Jeju Island: Day 1 Cave Tour in Manjanggul Lava Tube

Travel Period :  30 May – 5 June 2017 (Tues – Mon)

7 DAYS 6 NIGHTS IN SEOUL/JEJU ISLAND

TO MANJANGGUL LAVA TUBE

After lunch at the Abalone Hot Stone Pot Rice Restaurant, we headed to Manjanggul Lava Tube in our rental car. I was a little worried that there would not be enough time to explore before it closes.

There was a museum near the entrance but we didn’t have time for it. 

We saw this structure but didn’t know why it was there…. only after we finished the entire tour, then we understood. Dar says, this looks like a person’s hand digging his nose…haha. 

Quickly, we walked to the entrance which was a narrow flight of stairs down. We felt excited, embarking on this adventure into the deep underground. 

ENTERING

The stairs were pretty steep so Vin carried Ling to go down and we held onto the railings to walk down carefully. 

Entering the dark column, we could feel the cold air surrounding us. Thus, we put on our jackets and began our exploration.

LONG PASSAGE

Fortunately, all of us were wearing proper track shoes as it was not that easy to navigate the rough path of lava stones. Most of them were quite slippery too and there were some puddles of water here and there.

Ling insisted on walking on the path so we let her walk a little. 

Along the way, there were information boards in English, Chinese, Japanese and Korea, for us to read about certain lava structures. The first one was about “Stalactites”. Dar would go up to read them whenever he spots one further down the lava tube.

At one point, we had reached a ground with jutting stalagmites on the ground and we needed to tread very carefully. It wasn’t safe for the walking toddler anymore and thus, we carried her. Our pace was also slowed down by her a lot and it was going to close soon. She protested greatly but we took a firm hand.

Just a while of walking later, she fell asleep in my arms. I regretted not bring my baby carrier and wondered how I’m going to carry her all the way in (1km walk). Vin say it’s alright and he would take over the task. Thus, he carried her and walked all the way.

Soon, we came upon an interesting rock and its explanation.

Turtle Rock



RESTING POINT

At this point, we had walked about 850m and decided to take a rest, as there were some benches provided. It was tiring for Vin to carry Ling and walked for so long. The benches had light underneath so it was interesting to discover moss growing! They looked pretty and contrasted against all the grey around us. I gave Dar some chocolate to eat to replenish his energy.

THE FINAL POINT – LAVA COLUMN

The final path to reach the end of the lava tube was this long fenced, metal path. We felt really accomplished to have walked 1 km on rough, stony and slippery pathways! 

Reaching the end of our lava tube journey, I finally realised that the nice structure I took a picture of Dar with just now, was a replica of this lava column! What everyone had journeyed to see – the Largest Lava Column in the World!

7.6m high and the largest lava column in the world

For the entire journey, I was surprised my parents were always ahead of us and my mum was still quite energetic (she’s not the sporty kind) when we reached this final point. We stopped here for around 10 minutes to rest and took pictures with the large lava column. In fact, she took quite a lot of pictures with it. I think it was quite an achievement for her to have walked this far. 

My dad took this blurry photo. Ling was still sleeping. The air felt like air-conditioning. 

EXITING

Soon, we were the only ones left as people just quickly took a picture and walked back. We started walking back the same way again. Somehow it seemed easier this time, probably because we had already done it before and know what to expect.

Ling started waking up when we neared the exit and I took time to appreciate the nice entrance (a hole with trees and their roots ) while walking up. I didn’t notice it earlier when we walked down.

Only then did I had the time to read information about the Manjanggul Lave Tube – one of the New Wonders of Nature and a Unesco Site.

Information:

Manjanggul cave is a 7.4km long cave with a multi-level structure. It is one of the largest lava tubes in the world, having a main passage with a width of up to 18m and a height of up to 23m. It has three entrances and only one is opened to tourists. It has lots of scientific value due to its well-preserved lava cave structures. The 7.6m high lava column is known to be the largest lava column in the world.

Ticket Admission Fee: Adults: 2000 Won /Child: 1000 Won
Opening Hours: 09:00 – 18:00 (Last admission time: 17:10)

[ SUMMARY ]

Total Time We Walked to the Lava Column: 50 mins

Total Time We Walked back: 20 mins 

MANJANGGUL LAVA CAVE WALK : 4/5

Great:  It was a fantastic experience walking through a dark, deep and huge cave like this. Though we had walked in Vietnam’s Sung Sot Cave before, this was more natural in comparison, with very few lightings. It’s kind of like an “adventure”, not knowing what lies beyond. There were also many different kind of paths to walk on and lava structures to look at, so it wasn’t boring to us at all (if you love nature like us).

Con: One has to be careful of puddles, slippery rock surfaces while walking. I think Dar slipped once. It could be quite tiring to navigate such walking when it was so dark. We had to be careful of bumping into other tourists too.

{ Next: Jeju Island Day 1 – Dinner Pork Ribs Soup }

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