When the Sun is Rising in Seongsan Ilchulbong, Jeju Island

Panoramic View of Seongsan Ilchulbong

Jeju Island is surely the one of iconic landmark in South Korea. Most of Korean Drama at least once take a shoot in this tiny beautiful island. Some people also call Jeju Island is the Korean Hawaii Island.

Separated from the main island, Jeju is lined by the sea roundly. There are so many luxury resorts built here, even the Government take serious measure to make this island more tourist-able. The street are lined neatly, mass transportation are built wholly to connect each dot in this island, also traffic sign-which mostly written in Roman Font.
Cherry Blossom along the way!

Since the minute my feet landed on this island, I was welcomed by crowd of people (mostly local) with their happy- holiday expressions. May be it was because of almost weekend, the flight also full. Other than that, this island is also a holiday island for the local folks.

From the airport I took the Airport limousine to get to the Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal which actually so close. I used my T-money to pay the fare. Since there are no Metro in there, we should use Public Buses to go anywhere. Some visitors may rent a car with competitive pricing (with or without driver). Unlucky me, I don't have International SIM, either my husband  plus we don't like being drove by stranger in our holiday, so we have no choice to ride a bus.

The Korean Hawaii
There are two major bus line in Jeju i.e. East coast and West Coast. Our first destination is our lodging near Seongsan Ilchulbong. We purposely pin Seongsan Ilchulbong as our main destination so we chose lodging in walking distance.
The Iconic Symbol of Jeju Island - Dol-Hareubang

We took the East coast line, and enjoyed our trip for almost 2 hours. There was no traffic jam, and the street is almost empty. The trip time is simply long because of the distance and bus is stopped for almost every halte. By the time we got off, the clock is showing 18.00 local time. Soon, the sun is already set and we should looking our lodging. The annoying (yet fun) thing is we got lost when we look the lodging because of the confuse GPS!!!! We kept circling back and walk more far than we supposed to. Exhausting and numb, we sit at GS25 near the harbor until a good taxi driver offered to take us to the lodging. Turned out, our lodging is so close with the halte yet we walk on the opposite directions!!! That night we decided to survey the path to Soengsan Ilchulbong while looking for something to eat.

 At the next day, we woke at 5 in the morning, brush our teeth and got small portions of breakfast then off we went to hiking. Yes, you read it right, hiking at the 5 morning.
It still dawn when we hike
After blogwalking at previous night about how and what it feels to hike Seongsan Ilchulbong, we were kinda skeptical whether we will see the sunrise at the top or not. Only few people experienced to see the mighty sun rise in there, and the effort to go there is not said-easy.

Seongsan Ilchulbong is like a kaldera which popped up beyond the sea. Yes, it is remind us about the kaldera in Hawaii Island or if you watch mini movie by pixar, Lava.. it is like that! Seongsan also chose as one of UNESCO world Heritage. Plus there is hiking trail and lamps to the top that can keep the hiker safe and sound. Yet the stake is high and unsure if it will  be worth it to hike the mountain in the dawn.

Seongsan Ilchulbong, view from bottom
To be honest, I am not a hiking people. My knees are weak especially when it comes to climbing the stairs, and i have bad sinus that automatically switch coldness into migraine. So, please understand that this hiking thing is take a lot of courage and willingness of me.

It took almost 50 minutes for me to climb the top of Seongsan (while the grandmother passed by  easily over me-several times). By the time we got to the top, there were lot of people sit at the stairs waiting for the sunrise. My arrival should be on the exact time when the Sun is rising.

Waiting Duck

Yet I see nothing but cloudy sky. Peoples was waiting patiently while took selfies. Then, after 20 minutes, people left one by one, hopeless that there will be sun rising in front of the cloudy sky.
the best we can got (after we going down)

At the Top!!
Since I already calculated it, I didn't mind at all. We decided to took a walk and got the landscape photos of Jeju Island. In fact the scenery is dashing. There are turquoise sea, light house, small town with colorful painted home, and green hills. From there, we can see 360 degrees of Jeju and Udo Island.

The Turquoise Sea

Diver woman home

The Colorful Roof of City View
After spending about one hour at the top, we decided to go down and surprised by more beautiful landscape along the way. I wish we had more times to stay in there, but we have schedule to catch, so we must move to another place.

So the biggest question, Is it worth it? Hmmm...to be honest, since I've seen better, it is not. But at least, we should experienced it so there is story we can tell, right?

See you at the next destination!


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