After visiting the Manjanggul Cave, we drove for an hour or so to Seongsan Ilchubong, another UNESCO Natural Monument.
According to all the travel blogs and guides I read, sunrise and sunset at Seongsan Ilchubong is supposed to look amazing but you need to get there before 7 am KST which means we need to set off from our guesthouse in Jeju City at about 4 am KST. Which also means I need to wake up at 3 am KST or so. Nope. Not happening. LOL.
Also, we didn’t wait for sunset as we weren’t keen to drive on the rural and possibly mountain roads with no street lighting at night; especially after encountering rain and fog on the first night. Not funny at all. I was pretty scared as we couldn’t see shit beyond ~10 metres in front of our car (with with fog lamps and high beam turned on) and I was getting pretty paranoid about driving off the edge of the mountain because of the low visibility.
Anyway, the path up and down the Seongsan Ilchubong is pretty much a one way route. If you get tired, you can sit or stand at the steps to catch your breath and/or pretend to take photos before you continue on your way up. ^^ So yeah, you can tell from the number of photos I have how many times I stopped… lol.
The downward route is actually a lot easier; the steps are also less steep than the way up. I was telling my friend about how it is the same in life, it is always a lot harder to go up and very easy to head down.
Even for the super weak like me, you can go up and down Seongsan Ilchubong within an hour.
- Entrance fee is 2,000 won and parking is free.
- After the ticket check, you can do horseback riding for 5,000 won for 2 rounds. It’s guided so you just sit on the horse and the guy will lead the horse. I’ve seen the guy leading the horse to do a little trot but I’m not sure if you need to ask.
- Also, after the ticket check, towards the left, you can watch the legendary Jeju HaeNyo (ie, The Jeju Mermaids/Korean Female Divers) do their performance/dives at 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm KST. If, like me, you don’t want to climb down to the beach and climb back up, you can watch them from the top of the cliff.
- There are a lot of seafood serving restaurants around the roads leading to Seongsan Ilchubong which are within walking distance to the entrance/carpark. Leave your car in the Seongsan Ilchubong carpark and walk out to eat a meal before you come back to pick your car. Saves you all the hassle of finding parking elsewhere. Furthermore, there are many tour buses turning in and out of the narrow roads so you don’t waste time getting stuck in traffic.