Manjanggul Cave is the 12th longest lava tunnel in the world. This lava tube was formed hundreds of thousands of years ago and is a must-visit destination in Jeju Island, South Korea.
In this travel guide, I’ll share useful information and tips for Manjanggul Cave, including the following sections:
How to visit Manjanggul Cave
Things to see at Manjanggul lave tunnel
How to get from Jeju
Entrance fee and opening hours
What to pack
The cave takes visitors to discover an underground world full of mystery and charm.
About Manjanggul lava tube
Unlike most normal caves formed from natural erosion, Manjanggul Cave (만장굴) was formed between 200,000 and 300,000 years ago when the 456m volcano Geomunoreum erupted.
Accordingly, magma flows with extremely high temperatures deep underground were formed from the materials that make up the Earth’s crust. Eventually, this magma rose to the surface and erupted in the form of lava.
The lava then flowed down the coast, and the path extended for more than 13km, from which many lava tubes are created.
In which the Manjanggul lava system is currently the largest cave in this system. The total length is more than 7400m long, with sections up to 25m high and 18m wide. However, the cave also has some small parts, barely large enough for one person to pass through.
There are three entrances to the Manjanggul lava tube, but visitors can only use the second entry. Most of the cave is closed off, and you can only explore around 1 km from the cave entrance.
Manjanggul is one of the largest cave systems in the world.
Transport: Compare the best flight prices with Skyscanner. Also, check my Jeju bus guide to get around the island easily.
How to visit Manjanggul Cave
From the cave entrance, follow the wooden path to explore the majestic beauty of the lave tunnel. There are light systems along the way, but you still should bring a torch as the light is relatively poor in some areas.
The floor is wet and uneven so hold on to the railings as you may easily slip.
Things to see and do at Manjanggul lava tunnel
Lava stalactites and stalagmites
Thanks to the formation of volcanic eruptions, Manjanggul Cave has different characteristics from other limestone caves around the world.
The tunnel itself is very impressive, with multiple lava stalactites and lava stalagmites, lava columns, flowstones, lava helictites and lava blisters, cave corals, and lava rafts.
Countless rock samples with different animal shapes are formed from molten lava, both eye-catching and exciting. The most prominent ones are Turtle Rock and the giant lava column.
This rock gains its name thanks to the shape of a turtle, quite similar to Jeju Island’s shape.
Giant lava column
At the end of the tunnel, open to tourists, is a giant lava column formed when volcanic lava spills from above. With a height of 7.6m, this is the tallest lava column in the world that has been discovered.
Splendid and magnificent was what I felt when visiting Manjanggul lava tube cave on Jeju Island. Manjanggul is like an underground world with rocks of all shapes and sizes.
I spotted a few bats in the cave on my visit here.
I was surprised to learn that Manjanggul Cave has the largest bat colony on Jeju Island, which nests in this dense cave system. This cave is also recorded as the largest bat cave in Korea, with more than 30,000 bats.
The cave is also home to other animals, most notably the Jeju cave spider.
There’s a small museum onsite where you can read more about the origin and features of the cave.
Not only are the colorful rocks, but this place also offers a feeling of relaxation and refreshment with the green flora.
How to get from Jeju to Manjanggul Cave
Manjanggul Cave is 30km east of Jeju City, and a bus ride takes about 30 minutes.
I recommend taking the Eastern Jeju tour to visit Manjanggul and attractions in the Eastern part of Jeju island. The tour is hassle-free as you don’t have to wait for the bus or may get lost during transit.
Manjanggul lava tube entrance ticket
The ticket price for Manjanggul Cave is 4000 won for adults and 2000 won for children and teenagers.
If you travel in a group of 10 or more people, the entrance prices will be cheaper. It will be 3000 won for adults and 1500 won for teenagers and children.
It’s free for children under 7, seniors over 65, and the disabled and their caretakers.
Manjanggul cave opening hours
Manjanggul lava tube is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm, with a slightly earlier closing time in winter at 5 pm. The last entrance is at 5 pm (or 4 pm in the winter).
Also, it is closed on the first Wednesday of the month.
How long does it take to visit Manjanggul Cave?
The cave entrance is a 7-minute walk from the parking, and the whole cave exploration will take about 45 to 50 minutes on foot.
The best time to visit the Manjanggul lava cave is from 9 am to 4 pm.
What to pack
You should bring a jacket when visiting Manjanggul Cave because the temperature in the cave is quite cold. Also, water may drop down from the cave ceiling as well.
On the day I visited Manjang cave, the temperature outside was 33 degrees Celsius while inside was under 15. I was freezing! Some people even wore raincoats as well.
A torch would be handy for your trip, and a pair of comfortable walking shoes is a must.