Jeju Island is well known for its stunning natural scenery being a World Heritage Site, and each year many foreign and domestic visitors head to the island for a vacation, or honeymoon in many cases. In the first 5 months of 2016 over 5 million tourists visited the island, with about 1 million of that number being foreign tourists. But not to worry there are still relatively tourist free areas where you can enjoy some peace and natural beauty. Yongyeon Pond is a small attraction that sometimes gets overlooked by the big tour groups, but is well worth a visit.
Don’t expect a pond as it is more like an inlet where the sea reaches in to where a river flows out. The two forces, plus the geology of the rock, have created a narrow waterway between tall rock walls which from certain angles look like a folded screen.
These walls proved irresistible to young scholars of the Joseon Dynasty and you can see some beautiful carved writings on the rock walls. If you want to see these up close you can rent a kayak and paddle up the waterway, just as those young men once floated on boats, drinking, enjoying the full moon, and leaving behind their thoughts on the walls. (Obviously graffiti of any kind is totally forbidden nowadays.)
I didn’t get to see it, but seeing the area under the light of the full moon is meant to be very beautiful as the moonlight reflects off the walls and the water. A goal for a future visit perhaps.
There’s lovely bridge that crosses the inlet, just be aware that it is one of those bridges that rocks if people start jumping up and down on it!
A stunning little pavilion abuts the edge of the rock walls and gives super views down into the tree lined inlet, and walking paths and steps allow you to get closer views of the beautifully hued water below.
Yongyeon Pond has legends associating it with a dragon as do many water places in Korea as dragons are closely tied to waterfalls, ponds, and other watery places. One is just simply that it was a place a dragon bathed, another that is was where the envoy of the dragon was met.
Yongyeon Pond is close to Yongduam, or Dragon Head rock, and also to an area where you are likely to see Jeju Islands famous Haenyeo, or lady divers, so combining them together for a visit can be a good idea.
Have a great day everyone.
Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation. Photo credits to me.