I slept overnight in Seongsan village just so I could see one of South Korea’s most famous sights.
Plenty of people had hiked up in the dark along a steep, yet short and illuminated, trail so we all could see the sunrise.
When it comes to sunrises, there’s always a risk that it’s going to disappoint, especially on a subtropical island with fussy weather. Though there were clouds, we at least got to see the sun come out of the ocean, so I can’t complain.
I also enjoyed watching Seongsan village light up.
What is this famous place? It is none other than Seongsan Ilchulbong (城山日出峰), which means ‘Castle Mountain Sunrise Peak’.
It is a 182 meter high tuff volcano which rises dramatically from the sea off the eastern coast of Jeju island.
Seongsan Ilchulbong is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I lingered on the top a long time, since I figured I would never be here again at sunrise (or at all, probably).
I admit that, after hearing so much praise for Seongsan Ilchulbong, I was just a teensy bit underwhelmed by the landscape of the tuff crater itself. It’s not bad, it’s just that the most dramatic angle to look at the volcano is not from the top.
When most of the sunrisers left, it was pretty peaceful up at Seongsan Ilchulbong, but by the time I was on my way down, the daytrippers on their way up were already growing in number.
After descending Seongsan Ilchulbong, I went by the little black beach on its northern side (shown below), to admire one of Seongsan Ilchulbong’s volcanic cliffs.
Of course, I saw Seongsan Ilchulbong from afar as well, and I intend to share some of those photos soon.
Thus begins my series of posts chronicling my adventures on Jeju Island!
If you want to see Seongsang at a different time of day, you can check out Farsickness.