Zip-lining and Lava Caves in Jeju!

During my last full day in Jeju, my friends and I really tried to make the most of it! After eating a light breakfast at a café near our house we headed to the northeast side of the island to officially start our day with a bit of zip-lining. This was my first time ever ziplining and I was quite excited. I think it was also a good introduction to it as the height wasn’t that high and it was also over some green tea fields. We arrived at the ziplining place– called La Fly, I believe– and we first bought our tickets (for adults around 35 USD) and were also given wristbands. We were then directed to a place where we signed waivers, put on gear, and were given safety instructions. Once we got up to the actual ziplining site, we were given a tutorial on how to properly zipline. After that we immediately started the course! I would say that in total the course took around 30 minutes because we all had to go one after another and were also placed in a larger group.

The experience itself was cool! I don’t have other ziplining experience to compare it to, but I got used to the feeling of gliding in the air at that height after the second or third course. It was fun and I’m glad I got to experience it here in Jeju!

Our next destination was the Manjanggul Lava Tube which is also a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site! This lava tube was formed thousands of years ago and is very well preserved! It is a partially layered lava tube with 3 entrances due to ceiling collapse over time. The entrance that locals and tourists are allowed to enter is the second one and people are only able to go about 1 km deep into it, though the tube in its entirety runs for 7.4 km. Tickets into the lava tube were only around 2 USD! I was pleasantly shocked!

Being in the tube was super fascinating, I’ve never been in anything like it. Our group made it to the very end, turned around, and came out of the same entrance. The entire tube was illuminated with small lights implanted into the ground of the structure and the ground was varied in pattern and height all throughout due to the nature of the dried flowing lava. On the walls you could see layers that had formed over time and there were often man-made bridges over areas that were too difficult to simply walk over. Most of the time, I had felt like I was looking down at my feet more than I was looking ahead because it was very easy to trip or slip due to the uneven ground. It was also very cold and damp in there, water drips onto you from the ceiling occasionally. It was a really valuable experience and I don’t think I will see something similar again anytime soon!

We also ate ramen/udon at the convenience store located outside of the tunnel!

A filling meal after our lava tube adventure.

Our last outdoor destination for the day was the Seongsan Sunrise Peak! This structure was formed around 5,000 years ago due to a hydrovolcanic explosion. Unfortunately, our group wasn’t allowed to climb it as it was too late in the day for anyone to hike the trail, but the observatory area was still open! There was also a small beach next to the structure that had black sand. It was also my first time seeing a group of Korean female divers– or haenyeo–, as there was a single fresh seafood restaurant on the same beach. I am guessing that the female divers go into the water early in the morning at high tide to be able to serve the seafood in the restaurant! Haenyeo specifically describes female divers in Jeju, who are known for their tough spirit. They are representative of the semi-matriarchal family structure on the island, which I thought was super cool!

The cliff itself was extremely beautiful and picturesque and it was my first time touching black sand. Though, the sand was more like extremely small black pebbles than granular sand, it was interesting! The sunrise peak was one of the places on Jeju that left the biggest impression on me and it was a great way to end this trip!

Black sand!

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The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.

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