[Jeju Nature and Travel] The 6th Geomun Oreum International Trekking Festival (July 2013)

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The 6th Geomun Oreum International Trekking Festival kicks off from July 7, 2013 through to July 21, 2013.

It will be for 15 days which is shorter when compared to last year.

This festival appeared after Geomun Oreum was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Trekking at the oreum offers participants a chance to experience sustainable eco-tourism and it has become one of Jeju Island’s representative trekking courses.

In this photograph we see the 2012 festival under way.

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There will be two courses on offer for 2013.

First is the Taegukgil A Course. This course is then divided into four sub-courses.

The Jeongmangdae Course (observation deck) is 1.8 km long lasting one hour.

Next is the Bunwhagu Course (crater) at 5.5 km for two hours and thirty minutes.

After that there is the Neugseon Course (ridge walk) which is 5.5 km needing two hours.

The biggest is the Jeongsan Course (summit) for 8.0 km and a three hour trek.

Alternatively the Yongamgil B Course follows the lava which once flowed out of Geomun Oreum for 5 km. You start at the visitors center before moving on to discover things like the charcoal kilns, the raspberry bush area, Bengdwigul (an inaccessible cave), adjacent Utbam Oreum and Daheeyeon.

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Last August Geomun Oreum was also placed on to a list by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Tourism Organization as one of 99 places all Koreans must visit.

Hallasan’s Baeonokdam also made the list as did Udo and Jeju Olle Trail.

Getting back to the practical nitty-gritty details of the festival please consult this pamphlet.

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Usually you need a reservation to visit Geomun Oreum, but you won’t need one for this period. Instead just make sure to get a badge from the center before heading off.

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However the Taegukgil is still guided as is the crater yet other courses will be there for you to explore at your own pace.

You’ll need to be dressed properly for trekking and wear hiking boots. No dress shoes, sneakers or sandals are allowed.

You cannot take trekking poles, umbrellas, or sun umbrellas either.

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But for all this preparation you’ll get to see preserved lava flows and special plants.

Geomun Oreum lava cave is considered the mother of Jeju Island’s five world class lava caves like Bengdwigul, Manjanggul, Gimnyounggul, Yongcheondonggul and Dangcheomuldonggul.

Plus there is more recent history and culture to discover with the charcoal kilns and caves left over from the Japanese occupation of the island.

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In 2009 Geomun Oreum was selected as one of Korea’s top 20 ecological trail tours.

Further, in 2010 it received a designation as being among the 10 model Korean eco-tourism locations.

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Above is the History Channel at the top of the oreum.

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Information

Address: 470-1, Seonheul-ri, Jocheon-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do

Visitor Center Telephone: 064-784-0456

Geomun Oreum International Committee Office: 064-750-2523

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