Our second day in Jeju was gorgeous. Apparently in Jeju the weather is rather temperamental and it’s only clear 57 days a year. Our second day was sunny, clear, and beautiful.
We had breakfast on the deck overlooking the water.
After that it was time to set out for the day. Our first stop was Sangumburi Crater.
Sangumburi Crater is an extinct volcanic crater that is filled with all sorts of rare vegetation. When the volcano exploded, it did spew lava and form a cone, instead a ton of hot gas quickly exploded and then the earth collapsed on itself to form a huge crater. The crater itself and the surrounding scenery was seriously picturesque.
We made a friend while we were there!
We were able to walk to the edge of the crater. It was still relatively early, so the park wasn’t too busy and we were able to walk around freely without interruption.
We weren’t the only ones though. This group of ladies was entertaining. They were having tons of fun filming videos with their selfie stick, dancing, singing, and just generally having a good time.
On our way out from the park I got a melon-flavored ice cream. It was so refreshing and delicious and tasted exactly like a honeydew melon. Also, they had this crazy press thing to effectively make hard ice cream into soft serve.
We then headed to Manjanngul Cave. But before we went into the cave we had some lunch. I had bibimbap and Andrew had donkkaseu, which is a Korean fried pork cutlet.
Manjanngul Cave is a lava tube and it’s seriously awesome. It was formed by lava flowing through the ground and then spouting up. Since it’s so far underground it’s consistently cool and damp. You are able to walk through a 1 km of the tube. The ground is bumpy and uneven. They’ve lit the way, but it’s largely untouched. Andrew and I commented on the fact that something like this would probably never exist in America. There were hazards everywhere.
Along the way there were signs pointing out different artifacts from when the lava was flowing (or not flowing). These lines on the wall are flow lines from when the lava was flowing through the tube. It’s kind of scary to imagine what they was like!
We were underground for nearly an hour and when we emerged, we were surprised at just how hot and sunny it was outside. You adapt pretty quickly to the dim lighting and cool, damp environment.
From Manjanngul Cave we made our way over to Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak (or Sunrise Peak) which is another huge volcanic crater right on the water. It’s considered a tuff cone that’s about 90 meters high and supposedly the sunrise from the peak in amazing (but we didn’t get up early enough to see that).
While we were there, we finally succumbed to the cultural pressure and got a selfie stick. I have to say, it was a pretty fun little accessory (which we then proceeded to forget to take with us for the rest of the trip, so this was a comparably very heavy selfie day).
You can hike up to the edge of the crater. It looked rather high and steep, but we figured if the hundreds of other people could do it, so could we. However, please take note of the warning. If you are hungover, don’t try to climb the peak!
Conveniently, as you climbed there were numerous lookout points for taking pictures (or a breather).
Once we got to the top though, the view was great!
The inside of the crater looked a lot like the one we saw earlier in the day. Unfortunately you can’t go down into it. I was really curious as to just how deep the vegetation was. It’s so dense and untouched though, that it’s great ecological resource.
When we finally climbed down from the peak, I felt I was deserving of another ice cream (hey, it’s vacation after all!) and zoomed right in on this orange soft serve with orange topping (oranges are a thing on Jeju). It was so refreshing and perfect after a long hike.
With just a bit of daylight left, we decided to squeeze in one more site and headed to Jeongbang Waterfall. It’s one of the few waterfalls in the world that empties into the ocean. We were also able to get much closer to it which made it all the more impressive to me.
Also, Andrew go a hold of the selfie stick (and truly invested himself into the art of the selfie).
The fall was crowded, but being right on the water it was cool and an extremely pleasant way to end our day of sightseeing. All that was left was dinner! (You didn’t think we would forget that, would you?) We decided to head to Seogwipo Olle Market to try to find some dinner.
We couldn’t decide what to eat so we walked around for a while perusing the stands and just having fun looking at all of the random stuff for sale.
Andrew was afraid we were going to get hangry, so we got a giant dumpling to share and some of the fresh squeezed orange juice we had seen everyone walking around drinking.
After walking around for a while, we settled on a fish restaurant on the corner. There were tanks outside with live fish swimming that were presumably our options for dinner. The waitstaff didn’t speak much English and the menu was mostly in Korean, but it was busy and lively so we figured we’d go for it. We couldn’t decide what to get, so Andrew said he just wanted what the two girls sitting at the table behind me had. Well…
This was just our first course:
We had more than a usual amount of banchan (side dishes). Then, they brought us over a tray of five different pieces of fish on ice. There was salmon, prawns, abalone, sea squirt, and an unknown fifth fish. The sea squirt was the only thing Andrew didn’t like, but I didn’t mind it, which is rare, since he likes everything.
We weren’t close to finishing what we had before they brought over the next course:
We had ordered garlic flounder and when they bring you garlic flounder, they bring you the entire fish (minus the bones and stuff). And then along with an entire fish’s worth of sushi, they brought us another whole fish that had been grilled. The amount of food on our table was intimidating.
As we were slowly plugging away at our meal, I suddenly Andrew’s face fall. It turns out he was watching the table with the two girls behind me whose meal we had ordered and since they were a few steps before us, he could see what was coming. And what was coming was them clearing a place on the table for yet ANOTHER course. They brought over a small butane stove, plus a large pot that contained soup made from the leftover fish bones. We sat there in a mild panic over how we were going to even attempt the soup when the waitress came over and informed us that the soup course was entirely optional. We felt relieved and then in awe of the two girls behind us who steadily plowed through all of this food. It seems that Koreans have an impressive capacity and tenacity to finish what looks like an insane amount of food. I guess it’s all that walking they do…