Updated: Oct 5
On our second day in Jeju-do we ventured out to the east side of the island.
Manjanggul lava tube
Our first stop for the day was the Manjanggul lava tubes, also known as Manjanggul "cave". It was a rather nice drive out of Jeju City towards and along the north shore.
Parking is rather sparse, but we were able to snag a parking spot. Being a UNESCO world heritage site, this park is English and Japanese friendly, and you'll notice this immediately over the PA system.
The caves were pleasant to walk through, sans the other loud Korean visitors screaming and yelling. As you would expect from lava tubes, the air was cool and crisp throughout the 1 kilometer walk.
Aside from the railings and artificial walkways, the geological formations are quite fascinating to see.
Lava rafts and lava toes had solidified themselves within this large tube. Various sections narrow and widen, and even rock falls had occurred. Cracks can be observed where future rock falls are bound to occur.
The short walk of 1 kilometer ends at a railing restriction where a lava pillar stands, frozen in time and space.
This lava tube was nice to visit and was almost as fascinating as the Thurston lava tube back home on our largest island, the big island (Hawaii).
I guess I prefer no lights on comparison to the abundance of lights, signs, walkways, and noise, but this one was a UNESCO site, so it can't be helped.
We recommend those in the area to visit this geological formation, at least while it is still intact.
Myeongjin Jeonbok Abalone restaurant
Hours: Closed Wednesdays 09:30am-09:30pm
After our underground volcanic escapade, we drove along the lovely shoreline North and Eastward. Much of this area has beaches and rocky shorelines where people fish or enjoy family outings.
A short 15-20 minute drive from the lava tube is the location of a fine abalone restaurant. Here fresh abalone is cooked to serve, either in the form of porridge, steamed rice, or grilled.
We went with the rice and porridge. Parking is limited so patience is a must, unless road parking is available (though risky).
We ordered the food prior to sitting down, and due to the crowd there was a wait time, which wasn't so bad at all given there was a waiting house nextdoor where free coffee and water was self-served.
We arrive around 2pm and were told to return at 3pm. The shoreline was relaxing, as we watched the waves roll in and children played in the rocks. Russ got to read much of his book over some espresso, and Sam got some work done as well. The sea breeze helped pass the time.
At 3 pm they led us to a table next to the window where we were able to observe the shoreline and the calm ocean beyond. The food came out quickly so we got to eating and enjoying this delicious seafood feast.
It's difficult to describe the luscious taste of abalone along with the grilled fish and other side that were served to us, so we highly recommend visiting this eatery. Don't think about the cost, as it is very affordable and well worth it.
Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak)
Having filled our opu (stomach) with some ono food, we drove over to the Eastern edge of Jeju island. Here a tuff cone with a large crater sits high above the shore.
This, too, like Manjanggul, is a UNESCO world heritage site, so admission (2,000 won), railings, and walkways are expected. The easy walk up greeted us with scenic views and fascinating rock formations. At the top is a wooden deck overlooking the crater. Here many people come to watch the sun rise over the edge.
The walk down is in itself a site to see as the stairs scale the side of the mountain in an easily observable fashion. Absorb the beauty of this walk down.
At the bottom we treated ourselves to some bubble waffle with ice cream. Our ice cream flavor of choice, of course, was the orange 🍊 Jeju is known for, Hallabong. This Japanese-created orange, called dekopon or shiranui, was introduced to Jeju in the mid-1900s and had since been grown around Jeju-do's Mount Hallasan. When venturing around the island you will see many orange shops, but only during hallabong season will those oranges be the famous ones grown on Jeju-do.
We also found Hallabong orange juice! There are also Jeju-do Hallabong chocolates that korean tourists were enthusiastically purchasing.
This ended our night refreshed and ready for the next adventurous day. Where we stayed on Jeju-do: Ellui Hotel Jeju
What we did on the west side of Jeju-do!
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