In the Jeju City neighborhood of Yongduam along the island’s north coast is a large, imposing basalt rock formation with intriguing geological and historical characteristics.
Violent volcanic forces erupted millennia ago to form the 10-meter-tall, 30-meter-long Dragon’s Head Rock, or Yongduam in Korean. Over the centuries, the wind and sea have carved it into its unique shape.
During that time it has also taken center stage in a rich mythology created by the Jeju people.
Legend has it that this dragon was an emissary sent by a dragon king to collect an elixir of life on Hallasan Mountain. Another version says the dragon made off with a sacred jade stone, the property of the guardian of the mountain. In retribution, the dragon was felled by an arrow and turned to stone on this spot.
It’s interesting to note just how popular Dragon’s Head Rock is with tourists today — Korean and Chinese alike. Many believe black dragons are symbols of bravery, hope, and good luck, so it’s an auspicious sightseeing destination.
Thousands of visitors travel here everyday for selfies and group photos… and its proximity to the airport — along with its beauty — make this part of the coast very attractive.
In fact, depending on the season, you can see Jeju women divers, or haenyeo, collecting their catches of abalone, seaweed and the like.
Have you taken any photos or videos at Yongduam you’d like to share? Please feel free to leave them in a comment.
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