We just returned from our recent trip to China and Tibet. While we sort through the 1000's of photos we took, we thought we could share our trip to Jeju Island with you. We went during Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) which was in October . . . .
All over the island we saw these dol hareubang ("stone grandfather") statues . . . so, of course I made Shawna pose with all of them!
This sub-tropical island was created entirely by volcanic eruptions . . . about 2 million years ago. It's really neat to see the volcanic rock around the island and we even went inside the worlds largest lava tube. Man Jang Cave.
This is one of the largest known examples of a 'lava pillar', created by lava draining from the roof of the cave.
About 1 km into the cave, things got pretty spooky . . .
Back at ground level . . . Shawna found another dol hareubang . . .
Here's 'Songsan Ilch'ubong' - The iconic sight of Jeju-Do. This mountain was once a volcano. We decided to climb it to see what all the fuss was about . . .
But first . . . we looked down toward the beaches that surround the mountain . . . and what did we see? Haenyeo!!! The infamous 'Sea Women' of Jeju Island. These ladies have been free diving for shell fish for centuries. There aren't many around anymore so we were very lucky to have spotted them. We went down to check it out.
These ladies spend all day in the water and are generally the sole provider for their families. That makes them the head of their household. Quite amazing, especially in Korea's patriarchal society . . .
Well, back to the task at hand . . . let's climb this thing . . .
Here's the view from the top. Can you imagine the lava spewing out of this crater?
Gorgeous view . . . on one side you have the East Sea and on the other the volcanic rock and green grass of Jeju.
On the way back down we saw our first Jeju Horse. There's an old Korean saying "Send your sons to Seoul and your horses to Jeju." Not quite sure what that means but it seems like an appropriate caption for this picture. . .
. . . dol hareubang picture # 3. . .
See you soon . . .