Jeju lighthouses: Like a friend who always stands firm

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!

This article on Jeju themed travel programs was originally published on our VisitJeju.net site. Please click here for the original piece and maps to the sites mentioned. — Ed.

The Lighthouse of My Heart

It’s difficult to imagine the sea without lighthouses. They remain steadfast, like a good friend, protecting and guiding us in bad weather and darkness. For ocean travellers and people who work on the sea, the sight of a lighthouse after a long, difficult voyage provides an overwhelming sense of relief and calm. The loneliness of spending time on the open sea gives way to a welcoming embrace. That is why lighthouses are such attractive destinations and subjects for travellers and photographers — even those who remain on shore.

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Festivals of light spread by fishing boats

Sanji Lighthouse
This lighthouse has a long history. Perched on Sarabong Peak and overlooking Jeju Island’s main harbor in Jeju City… it is considered by mariners and locals to be a bright spotlight guiding people to safety in a busy, vibrant working port. It was a manned lighthouse from 1917 through to its refurbishment in 1999. Sanji Lighthouse’s location is a popular spot from which to watch the sunset and view of the port at night — with all its hustle and bustle. The peak also affords a great view of Jeju City below it and Hallasan Mountain rising above it to the south.

 

Two horses guarding the sea

Iho Tewoo Horse-shaped Lighthouses
The lighthouse is a guide for sailors, but it is also a friend for photographers in search of that perfect ocean shot. Shaped like the Trojan horse in Virgil’s Aeneid, a pair of these symbols of Jeju stand guard on the breakwaters at Iho Tewoo Beach just west of Jeju City. They are 12 meters tall and 8 meters long. When the sun sets, photographers from all over come to shoot them in profile and adorn their beautiful Jeju memories.

 

A rustic lighthouse in a small town

Turtle Lighthouse
Gwideok Port is a small, rustic community that embraces the sea like a child with its mother. There is a natural breakwater on which a turtle lighthouse was built, now augmented by a manmade section to protect ships in this working port.

Apart from the modern electric lighthouse here, Gwideok Port has a well-preserved traditional fire-based lighthouse and a park dedicated to the wind goddess Grandmother Yeongdeung. Both are clear evidence of just how important the lighthouse and the ocean winds were to the livelihoods — and literally the lives — of mariners here. Every February Grandmother Yeongdeung and the first spring flowers in the park are celebrated.

 

Beautiful harmony of windmills and a lighthouse

Sinchang Mariyeo Lighthouse
As you first catch a glimpse of the windmills which line this part of the coast, they act as a guide beckoning you to Sinchang. As you walk around the open coast, the sound of the wind and ocean waves can be deafening. A 10-minute walk from the road to the ocean takes you past a number of wind turbines towering above you. At the end of the path is Mariyeo Lighthouse, a large white structure built right along the water. The many other windmills in the area make it seem like Mariyeo is a less lonely lighthouse than most on Jeju Island.

There is a common feeling that the combination of windmills and lighthouse is beautiful here. Added to that is a stainless steel bridge and 16-meter-long sculpture of a Sawedged Perch, or dageumbari. There is also a wondam —  a stone wall built along the ocean shore so that when the tide is low, fish get trapped there and can be harvested easily.

 

Life-preserving light for sailors of old

Jagunae Port Traditional Stone Lighthouse

To the side of Jagunae Port is a traditional stone lighthouse that was built during the Japanese occupation of Korea. It was used prior to electricity being installed here… burning oil, fish oil and other materials to guide cargo ships between Gosan on Jeju Island and the mainland port of Mokpo. Currently new lighthouses use LEDs to light the way. But this does not minimize the importance of the traditional stone lighthouse and its influence on fishing and marine transportation. Indeed, this kind of lighthouse undoubtedly saved lives for centuries.

 

Lovely light hailing from a hill

Haye Port Gang Jin-hwan Lighthouse
Have you ever thought about how a husband might strive to faithfully care for and protect his wife? There is a lighthouse that stands on a hill overlooking Sagye Port which is symbolic of this. As walkers along Jeju Olle walking course No. 8 pass the white-colored Gang Jin-hwan Lighthouse, named after a man from this hometown, they’ll first be impressed by its magnificent beauty, and how it illuminates not only the village by guides mariners for miles around. But that’s only part of the story. It’s also a symbol of Mr. Gang’s love for his wife, Kim Chun-ji, who has her own eponymous lighthouse painted red in the same area.

 

Seeking to protect one’s hometown sea at night

Kim Chun-ji Lighthouse
There is a lighthouse at the end of a breakwater at Sagye Port that catches the eye with its intense red color. It is within view of Sanbangsan Mountain and Hyeongjaeseom Islet and named after a women who returned home here from Japan. One of her dreams was to establish a lighthouse here to protect the residents of her hometown and those who use its port. She made this dream a reality, and moreover, her husband Gang Jin-hwan set up a companion lighthouse in the distance in white. This love story is writ large as the pair of lighthouses stand guard along the Jeju’s southern sea.

 

 

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