A waterfall, a bridge, and a big rock; all within 5 minutes of each other. These three destinations are almost all next to each other, and if you’re in a time crunch or looking for a place to hike just outside of Seogwipo check out Cheonjiyeon Waterfall, Saeseom Island, and Oedolgae.
Legend has it that seven fairies that serve the King of Heaven came down to earth on stairs of clouds and bathed in this body of clear water one day. And today this area is named:
Cheon = Sky
Ji = Land
Yeon = Deep Pool
To reach the waterfall, it is a little walk along a beautiful pathway surrounded by lush greenery and the sound of a waterfall. I don’t know much about plants but I did notice quite a few signs along the way labeling the different types of plants.
I think it’s part of the beauty of Jeju, where one minute you are driving in town and the next we’re in the middle of nowhere. It is only a 5 minute walk from the entrance to the waterfall, where you will see tourists taking pictures (some even renting traditional Korean Hanboks). And from angles, it looks like the trees create a frame around the waterfall.
Although the waterfall itself was the focal point for coming, I found that it was forgettable compared to Jeongbang Falls and everything else in the area. You will take the scenic route out from the waterfall. The bridge in the picture above is the first of two bridges you will cross before leaving.
We stared at this rock for a long time, hoping we would be able to see the face. Yunti (my sister) started trying to point out specific features but I guess my imagination was not good enough despite having a picture in front of me and Yunti helping. Can I blame the trees? Do you see it?
And now we cross bridge number two towards the entrance. This unique and fun bridge let us take a much closer look into the water. There really are little fishies! I also read that there are eels that live here, and therefore I didn’t want to touch the water.
And before you leave, don’t forget a couple more pictures with these famous Jeju Island statues.
Saeyeongyo Bridge: Bridge to Saeseom (Bird Island)
From Cheonjiyeon Saeseom (Bird Island) is just a 5 minute walk away. Or if you have a rental car, you can hop on and re-park your car in the next parking lot.
Saeseom is a small island just off the southern coast of Jeju. There is a 1.2km walking path around the island that yields views of the Saeyeongyo bridge and Jeju Island. We did not actually take the walking path or stay on Saeseom for long, but stopping by the bridge was worth it.
Saeyeongyo Bridge was opened in 2009 to make Saeseom more accessible to everyone. Honestly after being in Jeju for three days it was nice to finally see more than just waterfalls, trees, and volcanoes.
Instead of walking across the bridge initially, we walked to the end of the dock under the bridge and to these stairs (just be careful if you’re afraid of heights). The distance between the end of the dock and the island really didn’t look far, but I do see that it’s convenient to just walk to Saeseom.
The end of the bridge on Saeseom allowed us to overlook parts of the little island (and maybe that’s why we decided to not take the 1.2km walk). We walked all the way across the bridge back to Jeju. Of course not with out stopping for lots of pictures. The design of this bridge reminds me of a sailboat.
Before leaving, you can also stop by the Seopgwipo submarine. It’s a good way to go under water with out actually getting wet (you may want to check if you need to make reservations).
I really would recommend that you make a quick stop here next time you make it Jeju (I’ll actually walk around Saeseom next time).
Oedolgae is a little further away from Cheonjiyeon and Saeseom (not walking distance) but is only a quick drive away. You will know you’ve arrived when you see a parking lot with lots of tour buses.
Oedolgae is famous for three things:1) the big Oedolgae rock, 2) Olle hiking trails, and 3) It is a filming location for the famous TV drama “Dae Jang Geum”.
“Oedolgae”means Lonely rock. It stands more than 20 meters tall by itself. I don’t know where I read it before coming, but I really thought that Oedolgae was shaped like a dragon. I guess I was wrong (is there another rock around there?). But what I did learn was that there are multiple stories about this lonely rock.
One story is that it was dressed up like a general (or soldier) to scare away enemy troops coming to attack Jeju.The other is that a wife waited for her husbands return and threw herself out into the ocean. She later turned into a big standing stone waiting for her husband and he one day actually came back and turned into the flat rock at her base.
You can get an (almost) 180 degree view of Oedolgae. I saw lots of tourists climbing over the railing to reach the edge the cliffs for pictures (I don’t think that’s recommended). Instead of walking up to the cliffs, you can walk along the coast line and join the hikers in the area.
There are Olle hiking trails that start from the east coast and go all the way around the island (many along the coast), making Jeju a favorite for hikers. You can also pick up an Olle hiking passport to mark each trail you’ve completed (trails take four to seven hours to complete). Check out the trails and destinations on each trail on the Official Visit Korea site. Routes 6, 7, and 7.1 either start or end here at Oedolgae.
And of course for Korean drama fans, don’t forget to take a picture right here. I didn’t watch ‘Daejanggeum’ nor do I really know the significance of this location for the show but why not take a picture. Plus it’s a perfect way to get a picture of me in a Hanbok (traditional Korean dress) without actually trying it on.