Assistant International Business Development Manager Porgie Liu loves outdoor activities, and sharing exciting travel experiences.
If you have already been to Seoul several times before, Jeju is a new place for you to find another face of South Korea.
From watching Korean TV shows, we can see that lots of Jeju locals and even people from Seoul will come to hike on Mount Halla, and we specially arranged a visit there to follow the hiking trail that Korean celebrities have shown on TV.
Mount Halla is the highest mountain on Jeju Island, and indeed the whole of South Korea. It is a dormant volcano and was named a World Natural Heritage Site in 2007. It doesn’t look too high at an altitude of 1,950 metres, but it is a great challenge for those like me who rarely hike.
To reach the top of Mount Halla, where the crater lake Baengnokdam is located, you can choose Seongpanak Trail or Gwaneumsa Trail, and both are good for a one-day hike. We chose the Seongpanak Trail and were waiting at the trail entrance at 9am. We chose this trail since it is relatively gentle and not so steep, though it can take a longer time (around nine hours). Since we were hiking in June and it is not the season for any flowers or the maple leaves, we did not take many photos. We found ourselves on top of the clouds during the last kilometre and the borderless scenery was totally stunning (though that part of slope is very steep).
Viewing the trail before hiking
We are almost reaching the top, the trail is getting steeper.
The last few metres are the most challenging part.
On top of the clouds during the last kilometre and the borderless stunning scenery.
Other than admiring all the scenery from the top of Mount Halla, visiting the Baengnokdam is also one of the highlights. Baengnokdam means “White Deer Lake” and the name comes from a legend that fairies riding white deer played at this lake. There is no actual water in it, nor does it looks like any kind of lake, but taking photos at Baengnokdam is proof of having reached the top of Mount Halla.
The Baengnokdam where fairy played in the legend.
Before climbing up to Mount Halla, there are few things to note. First, you should pay attention to the opening time and closing times as they change according to season. For example the closing time in June is 2.30pm and you should leave the top at that time. Second, there is no place selling food or drinks, so bring your own snacks and water for hiking. We recommended the local Gimbap (Korean rice roll that looks like Sushi) and famous Jeju tangerines, for nice Korean snacks while resting on top of the mountain. Finally, check the transportation service, as there are bus services to reach the entrance. Since it is a self-driving trip, we parked the car near the trail entrance, though we had to drive back to the hotel exhausted!