Beginning this week on Explore Your Environment, we start a three-part sub-series exploring Korea’s Hawaii: Jeju-do. What way to better begin the segments than by starting with the end of the day, and what locals told us was one of the best places to view the sunset – atop Suwolbong.
Suwolbong is located along Jeju’s western shoreline. Plugging the peak into our car’s GPS navigation system pointed us in the right direction and after about 20 minutes we arrived in the parking lot. A small convenience store was located there and few older men were enjoying a bottle of makgeolli before the sun set. Jo and I opted to purchase two beers and make our way up to the pavilion and gauge how good of a sunset view we were to have.
While I quenched my thirst with the can of Cass I picked up, my eyes noticed a steele nearby flanked by two dol hareubang statues. It wasn’t something I was expecting to see, and since I had time before the sunset, I quickly grabbed my camera to take a closer look.
The porous volcanic rock used to carve the statues played with the setting sun, casting shadows into the recesses of the pits along the surface. I stood there and wondered how many years would pass before the crisp features of this grandfather would last out in the environment.
The steele and alter were typical of Korean markers; however, unlike many I’ve seen on the mainland, there was no plaque proving any sort of information as to the importance of this location or the person buried there. Glancing up the hill, I could see more people arriving, so I opted to stop my investigation and secure my spot along the cliff face for the forthcoming light show.
As with all sunsets, the giant glowing ball started dropping fast in the distance. While my favorite sunsets are ones with lots of clouds to reflect the light and provide contrasts, the reflecting beam in the ocean running into the shore and crashing surf was a great alternative. Ships in the distance continued to pass by, slicing the yellow-orange beams.
Those with me on Suwolbong passed the time speaking with friends and taking pictures. With so many locals here, it was obvious our information was sound and this was indeed one of the best places to watch the sunset. When the final rays did dip below the horizon, it was incredibly satisfying and I couldn’t help but want to experience it once more.
Do you like sunsets? What’s your favorite place to end the day?
I’d like to Canon Korea for providing the EOS C100 that was used to film this video.