Traditional village and San-gumburi volcano
Seongeup Traditional village Travel Blog› entry 303 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip:
Driving around an unfamiliar place, with peculiar road markings and traffic rules, on the wrong side of the road, having not had a proper nights sleep and trying to read a map and navigate at the same time, is not really the ideal thing to do alone. But this was how i found myself making my way to Seong-eup folk village in the centre of Jeju-do. As it was still very early, there was thankfully very little traffic, which did ease my nerves somewhat. I finally made it to the village around 07.15 and parked the car up and went for a walk around.
The place was rather deserted, other than some local school children waiting for the bus and a few elderly people who were also beginning to stir into action.
Also of interest were the 2 stone pillars with 3 wooden logs, which act as gate posts and signals as to whether the person is home or not, and also if they mind you been there. If the posts are placed horizontally in their holes, it means that the person is not in and you are not welcome to enter. If the posts are laid diagonally, it means that the person is home and you are welcome to enter and if they are flat on the floor it probably means that they have just been looted, so call the police.
20 minutes were more than enough to have a little look around, as there really wasn't any action within the village, which i liked for the best part.
I pulled into the car park of Sangumburi volcano at 08.15 and after checking my Lousy Planet noticed that the gates wouldn't be open until 09.00, but decided to have a walk up and look for any activity. As it turned out, the ticket office was already operational and everyone appeared to be working, so they issued my ticket and let me in. It took 10 minutes to walk to the crater edge and they even put on an English explanation of the site over a loud tannoy for me.
The crater had plenty of growth inside its basin, which dropped down 100m and was an enchanting sight, with mist still evident, as the sun had not had the chance to make it evaporate.
I spent 40 minutes here enjoying not only the volcano, but also the surrounding views, as the horizon was littered with similar shaped volcanic humps, jutting from the ground. I decided that I'd had my fill and made a move back to the car park. Literally as i was opening my car door, a dozen or more tourist buses pulled into the parking lot, with noisy Koreans pouring off in droves. I breathed a sigh of relief, that i had avoided all this mayhem and had been allowed to enjoy such a beautiful spot in serenity.
I began to head back to Jeju-si and decided that i would stop at a garden that was described as having interesting rock formations and was on route anyway. I stopped at the ticket office, looked in the brochure, wasn't particularly impressed by the photos or their price increase, so decided that i could live without it and continued to the islands capital.