Mystical Jeju Island (Part 3 – At South Korea’s Highest Peak, Mt. Hallasan)

Mt. Hallasan

If you’ve missed part 1 and 2, you can read it here and here respectively. If you have been following this series religiously, thank you very much, I guess. Welcome back to my South Korean trip around Jeju Island!

Mount Hallasan

In this post, I’ll talk about Mt. Hallasan and some random stuff. Essentially, Mt. Hallasan is the highest mountain in South Korea. It is at the very center of Jeju island. It strikes me with a little pang of guilt that I haven’t been to the highest mountain in my country, yet I have been to this one. Nevertheless, it is a national park and a UNESCO heritage site. And it’s definitely worth the visit because of the gentle cold breeze guaranteed to send a refreshing shiver down your spine. It is perhaps because the Korean people believe spirits live on the mountain, or perhaps it’s because of the climate, but I can roam this park for hours if only there were food stalls in the area.

Jeju Island is a child of a very ancient volcano, and you may have guessed it – Hallasan. Its colours are a tourist attraction as they clearly indicate the four seasons. Our guide made sure she had taken a couple of photos of me with the mountain as the backdrop; hence,…

It’s clearly autumn, but the tip of the mountain was obscured, so I didn’t really see much of it. The chilly air was reminiscent of Baguio or Sagada in the Philippines, and I enjoyed walking around too much. The guide was insistent that I come back to Jeju during the winter to see the mountain covered in snow – another reason to save more money. Dang travel is so addictive. This was the point where I got a bit retrospective.


Let’s go back to the year 2010…

Working for a Korean company based in the Manila, my diurnal view was this:

Work Desk

Those were the days when I could work with only one monitor, and procrastination was so f&cking strong that it was a part of our daily lives. Sometimes, I would imagine various zombie apocalyptic scenarios and entertain myself with the fact that I might not last long if something of the sort would actually happen. I browse the map of the dead and plan out safe houses and survival strategies. I totally forgot about the horrible monster drawings on post its. They used to have names, but I forgot them. You can name them if you like.

Zombie Map

Analogous to this, I dreamt of travel.


Basically, we got a ton of test/essays answered by Korean students that looked something like this:

Work Load

Then we edited them and commented:

Edit Page

And we graded them:

Grading Page

Then repeated 40 to 50 times a day.

These tests were based on children’s books which I hadn’t had the fortune to read when I was a lot younger.

Marvin Redpost

Good parenting.

Most of the books were quite poignant, whilst some I could live without reading.

It was a nice routine – the most normal job I’ve had so far.

Since it’s a Korean company, I was bombarded with Korean culture from decors, food, to general stuff.

Korean Wall

Korean Office

However, the most Korean place we could go was this one:

Korean Cultural Center

A year and nine months later, the company closed with the company paying only a percentage of our severance. I guess it was quite an enlightening experience. At the very least, I am glad I got to experience Korean hospitality sometime in the future.


Back to Hallasan six years later, I, of course, roamed around and found a couple of curious things:

Korean Playground

This eerie playground for instance. At least, I think it’s a playground. What are those things?

There’s also these weird animal sculptures.

Korean Animal Sculpture

Mt Halla

Sorry, I couldn’t read Korean yet.
I really wanted to take the trail to the very summit, but it was closed. Why, dang it?

Hallasan Trail

What effing secrets do you hold, trail?

Korean Banner

Windy day, I think.

There were also these weird mirror sculptures that distort the nature around you.

Distorted Nature

And marvelous flora and fauna…

Korean Nature

Like all attractions, there was a museum in the park.


They offer some general info on volcanoes.

Volcanoes of the World

And of course, Halla Mountain…

Korean Seasons

In general, I roamed around the museum which was almost completely deserted apart from our group. It offered photo services which allowed tourists to take cheat photos where they could manipulate the seasons of Hallasan on the image. It’s essentially a green room.

Photo Zone

After a couple of minutes, I preferred the outside surroundings than the museum, and I found a couple of large crows?

Korean Crows

These things looked like they could scoop my eyeballs out in one swift swoop. Tourists seemed to like them.

Overall, Mt. Hallasan is a more serene site to visit, so definitely give it one. Bonus points if you can visit it four times on different seasons. To cap things off, I give you this sad attempt at a jump shot.

Thanks for reading! More Jeju Island coming soon.