What come to your mind immediately when thinking about “Rocks”, is it perhaps the grandeur, roughness, ruggedness and firmness? How’s about “the waves of the sea”, they are probably soft, flexible but powerful. These two seemingly opposing objects were magically harmonized in Yongmeori Coast, located in the south of Jeju Island, Korea.
Formed from lava of volcanic underwater explosions, interacting with ocean waves for millions of years, Yongmeori Coast is the rocky formation with multi layers of sandstone (rocks made by ash or sand) overlapping each other. It’s about 20m tall, in a great diversity of shapes which are soft and smooth like the waves. Just flipping this scenery horizontally, you will have a seashore like no other with sandstone waves, from tiny to big and boisterous ones.
The starting point of this coastline is a fairly deep ravine in between high cliffs with huge stones served as steps, . The lush seascape through the cleft boosts the curiosity of visitors. When reaching the bottom and looking backup, the way that we just passed was not as scary as its first sight, in fact, pretty short and easy to climb.
The scenery appears magnificently and openly with one side is the vast ocean and its waves crashing against the rocky shore, and the other side is Mt. Sanbang stretching out to sea. In helicopter view, this coast would look like a dragon’s head gliding down to the water. The starting point is the tail of this sandstone dragon.
A small stone dome appears as the welcome gate.
The further I go along this coastline, the more I am surprised at the geological structure of sandstone layers which are unexpectedly diverse and spectacular. The undulating cliff walls look like in a cave, but outside and by the shore. Although this coastline is not too long (about 1km), it goes around the mountain with many sharp bends. At the end of a curve, it appears another one, bringing a feeling of excitement and curiosity because of not knowing what would be ahead.
It is unknown if these cliff walls were created under the ocean, then pushed out of the water. Because the diversity in their shape could only be created from the power of the waves. The layers of sandstone overlap to each other, no one resembles any other, as if they were flowing in different directions when they were formed. The curving grains that separate each sandstone layer bring out a unique and impressive natural picture for this coast.
Standing in the world of these majestic sandstone waves, human being suddenly become too tiny. For millions of years, the transformation of this nature has been happening secretly and quietly, despite the changes of human society. Such magical the nature is.
We continued walking on layers of sandstone which are ragging and undulating, while admiring the clear water holes reflecting the blue sky and white clouds.
If you are “lucky”, when passing through the ravines, you may be poured by unexpected waves and get fully wet. Therefore, if it is high tides and or bad weather, this coastline will be closed to ensure visitors’ safety.
Observing carefully, there are many small creatures living on the cliff. Numerous tiny snails, seemingly dead, clung to the stone. But no, they are still alive and move extremely slowly. There are ugly black worms in flocks crawling on the rock surface. There are several beetles looking like cockroaches but in gray and no wings. Clear water holes are home of tiny sea urchins and small fish.
Scattered on this coast also has women selling fresh seafood, mainly snails and sea worms. They clean the snails right on the spot, put them in a plate and serve them raw with Sochu. It looked attempting but I didn’t dare to try.
On the last bend, when you see the reproduction of a large ship on the green lawn, it is the end of the coastline. This is the exit gate of Yongmeori seashore, but many people come in from this gate. I didn’t see the head of the dragon myself, probably it had to be seen from helicopter view.
The boat and the crew, including Hendrick Hamel, were sunk in this spot in 1653. He was also the first westerner to come to the country. Inside the boat there is a photo display that tells the story of the shipwreck in that year.
- Location: Yongmeori Seashore is located in the south of Jeju Island, South Korea
- Opening hours: 8:00 – 18:30, however, this place will be closed in the condition of high tide and bad weather
- Administration fee: 2000 KRW Adults (about 40,000 VND), 1000 KRW Children (20,000 VND)
- Time to visit : 1-2 hours
- Difficult level : Not difficult, for everyone. Most of the rocks are not slippery and quite flat, except the way in. However, children should not run freely because they may be struck by unexpected waves. Older people should wear sneakers and walk carefully.
Traveled on Jun, 2019