[WSK] The World Natural Treasure, the Mother Nature of Jeju Island ‘Oreum’

Jeju Island gifted with nature sceneries and 1,700 species of plants, is a marvelous place where you can experience unique geographical features nowhere else can offer. In the center there is the proudly splendid Halla Mountain and neighboring oreums – low mountains of Jeju – reveals the original beauty of the geography of the volcanic island.  

Oreum is a Jeju dialect for a low mountain. There are a good number of oreums as there is even a saying that people of Jeju are born from and returns to oreum after death. Near 380 oforeums are distributed in the island, which way exceeds 250 i.e. the number of those in Mt Etna of Italy.

Oreum consisted of grassland,  natural and artificial forest, and wetland, is distributed intensively in the bottom area of Mt Halla and hilly and mountainous areas. As the altitude of the areas differs the ecological variety is well preserved with high potential value. To be recognized as oreum the mountain should be qualified to have all required component i.e. a crater, shape, and contents; a crater formed by volcanic eruption; shapes of volcanic ashes and scoriae, and sedimentary layer; and pyroclastic materials. Also it is called as ‘ak’ or ‘bong’; Seongsan Ilchulbong, Dusanbong, Songaksan are some examples.

Oreums with different shapes and heights placed along by the ridges of Mt Halla and the coastline of the island invites you to the breathtaking beauty of the Mother Nature Jeju.



The ace view, Nokkome oreum

Nokkomeoreum, where 112 families and 469 species of plants reside> (image: Official Blog of Jeju, New 7 Wonders)

Nokkomeoreum 833.8m above the sea levelcovering an area of 923,692㎡ with the height of234m, girth of 4,390m, and a smaller Nokkomeoreum is also known as ‘brother oreum’ as a pair sitting next by each other. The two mountains stand in high spirits and its exploded crater area is enough to thrill your eyes. Some people are surprised as they think ‘Nokkome’ is Japanese but in fact it derives from a Korean expression! ‘Nopgome’ meaning ‘it is high.’

In the Nokkomeoreum area there are animal species that are protected species (class 2) by the Ministry of Environment including roe, weasel of Jeju, badger and so on. Endangered animals including birds such as goshawk, brown-eared bulbul, kestrel, bush warbler and Red-tongue pit-viper, takydromus wolteri and others are residing as well. Also there are 112 families and 469 species of plants e.g. nutmeg tree, hornbeam, and Galeola septentrionalis Reichb. For sureNokkomeoreum area is some repository of various species of animals and plants. 

If you follow the ridges of the hills a scenic panorama with different faces of Mt Halla andoreums is revealed. At the northern mountain top the view of Jeju city and the sea can be seen at a look. An average of 4~500 people on weekdays and 2~3,000 people on weekends visit the area to see this extraordinary scene. Why not check out Nokkomeoreum yourself and experience the grandeur gift of the nature?


The Queen of OreumDarangswioreum

<Darangswi oreum where ‘Wollangbong Sunrise Festival’ will be held next year> (image: Kyunghyang Shinmun)


Darangswi oreum representing Gujwa town is 382.4m above the sea level, covering an area of800,463㎡ with the height of 227m, and girth of 3,391m. It was named as so because of the crater of the mountain looks round as a moon (Darang sounds similar to ‘dal’ that is moon in Korean). Darangswi oreum is the pride of the villagers as it presents a uniquely beautiful scene for viewing the moon when the full moon rises behind the round crater of the oreum.

While most oreums have asymmetric slops, Darangswi oreum is a vertically balanced oval shape; this outstanding beauty of proportion surely gives a good reason for its title i.e. the ‘Queen oforeum.’

On top of the mountain, there is a funnel shape of huge circular crater. The circumference of the outside of crater is reaching 1,500m, and its depth is 115m just as deep as baekrokdam of Mt. Halla. The area is dense with weeds and cedars on its foot. The area is a huge grassland and if the weather is good, you can see the Seongsan Sunrise HillUdo and a wind power plant complex.

There is a saying that you didn’t see the real Jeju until climbing up Oreum., after the wood stairs to Darangswi oreum were built in 2005, the number of visitors increased. Why don’t you experience the ‘real’ Jeju at Darangswi oreum which is famous for paragliding and the annualWallang hill Sunrise festivals?


Geomun Oreum listed on UNESCO’s World Cultural and Natural Heritage

<Geomun Oreum, which has Manjang Cave, Gotjawal, etc.>(Image : Korea Tourism Organizaion)

Geomun Oreum, which has the most beautiful scenery among all Oreums in Jeju, is 456.6 meters above sea level, 112 meters high, 4,553 meters in circumference, and 809,860㎡ in extent, which of name, Goemun, was originated from a bunch of trees in that Oreum makes black color. (i.e. Goemun means black in Korean.) Only 300 visitors a day are allowed to go in, and the advanced reservation two days before is a must. It has the longest lava canyon throughout Jeju and the treasure of nature, ‘Gotjawal’, which has a high value in terms of geology as well as ecology.

The crater seen from the top of Goemun oreum spewed out lava to the ocean and created over 20 lava caves around, such as Bengdui cave, Manjang cave, Kimnyeongsa cave, etc. As designated as a World Cultural and Natural Heritage by UNESCO, oreum has the representative lava caves of Jeju. Among these caves, only Manjang cave is open to public. The course is flat and the passage is also wide that even the old and weak can look around without a big difficulty.

Al oreum is a paeasitic volcano that rose on the center of the crater of Geomun oreum. You can see 9 hills forming the Geomun oreum from the observatory which is 1km apart from the tour starting spot. In addition, the crater of Geomun oreum is 4 times larger than that of Mt Hall. You will be overwhelmed at the marvelous scenery of nature.

Before visiting Geomun oreum, the commentator for Natural Heritage gives several notices. You should wear the hiking boots, but not with the hiking stick. You can only bring a bottle of water.

Source: http://blog.daum.net/korea_brand/1128 (World Students In Korea Newspaper No. 39, May 1, 2011)

[WSK] Lost in the fragrance of flowers, Spring Flowers Festivals

For those thinking of a spring day out, then this might be what you would be looking for!

The unusually cold March has gone, and now we have warm sunlight telling that Spring is just around the corner. The field flowers are welcoming the spring which returned after a long absence. The fragrance of Spring is reaching at every corner including mountains, fields, and even center of the city.


Uiseong Cornlian cherry flower festival (Uiseong-gun, Gyeongbuk-do)

<Cornlian cherry flower> (Authorized by Uiseong-County Office http://tour.usc.go.kr)


The ‘garlic’ town, Uiseong, is now busy preparing the upcoming spring festival. They will soon have the festival of Cornlian cherry flower whose yellow bud would remind you of a shy girl. Starting from the Ritual for a good harvest, the Night for the multicultural family, Singing contest, Walkathon, and other various events will be open from 26th March for a couple of weeks. Why don’t we go on a Spring trip to Uiseong surrounded by the scent of these yellow flowers? It will definitely be a wonderful memory that you can have with your family and your loving friends.


Period: 26 March 2011 (Sat)~ 10 April (Sun)

Location: Sansuyu Square Hwajeon-ri, Sagok-myeon, Uiseung-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do



The Han River Spring Flower Festival (Yeongdeungpo, Seoul)

<The Han River Spring Flower Festival>


There is another festival for those who cannot afford to go out of Seoul. Office workers will be glad to hear this! There will be Spring Flower Festival in Yeoui-do from 8th April with the theme, “Harmony of Flowers, Nature, Human, and Arts”. You may find over 13 types of 87,359 spring flowers, such as azalea, forsythia, royal azalea, bridal wreath, including 1,641 trees of prunus yedoensis.

Why don’t you go for the Han River Yeouido Spring Flower Festival for the weekends?


Period: 8~ 19 April 2011

Location: Yeoui-do Park Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul



Azalea Art Festival at Mt. Goryeo (Ganghwa-gun, Incheon)

<Mt. Goryeo covered with Azalea>


You might not know this Spring Flower Festival that recorded over 350,000 visitors last year including the people from capital area. Well, the name is “Azalea Art Festival at Mt. Goryeo”. This year as well, we will have this festival that we can enjoy not only azalea but also the historical culture and clean environment of Ganghwa. The festival contains art exhibition, photo exhibition, and small concert along with the trail, cooking Hwajeon which is a pan-fried sweet rice cake with flower petals, and street art performances, and other various programs. It will be held from 4th to 9th April for 9 days, but the culture event will be held for 4 days during weekends. If you want to be a guest of this nature’s purple feast, this festival will be perfect.


Period: 9~ 24 April 2011

Location: Mt. Goryeo Hajeom-myeon, Ganghwa-gun, Incheon



Shinan Tulip Festival (Shinan-gun Jeollanam-do)

<Shinan Tulip Festival>


Shinan, Jeollanam-do, which is well-known for its heavenly nature, was selected by domestic flower experts as a best area for planting tulips with its fertile soil, abundant amount of sunshine, and a lot of sea breeze. Since 2001, they have planted tulips in the nation’s largest area which occupied 10 hectares, and ready for the 4th Tulip Festival from 15  April. You will enjoy the various ceremonies from orchestra performance to Pungmul play, If you don’t want to miss it, do not hesitate!


Period: 15~24 April 2011

Location: Shinan Tulip Park, Imja-myeon Shinan-gun, Jeollanam-do


If you have a chance to see those flowers signaling the arrival of Spring in everywhere but soon will be gone, this is the best time to see the blossoms. Let’s go!

※ Source of Photos: Korea Tourism Organization

Source: http://blog.daum.net/korea_brand/1095 (World Students In Korea Newspaper No. 38, April 15, 2011)

[WSK] This is real! The world of natural dyes

This is real! The world of natural dyes


On January 11, Maronie exhibition in Kyoto.

Gyeongnam Natural Dyeing Association in Korea held a six-day exhibition in Kyoto which is said to be a city of vivid traditional culture of Japan. Nine members of Gyeongnam Natural Dyeing Association introduced various kinds of natural dyeing products that were made with passion, which received favorite comments from not only Japanese but also the same industry. Let’s take a closer look at this globally recognized and beautiful field of natural dyeing.

<Gyeongbuk Natural Dyeing Association declared that it will become a Mecca of the natural dyeing after hosting ‘Symposium for the Vitalization of the Natural dyeing Industry’ last June.> (Photograph: Fashion Journal)

Natural dyes, the solution of Health and environment


In the Three Kingdom period, while the kings and nobles wore the silk costumes which were import!ed from China, commoners began to dress themselves with the naturally-dyed clothes. At the beginning, they used grass and polygonum indigo from mountains and fields for navy, persimmon for dark blue, and charcoal for black. In other words, Korean ancestors wear the nature colored clothes, which are different from the recent clothes with unnatural colors made of the artificial fibers and chemical compounds.


Actually, the naturally-dyed clothes do good to skin. Some clothes with chemical dyes cause anatopic  dermatitis or other skin diseases to some children who have a delicate skin.  However, considering the fact that natural dyes from vegetables are harmless to human and kill the harmful virus, it can be said that clothes save our health.

While the chemical dyes cause serious environmental problems with waste water in dyeing process, natural dyes reduce those damage, which can be said an environmental-friendly dyeing method. In addition, if we make clothes with natural dyes which are extracted from the plants that have unique ingredients or smells to protect them from the harmful insects or animals, it will also protect your body from those. As an example, some ancestors used polygonum indigo as a dyeing material from their knowledge that snakes dislike its smell. Their wisdom of life is just amazing!

<Various naturally-dyed products>

Despite the time and hard work, considered a ‘Must Try’ among foreigners


Then, what is the process of making such a wonderful natural dye? The beautiful naturally-dyed cloth can be born only after passing through the 20 manual labor steps, such as boiling, drying, and adding mordant in it. Mordant is an ingredient which helps the color last longer. As it requires a long time and hard work, accordingly the costs rise and become more expensive than the artificial colored-one.


However, as the public interests on environmentally-friendly products increase, the ideas on those products are also rapidly changing. In particular, the experiencing event of natural-dyeing became very popular among foreigners. Moreover, many naturally-dyed clothes are being sold in Jongro area, including Insadong, where foreign visitors mostly visit, and the number of foreigners who come and try the events from a word of mouth also increases. It is said that every single Japanese tourist who is said to have a lot interests on beauty are also impressed with Korea’s naturally-dyed products. It shows that natural dyeing can be worth being one of the representative brands in Korea. That seems enough to enter the global market, considering the Kyoto exhibition which introduced naturally-dyed products at the first on the list.

 <Various household items made of natural dyes>

Korean central government and local government which early saw the potentials have prepared the systematic supporting plan to step forward. Since when the natural dyeing industry was selected by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy as a nurturing business of the local government’s laboratory last 2008, the government finished the preparation to make Gyeongnam Natural Dyeing Association as a core center for natural dyeing industry, and now they are working on it for the development of the field. On the following, ‘Symposium for the Vitalization of the Natural dyeing Industry’ was held in June 2011, and the MOU with Daegu and Gyeongbuk fabric fashion Institute was embedded as well, which actively promotes the natural dyeing industry.


<Gyeongbuk Natural Dyeing Association declared that it will become a Mecca of the natural dyeing after hosting ‘Symposium for the Vitalization of the Natural dyeing Industry’ last June.> (Photograph: Fashion Journal)

Indigo and dark blue, those colors make people relaxed. If we wear the naturally-dyed clothes, we can definitely say it is a well-being life. Now we all hope that Korea’s naturally-dyed products will actively pushing the overseas markets.


 * This article refers to the article written by the communicator of the Presidential Council on Nation Branding

Source: http://blog.daum.net/korea_brand/1062 (World Students In Korea Newspaper No. 37, April 1, 2011)

[WSK] Fascinating Bicycle Trip

Fascinating Bicycle Trip


In spite of the landscapes you’ve seen many times while going to work, home, or other places on foot, by train or airplane, every time you will get a different impression according to which vehicle you are riding, and how you look at it. Of course, there is no need to tell that riding a bicycle is the perfect choice to enjoy this recent spring breeze. Then, how much do you know about the bicycle and how far have you traveled with it?

Get ready to leave into the warm spring sunlight, if you don’t want to miss the beautiful landscapes of Korea!



Pleasant playground for bicycle riders, Gwangnaru Bicycle Park

▲ Bicycle riders along the path in Gwangnaru bicycle park


Have you been to Gwangnaru Bicycle Park? It is a new park which has many facilities including the 124,000㎡(1,335 square feet) wide of bicycle racing stadium, a bicycle experiencing park, a bicycle training place for children, and a rail bike place.

Especially, the racing stadium which placed the bumpy paths and other challenging obstacles is very popular among riders and manias who have special bicycles like Mountain bike (MTB) or Bicycle Motocross (BMX).

Besides, you can try about 80 kinds of unique bicycles such as the one riding on square wheels, the one moving aside, the one that moves when lying on it and the one that a couple can drive facing each other, which is the first ‘Bicycle experiencing place’ in Korea. ‘Rail bike’ that is drawing a huge popularity in Jeongseon in Gangwon-do, Gokseong in Jeollanam-do is also open to public.

Why don’t you have this exciting experience that will keep yourself out of the stuffy city!


Location: 483-8 Cheonho 2dong, Gangdong-gu, Seoul

Holidays: every Monday

Available hours: 09:00~18:00, (Nov~Feb) 10:00~17:00, (May~August) 09:00~19:00

Contact/Info.: 02-120 / Night time: 02-3780-0777

Memoir on ‘Nostalgia’ bicycle paths in OkCheon

 ▲ Bicycle riders on 200li(=49miles) long ‘nostalgia’ paths with full of forsythia in OkCheon

While passing through the ‘Nostalgia’ bicycle paths in Okcheon, visitors can enjoy not only the beautiful Daecheong Lake but also the spirit of the poetry town where the pioneer of Korea’s modern poet and the writer of ‘Nostalgia’, Jeong Ji-yong was born. Why don’t you give a wonderful day-off to yourself to get out of the repeated routine and soak up the beautiful scenery of the countryside and its friendly atmosphere?

Through the hiking course, ‘Nostalgia 100li(=24 miles)’, people can have a look at the overall shape of Korean peninsula from Mt. Dunjoo after visiting the birthplace of Jeong Ji-yong and the literary museum where people can still feel his spirit. It became very popular after being introduced by one of the famous TV programs in Korea, reality-variety show ‘1 night and 2 days’ show on the KBS2.

The length of the course is about 82km (=132 miles) long, and it takes approximately five hours and a half to complete it. It includes smooth paths for beginners and unpaved roads and forest roads which are the favorites of intermediate and advanced mountain bikers and manias.

Location: Okcheon-eub, Okcheon-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do

Contact/Info.: 043-730-3501~2 (Okcheon-gun Division of Culture and Tourism)

All About Bicycle, Sangju Bicycle Museum

▲ Unique Bicycles displayed in exhibit hall of Sangju Bicycle Museum

No worries for those who cannot ride a bicycle! Sangju Bicycle Museum will give you the satisfaction.

This museum, which focuses on bicycle for the first time in Korea, was established in Sangju which is famous for a number of bicycles and its citizens who enjoy riding them rather than cars on their way to school, work, home and even picnic.

In this museum, which is called ‘the heaven of bicycle’ and ‘a school of bicycle’, you can take a whole look at everything about bicycle including its history, design, and so on. It introduces the history of bicycles through its 60 bicycles displayed in the exhibit hall and you will definitely enjoy the various experiencing halls about bicycles, including the souvenir shop.

Sangju must be the wonderful place to remind you of all the happiness, heartbeat, other memories with lovers.


Location: Ilwon San 3-4, Donam-dong, Sangju, Gyeongsangbuk-do

Contact/Info.: 054-534-4973

Available Hour: Summer (April~ Oct) 09:00 ~ 18:00, Winter (Nov~March) 09:00 ~ 17:00

Holiday: every Monday (Tuesday applies when Monday is a National Holiday)

Jan 1, Luna New Years day, Chuseok (Thanksgiving day of Korea), and other closing days by Sangju mayor

Why don’t we go on the bicycle trip to every corner of Korea this coming Spring!

※ Photographs : Korea Tourism Organization

Source: http://blog.daum.net/korea_brand/1063 (World Students In Korea Newspaper No. 37, April 1, 2011)