An introduction to Oreums, Jeju, South Korea
When you are on the east and west sides of Jeju island you can find numerous hills that seem to mimic the kings’ and queens’ tombs of Gyeongju. These are not tombs but Oreums. Oreums are parasitic volcanos, which originated from volcanic explosions between 500,000 to two million years ago when Jeju Island was created. Oreums are a leading landmark of Jeju and they offer both beautiful sights and emotional comfort to the visitor.
Oreums have been an important part of people’s lives on Jeju for many years. Each Oreum has their own set of myths which helped form the backbone of Jeju life. They were especially important during the Jeju 4.3 Uprising when many people escaped into them from the city centres to avoid being killed by police or soldiers.
Each Oreum has distinguishable characteristics. Some have a crater with or without water. Some are good for walking with friends while others are suitable for climbing. Each one is so unique that to simply express the differences between them in words does not do them justice. All Oreums have a natural forest full of flowers and many insects such as butterflies.
With suitable shoes, you can find a new horizon on Jeju and understand more deeply about the island. There are about 360 or more Oreums on Jeju, so you can easily find one near wherever you stay – whether it be a hotel, house or office. There is no reason to skip the search for a taste of the Oreums. You also may want to try some delicious folk food from one of the restaurants dotted about each one.
Of course it requires some payment, but not money- just walking. The reward is to be in a beautiful part of nature. You can relax and be free from the stresses of city life.