Jeju Batdam (stone wall) Festival 2017 kicks off Saturday

Jeju is a volcanic island. It is not an easy place to grow crops, and the arable land it does have is made up mostly of lava stone fields. Thus, its people have developed a strong identity known as Jeju stone culture.

To celebrate the importance of this adaptation by island people, the annual Jeju Batdam Festival will be held this Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 14-15) in the eastern area of Woljeong-ri, Gujwa-eup, Jeju City.

In addition to highlighting the history and culture of these stone walls, a wide variety of cultural activities and musical performances are in store. Try your hand at a rock stacking and rolling contest, for example.

The Jeju Batdam Festival is an great opportunity to learn about the Jeju people and the importance of stone culture in their daily lives.

For more information in English, click here for the Festival Website.

Date and time: Oct. 14 and Oct. 15

Location: Jeju Batdam Theme Park. Woljeong-ri, Gujwa-eup, Jeju-si

How to get there: By bus, take Intercity Bus No. 101 from Jeju City Intercity Bus Terminal and get off at Manjanggul Entrance bus stop. The park is a 1.5-kilometer walk north from there.

Below are screenshots of the location:

bus-to-badam-theme-park-from-bus-terminal

Bus 101 from the Intercity Bus Terminal in Jeju City. Get off at the Manjanggul Entrance bus stop

bus-to-badam-theme-park-close-up

Did you know?

Here is why Jeju stone walls, or batdam, are so special. 

Being a windy, rocky island, centuries of farmers and islanders have contend with the elements, including fields of lava stones, to grow their crops. To make a field ready for sowing, farmers had to move these stones out of the way. And so to protect the crops from the wind, they stacked them into long walls called batdam. 

In fact, a provincial government report estimates that there have been some 22,000 kilometers of these stone fences built by islanders over the years. Interestingly, batdam require no mortar to fuse them together. The rock is naturally porous, so they adhere to each other easily and securely.

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