Jeju - balm for the soul

Jeju - balm for the soul

Jeju-Do is one island I can keep going back to. Hallasan or Mount Halla - a dormant volcano and the highest peak in South Korea - alone, offers different vistas through the four seasons: Alpine greenery in summer, romantic shades in autumn, snow-capped peak in winter and cherry blossom profusion in spring.

Often, a hike up is made sweeter by the generosity of the local hikers, who gave us juicy winter tangerines and beer to supplement the sandwiches we brought with us.

Breathtaking scenery

The highlight of any visit to Jeju - once an island for exiles during the Joseon dynasty - is the postcard-perfect sights.

You can find craggy cliffs, blue coastlines and summery fields at every turn.

Seopjikoji is worth repeated visits for its amalgamation of canola flower-filled meadows, azure ocean and dark cliffs.

Tarry some moments at a site considered one of the most beautiful sites in Jeju.

The main walking trail along the ocean takes you past the All-In House, film site of the hugely popular casino drama, as well as old smoke mounds that warned natives of sea invaders long ago, and a pristine white lighthouse.

The Seondol rock that juts out beside the cliffs also tells a sad tale of the Dragon King's son who turned to stone while waiting for his lover.

A drive along Jeju's coastline is always a joy; there are white windmills, agrarian fields and misty mountain peaks to relish.

One of the coastal attractions is the Jeongbang Falls, believed to be the only fresh waterfall in Asia to drop directly into the sea.

Be enveloped by camellia flowers on the short walk there and on a warm day, you can frolic in the pools and enjoy the ocean view.

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