My Korean Icon - The Dolhareubang, Jeju's Old Grandfather Statues!

Whenever I think of Korea, I think of stones. It may seem simple and ordinary, but my encounter with them every time I go to Korea always turn out to be adventures that I will never forget. They come in many forms and have different purposes. When I say stones, I am talking about the stone walls, the stone statues, the stone stupas, the bangsatap, the stone pillars, the volcanic stones, the stone fortresses and even the dolsot used for bibimbap - anything made of "Dol" (stones) that are found all over Korea. So for today's topic, let me introduce to you one kind of stone that spells Korea when you see it - the Dolhareubang. Now you know what it's called too! Haha. My Korean icon is something that you wouldn't even think to bring home with you physically (because it's heavy and you should take only pictures and memories as much as possible on trips) and it's something that you will only touch when you go to Jeju Island yourself, especially if you want to have a son or daughter in the family ;) Let me show you where to find some of them in Jeju, Korea!

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According to Psy's Wiki Korea, Dolhareubang are the famed volcanic rock statues of Jeju Island. Touch its nose and you'll have a son. Touch the ears and you'll have a daughter. I found this one below on the grounds near the National Folk Museum and Cheongbuk Palace in Seoul

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but you'll find lots more all over on the picturesque island of Jeju.. 

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You might have heard about Jeju in the past few years, especially when it won as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature next to our very own Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan. I've been there once and it's amazing to see the sights, most especially the rock formations. When we talk about the Dolhareubang, I think it's also important to know about the unique topography of Jeju because these old grandfather stones are supposed to be made from volcanic rocks. The Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes, according to UNESCO, is a World Heritage Site.

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Well, I came across the Dolhareubang at the Jeju Folk Village Museum. Says it's one of the sites where they shot the Korean drama Jang Geum 大長今 =)

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This was where we heard the story about rubbing the Dolhareubang and making a wish. My sister was pregnant then and was in Manila. We jokingly said that we will rub the nose or ears of the old grandpa stone and surprise her when she gives birth. Haha. I'm not sure if it works that way though, with proxies and all =)

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We visited the Jeju Stone Park next. 

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It was so interesting for me because they said that Jeju is a volcano island. They have a museum there. Just look at these lava stones!

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There are also mounds of bangsatap here.

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I liked the outdoor park the most. It was a huge area filled with lots of things!

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It was also here that I got to know a little more about the Dolhareubang like it's significance to the Jeju people and a little bit of its history.

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According to the tablet I read - In 1754, the first Dolhareubang were placed face to face in sets outside the gates of Daejunghyun, Jungeihyun and Jeju Castle as guardian dieties for prosperity and protection. It was also used to define the boundaries (entrance and exit to the gates). It had religious symbolism too against evil spirits and misfortunes.


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In the past, Dolhareubang was also known as Useokmok, Museokmok and Byeoksumeori. =)


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I heard there's a Dol Hareubang Park in Bukchon, Jeju where you can see more! Read all about it here and at the Visit Korea site =) Wouldn't you want to go find some when you go to Jeju now?! I do! This icon is just one of the many things that will make you fall in love with Korea. Looking forward to my next trip ;)

Planning to go to Jeju? Here's a list of awesome places I found via CNN to go, try out and eat in Jeju Island. =)

So, what do you think of Korea's Jeju Island and Dolhareubang? What things and places would you look for there? When you think of "Korea", what's the first thing that comes to mind? Please feel free to tell me below ;)


We actually have a Korean Tourism Organization office here in Manila (KTO Manila, The Fort), you can check them out online here at http://www.facebook.com/ktomanila. You can also check out the newest Korean tourism ambassador Psy and his Wiki Korea Dictionary to find out about more icons of Korea from food to shopping to fun stuff to locations to cultural items like the Dolhareubang. I'm sure they have lots more information for you =) Trust me, I've been using the KTO site since my first Seoul trip to my first Busan trip last year! Haha.


I checked out Psy's Wiki Korea Dictionary and I had new discoveries and places I'll take note of for my next trips!
Jeontongsijang - Bargain world!
Minsokchon - Korean drama heaven!
Temple Stay - aaaammmmm
Olle-gil / Jeju Olle Trail - Walk, walk, walk and nature in one!

I found this funny haha. You should check it out =)
Chak-Shot - #selfie hahaha

Meanwhile, these I've been to and are truly Korean icons for me as well.

You can check out the My Korean Icon Contest here to tell KTO Manila about your Korean icon.

Liked this post? Please feel free to like and share it by clicking here! Thank you =)

23 comments:

  1. I think of the places that was featured in Koreanovelas! :)

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  2. i failed to include jeju during our visit.. yep.. beautiful SK.. hope to visit it again one day...

    just sharing.. the KTX (bullet train) ride is another "must do" at SK.

    happy travelling :)
    http://philippine-mountains-and-beyond.blogspot.com/2013/02/arriving-at-incheon-and-first-night-at.html

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  3. I have never been there but I think that place is rich with culture as well as mystery!

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  4. Wow! Now I know why the JEJU Island is one of the most visited by the tourist now..And I remember also from Jang Geum Koreanovela one of my favorite show because of food that they make and the beautiful places scene there & they mention JEJU Island too... <3 :)

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  5. Manjanggul Cave- I want to go here someday..why because Manjang Cave, a lava tunnel that has a variety of natural structures inside including 70cm lava stalagmites and the lava tube tunnels. Only 1 kilometer of the 13422 meter of Manjanggul Cave is open for visit. The temperature inside the in Manjanggul cave is in the range of 11-21℃ and only small number animals (bats) living in the tunnel which create a comfortable atmosphere for visitor and valuable for researchers as well. If you had never experienced walking in a lava tunnel, this is your chance because it is one of the best lava tunnels in the world, which is also designated as a natural monument. <3

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  6. Jeju famous as their homeymoon place, just ride along the shores in bikes.

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  7. When I think of Korea, first thing that really comes to my mind is Samsung. Hihi! Sorry I haven't been to any other country except our own. Aside from Samsung, when I hear Korea, I always remember the koreanovela "Full House" which Rain is one of the lead actors. I always remember that scene wherein Jessie (Song Hye-kyo) is eating her dinner and Rain saw her eating in a very large bowl that is full of rice and spices. I always thought how that Korean rice tastes and I have always thought that Korea is rich in spices. I just don't know if I'm right. To answer the question what would I look for in there, I'd go look for the house where they filmed "Full House" and maybe I'd go find out if they have lots of spices I can use for cooking dishes. ;)
    I always hear Jeju Island in koreanovelas or korean films and just thought of it as a normal place in their country. I never thought that the place is beautiful. If given a chance, I would also like to visit Jeju Island and have my picture taken with Dolhareubang and the other stone figures there. I suddenly remember John Lloyd and Bea's film "Miss You Like Crazy". Maybe we can write on those little rocks and leave them there and maybe that special someone destined for us will surprisingly pick it up and one day return that little rock to us. Just a thought. :)

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  8. This looks like a place where you can film the Game of Thrones in! And when I think of Korea, I think about Taekwondo!

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  9. Wonderful historical sites. I'll try to visit that place next time.

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  10. a historical place,I wish I can go there to meet my friend there

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  11. I think Korea's Jeju Island and Dolhareubang are great places for lovers to visit! I do really love to go there with my boyfie. I think I would feel like I'm one of those leading ladies in Koreanovelas. So romantic :D

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  12. i haven't been there but whenever i think about Korea what comes in my mind is their foods..spicy foods! i've tasted few of their foods and i liked it so far. Now for the Jeju island i've been hearing about this place from koreanovelas and as i've learned it's one of the tourist destination in Korea and it is included in the 7 wonders of nature would love to go there someday haha! and about the Dolhareubang or the mushroom like stone statues i find them pretty cool!

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  13. i think Jeju Island and Dolhareubang is a very historic place since it's always describe one the most poplular place whenevr i watch korea telenovela, i would like to go to jeju island and experience the breathtaking views and the first thing that i think of korea is the food kimchi

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  14. Jeju Island and Dolhareubang are wonderful places to go to, every place has a story to tell! I want to go there! When I think about korea, first thing that comes in my mind is Lee Min Ho hehe :D Crush ko sya e heheh!

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  15. When I think of Korea, first thing that really comes to my mind is PSY/GANGNAMA STYLE! What i think about Korea's Jeju Island and Dolhareubang is nice place to go to if you are a tourist!What things and places I would look for is Dol Hareubang Park in Bukchon and their museums!

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  16. Jeju Island and Dolhareubang would be a nice place to visit! I want to go there one day. When I think about korea, the first thing i have in mind is the Koreanovela Lovers in Paris. I was hooked!

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  17. JEJU island and Dolhareubang is a great place to visit and to have vacation,i seen it on tv..

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  18. JEJU island and Dolhareubang is a famous landmark on korea,everyone should drop by and enjoy the wonderful view!

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  19. I think Korea's Jeju Island and Dolhareubang will help you to know more about korea,i hope someday i could visit korea too

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  20. I think Jeju Island and Dolhareubang is a very preserve place,it contains korea's history and if i go to korea i want to be where the queen and i film,i'm now beggining to like korea

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  21. I went to Korea last March and I really fell in love with their culture. That country is so cool. A mix of traditional and modern civilization. What I like the most is their love for art. You can see lots of it anywhere you go, starting from the subways up to the streets. I love Korea and I plan to go back...for good. The thought of me living there excites me! =) I also plan to visit Jeju but I need to have lots of savings. Is it really that expensive?

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    Replies
    1. depends what you do, what you eat and where you will stay =)

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Hi. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you =)