[Jeju Travel] Yongmeori Coast: Jeju Island’s very own Grand Canyon

When you arrive at the entrance to the Yongmeori Coast you will first be greeted by a reproduction of the ship that brought Hendrick Hamel to the shores of Jeju in 1653.

Hamel, along with some other surviving crew members, shipwrecked off this spot and his written accounts provide the first Western insights into Joseon Korea.

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His insights also allow us to glimpse the first accounts of the sea in this area.

A sea, which with the help of typhoons from last year, has shipwrecked this reproduction ship into further repairs and more importantly helped shape the primordial awe-inspiring Yongmeori Coast.

Any combination of high tides, high winds and high waves can leave Yongmeori Coast unfit for visitors. It is an imposing place.

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However when I visited  the tide was low and waves broke softly against the rock.

These barnacles in the picture below are a seashell that build their houses on a rock. They are very strong and it isn’t easy to break them open. At low tide they are exposed to the sunlight.

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Peer closely between the rocks to see the mussels growing alongside sea urchins and sea squirts. Most are very young, but please just look and don’t pick up.

The Yongmeori Coast is located in Seogwipo’s Andeok-myeon Sagye-ri.

We know it as our own Grand Canyon and that means it must have an amazing landscape.

Going there I really agree with that.

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While America’s Grand Canyon is vast and sometimes vacant, the Yongmeori Coast is right under your nose to reach out and touch.

The high cliffs rise out of the emerald ocean giving you such a life-inspiring feeling.

People say it has a shape like a dragon snaking into the ocean.

You know Jeju has another place on the north-side called Dragon’s Head Rock? Well that’s just a rock.  The Yongmeori Coast is much, much, bigger at 600 meters in length and 20 meters tall.

Look at the emerald sea in this picture. The color twinkles cleanly and beautifully.

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However some figures of history did not agree with my idyllic view.

According to the legend on the information board at the coast’s exit, Emperor Jin of China sent men here in order tame the Yongmeori Coast as it snaked  into the sea. After the men cut off the head, blood apparently spurted from the rock. Later the upset god of Hallasan sent a typhoon in revenge.

The men all lost their lives.

Anyway its just a legend.

These days the Yongmeori Coast is one of 66 Geoparks in the world. Of these 66 spread over 21 countries Jeju has nine.

The island received these designations in 2010.

The Jeju locations include Hallasan, Seongsan Ilchubong, Manjanggul, Sanbangsan Lava Dome, Suweolbong Tuft Ring, Jungmun Daepo Columnar-Jointed Lava, Seogwipo Formation, Cheonjiyeon Waterfall and, of course, the Yongmeori Coast.

In 2011 the Yongmeori Coast also became the 526th nationally registered scenic view.

This photo shows the entrance way but to be honest many people also enter through the exit. That’s because it is very steep here.

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If you do go the proper way then you’ll be greeted by a black sand beach at the end.

Other attractions in the area include Songakasan, the Chusa exile house, the shell park, Hwasun Beach, Gapa-do and Mara-do.

Entry to the Yongmeori Coast is not possible after 6 p.m.

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