top of page

The unkown

Rendezvous with the freediving Haenyeo grand mothers of the sea. 

The locals call Jeju-do the "Hawaii of the Orient" as they are attracted to the natural treasures of the island.


Amongst many natural phenomenon, the Ch'eon-ji-yeon and Cheong-bang waterfalls around Sogwip'o, extensive systems of spectacular lava-tube formations, large caves, extinct volcanoes, and the rough sea are real highlights.


So, obviously, as island enthusiasts, we had to spend a week here exploring the island. The entire island is a World Heritage Site, and the nature is admittedly a big draw, with the island often clothed in swirling mist.


We think however that the real treasure is the people and odd culture characterized by the Haenyeos.


Location: off the coast of South Korea 

Women here are known as Haenyoes. They are the heads of the unusual and unique matriarchal family structures and the island society. They work as free-divers all year round whatever the temperature of the water, collecting abalones and conches.


All over the island, we saw how lava and explosive magma was a constant feature, not just in natural formations but also as a material for gnome-like, slightly eerie manmade statues and sculptures, which create a watchful atmosphere while on the island. It creates a strong sense of mythology and spirit that speaks to the Korean visitor (and the few foreigners who come to hear about the island) with the magnetism of a pilgrimage.



Selected pics during our visit here:

bottom of page