A Walking Tour On Jeju Island
Welcome to Jeju Island!
Tourism commands a large fraction of Jeju's economy.
Jeju Island is one of the nine provinces of South Korea. The island lies in the Korea Strait and is the largest island of South Korea. It is also called Cheju, Cheju Do, Quelpart…etc. Mt.Halla(Hallasan) is the highest mountain in the island. Its current population is 604,771. We only spent half day tour in Jeju.
In Korea, “Do” is the phonetic transcription of the two distinct Chinese characters meaning “Island”( 島) and “Province”( 道). However, Jejudo generally refers to the island. While Jeju-do refers to the government administrative unit.
Jeju Island has been characterized as the island of “Sammu”(三無) lacking three aspects: beggars, thieves, and locked gates and “Samdo “(三多)an abundance of three aspects: wind, rocks, and women.
The Jeju economy has traditionally been supported by primary industry, agriculture and fishing, but tourism has taken a more and more important role as the island receives ten million visitors per year .These are mostly Korean mainlanders but through the opening of the 2010 decade hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists have been arriving and the number is increasing year after year..
Tourism commands a large fraction of Jeju's economy. Jeju's temperate climate, natural scenery, and beaches make it a popular tourist destination for South Koreans as well as visitors from other parts of East Asia.
In 2014, there were 2.3 million foreign tourists visited Jeju Island and among them1.8 were from China. Today, a lot of Chinese are buying lands in Jeju Island because Jeju is a hot tourism destination close to their country where they can enjoy Visa-Free for 30 days. According to the Tour Guide, this year, the number of Chinese visitors to Jeju is expected to swell to 5.6 million. For Korean and Japanese, they also like the island very much because it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Due to the relative isolation of the island, the people of Jeju have developed a culture and language that are different from the mainland of Korea. I was a bit surprised to see the Stone Fathers which were similar to Chinese Tudi Gong (The God of the Earth).
“Sea Women”( 海女)is another distinct culture in Jeju Island. They earned their living from deep sea diving, often all year round in quite cold water, without scuba gear, in order to harvest abalones, conches, and a myriad of other marine products. Relevant records shown that in the year of 1960s, 21% of women on the island were free divers, providing 60% of the island's fisheries revenue. But, today due to rapid economic development and modernization, as of 2014 only about 4,500 Sea Women, mostly aged over 60, were still actively working.
Jeju Folk Culture Villages
Jeju Folk Cultural Village
Just like some cultural villages visited by us in Japan, the Jeju Folk Village presents a vivid and lively exhibition for the island's cultural assets.
With a total of 117 houses and facilities, Jeju Folk Village Museum has restored the scenes of the village to that of the 1890’s at the end of the Joseon Dynasty and just before the Japanese annexation of Korea. Among them are Mountain Village, Hill-Country Village, Fishing Village and Shamanism Village.
Built on an area of 4500-hectare site, the village was constructed based on lengthy research and analysis of experts .Over 8,000 pieces of folk articles are displayed here such as household equipments, farming instruments, fishing tools, furnitures, and earth wares.
We did not spend too much time here. The Tour Guide took us for a Sales Talk on honey and some herbal medicines. That was all end up the trip.
Seongsan Sunrise Peak
Seongsan Sunrise Peak, Jeju, Korea.
Sunrise Peak is also called “Seongsan Ilchulbong” formed by hydrovocanic eruptions five thousand years ago. Situated on the eastern seaboard of Jeju Island and said to resemble a gigantic ancient castle, this tuff cone is 182 meters high, has a preserved bowl-like crater and also displays diverse inner structures resulting from the sea cliff. These features are considered to be of geologic worth, providing information on eruptive and depositional processes of hydromagmatic volcanoes worldwide as well as past volcanic activity of Seongsan Ilchulbong itself.
There are numerous hydromagmatic volcanoes similar to the Seongsan Ilchulbong, but there are no other known hydromagmatic volcanoes with a well-preserved tuff cone and diverse internal structures along a sea cliff. Because of these scientific values and remarkable scenery, Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone was able to be designated as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site and it is worth preserving permanently as a natural heritage of humankind.
We only took about 30 minutes walk here and rushed back to the ship before 3 pm. Since this was our last destination, it ended up our 8 days’ Star Cruise in the high sea.