“Bang-seon-mun Valley,” Jeju’s Sequestered Treasure

Located near the City of Jeju is one of ten sights known

as Young-gu-chun-hwa (Spring Blossoms of Young-gu), the Bang-seon-mun Valley. This valley is renowned for the more than 50 scattered engravings

 called Ma-eh-myung (grindstone inscriptions) left by scholars of the Chosun era.

Although it is called the Bang-seon-mun Valley, like many valleys in Jeju, it is waterless. Hence, the day of my interview the valley was dry.

Nevertheless, perhaps because of the spirit of the scholars of old,

 there was an aura of grandeur and awe about.

 

The day of visit was especially scorching and sweaty,

but the proximity to the valley and rich vegetation was refreshing.

 

Located at the entrance is a placard describing Young-gu-chun-hwa and Ma-e-myung.

To briefly explain Young-gu’s Blossoms, there are 10 sites collectively known as

Young-ju’s 10 sceneries. They refer to the 10 extraordinary landscapes,

one of which is the Bang-seon-mun Valley.

 

Bang-seon-mun is more specifically a stone archway located midway through the valley. The valley spans between two magnificent cliffs that are ornate with royal azaleas.

This valley hails as Young-gu-chun-hwa for the exceptional splendor that attracted even the Taoist hermits when the azaleas would blossom.

Additionally, the fame of this place was furthered when local officials, scholars,

 and litterateurs would come to enjoy the arts and leave engravings

of verses on stones around the valley.

A pair of grandfather stones (dol-ha-reu-bang)

seemingly guarding the entrance to Bang-seon-mun Valley.

▲ Explanation of Young-gu-chun-hwa (Spring Blossoms of Young-gu)

▲ Promenade overlooking Bang-seon-mun Valley

▲ Bang-seon-mun(left)

▲ Engraved in stone is the Ma-eh-myung

The valley is dry, except after a rainfall.

It is conveniently located near the City of Jeju, and unlike other tourist attractions,

there is no entrance fee. However, the terrain towards the mouth of the valley is rather rugged; therefore, hiking or tennis shoes are recommended.

Directions:

Taxi: Approximately 5.8km, 15 min

Bus: Board Bus 100 from Jeju Airport à transfer to Bus 5 at Intercity Bus Terminal à disembark at Hanla Library followed by a 6 min walk (southward).

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