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  • Writer's pictureKirk

Seongsan Ilchulbong On Jeju Island

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

One of the highlights of Jeju is the table shaped mountain found on the eastern shore. The mountain is the result of volcanic activity 5,000 years ago. It provides a more scenic setting to watch an early sunrise in Jeju (I was not there early enough to catch that).

This was part of an east island tour I took with Yeha tours. I had met a new friend from Hong Kong who accompanied me on the hike. Although 30 years my junior, I feared I may have to get ambulatory help for Curtis the last 250 ft.

By his own confession, Curtis was desperately out of shape from years of desk work. Oops, was I suppose to share that? Oh well!

The mountain could be viewed from a distance at the beach stop we did prior to this stop:

The mountain resembled Table Top Mountain I had climbed at Cape Town, South Africa years ago. However, the landscape did not resemble.

A reminder this is a UNESCO site because of the valuable information this formation contains regarding volcanoes.

Pictures of the hike to the top:

This is about the halfway mark. Things get steep from here.

View from near the top.

Finally, the top!

My favorite part was looking down at the thick rainforest below and imagining being in the middle of it:

Me with my bottle of water I bought on the trail to the top. I forgot to bring my bottled water from the bus and was unsure how thirsty I might get on the climb. I remembered the horror of the Machu Pichu climb (

and decided I better buy.

It turns out the climb was over about 15 minutes after buying the water so there was no need. What really aggravated me, though, was the water was 75% ice so I got little water out of it on the climb. Anyway. I joked with Curtis that I was going to bring the ice back for a 75% refund.

The top had a nice wooden walking platform for easy access to all view points. I expected it to be more crowded than it actually was, given all the buses and other vehicles in the parking lot. But, I know some on our bus refused the climb. I didn't understand that, I mean why make the journey to Jeju and refuse its treasures? Oh well, who am I to judge?

Our tour guide, Elin, also didn't make the trip to the top. I guess when you do this tour every day the mountain can wear on you, even though she appeared to be in incredible shape. I regret I got only one picture of our wonderful tour guide:

Picture of our tour guide Elin and me in the lava tube cave.

More photos from the top:

Curtis and I spent about 15 minutes at the top then the journey back down. I found the steep downhill descent to be more arduous than the climb as I get older. Much more painful on the hips!

Curtis and I rewarded ourselves with a tangerine ice cream at the bottom, then it was on the bus to the lava tube caves.

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