Cheju (Jeju) is a city and large island 50 miles off the south coast of South Korea. Cheju Island is a place of myth and legend. The island is famous for its long caves from which, according to legend, sprang the three "god-men" who founded the island's first settlement. Cheju Island is very popular with honeymooners in traditional, colorful attire. Local legend has it that the island is watched over by the strange stone sculptures called "tolharubangs" also known as the "Grandfathers". They are squat, ugly figures with bulging eyes made from volcanic rock. Cheju features lofty volcanic peaks, beautiful waterfalls, and many other natural wonders and historic sites. The island's Mt. Hallasan, at 6,400 feet, is the highest peak in Korea
On the island of Cheju, the Mongol leader Kublai Khan built ships to invade Japan in 1273. From the 17th century, the island was called Quelpart by Western geographers, and under Japanese rule (1910 - 45) the city was called Saishu.
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