Visit the Sangumburi Crater in Jeju for the best sunset

Sangumburi Crater in Jeju sunset
I haven’t been this impressed in a while. Here’s why you should visit the Sangumburi Crater in Jeju for the best sunset.

If you’re looking to catch a beautiful sunset in Jeju, the Sangumburi Crater is the best place to be. There’s no better place in my recollection, which captures, the sun, the mountain, the forest and the field in a single shot. One does not just visit the Sangumburi Crater in Jeju for the best sunset. It’s nature’s work of art.

Sangumburi Crater in Jeju sunset
The setting sun retreating in the distance.

Our visit to the Sangumburi Crater in Jeju was completely by chance, and we did not expect it to be so beautiful. It was like stepping into the setting of a Korean drama. We were thinking of where to go next, and I pointed in the direction of the Hallasan mountain. Our tour guide, Mr Ko Bang Yong spotted the crater on the map. After several negotiations, we eventually understood that we were going to a crater. It took about 30mins from the Seongsang Peak.

According to the Visit Korea website, Sangumburi (산굼부리) is a crater with a circumference of over 2 km, and has been designated as a Natural Monument. It is located on the southeast side of Jeju-si, and is a flat crater, about 650 meters wide, 100 meters deep, and 2,070 meters in circumference. If you look at the crater from above up, it looks like a man-made circular stadium. There is a variety of plant-life in the crater. On the north side, Nandaeseong vegetation such as red-thorn trees, and magnolia trees grow, along with the rare winter strawberries. On the south side of the crater, Ondaerim vegetation such as evergreens, maples, and mountain strawberry trees cover the area. Because so many different kinds of trees and plants grow in such a limited space, it attracts the attention of researchers as well.

The Flamegrass

Sangumburi Crater in Jeju flamegrass
Flamegrass

After doing some research online, the grass/plant you see in the fields could be Miscanthus sinensis  a species of flowering plant in the grass family Poaceae, native to eastern Asia. In layman terms, it is also be known flamegrass.

Sangumburi Crater in Jeju
On the way up to the crater

The way up was beautiful, but it was merely a prelude to what was to come. On our way up to the crater, we were greeted by flame grass shrouded in golden light. It was 4pm and the sun would set in an hour or so.

The Swing, overseeing the Crater

We walked over to the crater. It was a deep hole in the ground, like a huge pit. Grass had covered the entire pit and it was like a field with an indentation in it.

Sangumburi Crater in Jeju
If not for the strong winds, it would have been a perfect spot.

What was more attractive was the swing which we could sit on while watching the sunset. It was the perfect setting for a melancholic parting scene of a Korean drama, or a reunion of lovebirds accompanied by the dramatic beauty of nature.

Sangumburi Crater in Jeju
Silhouette from a Swing.

I never had the chance to see what was at the bottom of the pit. It was too deep. Doing so would have seen me rolling in, never to emerge in one piece. If you’re looking for some images, try Googling.

The Fields

Sangumburi Crater in Jeju
Sun-baked fields

We took around, and not one, but two TV series were filmed there. I knew none of their names, it didn’t matter. The temperature would have been perfect, if not for the wind which was blowing our hair from side to side.

As the sun faded in the distance, we chanced upon a tree. It was a special tree as there was sign next to it, which made it look like an angry tree – 气。I thought it was really cute. The sun has set and it was getting dark and gloomy. But that did not stop me from taking a photo.

Sangumburi Crater in Jeju
The angry tree. Qi.

The Travelling Squid’s Take

I was in need to immerse myself in a nature spot, and the Sangumburi Crater in Jeju was the best place to do so. It was by far the best attraction we had been to, and tops the list of natural attractions I have been to. It was also the place which made me realise why sun rays were drawn as such – like the one in the photo below.

why is the sun drawn like that
I finally understood why the sun is drawn like that.

The crater was special because there’s no where I had ever been which had a mountain, a forest and a field in one landscape. And a flock of birds flying past at that very moment, dotting the horizon with little black specks. I leave you with one last photo:

Sangumburi Crater in Jeju
The perfect mix of mountain, forest, field and bird.

Have you been to the Sangumburi Crater in Jeju? Drop a comment in the box below with your thoughts!

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