Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sunrise in Jeju

If you want to watch the sunrise, the best thing to do is to first wake up to see the sunrise. ㅎㅎ.

The best thing to do on Jeju, is to hope (or plan) for good weather, camp out near Sunrise Peak (성산일출봉; Seong-San Il-Chul Bong), and then climb up early in the morning along with a bunch of other Korean (and maybe some Chinese) tourists. Pack your snacks, drinks and most definitely your camera and selfie-stick and you are good to go.
A common angle (or similar to) of Sunrise Peak featured on many postcards
Sunrise peak is one of the selling views of Jeju island. In a package of postcards, you might get 3-4 different angles and seasonal shots of the "Tuff Cone." Most tour companies bus their customers out to the east side of the island and wait the 30 mins to an hour while their tourists explore. At different times during the day, you can also see a demonstration by Haenyeo, Jeju's traditional female divers. (I don't know how these differ seasonally).

This past week, luck (and the weather) were on our side. One of my friends and I wanted to see the sunrise last April (click for blog post), but a cloudy night made for an anti-climatic morning. This time, it was different. At this time of year, the sunrise was also a lot later meaning we were able to sleep longer.
Heading toward the peak, the sun's rays already warm the horizon.
As we headed toward the peak in the early morning hours, we could already tell that it was going to be a good day. The sun's rays painted the horizon's edge in deep orange and yellow hues. The wisps of clouds creeping from the east edged into frame like actors setting the stage. The show was preparing to start!

There were many other people at the top with us, despite it being a Tuesday morning. A forest of selfie-sticks waving, the sound of camera shutters rippled through the crowd like leaves in the wind. We waited. The sky grew brighter, the light reflecting across the water and off the clouds. Then, the first sliver of the sun poked above the horizon. It was like we were at a sports match. There was a collective cheer and smiles all around. (My friends and I regret not filming that moment). In that brief moment we were a connected community and sharing a bit of the world's magic.
The sun above the horizon.
Canada Mitts!
I'm so happy that I was able to see the sunrise during this trip. We probably would have lingered longer, but the cold and our hunger eventually convinced us to return to the bottom. 

Until next time, Sunrise Peak. See you again.

Love and Hugs.
View from the top of the peak, looking back toward Jeju just after Sunrise.

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