Natural Heritage Sites

Natural Heritage Sites 【 Photo: Baengnokdam Crater Lake on Hallasan Mountain 】

Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes (Designated 2007)

Location

- Seongsan-eup & Gujwa-eup areas, Jeju Island

Jeju Island was formed through volcanic activity over 1.8 million years ago. As such, the island is a valuable asset in research of geological features and topography of volcanic landforms such as volcanic cones and lava tubes. Jeju’s lava tubes are some of the most beautiful in the world, featuring dark walls and various colors of carbonation on the ceilings and ground. Among the many natural formations, Hallasan National Park, Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone, and the Geomunoreum Volcanic Cone lava tube system have jointly been designated as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO.

  • Hallasan Mountain【 Photo: Hallasan Mountain 】
  • Korea Railroad Co., (KORAIL)【 Photo: Baengnokdam Crater Lake 】

Reaching to a height of 1,950 meters, Hallasan Mountain is the tallest mountain in Korea with gentle slopes formed by eons of volcanic activity. There are around 40 parasitic volcanoes which formed in the surrounding area. A variety of animals and plants inhabit the slopes, including the largest forest of Korean fir trees (Abies Koreana) in the world.

In addition, the top of Hallasan Mountain offers a view of the magnificent vista over the entire Jeju Island. The peak also holds Baengnokdam, a vast crater lake that is both beautiful and highly valued in academic research.

  • Manjanggul Lava Tube【 Photo: Manjanggul Lava Tube 】
  • Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak【 Photo: Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone 】

In the Geomunoreum Volcanic Cone region, there are about 20 lava tubes formed some 100,000 to 300,000 years ago by huge amounts of basalt lava that spewed from Hallasan volcano. The most famous of these lava tubes are Gimnyeonggul Lava Tube, Dangcheomuldonggul Lava Tube, Manjanggul Lava Tube, Bengdwigul Lava Tube, and Yongcheondonggul Lava Tube.

The largest tube is Manjanggul. This cave features a variety of stalactites and stalagmites, along with a bridge and waterfall formed by lava. The cave and its various formations have outstanding research value in understanding the formation and characteristics of lava tubes.

Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone, one of the many parasitic cones on Jeju Island, was uniquely created on the sea floor. This popular attraction is great for catching the sunrise. The cliffs on the three sides facing the sea were formed by the waves eating away at the lava, while the western side was connected to the main island due to a build-up of sand and gravel.

Getbol, Korean Tidal Flats (Designated 2021)

Suncheonman Bay Wetland Reserve 【 Photo: Suncheonman Bay Wetland Reserve 】

Locations

- Seocheon Tidal Flat: Yeonan Wetland of Songnim-ri in Seocheon, Chungcheongnam-do
- Sinan Tidal Flat: Jungdo-myeon in Shinan, Jeollanam-do
- Gochang Tidal Flat: Heungdeok-myeong, Buan-myeon, and Simwon-myeon in Gochang, Jeollanam-do
- Boseong Tidal Flat: Beolgyo-eup in Boseong, Jeollanam-do
- Suncheon Tidal Flat: 513-25, Suncheonman-gil, Suncheon, Jeollanam-do

Korean tidal flats, called getbol (gaetbeol), are home to more than 2,000 living organisms including 27 types of migratory birds. The tidal flats are an important stopover point for migratory birds from South Asia and Oceania. Four tidals flats - Seocheon, Gochang, Shinan, and Boseong-Suncheon - spread across five city jurisdictons and were designated as a Wetlands Protection Area for showing high levels of biodiversity. These tidal flats were also designated as World Natural Heritage in 2021.

  • Seocheon Tidal Flat
  • Seocheon Tidal Flat
【 Photo: Seocheon Tidal Flat (Credit: Seocheon County Office) 】

Visitors to Seocheon Tidal Flat can see a rare species of spoon-billed sandpiper. These rare birds are on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species. In addition to spoon-billed sanpipers, Seocheon Tidal Flat is also home to 23 types of sea birds and approximately 304,000 living organisms.

  • Shinan Tidal Flat
  • Shinan Tidal Flat
【 Photo: Shinan Tidal Flat 】

One of the five largest tidals flats in the world, Shinan Tidal Flat takes up 15% of Korea's tidal flats. Shinan Tidal Flat was formed due to cosistent low and high tides among various nearby islands. The mudflats are especially deep with layers of sand above, making the tidal flat unique from other tidal flats around the world. Shinan Getbol Center, the largest tidal flat education center in Korea, provides detailed information about various living organisms that live in Korea's tidal flats.

  • Gochang Tidal Flat
  • Gochang Tidal Flat
【 Photo: Gochang Tidal Flat 】

Gochang Tidal Flat is special in that the substance of the flat changes throughout the year with mud, sand and mix of mud and sand. Nearby attractions include Mandol Tidal Flats Experience Center and Hajeon Getbol Village.

  • Boseong Tidal Flat【 Photo: Boseong Tidal Flat (Credit: Boseong County Office) 】
  • Suncheon Tidal Flat【 Photo: Suncheon Tidal Flat 】

Boseong-Suncheon Tidal is a result of soft and delicate sand deposits that were collected from the Geumgang River. The flat is home to hooded crane, an endangered species, as well as halophyte colonies. Boseong-Suncheon Tidal Flat is characterized by its large salt marsh.

Getbol, Korean Tidal Flats
  • Websites:
    - Seocheon County Office: www.seocheon.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian)
    - Shinan County Office: www.shinan.go.kr (Korean only)
    - Gochang County Office: www.gochang.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
    - Boseong County Office: www.boseong.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
    - Suncheon City Hall: www.suncheon.go.kr(Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
  • 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay)

This page was last updated on September 15, 2021, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here.