About Sojeongbang Falls (sojeongbang pokpo [소정방폭포])
Sojeongbang Falls (Sojeongbang Pokpo [소정방폭포]) was a small seaside waterfall situated close by the famous Jeongbang Falls on the south coast of Jeju Island.
In fact, we were able to combine a visit to both waterfalls as part of a slightly longer extended hike as my GPS logs stated that we walked an additional 1.2km round-trip (though some claim it’s merely 600m round-trip) to reach this falls.
While the Sojeongbangpokpo Waterfall has nothing on the larger Jeongbangpokpo Waterfall in terms of its size, this 5m falls also faces the East China Sea and it tends to see far fewer visitors even though it’s free.
Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the crowds, and this excursion also features a nice coastal walk as well as a Gaudi-like building called Sora’s Castle.
The castle is actually a small (air-conditioned) book cafe with a free water dispenser while also offering additional views of the coast.
Apparently, there’s an accommodation nearby both Sora’s Castle and the Sojeongbang Falls to the east.
However, this write-up will only focus on the approach from the busy car park at Jeongbang Falls (see directions below), which is probably not as short as the approaches from the east.
Experiencing Sojeongbang Falls
From the Jeongbang Falls car park, we took a signed walkway that started from the south end of the lot and went for about 600m (at least according to my GPS trip logs).
The path then immediately followed a well-developed, mostly flat walk with some gardens and memorials on the inland side and elevated coastal views on the seaside.
This laid-back stretch persisted for the first 300m before reaching the Castle of Sora (I believe “sora” means “shell” in Korean), which is a either built-by or influenced by Kim Joong-up who is master of modern Korean architecture.
Shortly beyond Sora’s Castle, the path descends behind the building leading to a fork in the path near a bridge above the Sojeongbang Falls.
The path going over the bridge above the falls leads to the Honeymoon House as well as Paradise Hotel, but we didn’t pursue that path so I can’t say anything more about that.
However, the path on the right followed another set of steps descending alongside the modestly-sized waterfall before ending abruptly right at the outflow of the base of the main drop of the falls.
Depending on the flow of the waterfall, it might be possible to carefully rock scramble further down to get closer to the edge of the coast while also possibly seeing more of the front of the falls in context.
But during our late June 2023 visit, the falls was flowing fairly heavily and we decided not to chance it.
Thus, the waterfall, which seemed wider than it was tall, could be a bit overwhelming since we were so close to it (so pictures really don’t do this place justice).
That said, I did notice some piping feeding water over the falls, which made me wonder if that was just for flow control or if there was some degree of man intervention with this falls.
Nevertheless, we ultimately spent about 45 minutes on this excursion (including the Sora’s Castle visit), and it was a nice yin to the yang of the Instafamous Jeongbang Falls, so to speak.
Sojeongbang resides in Seogwipo on the southern coast of Jeju Island, South Korea. It is administered by the local authorities of Seogwipo. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting their website for leads.
Rather than confuse you with a bunch of turn-by-turn directions that won’t mean anything to you, I’ll just tell you that it’s best to use a Korean routing software on a phone that’s hooked up to a Korean Network (as Google Maps doesn’t work in Korea).
We prefer using a SIM card with an unlimited data plan for this purpose so we shouldn’t be running out of data while routing (while also allowing us to use that phone as a hot spot).
Regardless of what your current location is (and South Korea is as well-connected of a country as I had ever seen), use Kakao Map app to navigate your way through all the city streets, interchanges, and local rural roads.
It even tells you the whereabouts of speed bumps, school zones, speed cameras, and all the particulars about which lane to take when there’s a decision point with multiple lanes involved.
The only catch to using Kakao Map (or any other Korean routing app) is that you’ll need to at least learn how to put your place names in Hangeul (the Korean writing system).
That’s because using romanized words and expecting the app to find it doesn’t always work, but placenames in Hangeul almost always can be found in the app.
Anyways, in our example, we were coming from the Seogwipo KAL Hotel, so with that as our starting point (출발), we set up 정방폭포 주차장 (Jeongbang Falls Parking Lot) as the destination (도착).
This route took us about 5 minutes to go the 2km distance, but we had to be really careful of the busy five-way intersection at the entrance to the hotel because there was no traffic light!
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