Tag Archive: korea


Hue

Got on a bus from Hoi An for 4 (turned 3) hours to Hue stopping at a lookout point called Thua Thien Hue but didn’t get enough time to go to the top (so I didn’t see the point in stopping at all). Yes, nice views, but if there is a hike why not give us time to do it? The sells were very pushy and touched me twice L we also saw a truck full of dogs three times which smelt terrible. The last time we saw them they were getting sprayed down.

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Upon arriving in Hue, we went to lunch at Ushi where I got vegetable soup that ended up being just morning glory in water…only 15,000 though. Walked to central market (went over Truong Tien Bridge which is an ugly color and has construction) which was a lot like Goje market in Busan with souvenirs because it had vegetables and cooking things and housework items. We then walked through a park next to Perfume river and I told a guy I was Korean just for him to go away. On to the Imperial Citadel (palace) which cost 105,000 (which is much more than 55,000 as advertised in lonely planet). It’s pretty much the only thing to see in the city.

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It was mostly construction and trash which makes me question Vietnamese people–why not take care of your history? This was not the first thing we had seen like this. We’re not even sure what we saw because there were no signs. Their map and the lonely planet map didn’t add up either.

The pagoda/rest area-gondola was really nice as were the bushes made like turtles which were both inside the Purple Forbidden City. There was a nice dragon statue just beyond the main gate too, but we could not get over the trash. Closed at 5:30 and one in our group was very concerned we would not get out. Just then, matt found the temples and Hien Lam Pavilion which all looked beautiful. We then walked back to the Ngo Mon gate to find it was closed…so we went around to the next gate (Hien Hhom) to leave. I tried to go in that one at first but it is only an exit. The palace is a lot smaller than it seems. Back to the hotel for 6:30 for dinner at 7:30.

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Dinner at Le’s was good food with good drinks (but really standard drink deals) but the staff were too ‘helpful’. I don’t need someone behind me the whole time or chatting to me about my water bottle and such. They gave us jenga after dinner and asked if we were too tired because we didn’t want to play. Weird. 39,000 for fried rice with vegetables but really good. They were very on top of clearing plates too. Walked to Brown Eyes for free shots after but I went home because I was tired.

In the morning, some of us decided to go to Thin Mu. It was supposed to be 3km from a bridge that was 1 km away but it turned out to be 6.4km total so someone messed up on the map.

The walk was interesting because there was no sidewalk and lots of rundown temples and trash. Another sign of the Vietnamese not taking care of their country and history. Eventually found the pagoda at 11:40 meaning we had to go straight back so 4 of the group could check out and we all could eat. Got some good pics and saw the car a monk rode in before he burned himself because of abuses the government took on monks.

Haggled from 40,000 each to 22,000 each for a boat and then she dropped us at a different spot than she said she would (1 bridge early) because of police (?)

Back to the hotel to find a good restaurant and it turned out DMZ was supposed to be good, based on Trip Advisor. Service had no idea what was going on and food was okay. #5 on trip advisor? Not anymore…Our server could hardly take our orders but she understood when I said their ranking was about to go down. Most got pizza or pasta to bulk up for a 14 hour train ride.

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Gyeongju

I went to Gyeongju over the past weekend, which is well known for being a historic city. It has more UNESCO sites than the rest of Korea combined. Most of them are burial mounds. Some were excavated by Sweden, but I’m not sure why. If there are two close to one another they are King and Queen.

You’re allowed to go inside one of them as well, however you have to pay for that. It’s 1,500 for adult entry, but also allows you into a beautiful park as well. It’s difficult to get pictures inside the mound, as it is dark and everything that was inside is behind glass. You’re also not allowed to take pictures, which I saw on the way out, but there was no one there to stop me anyway.

After this we went to Cheomseongdae which was built between 632-647 and is the oldest astronomical observatory in East Asia. It was filled with dirt up to the 12th layer of exterior stones (which are quite large) and people could observe from there up to the 15th layer.

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There is a bug bus that goes around this area as well, which is super cute! This park includes a few mounds, places to keep ice, the tower above, rapeseed fields, old buildings, and at the time, a concert area.

Gyeongju 052From there we went to Anapji Pond, which is very beautiful, manicured, and mostly reconstructed.

Gyeongju 076 Gyeongju 096Nearby is the National Museum, which I didn’t find too interesting. Most is reconstructions of things you will see around the town. Also, the main part is closed right now. Good thing it’s free.

Stayed at Potato Motel which gave us a 10,000 discount from 70,000 to 60,000 when I made a face. Dinner at Han’s Deli was pretty good, but mine was too spicy. If we weren’t too tired, we probably would have sat there for longer so I could eat, but I was going to fall asleep from walking around in 90% humidity and 30C weather.

The next day we went to Bulguksa Temple which is accessible via the 10 or 11 bus which cost 1,500 won each (fitting, as the bus ride takes about half an hour). Be sure to get off at the stop next to the parking lot, not another with a similar name that is surrounded by shops. From the bus stop, go up the right walkway as it goes though a park where people are selling food, drinks and standard Korean souvenirs (the left is for cars but has a sidewalk as well).

At the top you have to pay an entrance fee of 4,000.

Once inside you walk quite a bit more. All of the stonework is original, as that was not effected when Japan burned them down (of course it wasn’t effected, and of course Japan burned it down–like everything in Korea at some point…). However, this was burned down far before the 1911 invasion.

There is still reconstruction going on. Behind the main temple and the largest stairs photoed below you can see a building which ruins the photo. We had to go around and up to see that that is where the reconstruction is going on, and the building is to protect the pieces. Current reconstruction is of a pagoda which had a crack on the 3rd level.

Gyeongju 150We had just missed the bus to go to Seokguram (they leave every hour on the hour) and it was too hot to walk the 30-50 minutes so we headed back.

Buses to Busan leave every hour on the hour, except around 6:00 when they leave at 6:00, 6:40, and then 7:40, 8:40….etc.

Buses there from Busan leave every 30 minutes.

This weekend I did a hike from Jangsan subway to Songjeong Beach to Haedong Yonggungsa Water Temple.

We started to follow these directions to Songjeong and these to Haedong Yonggungsa Water Temple but the Koreans with us kept asking people along the way and then changed course multiple times….so below is what we actually did.

From exit 1of Jangsan, turn right for a bit (past what I think was a school because it had tons of kids toys out front) and then left at the big intersection and follow that until you are at the top of a hill. This will all be though apartment complexes.

From the top of the hill turn left and go uphill on the wooden path next to the road. We got to the top of that and were told we had to go back because it is ‘too dangerous’ to go down the way I wanted. This was from Koreans, and most of us agreed that it probably was not dangerous at all (in a country where you’re not allowed to go in the ocean more than 20 feet and have to wear a life vest at water parks, something being ‘dangerous’ could be exaggerated) but some people were wearing flip-flops and the Koreans with us didn’t want to go that way.

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Here we went back to the start of the wooden path and went down some steps and followed the road, veering left and following the road past some seafood restaurants until it ended and we climbed over some rocks to get to a railroad we had to walk next to for a bit. A train came which was pretty scary (and hot) and we saw a sign later saying there is a 10,000,000 won fine for walking there (although at the place we started it was obvious that many people did this and the sign there just said ‘danger, keep a look out and don’t walk on the tracks’).

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When we could, we stopped walking next to the tracks and followed another road along the coast until we got to Songjeong Beach.

HIke to Temple 026We hung out here for a bit and listened to funny announcements, such as ones telling us that this beach is for relaxing, and no ball playing is allowed or another one saying that if you take your pet into the water it will confuse other people so don’t do it.

From the other end of the beach walk left (if you go right you will go around a little island) and walk along the street until you get to a CU. We went behind it and downhill to another fishing village and kept going as straight as we could. At one point the paved road ends and becomes a dirt road, then there are some pipes we thought were for sewage which you have to jump over and walk along a very dirty beach. After that you go into a wooded area which has the trail. I wanted to keep going past the CU and turn in when the wooded area started, so if you want to skip the fishing villages and jumping over a sewage line you can try that.

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From here we went around the coast and saw a few military buildings and a look out point.

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To get to the temple we had to wiggle under a gate. I’m sure there was a way to not have to do this as we saw some people coming from that way and signs inside saying to go a different way than the one we came, but oh well.

Mudfest is a festival in Boryeong that goes on for 9 or so days in July. It takes about 2 hours from Seoul or 5 hours from Busan on a bus, but you can take the KTX as well. There’s groups that leave from Busan and Seoul (and I’m sure other cities and towns) so you don’t have to worry about planning anything.

Mudfest 003There is some free mud, but most you have to pay to get into an area where there are slides and the like but the lines are massive. In hindsight I wish I had not gone there because we didn’t go in for long because we didn’t want to wait an hour (with no food or drinks) in the sun to get back into mud. The one that we did do was fun, where you run and jump onto a slide, like slip n slide but inflated. There were some rocks on it though, which I think was from peoples feet.

The beach there was nice because it had real waves! That’s something we’re not used to in Busan and one guy got hit with a wave so hard he fell and got all cut up! He was okay though. Going in the ocean is great for cleaning off if you don’t want to go all the way back to the minbok (the place we were staying, and it seemed like everyone was staying) which is like a hostel but you sleep on the floor.

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At one point, the Blue Eagles were there and did a mini-show.

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At night my friends played music and there were fireworks.

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Temple Stay

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The monthly event at Hongbeopsa Temple for July was a temple stay. As opposed to being free, like all their other events are, this one was 20,000 won, compared to 40,000-50,000 for other temple stays.

At 3pm we arrived, checked in, went to our rooms and changed. Next, we had orientation and met a monk from Texas. She came to Korea in 2001 as a teacher and in 2004 became an ordained monk. She had to travel 5 hours to be with us for the temple stay. I am very grateful that she came because she was able to better explain everything we were doing, why we did it as well as what our Western perceptions were as opposed to what is real.

There are two main ways to hold your hands. One is pushed together, so no light gets though, with your arms flat. The other is to hold your right hand in your left hand, because the right does the bad things, and place them just below your belly button. This is where our energy comes from, and where breathing comes from when we are younger–if you look at a baby, their stomach moves when they breath, not their chest. It is also important to have good posture, to make breathing easier.

Then, we did the Heart Sutra which is the ‘heart’ of Buddhism. Overall, it is about emptiness, which is not negative, but rather just a different state.

After we had a break and then silent dinner, which was not too silent because the head monk kept giving us directions on how to lay out our bowls, how to receive the food, how to eat, and how to clean. It lasted an hour and a half but was only silent for about 20 minutes.

You are given 4 bowls that are wrapped in a cloth, with a place mat folded underneath, napkin on top, and chopsticks and a spoon on top of that.

Everything must be taken apart in a special way. Untied, folded in half, the napkin and utensils placed on your left knee, and then the tie is folded in half again. The lid is then removed from the bowls and the tie is placed on top. Then, the  place mat is unfolded in a the bowls are placed in the left bottom square–this one is for rice. The 2nd largest goes in the right bottom square–this one is for soup. The 3rd largest goes in the right top square–this is for water. The 4th largest (smallest) goes in the left top square–this one is for ‘side dishes’–vegetables and tofu as well as a yellow squash to clean the bowls after.  The utensils are placed in the water bowl and the napkin on top of tie.

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The water is then poured into the largest bowl, swirled around, poured right, swirled around, poured diagonal, swirled around, poured right. Next rice is served and we place it to our foreheads to say thanks. Next, soup is served, then the side dishes are passed.

When you eat, you must hold your bowl up to your face so no one sees your eating face. This just made us look around the room a lot–I kept finding my eyes were wandering.

To clean warm rice water was poured into the rice bowl and you had to use the yellow squash to clean it by pressing the squash against the bowl with chopsticks. This was poured right, and diagonal. After, we drank the hot rice water so there was no waste. We were also supposed to eat the yellow squash which I find disgusting so I did not eat it. A bunch of ladies in training tried to force me but the head monk made them stop. The hot rice water was not bad to drink, it was just chunky and pulpy which I also find disgusting–I always buy no pulp. Finally the water was poured around the bowls again and then poured into large buckets. Finally, we put the bowls back together with the lid on and place them in a crate and the napkin and other cloth items in another crate with the utensils.

Next we had another recess followed by meditation. First we did chanting, which was done in Korean so only the Koreans and the Texas monk chanted–everyone else just followed their actions of bowing. Next was sitting silent meditation for 30 minutes, followed by silent walking for 10, then silent sitting again for 20. During the sitting, we had our hands in another position: making a circle with our fingers overlapping on the bottom and the thumbs just touching on the top. They should not be pushing but just enough together to hold a piece of paper up.

A good way to clear your mind and not zone out is to count to 10 or to chant something in your head that you want to change.  Meditation should not be something where you are repressing other thoughts; my favorite metaphor she used for this was that a rock does not stop grass growing forever–when you pick up the rock, the grass will grow again.

Next we had fruit and went to our rooms at 10. Some people sounded like they were throwing a party which was frustrating since we had to be outside at 4:00. At 10:30 the noise stopped completely though.

At 4am we went outside and did walking meditation around the grounds and then into the temple. We then did 30 minutes of silent sitting meditation followed by the 108 bows which seemed to go by quickly. I was not counting, but it took about 10 for me to get into a rhythm and at about 70 I was just falling to my knees, not going down slowly; however for the last 10 I was back into a rhythm. After, we did walking meditation next to a river which was beautiful. By the time we started walking the sun had come up and rose beautifully behind the Buddha statue atop the temple.

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Next was a little break followed by picking up leaves, as monks need to be self sufficient and this was our lesson in that.

After was breakfast which was rice, vegetables, tofu, and bean sprout soup. Again, we cleaned our own bowls but this time we were able to use sinks.

Next we made bracelets which was frustrating. We put beads onto string, which was then tied in a certain way that I never saw because it was taken from me, then given back assuming I knew what she did when her hands were covering anything I was supposed to see. It reminded me of kite making where we were supposed to do the work but everyone came over and did everything for us. Not what I signed up for. I figured out how to continue doing the loop she had done and finished but she laughed at it because it was a spiral and not straight. Oh well, it worked. Many others had the same problem and had a monk make theirs for them. After we finished the drawstring part we added on beads at the ends of the drawstrings and did a different loop there. We were all given one large bead and told not to use it. I then had to give it back to the person leading us. Strange. There were also bracelets made by monks that were supposed to be given by the best 3–and none were given to anyone. Stranger.

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We ended up leaving at 10:30 instead of 10:00 so it was impossible for me to make the hike that was going on on Sunday. I should have known better because these events always end late.

The coy fish were acting strange. Kissy kissy!

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Second time going to this park, thought I’d end up at the same entrance as before, but nope! Not sure how the bus schedule works out here, but we took the same bus and ended up at at the Naejangsan National Park Office and not the Naejangsan National Park Southern Office.

We left Sunday morning on the first bus (8:15) from Gwangju, getting in around 9:15. From the town we walked to the Park Office and paid 3,000 to go in. From there, to the Information Center, past Woohwaejeong Lake, the Cable Car and then the Wooden gate, or Iljmun. From there we went to the Temple of Naejangsa, and up to Wonjeokam and up further to Bulchulbong which is 622 meters. Next was up to Manghaebong (679 meters), down to Yeonjibong (670 meters), up to Kkachibong (717 meters) and then down though Geumseong Valley back to Naejangsa. See below for the map, we followed the purple line.

Hiking Course 2The buses leave from near the National Park Office (10 minutes away) at 9:40, 12:00, and 4:15.

From the Park to the Naejangsa you will be walking under trees like below and past Woohwajeong Lake which has a pagoda.

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The Wooden Gate, or Iljumun, is below and is 10 minutes before Naejangsa temple.

Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 209Naejangsa Temple has a 3 story pagoda and many lanternsSome food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 228 Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 231 Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 234The next temple, Wonjeokam, was up quite high and had a view, half golden painted Buddha, and a dog!

Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 243 Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 247From there, it took 30 minutes to go .8 kilometers, which should give you a hint as to how difficult it was! Basically stairs the whole way.

Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 252 Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 254 Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 257 The next peaks were 678 meters and 670 meters. Finally, the highest was 717.

Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 280 Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 281The way back was mostly following a river.

I went to Gwangju in the Fall and we didn’t get to see the Peace Park or Cemetery because one of the people I went with had already been there. We ended up wandering around more than anything else and getting a bit lost.

Gwangju is famous for student uprisings against the dictator during 1980-81.

After arriving we went to Shinsagae to grab lunch again and started walking towards the Memorial Park, also called Peace Park. which is starred below on GoogleMaps. I hope you can tell which one is the park. It’s the opposite direction of Shinsagae. The A is just what shows up when you type in Gwangju.

Bus station to Memorial Park

The park was pretty small, although it looks pretty big on the map. We unknowingly walked though all of it looking for a spot to have lunch. When you walk in from the North entrance, you see the statue below.

Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 023Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 028Behind the statue, there is an entrance to more of the memorial, the area where they have the names of the dead written on the walls.

Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 034After that we took a taxi back to the bus station where we got an hour long bus to the cemetery. It is bus 518 to make things easier. I found out later that you can take it from the Peace Park as well. They come about every half an hour.

From the bus stop you walk though the parking gate, past the parking lot to the entrance.

Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 055 Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 084To the right there is the Yuyeongbonganso which is the place to put the portraits of the deceased May 18 democratic persons of merits. This is not just people who died during the massacre, but also people who were there and recently died.

Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 105To the right is a museum. This included a detailed history, watched that had stopped when a person got shot or blown up, flags covered in blood, paintings people had done, a building the way things used to be, a machine gun, knife, a billy club, rocks covered in blood, dioramas, and a never ending stream.

Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 131Note the Star Wars poster.

One of the more interesting things I saw: The Joint Investigation Headquarters fabricated the truth about the May 18 Democratic Uprising by forcing false confessions through torture of the detainees. The people who fought for democracy and justice against the Gwangju massacre by the new military government were now arrested and sentenced to death or lifetime imprisonment by the military court for the crime of high treason and sedition. The injured who were being treated in hospital were forced to leave.

Another interesting thing:

The Gwangju Massacre, the outcome of weapons of betrayal following the order for treason!

A 30-year-old deaf and dumb man was clubbed to death,

a 19-year-old girl was stabbed int he chest and short in the stomach,

a 60-year-old man trying to stop the killing of the innocent was beaten to death,

13-shots were fixed at a woman on her way to her grandfather’s ancestral rite,

an 8-month pregnant woman was shot to death as she waited for her husband in an alleyway,

a 4th grader was shot to death as he looked for a shoe he had lost when running away from the madness,

a middle school student was shot to death while swimming in a reservoir,

an old lady hiding under a manhole and a 70-year old man holding his breath in his house were shot to death,

and a 5-year old child was killed and buried in Gwangju, in May 1980!

People just called this the “Gwangju incident” for more than then years,

And those in power called it the suppression of a riot for social stability.

They called Gwangju a city of Communists,

though all people asked for was the truth about the brutally murdered bodies.

However, Gwangju could not be silenced though death as they wanted.

The next information plaque said the following and more:

The person who was the 11th and 12th President was given a life sentence and the Minister of Home Affairs and the 13th President was given a 17 year prison sentence.

Further left, is the door of history, historical square, outdoor performing place, sungmoru (the castle-type building that old casatles monito red the surroundings), and the second cemetery. Below is the sungmoru.

Some food, Gwangju, Naesangjan, and more food 162The way to the cemetery and back you will go past some graffiti.

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Jeju Overview

I went to Jeju Island (Jejudo) this past weekend (June 22-23 2013) to hike Hallasan, see the sunrise from Seongsan, go to the lava caves (all 3 are UNESCO sites) and go to Love Land. There were a few other things we were able to do along the way.

Before I get into those smaller things, here’s a few tips or facts about Jeju in June/Summer:

  • Humid to the point where it is sticky
  • Many many many bugs
  • A few options for jimjilbangs to sleep at, which you can find via Google or the TripAdvisor chat boards
  • There is a great guide to get from the airport that is green and tells you about all the attractions on the island (not in any real order, mind you, just schedules as to what they think you should do as a foreigner, couple, family, or solo)
  • There is also a great bus information sheet you can get at the airport too. While it does not have times, it tells you which bus to take to get where, how long it takes and how much it is. I have posted some of the timings on the Hallasan and Seongsan posts.
  • Taxi drivers might be a bit pushy, but push back and don’t let them try to take you to town when you just want to go to the bus stop
  • A lot of the land is dedicated to growing Jeju Oranges and raising horses, cows and goats

There is a maze near the lava cave, about 500 meters away. Kimnyoung Maze Park. It is meant for kids but they won’t stop adults and they will hold your backpack for you. There is a beautiful garden here, and you get to ring a bell when you finish the maze. Just keep in mind that the green part on the map is not the hedges…It costs 3,200 to get in but you get a 500 won discount if you say that you walked there instead of taking a taxi.

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Not much to say about Love Land for those who know what it is…if you don’t it’s other name is Penis Park because of all the penis statues, boob statues, and statues of people having sex. It costs 9,000 to get in, but children and older people get a discount. That’s right.

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After this we stopped by the Jeju Museum of Art as it is right next to Love Land and was seemingly free…The ticket booth only had signs for the special exhibit and that cost so we thought we just wouldn’t go though it. Little did we know we would be pushed though it, you were supposed to pay 1,000 won to enter anyway and there was no one to check tickets.

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From Seongsan (Ilchulbong) you can take the Ilju Road East Direction (Road No. 1132) but going in the west direction (the Ilju Road West Direction goes West from Terminal). It will take 40 minutes and cost 1,000 won. A few buses go by the Seongsan Office stop so make sure to ask the bus driver if the bus goes to Man-jang-gul. If you’re going from Terminal, get on the same bus but it will take 50 minutes and cost 2,000 won.

From the bus stop you can walk 2.5 kilometers or take a taxi. We walked there and took the taxi back and the walk was quite nice. There was no sidewalk for more than half of it. Just before the caves there is a maze (500 meters before the cave).

You need to pay 2,000 won to go into the cave and it is 1,000 meters long (well, 1,000 meters that you can access). The second you walk down you will feel a change in the temperature and humidity which was a VERY welcome break. There is a sign saying to not speak loudly, take photos, or take creatures out of the cave. Since it’s Korea you can’t expect people to not be loud–it’s not the subway–and I assume they meant no flash. I, sadly, saw no creatures to steal. This was specified by a later sign with pictures of bats but I still didn’t see them.

There were a lot of informational signs inside, however many people seemed to just blow past them to get to the end. None were very extensive and I found them interesting.

Some overview: Manjanggul cave is a 7.4 km-long lava tube locally with a multi-level structure. It is one of the largest lava tubes in the world having a main passage with a width of up to 18 meters and a height of up to 23 meters. Numerous lava tubes are found worldwide, but Manjanggul Lava Tube is an outstanding example because it has well-preserved passage shapes and internal micro-topographic features in spite of its very old age. Thus the cave possesses significant scientific and conservation values. Three entrances to the cave developed due to a collapse of the ceiling, with the Second Entrance being the one used by tourists. A variety of lava formations and decorations, such as lava stalactites, lava stalagmites, flow lines, lava benches and lava rafts are present. The 7.6 meter high lava column is known to be the largest lava column in the world.

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Lava flow lines: When lava flows in a tube, the level of the flow is often recorded on the walls. These features are called lava flow lines. Numerous flow lines are found in Manjanggul Lava Tube, indicating that the level of lava flows was falling continuously inside the active tube.

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Rock falls: Abundant rock fragments that fell from the ceiling are found on the floor of lava tubes. They fall from the ceiling either during or after the lava-tube formation. The fallen rocks rest on the floor of lava tubes when the lava stopped to flow and is solidified. Otherwise, fallen rocks are either carried away down stream by active lava flows or melted down.

Lava Raft: A lava raft is formed when rock fragments from the ceiling or sidewall fall during lava flow and then are carried away by lava before settling and solidifying at a certain location. In some cases, fallen rocks are completely coated by lava to form mound-like or ball-like lava rafts, which are called lava balls. The one photoed here is called Turtle Raft and resembles Jeju Island and is a symbol of Manjanggul Lava Tube.

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Quartzite fragments: Most rockfall debris in Manjanggul consists of basaltic rocks but also comprises light-colored rocks, called quartzite, that are distinguished from basalt. These rock fragments, ranging between 1 and 5 centimeters in size, are interpreted to have been derived from the metamorphic basement rocks and then incorporated into the lava flow.

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Lava shelves: Lava shelves form when the liquid lava, only partially filling the tube, is accreted and hardened on the cooler walls. Lava shelves are further divided into lava balconies and lava benches by their shapes. (I feel like the people naming things just got lazy here and looked outside).

Lava toe: Lava toes formed when the lava flowing though the upper-level tube poured down though a  floor opening into the lava tube below. The poured-down lava flowed in a series of elongated and entangled lava lobes, each of which is reminiscent of an elephant toe, giving it its name. (I don’t see it)

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Lava flow stones: Lava flow stones form as the heat of lava melts the ceiling and walls inside a lava tube. The melted lava flows down the walls and take on varying sizes and shapes depending on the temperature and amount of lava. The lava flow stones also form when liquid lava inside the wall seeps out though small holes.

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Lava Column: A lava column forms when lava pours down from the ceiling to the floor and congeals. Lava columns are found in many lava tubes elsewhere around the world. However, the 7.6 meter-high lava column in Manjanggul Lava Tube is the largest lava gest known. The lava poured down from the ceiling spread across the floor of the lower passage and made well-developed lava toes.

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Outside, there is a Lava Column Cascade which is a fancy name for a cascade, like above, that has been turned into a water fountain. There is also a convenience store, bathrooms, water fountains and a restaurant.

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While we were on Jejudo (Jeju Island) it was cloudy nearly the whole time, and that included the morning of Sunday, when we wanted to go to Seongsan Ilchulbong, or the sunrise peak. At times you could not even see the mountain, and I wasn’t too upset because all the pictures that you see of it are with beautiful skies so this gives a different perspective.

You can take the bus that says Ilju Road East Direction (Road Number 1132) to ‘Seongsan (Ilchulbong)’ as it says on the map or ‘Seongsan Office’ as it says over the bus speakers and at the bus stop. This will take 90 minutes from Terminal and cost 3,000 won.

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The bus goes along the coast so I was able to take some nice pictures there as well.

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Once arriving at Seongsan Office we were a bit concerned as it might have been better to get off at the next stop–Seongsan Entrance–so we walked there and then left to the ‘beach’. There is great view of Seongsan from here, and it is where people who want to go scuba diving can leave from.

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From there we walked toward Seongsan and to Dongamsa Temple, which is right in front. At this time I thought it would be great to get a picture with the sign and mountain in the background but went to the bathroom first…to come back to no mountain! The clouds had come in in those 5 minutes and the mountain was hidden. We waited 10 minutes and it came out again though.

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Walking further past Seongsan you get to the entrance where you have to pay 2,000 won to go in. We didn’t want to go up because our legs hurt from hiking Hallasan the day before, there were a million people and it was beyond humid to the point where you just felt sticky. Plus with all the clouds you would not be able to see out. However the sign said it would take 50 minutes return to go to the top and back. There is another observatory to the left of the mountain that allows for great pictures of both the mountains and famous female divers. They are ‘grandmas’ who dive to the bottom without masks to get shellfish for the local restaurants. They put on shows at 1:30pm and 3:00pm.

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From there we took the bus to the Lava Caves, bus stop Manjanggul (ManJang Cave) which takes 40 minutes and costs 1,000 won.