With the rental car through South Korea

Submitted by Jürgen Tenckhoff on Sun, 12/22/2019 - 15:13

When we were planning our trip through South Korea in 2016, it quickly became clear that some of our desired destinations were best reached by car. The decision to take a rental car was easy for us - we already knew illegible traffic signs thanks to our car tour through Japan and after all, in Korea you turn right. So two cars were booked for Jeju Island and the South Korean mainland.

In Jeju there was an upgrade from the car rental company. The car was much larger than reserved and had a navigation system. A phone number was entered as the destination. Excellent!

Jeju Island is located off Korea's south coast, about an hour's flight from Seoul. It is of volcanic origin and is very popular with the Koreans as a destination for beach and hiking holidays. In April it was still too cold for swimming, but the temperatures were perfect for the climb to the highest mountain in South Korea, Hallasan.

Excerpt from my diary: The alarm clock went at 6:45 a.m., breakfast in the hotel- Korean buffet and off we went to Hallasan. The highest mountain in Korea, 1900 meters high.

The parking lot was completely full. Even though it was Thursday, there was a lot going on. The climb started at about 700 meters of altitude. At the beginning the path was very easy to walk, a wide path through a forest with many rhododendrons.

After about 4 km there was a small shelter with toilets, from there the path became much steeper.

After approx. 7 km a hut with the possibility to buy soup and water, then it went steeply uphill. 400 vertical meters on a 2.5 km path. In the end the crater, which unfortunately had disappeared in clouds.

To prove our presence, we took a picture of ourselves next to the Gifelstein. We even queued for that. But! With this photo of evidence, there was a certificate from the park administration for climbing the Hallasan. The way down was pretty exhausting.

Conclusion: A 20 km long hiking trail, without views, because we were always in the forest, no view above, because it was foggy, sore muscles today, but it was definitely worth it on the highest mountain in South Korea. And on the certificate is a nice photo of the crater lake!

Another difficult location to reach by bus was the Manjanggul lava cave. You enter the lava cave via a staircase that leads down. Once you reach the bottom, you are standing in a huge long lava tube. We have visited some of these so-called lava tubes around the world, but the one on Jeju was overwhelming. The tube is about 14 km long and can be walked on as a visitor for a length of 1 km. This part of the cave is 3 to 20 meters wide and partly as high. The end is a popular photo spot. There we met a Korean tourist who was traveling with a polaroid camera. As a thank you for the photo we had taken of her, there was a poaroid photo of us, which of course adorns my diary. We were so enthusiastic about the cave that we even went there a second time - this time equipped with a tripod for better photos, because although the cave is well lit for walking, the lighting is not sufficient for good photos from the hand.

These were just two of the many great places we visited on the island. Driving was very relaxed as there were only small places with relatively little traffic.

 

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Bild 1:

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Bild 2: On the summit of Hallasan

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Bild 3: Entrance to Manjanggul lava cave

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Bild 4: In the Manjanggul lava cave

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Bild 5: Great hall in the Manjanggul lava cave

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Bild 6:Polaroid Great in the Manjanggul lava cave