YEONGMORI or “dragon’s head coast” is one of the most fascinating places to visit on Jeju and maybe even on this globe. This place makes you thinking or dreaming about pirates. Don’t ask me why … but that’s the experience I had. Maybe because Hendrick Hamel was shipwrecked here ?
Hendrick Hamel (1630 – 1692), a Dutch bookkeeper of the Dutch East Indian Company and 63 crewmates were on board of the ship “De Sperwer” heading to Japan when they were shipwrecked in August 1653 on the south coast of Jeju Island.
Along with 35 persons he survived the shipwrecking but they were immediately arrested and sent to Seoul. They were forbidden to leave the country.
Thirteen years later Hendrick Hamel escaped with 7 teammates to Japan. During his stay in Dejima (Japan) he wrote a report about their stay and the Korean customs during Joseon Dynasty. So he became the first foreigner to report about Korea to westerners in his “Hamel’ s Journal and the description of the Kingdom of Korea, 1653 -1666”.
Later on Hendrick Hamel returned to Holland. Near Yeongmori coast you can find a Hendrick Hamel Memorial statue.
But YEONGMORI is more than just the Island were Hamel was shipwrecked …
YEONGMORI has a beautiful rough coastline with spectacular rock formations of cooled down lava, eroded cliffs, amazingly clear and turquoise blue water, and much more.
It takes about an hour to go around this beautiful place and the best spots, to me, are saved for the last. After a one hour walk you can leave the coast by this amazingly natural gate of eroded cliffs … it looks almost like an artificial set for a Pirates movie !
This place, which is actually less busy than other tourist spots on Jeju, is a place you absolutely shouldn’t miss ! If you like fresh seafood than don’t forget to give it a try here at one of the local haenyo.
Look here for more pictures of Yeongmori coast : FLICKR/K-mood