Yongduam Dragon Head Rock (Jeju City Sightseeing)20 September, 2014
If you are staying in or travelling to Jeju city as part of your self-drive itinerary around Jeju Island, you might want to check out the Yongduam Rock – also known as the Dragon Head Rock. The Yongduam rock is situated at the northern end of Jeju city. To find the location in Jeju using GPS onboard your rental car, key in this phone number 7283918 for Yongduam Rock (Dragon Head Rock).
Parking is free near the Yongduam Rock attraction. There are no admission fees and you can check out the Yongduam Rock anytime as it is open 24 hours 7 days a week. However do note that not everyone checks out this Yongduam Dragon Head Rock from the correct angle especially if they arrive there during a cold and windy night or doesn’t know how to look at the Yongduam Rock from the correct angle.
We arrived at Yongduam Rock at night around 8pm. There was a busload of tourists hanging around a viewing terrace to the Yongduam Rock and taking selfies, wefies and various pictures with the Yongduam Rock as seen below before rushing back to their tour bus. They are taking pictures of the correct Yongduam Rock but the strange thing is no matter how you look at it, it does not look like a dragon head at all.
This is because this is the back of the Yongduam Rock – i guessed their tour guide did not bother to explain to them the right way to see the “dragon head” on the rock and once they alighted from the bus, they just rush to the most familiar thing to them – a viewing platform.
There is actually a walking trail – a series of steps which brings you to the other side of the Yongduam Rock. The trail is quite short – about a 3-minute downhill walk on a few flights of stairs.
The picture below shows what the front view of the Yongduam Dragon Head Rock looks like – see the dragon head with its mouth wide open?
The scientific explanation for the creation of the Yongduam Dragon Head Rock was that it was caused by the erosion of the coastal rocks by strong winds and waves over thousands of years. There are many interesting local legends behind how this Yongduam Dragon Head Rock was created too – One legend has it that a dragon stealing precious jade from Jeju island’s Mount Halla was shot down by an arrow from the mountain deity. When the dragon fell down on Yongduam, its body immediately sank into the ocean and his head rapidly froze looking at the sky. Another legend has it that a white horse, who dreamed of being a dragon and ascending to the sky, was caught by a soldier and froze into the rock.
Regardless of how it was created – Yongduam Dragon Head Rock looked spectacular especially when you know the correct angle to take a picture with it – see example picture for the correct way of taking the typical tourist picture with the Yongduam Dragon Head Rock in Jeju. 🙂
Do note that the coastline is jagged and spectacular so climbing around on the rocks to get a better view can be quite dangerous.
There are many cafes and restaurants around the Yongduam Rock area – I am not surprised if this area is filled with tourist souvenir stands and bustling street good during the day since this is such a popular tourist attraction in Jeju and it is very close to Jeju city. If you’re lucky, you might even spot the women divers known as haenyeo catching their seafood for the day in this area.
From Jeju International Airport,take bus bound for jeju-si Jungang-ro. Get off at Yongdam Rotary. Walk toward the beach for 5-10 minutes. Yongduam Rock is about a 10 minutes taxi ride from Jeju International Airport.