Jeongbang Waterfall is one of the three famous waterfalls in Jeju-do. (The other two are Cheonjeyeon Waterfall and Cheonjiyeon Waterfall.) Jeongbang Waterfall is 23 meters high and can expand up to 8 meters wide depending on the recent rainfall. Water comes from the Donghong-chun stream and cascades into the ocean since the ocean is very near. Jeongbang Waterfall is believed to be the only waterfall in Asia whose water flows directly into the ocean, although the water passes by a sheltered cove before reaching the open sea. This popular waterfall is located near Seogwipo and recognized by many as one of the ten most important scenic wonders in Jeju Island.
Located in the Korean Strait, Jeju-do is home to a number of rare natural, scenic wonders, and to be included into the top 10 is truly an honor. The other three scenic attractions are all designated as UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites. They are Mount Halla (or Halla-san), Manjunggal Cave and Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak. Halla-san is South Korea’s highest peak, teeming with rich flora and fauna, Manjunggal Cave is an 8-km long lava tube that hosts the world’s largest known lava column, and Seongsan Ilchulbong is a unique volcanic mountain that is also referred to as Sunrise Peak. The island also has gorgeous white-sand beaches that can rival the most popular beaches in Asia.
Another allure of the island is its unique culture and festivals. Since Jeju-do is isolated from the rest of the peninsula, locals have developed a unique set of traditions, myths and cultural beliefs. True enough, the majestic Jeongbang Waterfall is surrounded with folk legends. One of these legends tells of a holy dragon that lived underneath the waterfall. The majestically flowing water was said to be the dragon’s spirit, and so it brought rainfall to end a drought, and bathing here can cure a person from any disease.
Another legend involves Emperor Jin, who ruled China from 259 BC-210 BC. The Emperor was said to have ordered a servant to harvest magical herbs that were found only on Mount Halla. The servant’s name was Seobul, and the herb was said to preserve eternal youth. The servant failed his mission, but he stumbled upon the beautiful Jeongbang Waterfall. Legends said he wrote the words on the cliff wall, “Seobul gwaji”, which means “Seobul was here”. The servant’s autograph is nowhere to be found today, but an inscription is written on the wall of the waterfall that says “Seobul gwacha”, pertaining to Seobul’s journey.
The waterfall is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. but schedules may change depending on the season and weather conditions. Admission is 2,000 won for adults (1,600 won if in a group) and 1,000 for children (600 won if in a group). To get here by bus from Jeju City, simply take an inter-city bus going to Seogwipo and get off at the Jeju World Cup Stadium.
Very near Jeongbang Waterfall is a smaller waterfall called Sojeongbang Waterfall. It resembles a servant waiting on its lord.