Traditional village and San-gumburi volcano

Seongeup Traditional village Travel Blog

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Seongeup Traditional village, with stone carved statues, symbolic of Jeju-do

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.

Seongeup Traditional village, with gate posts layed down in front of a stone thatched house. This represents that the owners are home and please enter. It is symbolic of Jeju-do
The houses in the traditional village are by and large built from stone with a straw thatched roof. At the front of the house were often 'Harubang' lava-rock statues, which are a symbol of the island.

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.
Seongeup Traditional village, with stone carved statue in front of a stone thatched house, symbolic of Jeju-do
I hate getting somewhere like this once the tourist buses have rolled in and you are been badgered to buy something at every turn, and feel almost guilty to be looking around without spending any money. So by 07.40 i was back in the car and going to my penultimate destination.

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.
San-gumburi volcano
I wandered around the path and circled what was accessible of the crater rim, which was about 50% of the 350m circumference, enjoying the site entirely to myself. The morning was turning out pretty well and was a lesson in why it pays to be awake at the crack of dawn!

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.

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Seongeup Traditional village, with…
Seongeup Traditional village, wit…
Seongeup Traditional village, with…
Seongeup Traditional village, wit…
Seongeup Traditional village, with…
Seongeup Traditional village, wit…
San-gumburi volcano
San-gumburi volcano
San-gumburi volcano
San-gumburi volcano
Seongeup Traditional village, with…
Seongeup Traditional village, wit…
Seongeup Traditional village, with…
Seongeup Traditional village, wit…
Seongeup Traditional village, with…
Seongeup Traditional village, wit…
A view of Hallasan from San-gumbur…
A view of Hallasan from San-gumbu…
San-gumburi volcano
San-gumburi volcano
Flowers around the crater edge of …
Flowers around the crater edge of…
San-gumburi volcano
San-gumburi volcano
San-gumburi volcano
San-gumburi volcano
A volcano viewed from San-gumburi …
A volcano viewed from San-gumburi…
San-gumburi volcano
San-gumburi volcano
A deer statue and volcano, viewed …
A deer statue and volcano, viewed…
This sign at San-gumburi volcano r…
This sign at San-gumburi volcano …
Entrance to San-gumburi volcano
Entrance to San-gumburi volcano
Seongeup Traditional village
photo by: Deats