Seongsan Ilchulbong: Explore Sunrise Peak Jeju, South Korea
Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak is one of the most beautiful places in Jeju Island, South Korea. Its peak shapes like a crown in the middle of a verdant valley.
In this travel guide, you’ll know useful information about Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, including the following sections:
- History and geography
- Best time to visit
- Entrance fee
- How to get there
- Best places to stay in Jeju and Seogwipo
- Hiking tips
About Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak
Seongsan Ilchulbong, also known as Sunrise Peak, was formed more than 5000 years ago by volcanic eruptions. It’s used to be a separate island, but it’s now connected to Jeju’s main island.
You have to climb to the top to see the true form of Seongsan Ilchulbong Mountain in Jeju.
This majestic 182m high tuff volcano shapes like a large pie. Its forested crater has a basin shape with a diameter of about 600m and a depth of 90 m.
Around the crater are 99 alternating rocks, giving this place a crown-like appearance on the background of a green valley.
UNESCO recognized Seongsan Ilchulbong as a world natural heritage in 2007. It’s also one of the seven new natural wonders of the world. You can see all the titles about this place at the foot of the mountain.
Address: 284-12, Ilchul-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do 제주특별자치도 서귀포시 성산읍 일출로 284-12.
Tips for hiking Seongsan Ilchulbong
How long does it take to hike Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak?
There are two hiking trails to reach Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, and you can choose one of them. It takes about 20 minutes to hike up the mountain and 20 mins to climb down. In total, it took at least 40 minutes for a quick visit.
Things to see when hiking the Seongsan
Halfway through the mountain, you could already see a small part of the eastern part of Jeju Island. Blue sea, white sand, and the city in the distance form beautiful scenery.
On this trail, wherever you take pictures is beautiful and equally romantic. Both sides of the road have different vegetation for you to linger to learn and take pictures.
If below is a large lawn, halfway up the mountain, you will see the branches of reeds whispering in the wind. A little higher will be coniferous vegetation and low-lying shrubs.
The final part of the climb to the top is steep. There aren’t many railings along the trail, so bring a walking stick if needed.
Women diver show
You can also see a women diver show, a Jeju cultural heritage, at Seongsan Ilchulbong. Women divers can go diving 10m under the sea to pick up shellfish without the help of oxygen masks.
Check my detailed women diver show guide for more information.
Along the trails are benches and pavilions for hikers to rest.
Toilets are also available on the way, but they are not very spacious and clean, so you should take advantage of the toilet at the foot of the mountain.
How to do the sunrise hike Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak
Hiking Seongsan Ilchulbong in the time of dawn when the sun shines brightly on the top of the mountain is a fantastic experience.
If you plan to do the sunrise expedition, you should stay overnight in the Seogwipo area or stay closer in Seongsan-ri, a village just next to the mountain.
The park opens 1 hour before sunrise, and you will see plenty of hikers at that time. While the hiking steps are clear, you should still bring a flashlight for your trip.
Best places to stay in Jeju and Seogwipo
Places to stay in Jeju
Budget travelers will find Yeha Guesthouse a pleasant place to stay in Jeju city. This guesthouse is just a 3-minute walk from Jeju Bus Terminal, so it’s convenient to get around. Also, the staff was very accomodating and friendly.
I like their kitchen and dining area, with complimentary breakfast and free usage of the washing machine. You can read my detailed Yeha Guesthouse review here.
Places to stay in Seogwipo
If you’re staying in the Seogwipo area on a budget, consider staying at Thira Hotel. The room is clean and spacious, and its location is close to Seongsan and the beach.
For a luxurious choice, The Shilla Jeju offers stylish rooms with a terrace, buffet, three big swimming pools, late-night concerts, and other peaks.
Best time to visit Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak
Throughout the year, the best time to visit Seongsan Ilchulbong is spring and summer.
In spring, the mountain is surrounded by beautiful bright yellow rapeseed flowers, and the area is lust green in the summer.
During the day, the most beautiful moment to hike Seongsan Ilchulbong is the sunrise.
However, if you’re not a morning person, it’s also perfect for hiking any time of the day. I enjoyed a pleasant walk around 4 pm. It was not too sunny, and I could catch the sunset.
You can also join the Seongsan Sunrise Festival, an all-night New Year’s Eve party, here on 31 December.
Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak entrance fee
The ticket price for the Seongsan Ilchulbong area is 2000 won for adults (25-65) and 1000 won for children and teenagers (7 – 24).
It’s free for seniors from 65 and older and children six years and younger.
If you travel in a group of 10 or more people, the entrance fee is much cheaper. It costs 1,600 won/ adult, 800 won/ teenager, and 800 won/ child.
Please note that you must purchase your tickets at least 20 minutes before closing.
How to get to Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak
You can get to Seongsan Ilchulbong by bus, taxi or tour.
To get to Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak by bus, you can choose these routes:
- If you are departing at Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take the direct bus (Dongilju line to Seongsan) and get off at the Seongsalliipgu bus stop.
- From Seogwipo Intercity Bus Terminal, take a direct bus (Dongilju bus line to Seongsan) and get off at Seongsalliipgu bus stop.
- From the Seongsalliipgu bus stop, you will see the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong mountain. You continue to walk towards the top of the mountain.
You can also book an Eastern Jeju Island Tour. The bus will pick you up at your hotel. Then it will take you to several attractions on the East of Jeju island, including Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak.
The Eastern Jeju tour is from 8:30 am to 6 pm. The itinerary is as follows, and you can click on each place to see my detailed review.
- Horseback riding
- Seongeup Folk Village
- Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak
- Woman diver show
- Via Jondalri shore road
- Manjang Cave
Please note that the Jeju Island East tours are only available on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, so you should carefully plan your schedule if you want to join.
What to pack
You should bring water and snacks while climbing Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak. There is only one shop selling water and snacks along the trail.
Also, wearing sports shoes is a must because the walking path is rocky and rough. Don’t forget your camera to take pictures and videos.