed through the upper tube, some dripped down here, creating this pillar in the middel of the lower tube


The second stop was the Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise mountain), which was created by an underwater volcanic eruption.

We climbed the mountain and enjoyed the view from the top

[HDR] then we went to a folk village (every village in the countryside seems to be a folk village here...) where we saw a living (!) black pig. The black pig meat is famous on Jeju and really tasty. We had already eaten it twice :-) The black pigs are called "Shit pig" on Jeju, because people used to keep them around the house and stroke it when they went to the toilet (which was separate from the house)

The fence of a house on Jeju is like a message. If all three beams are down (like this), it is an invitation to come in. For the rest, it was something like this: If only one beam is in, it means children are at home (alone). If 2 are in, there is no-one, but people will return in the evening. If all the beams are in it means that no-one will be there for a few days.

Seongeup Folk village

[HDR] The final sightseeing point was Samsung-hyeol, which is an important place in a legend which "explains" the creation and inhabitation of jeju island.

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