This is the view on the way to the summit of Songaksan.
It is in front of Sanbangsan and in the distance you can almost make out the silhouette of Hallasan.
You can also see Hyeongjesom (Two Brothers Island) and the tourist submarine mooring.
The day I went to Songaksan the weather shined down on me. The wind was calm and the clouds ran away for another day.
In fact I was quite lucky to get this kind of weather for hiking as Jeju residents aren’t used to it either.
Located on Olle Route 10 and at a height of 104 meters, it’s a little steep to climb.
At the top you are treated to a breathtaking view.
This is the tourist guide map posted at the entrance. You should take a look when you arrive.
Number one represents Songaksan and the rest of the numbers denote remains left over from the Japanese occupation many years ago.
There are tunnels, anti-aircraft emplacements, an airfield, concrete hangars for aircraft, and also a massacre site from the 4.3 period.
If you climb or drive the coastal road you’ll find the whole area is very flat. That’s because the Japanese made this area for Aldreu Airfield.
They used Jeju citizens as forced labour.
Back at the summit of Songaksan you can almost catch the island of Gapado.
Next is Marado, which is South Korea’s southern-most point.
The ferries from nearby Molseupo buzz back and forth servicing them both.
Peering down into one of two craters next to your feet reveals a depth of 69 meters. This is very steep and I wonder if I’d be able to get back up if I went to the bottom.
Some say there is still volcanic ash down there, but I’ve not been able to verify this.
Also be careful at the entrance to Songaksan. It’s difficult to construct a safe trail so you have to clamber over a few rocks to get going.
Perhaps on a rainy day it is worth waiting.
Nearby is a beach of stones and pebbles. Lovely to look at, but probably not worth a swim.
As mentioned above, Jeju Olle Route 10 winds its way here.
You can continue on to the much more agreeable beach in Hamo-ri via the airfield, or head towards Sagye Village, the Yongmeori Coast and Hwasun Beach.
Jeju Olle Route 10 is some 14.8 kilometers long and requires all day.
There’s so much to do you should consider splitting the area in two.
Spend time near the Molseupo area and then you can stay in a local guest house like Sai to explore the Andeok area.
After Songakasan you also have Gapado and Marado to visit.
The barley on Gapado grows tall in the fields creating a lovely atmosphere. Walk there with Olle 10-1.
What about enjoying some nice food? In the northern harbor part of Molseupo there are great sea-food restaurants to enjoy like Hongsongbang and Deoksung (this information is for the Shin Jeju location).
Now we go back to Songaksan again and take a closer look at its Japanese occupation-era past.
Here you can see caves blasted from the cliffs in 1943 to house attack boats which would ride out onto the waves to meet an American invasion.
There are about 15 caves in total.
This cave can be seen while climbing.
However the ones underneath are quite long and dark so brace yourself. The stones on the floor remind me of skulls. The cold air adds to the feeling of dark history.
Songaksan is yours to explore.