K-Lifestyle Wiki

Geographical Features

Ulleungdo and Dokdo

Located about 130km east of the Korean Peninsula, Ulleungdo is a volcanic island of about 72km2 that is rimmed with steep rocky cliffs and has a basin (called Nari Basin) on the top. It is historically connected with a group of rocky islets called Dokdo situated 87.4km to its southeast, thus forming the easternmost part of the Korean territory. Now guarded by the Dokdo Coast Guard, Dokdo consists of two large rocky islets and eighty-nine small rocks, and is home to about seventy plant species, although most of the islets are barren. It was designated as the Dokdo Seabird Breeding Area and Natural Monument No. 336 in 1982 and then as the Dokdo Protection Area in 1999.

Jejudo Island

Jejudo(do is Korean for island), Korea’s largest island (approx. 73km from east to west, 31km from south to north), lies in the Korean Strait, southwest of the Korean mainland. The oval-shaped island maintains a rich cultural heritage that is distinctly different from that of the mainland. It is also the only province of Korea where mandarin oranges are grown in natural conditions, providing a great source of income for many households since the 1960s. It was an extremely popular honeymoon destination among mainland Koreans during the 1970s and 1980s, and has since grown into one of Korea’s top tourist attractions, drawing hundreds of thousands of tourists from neighboring countries including Japan and China. In 2006, the Korean government designated the island as Jeju Special Self-Governing Province in an effort to turn it into a Free Trade Zone. It is now a very popular venue for important international gatherings including summit meetings.
Jejudo was formed by a series of volcanic eruptions and is rich with the distinctive features of volcanic topography including 368 oreum (parasitic cones) and about 160 lava tubes. This unique natural heritage led to the island’s inclusion on the UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 2002, World Heritage Sites in 2007, and Global Geoparks Network in 2010. The worldwide recognition of Jejudo as a global natural heritage is expected to further promote the value of the island as a tourist destination and as one of Korea’s key environmental assets.
The Culture of Jeju Haenyeo (Women Divers) was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2016. Jejudo Island is indeed globally recognized not only as a popular tourist destination but also as an “island of environmental and cultural treasures.”
Hallasan Mountain, a dormant volcano, soars upwards from the center of Jejudo to a height of 1,950 meters, making it the highest mountain in South Korea. The mountain is home to over 1,800 species of alpine plants that select their habitats according to altitude and exhibits great diversity of vegetation. The mountain largely consists of basalt, and slopes steeply in the south and more gently in the north. There is a crater lake, Baengnokdam, at the summit.
Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone, situated at the eastern tip of Jejudo, is probably the most popular tourist attraction on the island. This 182-metertall volcanic peak is said to resemble a huge amphitheater with a deep, bowllike center filled with reeds and rimmed with rocky cliffs. Many visitors also compare this popular sunrise celebration venue, which is now designated as a Natural Monument, with a heavily fortified, impregnable castle or a tall, full-circle tiara.
Other key attractions reflecting the natural wonders of Jeju include Yongcheondonggul Cave, located in Woljeong-ri of Gujwa-eup, which exhibits a unique combination of the characteristic features of both lime caves and lava tubes, the lime caves in Hyeopjae and Pyoseon, and the Gotjawal forests which formed on the rocky areas thrown up during a volcanic eruption. These forests provide natural habitats for rare plants, some of which are suited to cold climates while others are more typical of tropical or subtropical areas. These untouched, densely wooded forests are often referred to as the “lungs of Jeju.”

Source: Korean Culture and Information Service 'Facts about Korea'

ReplyPlease leave a comment about any information you wanted to add!
Danna Galene
3 months ago

For those looking for a good beginner’s hike, head to the 348 metre high Yongmasan. As a reference, this is approximately 2-3 times the height of Singapore’s highest peak at Bukit Timah Hill. Although technically not a mountain, this hill has a great hike worth doing if you’re visiting Seoul. On the way up, there are also lookout points with amazing views of the city to keep you pumped till you reach the end. The terrain starts easy, but gradually becomes steeper and more rugged as you reach the top.

Danna Galene
3 months ago

Suraksan is a lesser-known mountain in the outskirts of Seoul, perfect for those who want to avoid the crowd. At the peak, you’ll be 638m high above sea level with a great view of the rolling hills around the mountain.

Danna Galene
3 months ago

I went to Bukhansan when I traveled Seoul last time. It is easily accessible by bus. For those looking for a quick and easily accessible hike, head to Bukhansan National Park. The mountain sits in the middle of Seoul, with the trailhead easily accessible by bus. As you near the top, you’d be rewarded with a panoramic view of the cityscape, as well as the surrounding hills.

Willy Liman
3 months ago

#Fact10 The largest of these agglomerations is the capital, Seoul, which lies in the northwest just a few dozen kilometers from the inter-Korean border. Seoul is hemmed in by mountains and bisected by the broad Han River, which flows through the northern stretch of the country before emptying into the Yellow Sea near the west coast city of Incheon, a major port and industrial center.

Willy Liman
3 months ago

#Fact9 The climate of South Korea is considered temperate and rainfall is heavier in the summer than in the winter due to the presence of the East Asian Monsoon. Winters are cold to very cold depending upon altitude and summers are hot and humid.

Willy Liman
3 months ago

#Fact8 Geographically, South Korea is located on the southern part of the Korean Peninsula below the 38th parallel of latitude. It has coastlines along the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea. South Korea's topography consists mainly of hills and mountains but there are large coastal plains in the western and southern parts of the country. The highest point in South Korea is Halla-san, an extinct volcano, which rises to 6,398 feet (1,950 m). It is located on South Korea's Jeju Island, which is located south of the mainland.

Alselin Adiba
3 months ago

Jeju on the south coast is a large volcanic island with a peak of Hallasan (1950 m). Ulleung-do, and Dokdo in the east sea consist of felsic rock, and are younger. Since the mountainous area lies mostly to the east of the peninsula, the main rivers tend to flow to the west, and south. In the west flow the rivers Amnok, Chŏngchŏn, Daedong, Hangang, Geum, Yeongsan, Nakdong, Seomjin and so on. These rivers have extensive floodplains, and provide fertile land for agriculture.

Alselin Adiba
3 months ago

Korea is located on the Korean peninsula in northeast Asia. To the northwest it is separated by the Amnok River (Yalu) from the People's Republic of China. The Duman River to its northeast separates Korea from Russia and China. Some of the important islands include Jeju, Ganghwa, Ulleung, Dokdo, Jindo, Geoje, and so on. The southern, and western parts of Korea are lowlands and to the east, and north the Baekdu Daegan mountain range extends along the peninsula. The Gaema Plateau is located in North Korea and is a volcanic product from the Meszoic era. Highest points include Mount Baekdu (2774), Sobaeksan (2184 m), Jirisan (1915), Baeksan (1724), Geumgangsan (1638), Seoraksan (1708), Taebaeksan (1564) and so on. Several of the lower mountains are perpendicular to the Baekdu Daegan network, mostly developing along the tectonic lines of the mesozoic era, and pointing essentially northwest.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

Hallasan Mountain is the central mountain of the island and is the top of a shield volcano. This mountain, 1,950 meters high, is the representative outcome of the fourth stage of volcanic activity that took place in the oceans surrounding the Korean Peninsula. The Seongsan Ilchulbong is an oreum created during the explosion of an underwater volcano. It shows the birth and growth of a Surtseyan eruption, a type of volcanic eruption that takes place in shallow seas. The lava cave system was created when basaltic lava flow ran toward the ocean between 300,000 and 100,000 years ago. Today, nine caves have been found, including the Manjanggul Cave.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

Volcanic activity creates many picturesque places. The Jusangjeolli Cliffs, part of the Jungmun Tourism Complex on the southern part of Jeju Island, has a scenic view and is characteristic of the island province. The cliffs have columnar joints which look like a folding screen composed of tetragon- or hexagon-shaped pillars. These columnar joints are created when thick basaltic lava at about 1,000 degrees Celsius flows from the mouth of a volcano and cools rapidly. The columnar joints of the cliffs are 30-40 meters tall and extend for about 1 kilometer, the largest such natural formation in Korea.