Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Discovering Gyeongsangbuk-do – Ulleung-gun Part 2

Ulleungdo I was surfing on the net looking for some more material on Ulleungdo when I saw this article on Korea Net. The opening words were so true, “Ulleungdo, or Ulleung Island, may not be as famous or popular as Korea's most well-known resort island of Jeju or Jejudo. Yet when it comes to beauty and charm, Ulleungdo can still compete. Ulleungdo, located about 120 kilometers east of the Korean peninsula, is a pentagon-shaped rocky island formed by ancient volcanic eruptions. Because of its seismic formation, there are high and steep cliffs all over the island. It still makes many wonder how nature could create such a beautiful place like Ulleungdo.

So it looks like we didn’t make a mistake after all in coming to this island. And now that I’m here I don’t want to leave, perhaps being an islander myself back in my hometown, is the reason why I am so drawn towards Jejudo and Ullengdo. That is also why I couldn’t finish writing about it in one go. Who knows it might even demand a further continuation after today because there are still so many more things to write about Ulleungdo, so please bear with me a little longer.

For you sports enthusiasts, did you know that there are many sports activities to help you pass away your time while you are here in Ulleungdo? Take your pick, there’s climbing, hiking, bicycle tracking,artificial rock wall & rock wall climbing, camping and fishing.

Ulleung climbing through the primeval forest

Ulleung climbing through the primeval forest 01Climbing in Ulleungdo is uniquely attractive as the path goes through the primeval forest and where there are proper steps with handrails to hold on to as you slowly make your way up. Climbing is different from hiking in that it is less vigorous than hiking, more of a slow ‘hike’ you might say, a gradual thing but where you might have to climb a bit to reach higher ground or even mountain tops. Sometimes it might just mean walking along the beach to go to a village or climbing up steps to go up a lighthouse/observatory for example. This is an activity where the elderly can join in.

Ulleung Mountain climbing

I suppose hikers can get to the destinations much faster but for me, getting there sooner or later, we still arrive at the same destination. At the end of a climb/hike , you’ll feel refreshed when you stand at the peak of the mountain, breathing in the cool, fresh mountain air and enjoying the beautiful scenery up there. The following courses are recommended for climbing/hiking. Whichever way you do it, the fast way or the slow way, the reward at the end of the journey is well worth it.

There are three different courses for climbing up the Seonginbong Peak, it may take a long time to get up there but the view up there is just fantastic.

The Daewonsa Course (Time Required: 4 hours and 40 minutes)
Daewonsa → Palgakjeong → Seonginbong Peak → Shinryeongsu → Nari Basin

KBS Air Station Course (Time Required: 4 hours and 20 minutes) KBS Ulleung air Station → Palgakjeong → Seonginbong Peak → Shinryeongsu →Nari Basin

Anpyeongjeon Course(Time Required : 4 hours)
Sadong(Anpyeongjeon) → Seonginbong Peak → Shinryeongsu → Nari Basin

From the Nari Basin you can take the local bus back to Dodong. OR

Ulleung camp site camp out for the night her. The camp site here is available free of charge. Subsidiary facilities are toilets, showers and shelters. In summer, camping out is allowed in the seaside area. Camping sites in Jeodong Naesujeon, Namyang, Chusan and Jukam seaside are also quite popular.

And now back to the other climbing/hiking courses.

Mireukbong(Time Required : 3 hours) Mireukbong Peak, 900.8m above sea level, is a proper course for slow hiking.
The top of the peak commands a view so spectacular that it calls for some photography here. The course takes you from Taeha to Seodalmaeul, then to Gindeungdae and finally to the top of the Mireukbong Peak.

The Haengnam Course (One hour from Dodong harbor to Haengnam)

It is a course along the left seashore of Dodong Harbor. You can enjoy some beautiful seaside scenery, especially under the bridge connecting a natural cave and a valley. In fall, it’s a gorgeous sight looking at all those yellow bog rhubarbs.

The Naesujeon Sunrise Observatory Course (one hour and 30 minutes from Jeodong Naesujeon Sunrise Observatory to Seokpo Village.)

The only unpaved section (4.4km) in the Ulleungdo circuit road, which leads to Bukmyeon Seokpo Village along the county Road No.1, passing the Jeodong Naesujeon Yaksuteo(Mineral Spring). Midway, you will meet with small valleys and sometimes the wide sea as well, including Jukdo Island and Gwaneumdo Island. This course offers some beautiful views of the mountain and the surrounding area.
Jeongmaehwagok, which is halfway between the Naesujeon Sunrise Observatory and Seokpo Village serves as a good rest area. You can enjoy the beautiful seashore scenes of Gwaneumdo Island and the circuit road in front of Seokpo Village. Pampass grass is especially beautiful in the fall.

Ulleung Taeha Lighthouse

The Taeha Lighthouse(Daepunggam) Course ( one hour and 10 minutes from the upward hill near Taeha Harbor, Hwangtogul.)

It's a course where you can enjoy the beautiful sea and the pine tree covered mountains. The wind from the sea carries the fragrance of the pine trees as you walk along the path until you meet the Taeha Lighthouse. From the top of the lighthouse you will be able to see Bukmyeon's superb seashore view which is one of the 10 most beautiful scenery as recommended by the ‘San' Monthly magazine.

The bike tracking course in Ulleung measures 70km in all, with a 2 lane paved seaside road(44.2km) and a single track course(4.4km) in the primeval forest between Naesujeon and Seokpo. The seaside road is very challenging because the levels are varied, from sea level to the mid-slope of the mountain, however, the beautiful scenery you come across while biking will relieve the suffering in the legs. For this activity you must have plenty of stamina, so you can count me out for this one..

Recommended Courses
1. Dodong – Naesujeon Hill 6km
2. Naesujeon – Seokpo Mountain Road through the primeval forest 4.4km
3. Nari Basin – Shinryeongsu 2km
4. Rising and falling seaside course, Cheonbu – Dodong

Fishing anyone? There are lots of places to go for it. Below are the sites for going fishing from the homepage of Ulleungdo, how to go, where to go and the types of fish found in each area.

Fishing site in Dodong right and left seaside Fishes: Bangeo(Busiri), Benge Snapper, Parrot fish, Horse mackerel, Mackerel, Mangsangeo
- Location: 0.5km from Dodong
- Access: On foot
- Time required: Less than 10 minutes

Jeodong Chotdaebawi fishing site Fishes: Bangeo(Busiri), Benge Snapper, Parrot fish, Ureok
- Location:3km from Dodong
- Access: By car(Local buses are running every 30 minutes)
- Time required: 10 minutes

Tonggumi(Geobukbawi, Gajaegul) fishing site Fishes: Bangeo(Busiri), Benge Snapper, Red sea bream, Black sea bream
- Location: 8km from Dodong
- Access: By car(Local buses are running every hour)
- Time required: 20 minutes

Namyang(Sajabawi, Sataegumi) fishing site Fishes: Bangeo(Busiri), Benge Snapper, Black porgy, Parrot fish, Red sea bream
- Location: 10km from Dodong
- Access: By car(Local buses are running every hour)
- Time required:30 minutes

Taeha(Mulyangjang, Ilbanchu) fishing site Fishes:Bangeo(Busiri), Benge Snapper, Red sea bream, Black porgy
- Location: 18km from Dodong
- Access: By car(Local buses are running), Boat can be available.
- Time required: 40 minutes by boat

One last sporting activity for the very daring, artificial rock wall & rock wall climbing.

Climbing Artificial Rock Wall There is a global standard size artificial rock wall in the Dodong Yaksu Park. The first Ulleungdo and Dokdo Sarang, Artificial Rock Climbing Competition was held in August, 2000.
As for rock wall climbing, Ulleungdo is blessed by nature as most of the area has very steep cliffs. Frequently challenged climbing points are the sea cliffs in Dodong, Jeodong Yongbawi, Janggunbawi, Samseonam Rocks and the Songgotbong Peak.

Now let’s continue with the sightseeing we still have yet to do. We’ve already covered Ulleungeup in my previous post so that leaves us now with Seomyeon and Bukmyeon.

So shall we start with the tourist attractions in Seomyeon?

Ulleung Namyang Namyang Stream water that flows in the valley, situated in the middle of the Bipa Mountain was previously known as ‘Golgye’ as there were more valleys and streams than other villages. Presently, it is called ‘Namyang’ which means the south and is also the warmest place in Ulleungdo. It is where the snow melts the earliest in Ulleungdo.

Ulleung Mt. Bipa Guksusan Mt. Bipa (Guksusan) is located at the back of Namyangri village. There was a legend why it was called ‘Mt. Bipa(Mandolin),’ because King Uhae of Usanguk brought 12 maids and let them play the mandolin everyday to mourn the death of his queen, Poongminyeo, who died and left him with a daughter.

Ulleung Tonggumi Tonggumi

From the Naesujeon Sunrise Observatory, Jukdo Island, Gwaneumdo Island and Seommok can be seen on the horizon. It’s a refreshing sight when you see the pure and clean sea that separates them From here you can enjoy tracking to the Bukmyeong Seokpo Village in the next county.

Ulleung Saja Bawi Sajabawi The King of Silla dispatched Yisabu, the sovereign of Gangreung, to subjugate Usanguk. The Silla warship had a wooden lion at the bow of the boat. King Uhae of Usanguk surrendered, taking off a war helmet when he was threatened that the lion would open fire from its mouth and those lions would exterminate all the people in Usanguk.
Though Usanguk perished, the legend is still heard that the wooden lion became the Sajabawi(lion rock) and the war helmet taken off by King Uhae became the present Tugubong (helmet)

The Namseo Sunset Observatory You can feel the magnificence when you see the wide horizon as well as steep cliffs and fantastic rocks and stones along the Sataegumi seaside. This observatory was built specially to view the sunset, which is very beautiful as seen from this spot. The penis rock is standing eminently in front of the observatory and in the opposite hill there’s a Saeksibawi (Lady Rock) that’s bashfully turning back from the penis rock. Please forgive the obscenity but that’s what the rock is known as. There‘s a legend that those couples who don’t have children, can have a child by making a wish before the penis rock and the couples can even get more intimate by confessing love before the rock.

Ulleung Namseori TumulusNamseori Tumulus, designated as a Gyeongsangbukdo monument is located 1.5km away from the Namyang bus station. As there’s a good-taste spring water, known as the Chanmulnaegi nearby, it is a good place to stop and rest. This area is a site that has the most tumulus. Tombs are made up of the flat stylobate on which the deceased body is laid and the mound is covered with stones.

Ulleung Namyang Mongdol Seaside The Namyang Mongdol Seaside, less than half an hour’s drive from Dodong is unique to Ulleungdo. The summer scenery such as the moonlight shining and reflecting on the black pebbles, with the white waves beating on the seashore is beautiful enough to attract any visitor

Ulleung Hakpo

Hakpo is smaller than Taeha but it has lots of yellow earth. Since ancient times, it has been called Small Hwangtogumi. The village was called Hakpo (Crane) as there was a rock that looked like a crane.

Ulleung Seongha Shrine

During the reign of King Taejong of Joseon, Kim In Woo arrived in Ulleungdo with two warships to take Ulleungdo residents back to the mainland. When he was sleeping after completing the mission, he dreamt that the god in the sea ordered him to leave a man and a woman on the island. Kim In Woo returned leaving the two people on the island.
After several years, he came back to Ulleungdo on a mission where he found the two people had become skeletons while hugging each other. He built a shrine there in their memory known as the Seongha Shrine.

Ulleung Taehari Gwangseomyeong Gakseokmun

Taehari Gwangseomyeong Gakseokmun (a 5 minutes’ walk from the Seongha Shrine) is an engraved stone without trimmings. Son Ju Yeong who served as Owijang built it in April 1890 in remembrance of those people who contributed to the exploitation period.

Now let’s go over to Bukmyeon and see what the tourist attractions there are like. In Bukmyeon there are some very odd shaped rocks and huge volcanic rock cliffs created by Ulleungdo’s volcanic past. At various intervals along the coast of Ulleungdo you will find small fishing villages. Further inland you might be able to see some agricultural villages.

Jukam village, located in the valley surrounding the sea, was called Daebau((bamboo) as there were many bamboo trees but it was named Jukam (bamboo rock), converted to Chinese letters. You can swim in the Jukam Mondol Seaside in front of the village and at the same time experience life in a quiet fishing village.

Ulleung jukam_mongdol_Pebble BeachThere are no sand beaches on Ulleungdo Island. Because the coastline is made up of steep rock walls, all beaches are formed by small pebbles. But the water is very clean and the scenery, strikingly beautiful. In particular, Jugam Mongdol Beach is considered extremely beautiful because of such attractions as the Samseonam Rocks (Three Fairy Rocks) and Gwaneumdo Island are nearby.

Ulleung Gwaneumdo Island

On Gwaneumdo Island are various self generating plants such as the camellia, the pampass grass, the bujigaengyi and the mugwort. There are two caves at the bottom of the island. Gwaneumssanggul(twin caves) is 14m high and pirates used to hide their ship in this cave and plunder passing boats. A man named Wolseong Kim, one of the first settlers to come from Gyeongju, came to this island to escape from the typhoon. He made a fire as he was cold and hungry. So many crows flew in that he managed to satisfy his hunger. This island is also called island of Ggaksae(Crow) due to the numerous crows around here. A legend says that water falling down from the ceiling of the twin caves makes you live long.

The Samseonam Rocks looks like there are two rocks from a distance but actually there are 3 rocks. According to a legend, 3 angels, lost in the beautiful scenery here, couldn’t go back to heaven in time and they were turned into rocks. It is one of the 3 beautiful spots in Ulleungdo.

Ulleung Hyeonpo

A map in the Haedongjido (atlas) made in the18th century, will show that there were 20 stone tombs and a temple site which had a pagoda in it in Hyeonpo.
According to the Donggukyeojiseungram, there used to be 7 sites of colonies, stone figures and stone pagodas and it is presumed that this place was a capital city of ancient Usanguk as there are many historical remains such as Seongji, Naseonjang and Seondol.

Present day Hyeonpo may be just a small fishing village but surprisingly there is a pearl museum here. This museum is filled with some impressive works of art made from pearls. The museum also has a number of large clams on display as well.

The Haedongjido map also shows rocks that can still be seen on and around Ulleungdo today. One is labeled as Ugak-am, which means “Cow Horns Rock.” Today that rock is called “Samseon-am.” Next to Ugak-am is Ssangpo-am, which means “Double Ramie Cloth Rock.” Today it is called “Gawui Bawui,” which means ”Scissors Rock.” Next to Scissors Rock is Seonyudae, which means “a high place where nymphs play.” Today it is called Ddan Bawui. Notice that the rocks that Koreans associate with nymphs today are different from the rocks that were associated with them in the 1700s. Then there is the Gong-am, which means “Hole Rock.” Today, Koreans still call the rock “Hole Rock,” but they also call it “Elephant Rock” or The Gongam Koggiri Bawi because it looks like an elephant with its trunk in the water. The surface of the rock looks like firewood being stacked up and boats can pass through the 10 meters side hole in the rock.

Ulleung Hyeonpori Tumulus The Hyeonpori Tumulus is Gyeongsangbukdo Natural Monument No.73. There are about 10 tumuluses in a slope. It is a stone tomb with a rectangular room for the deceased body on the stylobate and a stone cover is made on it. This type of tomb is assumed to be that of the Samguksidae (Era of 3 Countries).

Ulleung Songgotbong Peak

The Songgotbong Peak is 430 meter high.
It was named Songgotbong (auger)as a mountain peak in the Seonginbong Peak resembles an auger and a neighboring village was named Chusan after the Chinese letter ‘Chu’ meaning an auger and ‘San’ meaning a mountain. There is a deep hole, unknown how deep it is, at the top of Songgotbong.

Chusan village, located to the north west of Naridong, somewhere between Bukmyeon Hyeonpori and Cheonburi, is called Chusan as there is a mountain resembling a gimlet. You can feel the typical mood of an Ulleungdo agricultural village whilst enjoying a superb view of the Gongam (Elephant Rock) and the Songgotbong Peak..

Ulleung Cheonbu Harbour Cheonbu was called the ‘Old Wharf' or ‘Japanese Wharf'.
This village was called ‘Japanese Wharf' as at the time of the Joseon Dynasty, Japanese boats were built here and they stole precious timbers and transferred them to Japan. It was also called ‘Old Wharf' because the wharf has been here from ancient times.

Ulleung Nari Basin The Nari basin is the only place on the island with significant flat land which is suitable for dry field farming. When the first settlers arrived on Ulleung-do from Korea in the 1880s, the Nari basin was one of the first regions they settled in. It is also the only place on the island where traditional houses are preserved. There are two tumak houses (thatched-roof houses) and one neowa (shingle-roof) house standing in Nari. There’s even a church near these houses. Further south in the now-uninhabited part of this basin, are two additional tumak houses .

The northern part of Seonginbong Peak was a site created by caldera. On the site are the Albong Peak (538km) and 2 villages which are divided by the molten lava, Nari village being in the north east, Albong Peak village being in the south west where it’s uninhabited now.

Ulleung Nari ValleyThe Nari Valley was so-called because people who had lived there from ancient times survived hunger, by eating the roots of the Seommal Nari. At the time of exploitation, it was the first settled colony. Tour sites nearby include Tumakjip, Neowajip, Flower beds of Ulleungdo, Seombaekrihyang Colony, Yongchulso, Shinryeongsu, and the Camp site.

Ulleung Seombaekrihyang Colony

Seombaekrihyang Colony (a Natural Monument) is located 20 minutes away from Nari towards Shinryeongsu.
It resembles Baekrihyang but the leaves and flowers are bigger and it is self generating only in Ulleungdo, so it’s called Seombaekrihyang. Purple or red violet flowers usually bloom in June and July and its fragrance spreads as far as to 100 ris. Old time fishermen are said to have found their directions by this fragrance.

Ulleunggukhwa Flower of Ulleungdo colony

Ulleunggukhwa (Flower of Ulleungdo) is a kind of wild chrysanthemum with a glossy trunk and relatively thick leaves. Tongue shaped white flowers bloom in September and October every year, which is self generating in the Seombaekrihyang Colony.

Ulleung Tumakjip

Tumakjip is built by stacking up hemlock spruce and beechtree and the crevice is filled up with soil which self controls temperature and humidity. It is cool in summer and warm in winter in this house. One shingle roofed house and 4 tumakjips in Nari Basin are protected as cultural assets


A shingle roofed Ulleungdo traditional house with the deep earth scent and the aroma of trees, was a traditional type of house for the first settlers which is called ‘ Gwiteuljip ' on the mainland.

Ulleung Seonginbong Peak

The Seonginbong Peak is 984 meters above sea level and at the peak is a rare-tree-colony comprising of trees like the linden tree, the beech tree and the Goroshoi tree which is designated a Natural monument.

Ulleung Seonginbong Peak 01

The Seonginbong Peak (sacred man) Peak is so-called as the mountain looks very sacred. The mountain is covered with fog for an average of 300 days annually, giving it an air of mystery. Consider yourself very lucky indeed if you manage to climb up here and find that it’s all bright and clear. There’s a footprint, known to be the General’s Footprint, on the rock that looks like an altar. This foot print is the left one and the right one is said to be somewhere on the mainland.

Ulleung Seokpo

Seokpo, also called ‘Jeongdeulggae' or ‘Jeongdeulpo', was called ‘Jeongdeulpo' as the first settles felt so sorry(Jeong) when they had to leave the wharf(po) for the mainland. Later, this village was renamed Seokpo as there was a lot of stone.

Ulleung SeommokA mountain was extending towards the sea to the east of Seokpo and there’s an island called Gwaneumdo Island. Ships were plying between the two islands and the waterway looked like a neck(mok), so it was named ‘Seommok’. It’s also called ‘Seonchangpo’ meaning a wharf. It was a major waterway

Looks like I was right, I’m afraid I have to continue telling you about Ulleungdo in my next post. So drop by if you want to know more……

Friday, November 20, 2009

Discovering Gyeongsangbuk-do - Ulleung-gun Part 1

I’m sure all of you must be getting a bit bored with the mountains and valleys already, so what say you if we stop on the island of Ulleung for a few days to enjoy a bit of the sun and the sea , with the sea-breeze blowing in our faces, also not to mention the amount of fresh seafood we shall be consuming. At first I thought that there would not be much to do and see here on the island but as I read more and more about Ulleung-gun, I began to realize how wrong I was. Ulleung-gun covers a big area you know, 43 islands in all. But don’t worry, we won’t be hopping from one island to another because only 3 of them are inhabited and the rest are not. What a relief to hear that isn’t it?

Ulleunggun Administrative District Administratively, the county is divided into one eup and two myeon: Ulleung-eup (including Liancourt Rocks or Dokdo), Buk-myeon, and Seo-myeon. *Dokdori on Dokdo was newly established in 2000.

Dokdo geologyHere’s something I dug up about Dokdo. Located 87.4km away from Ulleungdo Island, Dokdo is a volcanic island that was formed by lava which erupted about 2,000m underwater. It was formed between the early and the late Pliocene in the 3rd phase of the Cenozoic Era. Dongdo, the south eastern part of Dokdo, preserves two old volcanic craters and has a relatively flat peak, whereas Seodo has a sharp, cone-shaped peak. In the center of Dongdo is a vertical hole that goes right down to the surface of the water. It has most of the maritime facilities, including a manned Light House. Seodo's major facility is the Fisherman's Lodge. Presently there are security guards on Dokdo to protect several houses that were built onto the rocks as well as a small harbor. With strong sea wind and infertile rocky soil, not many plants can survive in Dokdo. It is where migratory birds stop by or rest for a while on their way to the final destination.
Currently, the population in Dokdo is three. They are Sung Do Kim, the captain of Ship Dokdo, his wife Sin Yeol Kim, and poet Bu-kyeong Pyeon. Sung Do Kim and his wife moved to Seodo on November 17, 1991 and have been making a living by catching fish.
Bu-kyeong Pyeon moved to Dokdo on November 19, 2003.
Sung Do Kim has been living in Seodo since the 1970s as a crew of Captain Jong Duk Choi, the first resident of Dokdo (Ship Deokjin, 2.22 tons). As a crew, he made a living by gathering seafood and catching fish.
When Choi died in 1987, Kim began to operate his own ships (Ship Myeongseong, 2.08 tons; Ship Buyeong, 1.5 ton) and settled in Seodo. He eventually moved his permanent address to the current address in 1991.
Jong Duk Choi was the first registered resident of Dokdo. As a resident of Ulleungdo Island, he moved to Dokdo in March 1965 to gather seafood in the common fishing ground of Dodong. He began modernizing facilities in May 1968.
When Japan began to claim their ownership of Dokdo in 1980, he moved his permanent address to Dokdo on October 14, 1981, saying, "I will show them that a Korean is living in Dokdo." He established an underwater storage and developed an abalone fertilization method and a special fishing net. He even discovered a spring called Mulgol in the heart of Seodo. He tried hard to develop Dokdo until he passed away on September 23, 1987.
Although there are only three people who actually live in Dokdo now, 2,051people from 613 households have moved their permanent addresses to Dokdo (as of 2007) through the 'National Dokdo Permanent Address Registration Movement' when they found out Japan was trying to register Dokdo as their land in 1999.

location map of Dokdo

Japan acknowledged the value of Dokdo Islet after the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. Japan unilaterally transferred Dokdo Island to Shimane Prefecture, Japan and renamed it "Takeshima". Several authorities in Japan have continuously declared their dominion, over the islet, which led to diplomatic conflicts between Korea and Japan. Such conflicts have yet to be resolved.
See the distance Dokdo is from Ulleung and Oki Island, Japan. On a clear day you can see Dokdo from Ulleung but it cannot be seen from Japan. So who do you think has got more rights
to claim it? While I was writing this, something happened which was like an answer to my prayers. I fervently want Dokdo to be part of Korea. I came across this article in the Chosun Ilbo which I am reproducing here.

Japanese Document Shows Dokdo as Foreign Territory

Japanese Ministry of Finance Notice no. 654 specifying Dokdo as foreign soil Japanese Ministry of Finance Notice no. 654 specifying Dokdo as foreign soil

A legislative document from 1946 shows Japan voluntarily acknowledging that Dokdo does not belong to it. According to records obtained on Sunday by Liberty Forward Party lawmaker Park Sun-young from an unidentified senior Japanese government official, Japan's Ministry of Finance issued a notice document numbered 654 on Aug. 15, 1946, a year after Korean independence, that says Dokdo is foreign soil along with Korea, Taiwan, Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands and the South Sea Islands.
In 1946, just after it was defeated in World War II, Japan enacted an emergency law handling corporate accounting matters to resolve the issue of overdue payments and compensation owed by Japanese companies, Park's office explained in a statement. The emergency law designated the assets, real estate and other property owned by Japanese companies that would be necessary for the country to rebuild itself, and also designated assets that were to be excluded, namely land that belonged to foreign nations. Dokdo was on the list of those to be excluded.
Korea has already learned about two legislative Japanese documents issued since the end of World War II in which Tokyo acknowledged the fact that Dokdo was not part of Japanese territory. One, passed to Cheong Wa Dae in December last year by the state-run Korea Maritime Institute, was Prime Ministerial ordinance no. 24 proclaimed on June 6, 1951. The other was a Finance Ministry ordinance issued on Feb. 13, 1951. There was evidence of efforts by the Japanese government to conceal the two documents.
The latest find was proclaimed five years earlier. "The latest discovery is a valuable legislative document for us in the fight over sovereignty over Dokdo," Park said. "The government must be more active in its search for such historic and legal evidence and use it so we can finally put this sovereignty dispute to rest."
Professor Yuji Hosaka at Sejong University, a Dokdo expert and naturalized Korean citizen, said the document appears to be "the first legislative document showing Japan's exclusion of Dokdo from its own territory following its defeat in World War II."

englishnews@chosun.com / Nov. 16, 2009 11:32 KST

Ulleung gun logo Ulleung Haehorang & Oggidongyi

Ulleung gun Flower Camellia gif Ulleung gun Bird Wood PigeonUlleung gun Tree Silver Magnolia

These are the symbols of Ulleung but I cannot tell you the significance behind them as I could not find the explanatory notes on them.

Ulleung is a pentagon island made of volcanic rocks when a volcanic island erupted from the sea during the Cenozoic era 3 and 4. Made out of basalt, trachyte and andesite, the soil on the island is mostly grey, one which is very fertile and favorable for water supply. Ulleung was originally known as Mureung, Ureung or Usanguk. As dolmens, pattern-less earthen wares and grinding stones, assumed to have been made in the Bronze Age(BC 1000 – BC 300) or in the Iron Age(BC 300 – AD 1) have been discovered in Ulleung, it can be surmised that people were already living here in Ulleung during that time. In 1696 during the reign of King Sukjong, negotiations were held with a sovereign of Baekgiju, Japan and Ulleung was recognized as a land of the Joseon.. The first 54 settlers from 16 families only came to stay on this island in 1883. There were a few name changing of the island before it was finally changed to its present name of Ulleung-gun. In October 1900, it was renamed as Uldongun and incorporated as the 27th county of Gangwondo. In 1906 it was changed from Uldongun to Ulleunggun, incorporated to Gyeongsangnamdo. But in 1914 it was transferred from Gyeongsangnamdo to Gyeongsangbukdo where it still remains unchanged till today.

Know what? It says on the homepage that there are 3 things which are non-existent in Ulleung - thieves, pollution and snakes. Ooh, I’m going to love it here because these are the three things that I detest. On the other hand there are 5 things that are plentiful in Ulleung:- aromatic trees, wind, beautiful women, water and stones.

You don’t have to worry a thing about accommodation here in Ulleung because there are lots of places to stay according to the website, a list too long for me to print here. However I shall tell you where you can get accommodation here in Ulleung. You will observe that most of the accommodation will usually be centred around the tourist spots. You can find the inns and home-stays in Do-dong 1 ri, Do-dong 3 ri, Sadong-ri, (in Ulleung-eup) and Tonggumi, Taeha-ri, Namyang-ri, (in Seo-myeon.) There are even more homestays in the Jeo-dong Area, Namseo Area, Cheonbu, Hyeongpo Area and Nari Area. If you still can’t find what you want or if you're looking for something cheaper, you could try camping for free at Naessujeon and Sadong-ri. There are toilets and showers at both places.

Maybe you’d like to know what type of food you can get in Ulleung-gun. Well how about some raw fish or squids? Mackerel pike mulhoi is a dish frequently eaten by local residents. Don’t like raw fish? You prefer to have rice? Then you can either have the wild greens bibimbap which is rice mixed with the edible wild greens of Ulleung, like the Samnamul(Ginseng greens), Osmund, Myeongyi(mountain garlic), Ulleung goldenrod, Jeonho, Aralia or rice with Sea Mussels which is steamed rice cooked with various vegetables and fresh sea mussels. Or perhaps you might like to try the nutritious abalone gruel? Maybe you’d rather have the Ulleungdo Prime Beef Bulgogi? There are about 570 kinds of plants which are self generating everywhere in Ulleungdo, and the Ulleungdo cows are fed with medicinal herbs, thus the beef has a unique herbal flavor and is of better quality.

How to get there? There are 3 departure points from mainland Korea to get to Ulleung-gun as you can see from the map below.

Way to Ulleungdo

Sightseeing in Ulleung can be divided into 3 sections, those tourist spots in Ulleung-eup, those in Seo-myeon and those in Buk-myeon. And this is how I’m going to do my sightseeing in Ulleung. So shall we start first with Ulleung-eup?

Ulleung Dodong-Harbour 01 Dodong Harbor is where we landed when we first arrived in Ulleung island and it is about 3 hours from Pohang and Mukho.

The Ulleungdo Aromatic Tree is the oldest aromatic tree in Korea. It is about 2,000 years old, 4 meters tall and 2 meters wide. It is a protected tree designated by Gyeongsangbukdo. It is one of Ulleungdo’s symbols which rooted itself in the barren rock and has been growing since people began to live in Ulleungdo.

The Dodong Yaksu Park is a historical site. ‘Yaksu’ when translated means ‘medicine water.’ The Yaksuteo mineral spring here is supposed to have healing properties. It is well known for its medical effectualness to anemia, eczema and skin disease.

It is a short 15 minutes walk from the ferry terminal and is also home to the local historical document museum, the Dokdo Museum, the Dokdo Observatory Cable Car, The General An Yon Bok Monument and the Ulleungdo Poem Monument of Cheongma. The Cable Car Ride this is a must-do thing as you can get a panoramic view of the island from the car . It goes up to the nearby Manghyang Peak and on a clear day, you can see Dokdo in the distance.

Ulleung dokdomuseum_The Dokdo Museum is an advance base to protect Dokdo’s interests and to disprove Japan's claim to the island. It holds ancient documents recording the history of Dokdo.In 1995, Ulleunggun provided the site and Samsung Culture Foundation built it in 1997 and presented it to Ulleunggun.

The Local Historical Document Museum has 270 exhibits showing life during the exploitation period in Ulleungdo.

Dokdo Observatory Cable CarThe Dokdo Observatory cable car, from where one can get a birds-eye-view of Ulleungdo Island, is a must-see tourist attraction. Located inside the Dodong Yaksu Park, the cable car takes visitors up to Manghyangbong Peak. When the sky is really clear you can see as far as Dokdo Island. This is also the first place to view the rising sun in Ulleungdo.

Ulleung cablecar_

The cable car starts from 5.10am, just in time to grab views of the sunrise, and operates until 7pm or 8pm. The round-trip fare is 7,500 won for adult and 5,000 won for children ages 3 to 13. Tickets can be purchased at the site without a reservation.

Ulleung Chotdaeam Chotdae Bawi There’s a legend about Chotdaeam/Chotdae Bawi. It seems that after the death of his wife a man was left with his daughter. One day the old man’s boat didn’t come back as it met with heavy winds and waves. The grieved daughter spent several days crying. However, she felt that her father was coming back and she went out and saw a sail boat coming in. She couldn’t wait for it to reach, so she swam out towards the boat. She was exhausted and died, and was transformed into a rock at that spot. The sunrise view from here is just exquisite.

Walk along the seaside of Dodong harbor to catch a superb view of the place. You have to see the wonderful view under the bridge connecting a natural cave and a valley. This seaside walk leads to a village called Haengnam. The village is also known as Salgu(apricot)namu as there was a big apricot tree at an entrance to the village.

Ulleung Dodong-lighthouse

The Dodong Lighthouse which is located 400 meters away from the village lightens the waterways. It is also called the Haengnam lighthouse. On a clear day you can see Dokdo from the top. You can take a leisurely 1 hour walk up a staircase from the ferry terminal.

Ulleung Bongnae-Pukpo-Waterfall The only source of drinking water on the island, this triple level fall, the Bongnae Waterfall is about 25m high. When you pass the entrance, follow the trail up around a reservoir, but stop at the Punghyeol, where natural air vents blow cool subterranean air. Next to the Punghyeol is a pretty cedar forest, which is worth a stop on the way to see the waterfall.

Ulleungdo Jeodong Harbour

Jeodong Harbor was designated as a fishery advance base in 1967. Harbor construction was completed in December 1979. Able to accommodate 510 ships of 10 ton level and 150 ships of 30 ton level.
In a special weather report such as typhoon, it protects ships working at a distant sea.
Most of Ulleungdo squids are dealt with in Jeodong Harbor.

The Wood Pigeon Habitat, the silver magnolia forest (a Natural monument) is just a 15 minutes’ bus ride from Dodong.The Wood pigeon is the county bird of Ulleunggun and it likes fruits of silver magnolia. It is a rare bird which is designated as a natural monument. The Sadong Mongdol Seaside is just in front of the silver magnolia forest.

Ulleung Jukdo Island Jukdo Island is 4km north east from Jeodong Harbor and 7km from Dodong Harbor. Presently, only two people from the same household are residing in the island. There are many bamboo trees growing here which are self generating. This island is lacking in water, so rain water is used as drinking water. A spiral stairway is the only entry to this island. Codonopsis lanceolata is famous.

Ulleung Sadong

Sadong is called Waroksa, as the mountain in the village resembles a lying deer and is also called Waoksa because of the sands which look like gems lying on the seashore. At present it is called Sadong as there is a lot of sand around here.

Indigenous people called this place Jeongmaehwagol because there was a remote house where a person called Jeongmaehwa lived. This place was halfway between Dodong which was a town of the county office and Bukmyeon Cheonbu village. The site where the married couple of Lee Hyo Yeong saved 300 lives for 19 years has been developed as a rest area.

Naesujeon Sunrise Observatory Course

It takes 25 minutes to get here from the Dodong Ferry Terminal. Climbing up to the Naesujeon Sunrise Observatory, Jukdo Island, Gwaneumdo Island and Seommok can be seen on the horizon. From here take a walk to Bukmyeong Seokpo Village which will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes. I’m sure you will enjoy it when you see all the beautiful sights along the way.

A famous sunrise viewing spot, Naesujeon was also called Jeojeonpo as paper mulberries were thriving here. There is an internal combustion power plant providing electricity and also a mineral spring here. During the summer people come here to enjoy its good camping sites which are free.

All this walking and climbing must have made you hungry. Don’t worry I have been recommended a few restaurants which I will share with you. Some of the food items that are unique to the island are honghap bap, seasoned rice with mussels; sanchae bibimbap, rice mixed with sprouts and edible wild greens, yakso bulgogi, barbequed beef from cows raised on herbs and vegetables growing on the island. Other food items special to Ulleungdo are the cuttlefish and the hobak yeott (squash candy). Most of the restaurants in Dodong-ri are clustered in the same small area. It is a couple of minutes past the information centre on the straight road towards Jeodong-ri. Here are two restaurants that serve the specialty dishes at decent prices:-

The Ulleung Yakso Sutbul Garden open from 8 am to midnight in the peak season, this place offers yakso bulgogi and honghap bab. Prices range from W6,000 to W15,000. Call at 82-54-791-0990.

At 99 Sikdang you'll find their famous ojing-eo bulgogi (spicy grilled squid mixed with veggies) at around W9,000. Here you can also find another island specialty, taggaebibap (shellfish with rice) at W14,000. Call 82-54-791-2287.

Like I told you earlier Ulleung is bigger than I thought. We’ve just covered only one third of its sightseeing and there’s so much more to see and do here. It’s a good thing I suggested a few days stopover otherwise we cannot see all of Ulleung. It looks like I have to continue with our sightseeing in my following post. Bye for now.