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Looking for a natural attraction that offer picturesque view of nature is easily found in Jeju Island. Yongduam Rock is one Jeju's major attraction you shouldn't miss. Sitting on Jeju Island's northern coast is a unique shaped basalt rock formation known as Yongduam Rock. Yongduam in its language means 'Dragon Head', that actually refer to its unique shaped rock formation that somewhat resemble the head of a dragon with its jaw open up to the sky. Scientifically speaking, the unique shape was formed due to volcanic eruptions that happened centuries ago. Followed by erosion by both wind and sea water that happened continuously over some period of time.
Yongduam Rock's Legends
As mentioned previously, there are so many version of legends about how the dragon head rock formation was formed. The most commonly heard of is that the rock was formerly a dragon punished by the Heaven for stealing a precious jade stone from Mount Hallasan. The dragon's body fell down on Yongduan and at that moment his body immediately turned into the stone, while his head was looking up to the sky. There's definitely a room for imagination there, whether the dragon felt remorse or even anger seconds before it met its demise. Another version mentioned that the punished dragon was once an emmisary sent by a Dragon King to collect an elixir of life in Mount Hallasan. Apparently things are not working on his favor. He did a grave mistake of stealing the precious jade stone and received divine punishment. Other legend instead told that the rock was a white horse who yearned to be a dragon. By some unknown force it was able to ascend to the Heaven before it caught by the sky guard. Unfortunately, a guard caught it and it was turned into a rock and fell back on Earth. Which version of Yongduam Rock's legend that intrigued you the most?
While the legends are all ended in a tragic, depressing way, Yongduam Rock actually holds a much brighter side when it come to its philosophy value. To people of eastern Asia (that include Chinese and Japanese), the black dragons (in which Yongduam Rock is look like since it is a basalt rock formation) are symbol of bravery, hope, and good luck. It also makes a great background for your selfies, so there are more things to love about this attraction.
Most people who come to Yongduam Rock will immediately head to the wooden viewing platform where they can view the spectacular view of crystal clear sea and the rocky coast. You can also view the modern buildings of Jeju City in the distance. You won't however, be able to see the iconic Yongduam Rock. To see it, you'll need to get the perfect angle. That means you'll have to walk down on a designated path down the cliff. And voila! The dragon's head you are looking for is right there eternally looking up at the sky like the legends said.
Nearby the viewing platform is a unique statue of a smiling mermaid. The mermaid statue is actually there to represent the women divers (haenyeo) whom you can spot during certain times in your visit. The Haenyeos are women (some of them are even in their late age) who are skillful enough to dive in deep water to harvest shellfishes such as abalones, seaweeds, and sea urchins to be sold later. The most interesting part is that they don't even wear modern diving equipments to do so.
After taking tons of pictures and memories in Yongduam Rock, don't forget to visit a cafe village nearby to have some delicious grubs. The cafe village is a village where all of the villagers turn their home into cafes and coffee shops. You can stop by to have a refreshing cup of coffee or grab some lunch. Grab a cup of coffee and proceed to walk along the coastal lines to Aewol Port, that not only offer incredible view of the sea but also home to many seafood restaurants serving the best seafood cuisine in the island.
Looking forward to shop souvenirs for your family at home? Yongduam Rock is dotted with numerous souvenir shops selling interesting knicks-knacks. The most famous one are figurines of harubang. You'll spot hareubang statues in many parts in Jeju Island, you might wonder why this funny-looking statue is so significant to Jeju Island's people. Dol hareubang or also known as hareubang are derived from two words: dol (stone) and hareubang means 'grandfather' or 'senior'. The figure is believed to be God-sent sentient who protect the island from malicious demons that traveling between realities and to offer fertility to women in Jeju Island. You will also spot some of these statues in Yongduam Rock.
How to Get Tickets?
Yongduam Rock is one of free attractions in Jeju Island you should visit. No admission fees needed to enjoy the spectacular view of the black dragon.
How To Get Around?
Getting around from each attraction located inside Yongduam Rock complex can be done simply by walking.
What Should I Wear?
Best Time to Visit
Yongduam Rock is great to be visited at any time of the year. Though the best time to get the best view of the rocky coast is by coming at night.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, all informations you need to know about Yongduam Rock can be found inside this website.
How To Get There?
The easiest way to reach Yongduam Rock from Jeju International Airport is by taking a taxi, the entire trip will only takes time 10 minutes. Alternatively you can also take an Intercity Bus from the airport. Take the bus that bound for Jeju-si Jujang-ro. Get off at Yongdam Rotary and walk for about 5 to 10 minutes until you reach the beach.
While it might be tempting to go down on a small path to get the best view of Yongduam Rock, the path is quite steep and the cliff itself is jagged. It can be quite dangerous, so if you are going to go down the path be very careful and watch your step.