South Korea in the Perspective of a Filipino Expatriate

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Don't Leave Jeju Island Without Hiking Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak) -성산일출봉


For me, if there is one perfect definition for Jeju Island, I would define it as Seongsan Ilchulbong. Try googling Jeju and you will see this castle like image of an island. In English, we call it Sunrise Peak. In Korean, they call it Seongsan Ilchulbong, Seongsan means a mountain that shaped like a castle while Ilchulbong means a peak where you can view sunrise.


It was just unfortunate because we went a little bit late for a sunrise. The sun was up high already when we arrived at the entrance of the mountain. Even from the outside, I was amazed with how attractive the mountain looks like eventhough it doesn't really look like a mountain. They have installed a pathway so that people from all ages and all genders and all outfit can hike the mountain easily. Technically, it's about 20 minutes hike, but it will also depends on how fast you walk to reach the top.



At first, I felt like it was just an easy hike. I even stopped by now and then just to take some photos because even at the lower part of the mountain, you can already see the picturisque view of the sea surrounded by bassalt rocks and the green grasses and trees all over the place. The pathway up to the top of the mountain is getting steeper and steeper and I started feeling uncomfortable already. I realized I really hate hiking, but for the sake of experience and memories, I made reaching to the top of the mountain my goal of that day.



As I climbed up to the top, the air became cooler and cooler. I was already panthing, a strong sign of no exercise, or the lack thereof. It was not really a hard and long climb but for some reason, I felt like giving up. I am glad I didn't give up because when I reached the top, it was all worth it. I stopped by at that moment, gaining some lost energy from climbing up, and absorbing anything I could absorb because the view from the top is a treasure. I can still even remember how it looks like up there until now, it was a paradise and it is something I could not easily forget.



Everybody was amazed. It was a golden moment for all of us who made it to the top. We savored the cool breeze of the air. We captured the beautiful view from up there. Until we decided to go back down because we still have itinerary for that day. Climbing down the mountain is 100 percent easier than climbing up. They have installed steep but safe pathways so we could easily walk. That and the beautiful view made our lives easy as we climbed down the mountain.



If you think hiking on a travel is not fun, you maybe right, but if you do the hiking at the Seongsan llchulbong, I would make an exemption. I maybe lucky because it was autumn when I went there, I don't know how it will fare if you go there during summer or winter. I guess the best time really to hike the Sunrise Peak is during autumn or Spring. Next time you travel to Jeju, don't forget to include this in your itinerary. After all, it was not branded as Unesco World Heritage for nothing.

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