Wonang Falls (wonang pokpo [원앙폭포])

Topyeong-dong / Donnaeko Valley, Jeju-do, South Korea

About Wonang Falls (wonang pokpo [원앙폭포])

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

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

Waterfall Latitude: 33.30049
Waterfall Longitude: 126.57938

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Wonang Falls (Wonang Pokpo [원앙폭포]) was a wide segmented waterfall dropping some 10m into a colorful blue plunge pool that is quite popular as a swimming hole.

In fact, most waterfalls in Korea (let alone Jeju Island) are the look-but-don’t-touch type, and that’s what makes this waterfall stand out.

Wonang_049_06232023 - Wonang Falls
Wonang Falls

During my visit, I witnessed scores of people in swimming attire and towels going both to and from the 400m walk to the falls.

There was even a shop at the trailhead that rented out wet suits as well as snorkeling gear (the latter being something I wouldn’t normally think of doing at a waterfall).

Further adding to this place’s popularity was that it was located in Donnaeko Valley, which was apparently encompasses one of the routes involved in getting to the summit of Mt Hallasan – the sacred mountain in the center of Jeju Island).

Moreover, as of my visit in late June 2023, access to the falls was free, which I’m sure also helps further fuel its popularity.

Wonang_066_06232023 - Descending the final series of steps to access the plunge pool before the Wonangpokpo Waterfall
Descending the final series of steps to access the plunge pool before the Wonangpokpo Waterfall

Indeed, there was a bit of a festive atmosphere around the waterfall (e.g. people smoking, some music being played, cliff jumping, swimming, etc.).

The trail to the Wonang Falls was well-developed through a jungle (attesting to the humidity and high rainfall of Jeju Island) before descending on a series of steps to the plunge pool at the waterfall.

Wonang Falls’ stream is said to never dry up (which is apparently rare on the island), but the water was also anecdotally said to be cold since it comes from Hallasan Mountain.

Overall, I spent about 35 minutes away from the car, but you could easily do the walk about 5-10 minutes each way.

Wonang_061_06232023 - When the sun comes out, the colors in the plunge pool of Wonang Falls really pops out!
When the sun comes out, the colors in the plunge pool of Wonang Falls really pops out!

Finally, I would warn that this festive atmosphere around the Wonang Falls occurred on a pretty benign weather day.

However, the very next day started a series of severe monsoonal thunderstorms that produced intense and persistent flooding rains.

Under those conditions, the stream would be too swollen and turbulent to allow for swimming, and thus the weather is certainly something to keep en eye out for when it comes to visiting the Wonangpokpo Waterfall.


Wonang Falls resides by the district of Topyeong on the northern outskirts of Seogwipo, Jeju-do Province, South Korea. It may be administered by the local authorities in Seogwipo. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting this website for leads.

Wonang_005_06232023 - In mid-April 2023, I came back to the Hirayu Otaki Waterfall with Julie and Tahia, but this time it was Spring, which seemed like it was a bit early in the year to experience this place.  It was also bitterly cold that morning. Note that this photo and the next several shots were taken from this early season Spring visit
Wonang_076_06232023 - Looking back at some picnic benches next to a shop that was renting out wet suits and snorkel gear along with a restroom facility among other things at Wonang Falls
Wonang_010_06232023 - On the developed walking path leading to the Wonang Falls
Wonang_013_06232023 - Continuing on the developed trail leading to the Wonang Falls
Wonang_014_06232023 - Towards the end of the walk, I had to go down these stairs to reach the lookout and plunge pool of the Wonang Falls
Wonang_016_06232023 - Continuing to go down the steps leading to the lookout and plunge pool of Wonang Falls
Wonang_018_06232023 - Looking back up at a tree whose branches hung low so you really have to watch your head as you go past it
Wonang_022_06232023 - Getting tantalizingly close to the Wonang Falls and its attractive plunge pool, but I also noticed thatthe steps going down to the brink of the Wonang Falls was closed during my late June 2023 visit
Wonang_027_06232023 - First partial glimpse of the Wonang Falls and people swimming in its clear plunge pool
Wonang_033_06232023 - Checking out the pretty festive scene in front of the Wonang Falls from its lookout
Wonang_040_06232023 - Given how muggy the weather was in Jeju Island, the plunge pool before Wonang Falls sure was inviting
Wonang_047_06232023 - Another look at the context of people swimming or at least dipping their feet into the cool waters of the Wonangpokpo Waterfall
Wonang_057_06232023 - More frontal look at the Wonang Falls after scrambling onto the rocks across its plunge pool
Wonang_063_06232023 - Another look at the context of the attractive plunge pool before Wonang Falls just as the sun came out again
Wonang_064_06232023 - After having my fill of the Wonang Falls, it was time to head back up the steps
Wonang_069_06232023 - Perhaps this gives you an idea of the extent of a good chunk of the stairs that I had to go back up after finishing up with Wonang Falls
Wonang_072_06232023 - Closer look at the closed part of the steps around Wonang Falls, where this one looked like it led to the waterfall's brink
Wonang_073_06232023 - Facing the climb to get back up out of the Wonang Falls
Wonang_075_06232023 - Back on the flat part of the main trail back to the car park for Wonang Falls

Wonang Falls resides in the Topyeong-dong District on the northern outskirts 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).

Drive_to_Wonang_003_MingSung_06242023 - Heading towards the base of Mt Hallasan as we headed northeast of Cheonjeyeon Falls towards Wonang Falls
Heading towards the base of Mt Hallasan as we headed northeast of Cheonjeyeon Falls towards Wonang 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).

Wonang_002_06232023 - There were quite a few people at the Wonang Falls when we showed up in late June 2023 so we had to parallel park on the street
There were quite a few people at the Wonang Falls when we showed up in late June 2023 so we had to parallel park on the street

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 Cheonjeyeon Falls (천제연폭포), which was near Jungmun-dong, so with that as our starting point (출발), we set up 원앙폭포 (Wonang Falls) as the destination (도착).

This route took us about 40 minutes to go the 19km distance (though Kakao Map says it should take 30 minutes).

Coming from Seogwipo City, it should take about 16 minutes to go the 9km distance.

Wonang_003_06232023 - This is the actual car park for Wonang Falls, and as you can see, space was limited
This is the actual car park for Wonang Falls, and as you can see, space was limited

Finally, coming from Jeju-si City, it should take about 50 minutes to go the 33km distance.

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.

Find A Place To Stay

Sweep from the main viewing deck revealing deep blue pool and an angled view of the falls

Pretty festive left to right sweep across the blue-green pool towards the Wonang Falls as seen from the end of the official trail

Right to left sweep of the falls from the middle of the stream

Trip Planning Resources

Nearby Accommodations

Tagged with: wonang waterfall, wonang pokpo, topyeong, donnaeko, hallasan, jeju, korea, south korea, swim, swimming

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

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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