Manjanggul Lava Tube
Roughly about 30km from Jeju City. Not only a national treasure of Korea, it is also UNESCO World Heritage site. Manjanggul Cave is one of the finest lava tunnels in the world and was formed over 200,000 years ago they say. If you wonder how a lava tunnel is formed it is when the lava that was way deep in the ground spouts from the peak and flows to the surface. Manjanggul Cave has a variety of interesting structures inside including 70cm lava stalagmites and the lava tube tunnels. Only 1km of the 13,422m Manjanggul Cave is open to the tourists. The inside of the tunnel sustains at a temperature of 11~21℃, creating a comfortable atmosphere. The Stone Turtle is especially eye-catching because it is shaped like Jeju-do Island.
Before going inside the cave make sure to take note that especially for disabled persons and photographers the dim lighting, uneven terrain and steep stairs can be a bit daunting so make sure you wear comfortable shoes and be careful where you step. People going in should be aware of these precautions – better to be safe than sorry as they say.
What is inside?
Upon descending into the cave, you will easily wonder at the overall massiveness of the lava tube tunnel itself. Compared to other similar tunnels that you must enter by crawling or kneeling, Manjanggul can be fully explored by walking with the cave’s height at a comfortable 20-24 meters above your head.
The whole cave has the feel of a subway tunnel with all various light display to make it more appealing to the eye. The walk would take around 50 minutes. I did not notice a change in the temperature once inside but was told that it was colder once you’re in the cave. The rock formations are sure to take your eye of where you are walk during the course of the trail so make sure to stop and take a picture then continue on. There is maze park to visit afterwards if it isn’t to dark when you come out.
Manjanggul is a cant miss spot for nature nerds , science buff or just a plain ol’ tourist who doesn’t mind traversing some rough terrain. If you go to Jeju Island try to keep this at the top of your sights to see list.
From Manjanggul, you can walk 500 meters to Gimnyeong Maze park (the maze I mentioned earlier). Make sure to tell the staff that you walked from Manjanggul Cave to the maze park to be eligible for a discount.
And also finally it is important to remember this tidbit. From Jeju Bus Terminal, take the Donghoe Line Intercity Bus to get off at the parking lot near Manjanggul Cave Entrance, just a 30 minute ride. At the parking lot, take a town bus bound for Manjanggul or a taxi. 30 minute walking distance from Manjanggul Cave Entrance to Manjanggul Cave. A taxi is recommended instead of the 30 minute walk.
Manjanggul Cave Admission Fees:
Adults – 2,000 won / Youth – 1,000 won / Children – 1,000 won
Free – Senior citizens, disabled visitors