Yongduam Rock, situated in the northern part of Jeju City, is widely known as the "Dragon Rock." Why, you say? It is because the rocks here look like a dragon's head, thus the name of Yongduam ('Yong' means dragon in Korean.) There are some fascinating legends on how these rocks surfaced in Jeju.
The more famous story about this popular rock is that a jade ball was stolen by a dragon from the god of Mt. Hallasan. The god became very angry and has killed the dragon. Its body then fell to the sea. Another legend has it that that a lion that went to Mt. Hallasan searching for the dragon king. The two animals fought with each other, ended up with the dragon falling to the sea and died. It was said that the head is the dragon king's head. But I believe the “dragon’s head” was formed due to the volcanic eruptions that occurred million years ago in the city.
There were different viewing sites for Yongduam. Any way you look at it, these rocks are very striking and a fascinating sight to see.
We were also able to see harubangs and a statue of a mermaid that symbolizes the haenyos, sinking into the deep waters of Jeju without any aid of oxygen tank. When we arrived at Yongduam though, there were no haenyos in action. Too bad.
The stores near the shoreline were also pretty interesting. There were some souvenir shops that sell harubang figurines and chocolate made in Jeju.
Since Yongduam Rock is quite near to the airport, you can visit here even when you just arrived at Jeju or before leaving the city. The trip to airport from here would take 5-10 minutes and cab fare is less than 3000 Won so I’d recommend this attraction especially for those people who are on a hurry or have a tight schedule.
What did you think of the legend of Yongduam? People may have different beliefs regarding this but for me, what’s important is that we were able to learn Jeju’s culture from this tourist spot :)