Jeju, Manjanggul Lava Tube | 만장굴 | 万丈窟
Our first visit place in Jeju is Manjanggul Lava Tube, just 2km away from the Pension we stayed. It is one of the finest lava tunnels in the world and listed as Unesco World Heritage. Only 1km of the 13,422m Manjanggul Cave is open to the tourists. From the car-park, we will first pass by this exhibition hall where we took family photos. Next to the hall are public toilets and a convenient shop cum restaurant selling souvenir & meals. We bought kimbab from the restaurant as our breakfast before start our tour inside the lava tube.
The Exhibition Hall
Inside the exhibition hall
We briefly browse through the exhibition hall while waiting others go toilet break. It gives brief yet details information for us to understand whats inside manjanggul before we explore it, so we know what to see and we shouldn't miss out.
Geomunoreum (read: Geo-mun-o-reum) Lava Tube System. Tube System. Geomunoreum is the series of lava tubes that erupted from Geomunoreum volcanic cone that includes Bengdwigul, Manjanggul, Gimnyeonggul, Yongcheondonggul, Dangcheomuldonggul lava tubes. Out of all, only Manjanggul is open for tourist.
Other Geopark in Jeju besides Manjanggul are Seongsan Ilchulbong (which we will be visit after this), Mt.Halla, Mt.Sanbang, Yeongmori, Cheonjiyeon falls, Daepo Jusangjeollidae and Suwalbong.
About Manjanggul, The first person who explore Manjanggul in 1946, inhabitant of Manjanggul which is various type of spiders!
Formation Process of Lava Tubes.
Some of the cave’s topographical features in the cave that we will be able to see during the cave tour.
And also pictures of Manjanggul's interior which is NOT open for public viewing - those are carbonated columns and other various kind of product which we won't be able to see since it is refrained from visit.
From Exhibition hall to the admission counter, visitors will passed by this beautiful park with greenery view. These are the first batch of dol-harubangs we saw in Jeju!
This information board placed next to the ticket counter explained further bout Geo-mun-o-reum Lava Tube Systems with pictures.
*Admission fee is required: Adults 2,000won / Teenagers & Children: 1,000won, Children (below 7yrs old) & Senior Citizen (above 65yrs old) free admission.
After purchase ticket, we proceed to walk down staircase towards the cave.
In case you miss out the exhibition hall, there are information signboards about Manjanggul available after we walked down the first phrase of the staircase.
More staircases after the information board, feels like going deeper underground.
Inside of the tunnel the temperature sustains at 11~21 Celsius. The coldness is at an acceptable level. You may bring a cardigan if you afraid of cold.
TIPS: Suggest to wear a pair of sport-shoe or covered shoe if you visit Manjanggul. The rocky floor is uneven, sometimes slippery due to wet and water ponding here and there.
The cave tour begin with lava flow-lines along the tunnel's wall. When lava flows in a tube, the level of the flow is often recorded on the walls. These features are called lava flow-lines. Numerous flow-lines are found in Manjanggul Lava Tube, indicating that the level of lava flows was falling continuously inside the active tube.
Large and Small Passages
From larger passage, we went through smaller and narrow passage, and go back to larger passage again. In Mangjanggul Lava Tube, large and small passage occur repetitively. Continuous supply of hot lava into the tube causes thermal erosion of the tube's floor whereas the lava can be accreted on the tube-ceiling, resulting in the irregular height of the tube. Near narrow passages, Manjanggul opens up into a section with wider and higher ceilings. The demo-like topography of the ceiling is called a "cupola".
We've walked 280m, another 720m ahead..
Abundant rock fragments that fell from the ceiling are found on the floor of lava tubes. They fall from the ceiling either during or after the lava-tube formation. The fallen rocks rest on the floor of lava tubes when the lava stopped to flow and is solidified. Otherwise, fallen rocks are either carried away down-flow by active lava flows or melted down.
Camera is out of focus in the dark, photo turns out blur. Lava raft is formed when rock fragments from the ceiling or side wall fall during the lava flow and then are carried away by lava before settling and solidifying at a certain location. In some cases, fallen rocks are completely coated by the lava to form mound-like or ball-like lava rafts, which are called lava balls.
Don't miss this Turtle Rock which resemblance to Jeju Island. This lava raft named Turtle Rock has become a symbol of Manjanggul Lava Tube. A lava raft is a remnant of rock rubble that was carried down-flow by a lava flow, eventually to become 'frozen' on the floor when the lava flow solidified. On the other hand, Turtle Rock formed by accretion of hot lava along the margin of a fallen rock after it was settled on the floor. Flow-lines along the margin of Turtle Rock coincide with those left on the wall.
Lava shelves form when the liquid lava, only partially filling the tube, is accreted and hardened on the cooler walls. Lava shelves are further divided into lava balconies and lava benches by their shapes.
Another 150m ahead ..
Lava toes formed when the lava flowing through the upper-level tube poured down through a floor opening into the lava tube below. The poured-down lava flowed in a series of elongate and entangled lava lobes, each if which reminiscent of an elephant toe.
Lava flowstones form as the heat of lava melts the ceiling and walls inside a lava tube. The melted lava flows down the walls and take an varying sizes and shapes depending on the temperature and amount of lava. Lava flowstones also form when liquid lava inside the wall seeps out through small holes.
And, we reach the Lava column which is the highlight of Manjanggul, after 40 mins walk. The 1km will takes about 20-30 mins walk and look around. My sis, her mother in law and me took longer time to walk, because her MIL has a weak knee and she is wearing sandals, not suitable to walk fast on this rough and uneven flooring. Anyway, it's good to walk slow as it gives me extra time to take pictures and look around the lava tube more closely.
A lava column forms when lava pours down from the ceiling to the floor and congeals. Lava columns are found in many lava tubes elsewhere around the world. However, the 7.6m high lava column in Manjanggul Lava Tube is the largest lava gest known. The lava poured down from the ceiling spread across the floor of the lower passage and made well-developed lava toes.
There is a platform for visitor to take picture with the lava column. Except my sister's MIL a rest down there not far from lava column, everyone is here smiling to the camera! We took photos via tripod! By the way, selfie stick (selca-bong) is in hit in Korea, almost every Korean is holding one whenever we go!
Oh! This is not the end. We still need to walk another 1km go back to where we come from. So actual journey is 2km. Total time spending inside the cave is 2 hours.
More about Manjanggul, visit: English.visitkorea.or.kr