ManjangGul cave is the largest lava tube system in the world. The total length of this lava tube is over 13 kms, however, only 1 km is open to the tourists. This lava tube system is actually a cluster of many caves Manjang (gul) being the largest of them all (almost 9 kms in length). A lava tunnel is formed when lava from deep under the ground spouts from a peak and flows to the surface (and cools). Manjanggul cave is home to some rare species of bats and other creatures. You can see Stone turtle, stalactites, Foot of Lava, stone pillars and stalagmites here. Manjanggul cave is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
I visited Jeju in June 2013 for a 2 day 3 night trip with my husband and our friends. We went to Manjang cave on Day 2 and it was a very different experience for all of us. We had a great time walking around and taking pictures. The 1 km tunnel open to tourists is very well maintained. I was especially excited (and horrified) at seeing the “Foot of Lava”.
If you are not a fan of natural wonders, geography or walking on uneven ground in a slightly dark cave, I do not think this will be a place for you. But I would still suggest checking out a few more photos on the internet to see and decide because these lava tunnels and caves are not present in most parts of the world and are a unique experience. Besides the whole trip takes a little less than 1 hour and the ticket is very affordable at 2000 KRW(2$) per person.
A few tips on visiting Manjanggul cave:
- Wear comfortable shoes. Even though you have to walk a total of 2kms (in and out) in the tunnel, it can be painful because the ground is not smooth or flat.
- Wear a light jacket as the temperature is a bit low in the cave.
- Carry an umbrella if possible. There are a few places where water is dripping from the “ceiling”.
- Check the time of opening and closing of the Manjanggul cave beforehand.
Manjang Cave is quite close to the Maze park. We ended up not going there because of our relatively short trip. But I have heard that it is a fun place to visit! Jeju has many beautiful tourist spots and anywhere you go, you will be surrounded by scenic beauty. I would suggest a slightly long duration trip if you want to truly explore Jeju (at least 5 days). Some of my favorite places were Chenjiyeon Waterfall, Jungmun Daepo Columnar Jointed Lava, Manjanggul, Jungmun Beach, Seongsan Illchulbong peak and Udo Island.
There are a lot of places I wanted to visit but could not because of our limited stay, they are – Jeongbong waterfall, Cheonjeon waterfall, Suweolbong (Sunset peak), Hyeopjae beach, Yongmeori Coast, Mount Hallasan and the Crater lake!