Island life

Jeju-do Travel Blog

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Manjanggul Cave

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The ferry ride from Busan can hardly be described as pleasant, although it was not as bad as i had imagined it would be. We docked around 05.30 into the port at Jeju-si, which is the capital of the island, and i wasn't really sure what to do from here. I figured i would need to wait until at least 06.00 for guest houses to open, so huddled up in my jumper inside the arrivals lounge.

After 20 minutes i decided to make a move from the terminal and the second i stepped foot out of the door, an old man approached me saying 'hotel, hotel'. I gestured to him to tell me the price and he held up 1 finger and 5 fingers. I figured he meant 15,000 won ($15), but this seemed too cheap for Korea, let alone for a room at its star destination.

Manjanggul Cave
I wrote down the price on a piece of paper, he nodded and began to drag me off to his car, which was parked not far away.

It only took a few seconds for him to shuttle me to what looked like his house. He unloaded my bags, rushed me upstairs, showed me into a really nice room and went to shoot off again. I grabbed him before he could leave, showed him the 15,000 I'd written on the piece of paper, he nodded and then was gone. Apparently he was giving me just about the best priced room in the whole of Korea! I had cable TV, a big double bed, en-suite hot water bathroom and all just a stones throw from the centre. Nice one!

I was feeling pretty exhausted, so opted to take a nap for a few hours, before going out to sightsee. I got up mid morning and wandered into the town, then caught a local bus to the bus station, where i connected on to a bus that was heading East, to Manjanggul Cave.
Manjanggul Cave
The bus dropped me a few of kilometres away, but i expected this, and the walk was pleasant enough.

Manjanggul Cave is one of the largest lava caves in the World, measuring 7416 metres in length and reaching 23 metres high and 18 metres wide. I gathered these figures from the Cave information board. Lonely Planet claims that the caves are actually 13.4km long, 30m in height and 23m in width. I'll let you decide which figures you want to trust. It also possesses the Worlds largest lava column, which is 7.6 metres high. I was pleased that i had brought along my raincoat and jumper, as it was pretty cold inside and the ceiling was constantly dripping water.

There were 2 really famous rocks within the cave, the first been the lava column and the second a rock that was said to resemble one of two things.
Gimnyeong Maze
Depending on which angle you looked at the rock from, it either looked like a turtle, or the island of Jeju-do! As i stood checking it out, i pressed a button which gave an English audio translation. I stood there for a few minutes trying to improve my knowledge, when 3 Korean guys just strolled up and pressed the Korean translation, cutting my one off. I was actually pretty annoyed with them, as they could see i was stood there and listening, but i wasn't in the mood for an argument and just walked away, rather peeved.

I left after an hour and sat and ate some instant noodles outside the cave, enjoying the sunshine and basking like a lizard! It was only mid afternoon, so i let the kid in me take over and headed towards Gimnyeong Hedge Maze, located just a kilometre or so away.
Beautiful sky over Jeju-si
The Maze was designed by a foreigner called Fred Dunstin, who made it environmentally friendly and even gave a 50% discount on the entry fee for anyone who travelled by bus and then walked, which i thought was a fantastic initiative in promoting environmentally friendly tourism.

I spent 30 minutes walking around the maze, getting lost and ending up at dead ends and where i began from, way too often! I didn't want to look at the map that we were given though, i thought that defeated the object of it, so just kept walking. Finally i made it to the end, where i got to ring a bell at the top of the stairs, celebrating my escape!

I walked back along to the main road and flagged down a passing bus that was making its way to the capital. I opted to walk from the bus terminal to the centre and enjoyed a wonderful patchy clouded sky. I had Dinner, used the internet and decided to get an early night as i had a big adventure planned for the next day.

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Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Gimnyeong Maze
Gimnyeong Maze
Beautiful sky over Jeju-si
Beautiful sky over Jeju-si
Sculpture at the entrance to Manja…
Sculpture at the entrance to Manj…
Entrance to Manjanggul Cave
Entrance to Manjanggul Cave
Entrance to Manjanggul Cave
Entrance to Manjanggul Cave
Steps leading down to Manjanggul C…
Steps leading down to Manjanggul …
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Said to resemble the shape of Jeju…
Said to resemble the shape of Jej…
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave
Said to resemble the shape of Jeju…
Said to resemble the shape of Jej…
Gimnyeong Maze
Gimnyeong Maze
Gimnyeong Maze - Hmm, which way sh…
Gimnyeong Maze - Hmm, which way s…
Gimnyeong Maze - Well this wasnt …
Gimnyeong Maze - Well this wasn't…
Gimnyeong Maze - Ive got it, not s…
Gimnyeong Maze - Ive got it, not …
Gimnyeong Maze - Oh bugger
Gimnyeong Maze - Oh bugger
Gimnyeong Maze - Another dead end
Gimnyeong Maze - Another dead end
Gimnyeong Maze - Thats it, ive had…
Gimnyeong Maze - Thats it, ive ha…
Gimnyeong Maze
Gimnyeong Maze
Gimnyeong Maze
Gimnyeong Maze
Gimnyeong Maze - Yeah thats the be…
Gimnyeong Maze - Yeah thats the b…
Gimnyeong Maze - I have been enlig…
Gimnyeong Maze - I have been enli…
Gimnyeong Maze
Gimnyeong Maze
Beautiful sky over Jeju-si
Beautiful sky over Jeju-si
Beautiful sky over Jeju-si
Beautiful sky over Jeju-si
Beautiful sky over Jeju-si
Beautiful sky over Jeju-si
Jeju-si coastline
Jeju-si coastline
Jeju-do
photo by: OdayJosh