Monday, March 6, 2017

Nature Tripping at Jeju’s Cheonjeyeon Falls (천제연 폭포) and Seonimgyo Bridge

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After being entertained by the splashes of waves and beautiful columnar joints at Jusangjeolli cliff, we headed to another natural beauty of Jeju, the Cheonjeyeon Falls(천제연 폭포). Cheonjeyon Falls is one of the two major falls in Jeju, the other one is Cheonjiyon, and yes, the difference is only one character. We never had the chance to visit Cheonjiyon, but this time, I am going to talk about Cheonjeyon.


In order to go to the falls, we had to go down a wooden stair which was built along the slope of a mountain. We had to follow the trail because the water that flows through the falls came from the cave where cold water pours from the ceiling to create the first waterfall. The water gathers into a beautiful turquoise pool.


A beautiful torquise pool where the water that flows through the falls came from

The pool is so clean and calm as if inviting every visitor to swim. However, swimming is not allowed in this area. We don’t understand why they won’t allow swimming, how could they restrict people from enjoying the water? Regardless, some of our “tour mates” did swim anyway. Only to be whistled by the authorities assigned to watch the place. We had no choice but to be contented by just looking at the beauty of nature displayed in front of us.


From the pool, the water falls two more times. We followed the flow of water through the trail provided and we reached the area where the water falls for the second time. It is so high that they prohibited people to go at the top of the falls. But we decided to trespass anyways. Nobody dared to jump of course, or else you can’t get out from there alive.


Overlooking the falls from the top(prohibited area)

But don’t follow my example, you can just appreciate the fall by going to the area where people supposed to go to see it. Not bad though, although it’s more fun to be there standing on the top looking down the water as it falls from a very significant height.


Visitors can stand in this area to see the waterfalls

We walked further following the flow of the water until we reached the Cheonjeyeon village. In this village, we saw a very attractive bridge called Seonimgyo. It’s an arch bridge with 7 nymphs carved on the side.


The Seonimgyo bridge with 7 nymphs carved on its side

We crossed the bridge, and boy it was so huge. We lingered a little while at the bridge because from there, the beauty of nature was displayed right below us. I tried to turn 360 degrees, then look up and down, and all I saw was nature. I saw the water flowing from the falls from below us. Then to the left I saw the Hallasan, the tallest mountain of Korea. Then to the right, I saw a lushy green forest and mountains, and even temples. It’s a beautiful spot to appreciate the beauty of nature at Jeju.


Looking at the beautiful view from the bridge

After we crossed the bridge, we were greeted by the giant fountain of five blessings. Depending on your desire, either financial, wealth, health, etc., you must throw a coin and make a wish on this fountain.


The 5 blessings fountain

There’s also a building called Octagonal Cheonjeru Pavilion. I can’t seem to understand why it’s called Octagonal, but our group had a photo opp in front of the pavilion anyways.


In front of Cheonjero Pavilion

I think Cheonjeyeon falls is where you can experience the fusion between nature and myths. There are interesting stories about the falls and the surrounding places, but obviously, I couldn’t tell about it here. Maybe when you go there someday, you have to discover it on your own.

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