Monday, December 12, 2011

South Korea: Jeju: Manjanggul Cave

Destination: Manjanggul Cave [UNESCO World Heritage]
Location: Donggimnyeong-ri, Gujwa-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Travel Date: November 15, 2011
Individual Entrance Fee: 2,000 KRW

Manjanggul Cave (만장굴) is one of the finest lava tunnels in the world, and is a designated natural monument. A lava tunnel is formed when the lava that was deep in the ground spouts from the peak and flows to the surface. Manjanggul Cave has a variety of interesting structures inside including 70cm lava stalagmites and the lava tube tunnels. Only 1km of the 13,422m Manjanggul Cave is open to the tourists. The inside of the tunnel sustains at a temperature of 11~21C. [Reference]

Tourists are being warned upon entering the tunnel:
  • The stairs inside the cave are steep
  • The floor is uneven and puddles are formed
  • The light in the cave is relatively dim
  • There are no rest rooms inside the cave

It was truly an experience to me, to walk on a cave-like, but actually a lava tunnel. A little bit frightening to walk on this very long dark alley, but I just cant wait to see the end for me to finally to back on the same path as there is no way out but to exit from the entrance.

There are few emergency telephones along the way for those who need medical attention while you are inside the tunnel. They also setup only few lights and most of the area are pretty much dark.

The 7.6 m-high lava column is known to be the largest lava column in the world.

We are only given 40 minutes to walk on this 1 km stretch of very rocky and wet floor – and glad I made it. I saw the rock formation they are saving to the tourists to see at the end of the tunnel.

Among the 4 lava tubes in the tunnel, 3 sections are not allowed to public visit: Yongcheondonggul, Gimnyeonggul and Dangcheonmuldonggul cave.

Summary of 5 days itinerary in 2011 Jeju-Seoul Trip:

Places to see
Food and Restaurants
Where to Sleep
Day 1
Take out from McDo
Lunch on Tour
Day 2
Paris Baguette
Lunch at Seongeup
Yeha Guesthouse, Jeju
Day 3
Joongang Cathedral
Flight to Gimpo Airport
Four Seasons House
Coffee Prince Restaurant
Green Residence, Myeongdong, Seoul
Day 4
Coffine Gurunaru
Green Residence, Myeongdong, Seoul
Day 5
Angel in Us Coffee
Green Residence, Myeongdong, Seoul