[How to spend a cool summer on Jeju] Geomun Oreum – A Jeju Island forest with worldwide recognition

194 GeomunOreum

 

Jeju Island is an oval shaped volcanic island stretching 73km from east to west and 31km from north to south. In the center Halla Mountain sits at a height of 1950m.

As the island is made from volcanic activity we also call Jeju a ‘volcanic museum’.

Due to the landscape, beautiful views, and a variety of plants and animals UNESCO has awarded the island a number of titles.

These include Biosphere Reserve designations in 2002, followed by World Natural Heritage designations in 2007 and Geoparks in 2010.

It was the first place in the world to have this UNESCO ‘triple crown’.

To some heritage means something we inherit from the past, something we should live with and then leave intact for future generations.

Jeju is the kind of place where this happens. Geomun Oreum is a place with this happens too.

 

 

Geomun Oreum derives its name from the Korean word for black and looks so lush. It is actually 1 of 368 extinct parasitic volcanos spread out all over the island.

Lying on the east side at an altitude of 400m Geomun Oreum has created many caves from its lava flows stretching out to the north-east coast. They include Gimnyeonggul and Manjangul caves.

Geomun Oreum is a place to spend a cool summer on Jeju Island with good hiking and healing for body and mind.

Visitors will actually need a reservation to visit, which helps give some perspective on how protected this Jeju heritage is.

Phone reservations should be made 2 days before and on the Internet 1 day before. Only 400 people can hike per day.

http://wnhcenter.jeju.go.kr/index.php/contents/black/reserve/reserve

Tel : +82-64-710-8981

The hiking routes all start from the Jeju World Natural Heritage Center that was built to introduce Jeju’s natural environment and to keep the worth of the island’s nature in a more precious way. There are 4 routes to choose between when hiking.

Observation Deck Route (1.8km – 1 hour)

Crater Route (5.5km – 2 hours 30 minutes)

Ridgeline Route (5km – 2 hours)

Taegeuk Route (10km – 3 hours 30 minutes)

It is strongly recommended visitors go with a guide (English available) so they can learn a lot about the oreum’s history and background.

Instead of just seeing needle leaf and broadlead trees as well as beautiful flowers, mushrooms and fresh air with views out over the island visitors will be introduced to the remains of old Jeju life through simple stone building ruins and kilns.

Cool air released from between the rocks, which is like a natural air conditioning unit will be explained by the guides.

Actually due to this the temperature in the oreum generally stays around the same all year.

Geomun Oreum shows the worth of Jeju Island’s natural heritage and visiting this summer will provide a prime opportunity to find out about it while healing your mind and body at the same time.

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