Sojeongbang Falls (sojeongbang pokpo [소정방폭포])

Seogwipo, Jeju-do, South Korea

About Sojeongbang Falls (sojeongbang pokpo [소정방폭포])


Hiking Distance: about 1.2km round trip
Suggested Time: 30-45 minutes

Date first visited: 2023-06-24
Date last visited: 2023-06-24

Waterfall Latitude: 33.24508
Waterfall Longitude: 126.57755

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

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.

Jeongbang_194_06232023 - Sojeongbang Falls
Sojeongbang 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.

Jeongbang_217_06232023 - Sora's Castle on the way to the Sojeongbang Falls kind of gave me Gaudi vibes (his building designs are something visitors to Barcelona, Spain would undoubtedly recognize)
Sora’s Castle on the way to the Sojeongbang Falls kind of gave me Gaudi vibes (his building designs are something visitors to Barcelona, Spain would undoubtedly recognize)

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.

Jeongbang_198_06232023 - Context of the steps leading down to the front of Sojeongbang Falls
Context of the steps leading down to the front of Sojeongbang Falls

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.

Jeongbang_183_06232023 - Looking up at part of Sojeongbang Falls with a mother nad daughter dipping into small plunge pool a bit. Notice the turrets protruding from the brink of the falls, which made me doubt how much of this falls was natural versus man-made or man-modified
Looking up at part of Sojeongbang Falls with a mother nad daughter dipping into small plunge pool a bit. Notice the turrets protruding from the brink of the falls, which made me doubt how much of this falls was natural versus man-made or man-modified

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.

Authorities

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.

Jeongbang_134_06232023 - On the chill walkway leading from the car park to the Sojeongbang Falls
Jeongbang_135_06232023 - Looking towards some kind of monument and rest bench early on the short walk to the Sojeongbang Falls
Jeongbang_139_06232023 - Passing by some pavilion on the developed walk to the Sojeongbang Falls
Jeongbang_145_06232023 - First look at Sora's Castle along the way to the Sojeongbang Falls
Jeongbang_151_06232023 - Looking down at a bridge and steps on the way down to the Sojeongbang Falls below
Jeongbang_153_06232023 - Descending the steps leading to the front of the Sojeongbang Falls
Jeongbang_155_06232023 - Looking back from a bridge spanning the stream responsible for the Sojeongbang Falls
Jeongbang_166_06232023 - Looking down towards the coastline from the Sojeongbang Falls
Jeongbang_175_06232023 - Looking up at part of the Sojeongbang Falls' front
Jeongbang_181_06232023 - Looking across the front of the Sojeongbang Falls
Jeongbang_187_06232023 - Closer look at the turrets protruding from the brink of Sojeongbang Falls
Jeongbang_189_06232023 - Looking back along the rough and rocky coastline towards the west from the Sojeongbang Falls
Jeongbang_196_06232023 - Another look at the context of the Sojeongbang as seen across its brink
Jeongbang_199_06232023 - Checking out a bridge spanning the stream responsible for the Sojeongbang Falls
Jeongbang_202_06232023 - Another look at the context of the Sojeongbang Falls as seen from the walkway above its brink
Jeongbang_206_06232023 - Going back up the steps after having our fill of the Sojeongbang Falls
Jeongbang_208_06232023 - Briefly checking out the interior of Sora's Castle
Jeongbang_209_06232023 - Looking across the book cafe part of the Sora's Castle
Jeongbang_210_06232023 - Another look across the book cafe part of Sora's Castle with Julie approaching a water dispenser as well as getting closer to the AC
Jeongbang_211_06232023 - Coastal view from the backside of Sora's Castle
Jeongbang_213_06232023 - Looking in the other direction along the coastline from the backside of Sora's Castle
Jeongbang_215_06232023 - Looking at part of the interesting architecture of the Castle of Sora
Jeongbang_220_06232023 - Another look at the trunk-like pillars holding up the extension of the book cafe of Sora's Castle
Jeongbang_224_06232023 - Following the developed walkway with nice coastline views after having left the Sora's Castle
Jeongbang_227_06232023 - Looking back at the developed Sojeongbang Walk while noticing wildflowers in bloom all over the grassy area


Sojeongbang Falls pretty much shares the same car park as that of Jeongbang Falls on the southern shores pretty much at the south side of the city of Seogwipo-si.

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).

Jeongbang_132_06232023 - The car park for Sojeongbang Falls was pretty much the same as that for Jeongbang Falls
The car park for Sojeongbang Falls was pretty much the same as that for Jeongbang Falls

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).

Jeongbang_004_06232023 - Looking back at the other side of the car park from the Jeongbang Falls ticket office
Looking back at the other side of the car park from the Jeongbang Falls ticket office

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!

For geographical context, Jungmun-dong was about 14km (about 30 minutes drive) west of Seogwipo City and 41km (about an hour drive) south of Jeju-si.

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Long video starting off from a bridge showing the stream responsible for the Sojeongbang Falls before moving to the front of the falls

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Tagged with: sojeongbang waterfall, sojeongbang pokpo, jeju, south korea, korea, jeju olle trail, seogwipo



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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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