img_jeju_satellite.png

 

Jeju-do[1] (transliterated Korean for Jeju Province, short form of Jeju Special Self-governing Province Province) is the only special autonomous province of South Korea, situated on and coterminous with the country's largest island. Jeju-do lies in the Korea Strait, southwest of Jeollanam-do Province, of which it was a part before it became a separate province in 1946. Its capital is the city of Jeju.

The island contains the Natural World Heritage Site entitled Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes

 

Nomenclature

In Korean, do is the phonetic trancription of two distinct hanja (Chinese characters) meaning "island" (島) and "province" (道). However, Jejudo generally refers to the island, while Jeju-do refers to the government administrative unit. The table below also includes the name of Jeju City, the provincial capital.

 

Cheju

Before 2000, when the Seoul government changed the official Romanization of Hangul, Jeju-do was spelled Cheju-do. Almost all written references to the island prior to that use that spelling.

 

Geography

Jeju Island is a volcanic island, dominated by Halla-san (Halla Mountain): a volcano 1,950 metres high and the highest mountain in South Korea.

The island was created entirely from volcanic eruptions approximately 2 million years ago, during the time period from the Tertiary to the beginning of the Quaternary period, and consists chiefly of basalt and lava. The eruptions took place in the Cenozoic era. It has a humid subtropical climate, warmer than that of the rest of Korea, with four distinct seasons. Winters are cool and dry while summers are hot, humid, and sometimes rainy.

There is a crater lake which is the only natural lake in South Korea.

An area covering about 12% (224 square kilometers) of Jeju is known as Gotjawal Forest.[3] This area had remained untouched until the 21st century, as its base of ʻAʻā Lava made it difficult to develop for agriculture. Because this forest remained untouched for a long time, it has a unique ecology.[4] The forest is the main source of groundwater, the main water source for the half millon people of the island, because rainwater penetrates directly into the groundwater aquifer through the cracks of the ʻAʻā Lava under this forest. Gotjawal forest is considered an internationally important wetland under the Ramsar Convention by some researchers[5], because it is the habitat of unique species of plants and is the main source of water for the residents, although to date it has not been declared a Ramsar site.

 

Excerpt from Wikipedia