Suwolbong serves up spectacular sunsets

An important note on Jeju’s updated bus system and this blog post

From August 2017, Jeju Island implemented a new city and intercity bus system. It increased the number of buses in service, while simplifying the routes, fees and numbering system.

Consequently, the contents of this previously published blog post may have changed. We therefore would kindly request that you consult this page for new bus maps in English on VisitJeju.net,  and this page on our blog for a chart of the old and new bus route numbers.

If you read Korean, then the province’s official bus system website is a useful and up-to-date resource. We hope you’ll enjoy your travels on Jeju Island!

img_1117Of all the memorable spots Jeju has to offer, one of the biggest surprises I’ve experienced while travelling recently was in the island’s northwest.

Suweolbong Tuff Cone is well known Jeju site – the furthest point to the west of Jeju – and part of the Global/National Geopark Network.

Arriving around sundown one mid-November afternoon, the view was – even by Jeju’s standards – positively spectacular. We gazed over the area from Suwoljeong, a pavilion that is currently under restoration.

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Chagwido, an often-photographed islet, took on an entirely different personality from this angle – from above and from the south.

And the panorama — which ranged from Sanbangsan Mountain, and Marado and Gapado Islets to the southwest, all the way to Hyeopjae in the east – offered up clear, crisp, bright autumn colors.

It’s easy to see why this is a very popular tourist destination, even given its relatively distant location from the main urban areas of Jeju and Seogwipo cities.

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Suwolbong, also known as Nokgomul Oreum, has some very interesting geology and mythology attached to it.

For one, its seaside cliff is remarkably high and steep. Eongal, as it’s known, is nearly 2 kilometers in length. It serves as the site of the Gosan weather station, which stands atop the cliff and keeps a close watch over the island’s northwest.

Did you know?

Suwolbong formed about 18,000 years ago and is made up mostly of pyroclastic (or volcanic) layers which are both well preserved, easily accessible, and in this rare combination, quite unique to the region.

As for its myth, it is said that a young sister and brother, Suwol and Nokgo, respectively, once explored the area’s steep cliff looking for a medicinal herb to save their ill mother. Suwol fell to her death, and was mourned by her brother with such intensity that his tears transformed into Nokgomul Springs.

 

How to get there: It isn’t a short trip by any stretch of the imagination, but it is worth it. From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, catch bus 750-4 (which makes its way to the southwest via the 1135 Highway) for about an hour, then transfer at Sinpyeong-ri to bus 950. After 20 minutes you’ll arrive at Hanjang-dong, where you can walk about 900 meters up to Suwolbong Peak.

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