Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Jeju's Sunrise Peak (Seongsan Ilchubong) - Day 12 in South Korea

We woke up quite early for a jam-packed exploration I have planned for our second day in Jeju. We visited the Dragon Rock, Jusangjeolli Cliff, Teddy Bear Museum and The Seaes Resort for the first part of our stay here and it was pretty tiring so we dozed off after we got home. I told our driver to meet us up at Weoljeongni by 4:30 AM, and yes, he was on the dot, well, all Koreans are! Now maybe you are wondering why we were up this time? This is because we wanted to see the sunrise at Seongsan Ilchubong, also commonly known as "Sunrise Peak".

Seongsan Ilchubong is one of Jeju's many tourist sites that is UNESCO World Natural Heritage monument. It is said to have risen from under the sea due to a volcanic eruption about thousand of years ago, forming a tuff cone in the eastern side of the island. It is over 180 meter high and has preserved a noted crater which is a subject to lots of pictures, not only because of it shape, but also because this is a great spot for taking sunrise photos.

jeju sunrise
Morning cloudy view at Seongsan Ilchubong

Our driver, Mr. Ko Seung Ku drove silently to Seongsan Ilchubong. It was very early and I still wanted more minuteshours of sleep. Once we reached our destination, he told us that he'd wait in the car until we get back. It was 5:30 AM when we arrived and there are signs near the entrance on what time the sun will approximately "show up" depending on which month and season. It was said that the sunrise is 6:30 AM for that date so we took our time going up as we still had an hour.

Eastern Jeju before daybreak
jeju travel

It was a very very relaxed hike. The climb up would take only 30-40 minutes depending on how easily you tire, it was stress-free and people who are not fond of this activity would still enjoy it as this place offers amazing views of the towns in Jeju.

sunrise peak

Upon getting to the crater, I prepped my camera and tripod getting ready to take photographs. I have noticed that during this time, there are still no other foreign tourists in sight, but more of Korean locals. It's a good thing also that we were early as it was not that crowded, I've seen the pictures of the people who have climbed here on late mornings and afternoon, and yup, too much people you can't help but to add them on your pictures.

sunrise peak jeju
The cloudy cloudy clouds, Mr. Sun, where art thou?

It was almost quarter to seven and Mr. Sun is still not showing up! It looked like I am taking pictures of clouds! I heard some Koreans express their disappointment too, and they headed down earlier. I was not giving up though, I still had some hope in me.

crater jeju
A portion of the crater around Sunrise Peak

By 7:30 AM, I finally decided it was time to go. This was the closest I could get to that memorable sunrise picture at Jeju! There was no one to blame though of course. I just then decided to have some snapshots of the crater itself. Good thing there were also some photographers beside me (that I had to instruct how to use Canon, as they were Nikon users, and speaking in Korean, gawwwd! Nose bleed again and again, too much technical jargons!)

jeju blog

All I can see were dark clouds and I was praying that it won't rain! I don't need anymore of those bummers, we've been rained on a couple of times already and our itinerary ruined. Note to self: must have back-up plan during this situations. Anyway, took more images of the landscape around Seongsan Ilchubong.

jeju travel

Viewing deck

jeju haenyo

I was also told that you could spot haenyo divers here but did not get to see any again today.

No haenyo divers unfortunately

So windy!

I thought that Soengsan Ilchubong was a superb spot to observe one of South Korea's magnificent sceneries, with sunrise or no sunrise. The place was extremely pleasing and booming with calming atmosphere that has made me positive the entire day. It's like strolling in a peaceful garden. Just make sure you come here in the morning so that the sun's heat is not that rough yet. Admission to Seongsan Ilchubong is 2,000 Won for adults and 1,000 for teenagers and children.

Seongsan Ilchubong
Seongsan Ilchubong - Sunrise Peak

Can you wake up early to catch a sunrise too? If not, just motivate yourself on what you can experience once you did. Even though the sun was a bit shy to us, the trip here was not a complete waste. Let me know what you though on the comment box below. :)

Day 1: Gangwon-do
Chuncheon and Nami Island

Day 2: Gangwon-do
Mt.Seorak (Seoraksan)

Day 3: Gyeonggi-do
Yongin and Food Tour

Day 4: Gyeonggi-do
Suwon: Hwaseong Fortress, Korean Folk Village

Day 5: Gyeonggi-do

Day 6: Gyeongju
Food Tour

Day 7: Gyeongju
Seokguram Grotto

Bulguksa Temple

Cheomseongdae and Anapji Pond

Day 8: Busan
Railway Train in Korea

Day 9: Busan
Igidae Coast

Busan Fireworks Festival

Day 10: Busan
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Flying with Jeju Air

Day 11: Jeju (E)
Food Tour- Altang

Dragon Rock

Jusangjeolli Cliff

Teddy Bear Museum

The Seaes Resort

Day 12: Jeju (W)
Sunrise Peak


Trick Art

Folk Village

Sangamburi Crater, Mt.Halla

Manjanggul Cave, Maze Park


Day 13: Seoul
Flying with T'way Airlines

Couchsurfing in Korea

Day 14: Seoul
Palaces and Bukchon Village

Day 15&16: Seoul
Myeongdong and Ewha University

N Seoul Tower

Booking Flights
via T'way Airlines

Travel Report for South Korea
16 days travel itinerary and tips


  1. Hi!
    Thanks for sharing your experience! I'm thinking of trying to catch to sunrise at ilchulbong as well and wanted to ask you a couple of questions. What does the admission to seongsan ilchulbong include? Simply the ilchulbong? Do you know by any chance if we are allowed multiple entries on the same day? Basically I want to catch the sunrise in the morning, but also the haenyo performance in the afternoon at ilchulbong and am trying to figure out a way to do this...

    Thanks for the help! Hope to hear from you soon.


    1. Hi Lu! There was no ticket given during the admission so I'm not sure if you can do multiple entries if you'd only pay on your first entry, but you could try to ask.

  2. Hi!
    Thanks for sharing! i am planning to go to Jeju and wondering whether I can go to Seongsan Ilchulbong or not. Because I will go by myself so I think it will be expensive to use taxi. Is there any bus in the early morning?

    1. I think the earliest bus is around 6-7AM though I haven't really tried yet, better to check at Jeju City Bus terminal

  3. Hi Mariane,
    how much did you pay for hiring the taxi guide in Jeju?

    1. Hey John, AFAIR it was around 150,000 won but you can bargain with some drivers. You may see our driver's contact details in this post:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...