Jeongbang Waterfall, Seogwipo-si; Jeju-do, South Korea

Jeongbang Waterfall is the only waterfall in Asia that falls directly into the sea. It's a gorgeous place to visit and easily accessible from Seogwipo Harbor in Seogwipo-si (Seogwipo City). I walked there in about 30 minutes after visiting Cheonjiyeon Waterfall, Saeyeon Bridge and Saeseom Island, all three in the immediate vicinity of Seogwipo Harbor. About five minutes walking distance from Jeongbang Waterfall is a smaller waterfall, Sojeongbang, which is also worth visiting if you're in the area.

Unlike tourist attractions in America, which are constantly cordoned off by ropes and rules, attractions in Korea are presented with trust, common decency and common sense. This means you're allowed to walk up right to the base of the falls, even going so far as to bathe in its pond, but it also means you're responsible for your own safety, because you'll be able to walk in and around places that may be dangerous. Usually there are warning signs, but not always for the places that are obviously dangerous. That is where the common sense applies.

Don't get the wrong idea about Jeongbang, though: It is not a dangerous place to visit, but be careful if you are jumping from ocean rock to ocean rock. Please don't crack your skull.


Legend says that an ancient Chinese emperor (Jin) sent one of his servants (Seo Bul) to Jeju Island's Mount Halla in search of magical herbs that would grant everlasting youth. On his journey the servant came across Jeongbang Waterfall, where he carved his name into the rock. The name Jeongbang is somehow derived from this servant's carving, "Seobul Gwaji."


This is the view from the base of Jeongbang Waterfall, out toward the ocean and an uninhabited volcanic island off the coast of Jeju Island, itself a much larger (and inhabited) volcanic island.