Jeju-do is a beautiful, isolated island located in the Korean Strait south of the Korean Peninsula. It is called “Island of the Gods” for a good reason – the island is teeming with unique natural treasures, such as mystical land formations, enchanting caves and lava tubes, magnificent waterfalls, picturesque mountains, lush greeneries, pristine white beaches and abundant flora and fauna. The island’s beauty secret is that it is a volcanic island. Located at the center of the island is Mount Halla, which used to be an active volcano that spewed lava, uprooted boulders and molded the island’s landscape. One of Mount Halla’s masterpieces that is now a leading attraction in the island are the mighty Jusangjeolli Cliffs.
Declared a Cultural Monument of the island, the mesmerizing Jusangjeolli Cliffs simply stand out from the many beautiful attractions in the island, especially as the ocean’s mighty waves batter the cliffs. Onlookers stand in awe. Jusangjeolli Cliffs in Jeju are rock formations that rival Northern Ireland’s similar rocky cliffs called the “Giant’s Causeway”. Jusangjeolli Cliffs stand like sentinels along the southern coast of the island stretching to a distance of two kilometers. These basalt formations are obviously products of volcanic activities, but have been shaped and reshaped into imposing pillars and columns by the pounding ocean for more than 150,000 years.
Also called Jisatgae Rocks by local islanders, geologists estimate that lava from Mount Halla cooled and cracked during the Pleistocene Period, and out of the cracks rose the mighty cliffs. What’s really amazing is that the cliffs are formed in perfect hexagons as though they were hand-chiseled by a giant sculptor. This unique natural feature is what makes these Jeju cliffs perhaps even more astounding than the Northern Ireland cliffs, which make for an amazing sight in themselves.
Jusangjeolli Cliffs are found along the Daepo coast near the Jungmun Tourist Complex. They are best viewed from a multi-tiered observation deck located in a park parallel to the cliffs. The park offers a magnificent view of the cliffs from different angles. The best spot is along the Olle hike trail, Route 8. The path is a tourist attraction in itself, adorned with colorful blooms, rock sculptures, a sundial, tall grass, scenic palm trees and other minor attractions. There are also local vendors selling fresh fish and souvenirs. Although the observation deck is huge and quite spacious, it is often crowded with many mesmerized tourists.
Admission fees to the park are 2,000 won for adults and 1,000 won for children. It is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in March through October and from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. November to February.
Jusangjeolli Cliffs may not be the most popular attractions in Jeju Island but they are definitely very iconic, majestic and unforgettable. Other Jeju attractions include three UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites: the Manjanggul Cave, which used to be lava tubes hundred thousand years ago (it is most notable for having within it the largest known lava column in the world), Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, a volcanic peak that resembles a giant crown, and of course, Mount Halla, which was the source of all the amazing lava and rock formations in the island thousands and thousands of years ago.