Monday, November 17, 2014

Jeju Island Road Trip Day 3: SEONGSAN ILCHULBONG

Our Jeju Island road trip wouldn't be complete without a visit to the famous Seongsan Ilchulbong. I scheduled it to be on Day 1 of our drive around the island, welcoming the sunrise at the peak of Ilchulbong. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate with us. It rained on the morning of our supposed drive to Seongsan Ilchulbong and we didn't want to risk driving on slippery roads and not even getting a glimpse of the bright yellow sun so we postponed our visit there. I looked for another day where we could fit a drive there during our stay in Seogwipo and Day 3 it was.

Seongsan Ilchulbong or Sunrise Peak is a crater, a volcanic island created through an underwater eruption. It was said that the view of the sunrise from the peak of Seongsan Ilchulbong is so magnificent that it made it to the top of the list of the 10 scenic wonders of Yeongju. We didn't see the sunrise everyone was talking about but we did get close enough to see this natural creation.


Armed with a map and our GPS guiding us along the way from Seopjikoji, it was just a short drive to get to this spot where we had a good view of Seongsan Ilchulbong. What we loved about this spot was that there were not many people there. It wasn't crowded so we had more space and freedom to roam around. We took several shots from different angles. Then we saw several horses standing on the sand. They were being rented out for either a photo or a ride along the beach. There was a distinct stench as we walked closer to the horses so Ira wanted to leave immediately. With his very sensitive sense of smell I was sure he wouldn't want another minute spent in that place but we were still a few more shots short of the better shot so we just asked him to walk towards the gazebo, far from where the horses were, and where he could play in the grass.
We wanted to see the crater close range so we decided to drive to the town near to it. There were signs leading to the crater and several seafood restaurants along the way. We found a spot where we could park along the road and saw the crater closer. We realized there was actually a staircase leading to the top of the crater. This was probably where visitors would have to walk early in the morning to get to the top for a view of the sunrise. What a steep climb that would have been for us. It would have taken more than an hour to get to the top with all the other visitors clamoring for that perfect spot.

Seongsan Ilchulbong, we didn't conquer you this time, but at your peak we will be in few years from now. That's a promise we have to keep for our next visit.

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