Traveling to Another World - Cheju Island, South Korea: Best Honeymoon Destination

Waterfall on the island.
Waterfall on the island. | Source

South Korea

A new Hubber, thenson, asked about traveling to Seju or Cheju Island in South Korea and that fits with this week's Weekly HubMob Topic.

Seju (Jeju or Cheju) is the Jeju Special Autonomous Province, which established political autonomy in 1946 after struggling with Japan in WWII. Today, it has grown into a honeymoon hotspot and one fo the most popular resort areas in Korea.

The Olympics helped this growth and popularity to occur. The rise of Korean martial arts in the US and elsehwere in the late 20th century brought increased attention to sites where the umbrella category for the arts gathered into Taekwondo originated - Korea, with the North and South having competing Temple/Gymnasiums for training and Olympic preparation. Since then, arguments and feuds have boiled over globally about what art is what, which is legitimate, who started or owns it, and how to spell it.

Aerial View of the Island

NASA aerial photo
NASA aerial photo | Source

Cheju-do, South Korea

A markerCheju-do, South Korea -
Cheju do, South Korea
[get directions]

There are no laws about spelling out Hangul pictographs to "American" and no laws regulating marital arts in the US; so much of the the commotion seems political posturing. Only Grandmaster In Kyuk Suh had the foresight to tradmark the martial art Kuk Sul Won® in every one of the 50 US States and he remains above the fray.

However, the fray helped lead to Taekwondo Tourism since the 1988 Olympics in Korea (commemorated by Jeju's Sinsan Park). Students and vacationers can obtain a reasonably priced package tour related to Taekwondo training and Korean history.

Taekwondo Tourism now makes it easy to incorporate a trip to Jeju Island, just an hour away by plane from Seoul.

Mt. Halla or Halla-san on Jeju Island

Registered as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site in 2007.
Registered as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site in 2007. | Source

Seju, Jeju, or Jeju-do.

Jeju-do is the Korean term for Jeju Island, which is only one of 9 Provinces of Korea and happens also to be the largest of the 3,000 islands surrounding South Korea. The name of the island can also be written as Seju or Chejuand English language travel brochures, articles, and geography and history books use all of these spellings. The name, especially Jeju-do means "Place of the Gods", referring to the foundation myth of the local ethnic group that three male demi-gods named "Koh, Yang, and Boo" arose from the ground and created the Jeju population. At the same time, the Korean mainland tale began with the belief that three goddesses created the Korean people, althguh this was changed to male gods later..

Located an hour away from Seoul by airplane, Jeju-do is an exotic locale that can easily be combined with travel to the Capital. Becoming more well known in the 21stcentury, while remaining somewhat isolated from tourist mobs, Jeju-do has developed into a honeymooner's paradise. The island offers a very mild climate by the seas, enjoys four definitely different seasons, but with an average yearly temperature of 59 degrees F (15 degrees C).

Jejo-do covers an area roughly 45 miles by 26 miles and dates back eons to when lava erupted out of the sea and formed a land mass. Additional volcanic eruption formed Mt.Halla or Halla-san (pictured above), creating South Korea's highest peak. Korean martial arts form patterns (hyung or other terms in Korean or kata in Japanese) have been written and performed for decades in dedication to a largest mountain or an oldest tree.

At the top of Mt.Halla-san is a crater full of beautifully clear water, about half a mile wide. This is Paengnoktam and means the equivalent of water where white deer play. It is said that Jeju-do Island women dive into this crater for sport from their teen years well into advanced age.

In addition to Mt. Halla-san, Jeju-do features Samseonghyeol Hole, the legendary origin of the Jeju ethnic people. Sacrificial ceremonies are held three times a year at this siteto ask for the wellbeing of the Jeju.

Hallim Park offers palm trees and a natural history museum. The majestic Sunrise Peak is surround by 100 others at the farthest point east on the island, greeting each new day. Jeongbang Waterfall flows directly into the sea and the site of Jusangeolli is interesting with formations created by erosion via the ocean waves and wind. Dragon’s Head Coast features a rock formed into the head of a dragon in among its cliffs and caves.

Summer months comprise the peak tourist season on Jeju-do and besides tropical honeymooning, the island offers hiking up Mt.Halla-san, horseback riding, swimming, and excursions to smaller islands. There is also the Teddy Bear Museum, featuring a gift shop and teddy bears displayed as famous works of art like the Mona Lisa.

Mt. Halla-san Summit Marker in Japanese and Korean

Source
Source

The 8 Traditional Scenes of U-do

U-do is roughly The Place of the Cow, a cow shaped (or head of a cow) small island that is 1 hour's bus ride from Jeju City to Seongsan and another 15 minutes by ferry.

Eight is a mystic symbol in Korea that often symbolizes a circle or wholeness and eight scenes around U-do are recommended to every tourist. These include:

  1. The Day Moon - sunshine on an inner cave ceiling at noon each day.
  2. Fishing boats at night
  3. Looking at Mt. Halla-san from U-do
  4. U-do beach seen from the peak of the mountain on this small island
  5. U-do seen from the sea as you approach by boat
  6. The cliffs of U-do
  7. Whale cave of the East Sea
  8. The white coral beach  

Honeymoon Magic and Tradition at Hallim Park

The artifact pictured below was created when the roots of two separate nettle trees grew together. It was salvaged by Mr. Kim Choon Hong after he found it during road construction in 1992. Today, it is the symbol for the Korean tradition of honoring one's roots and growing strong roots in ilfe -- It is a symbol of a marriage that lasts for 100 happy years. Couples flock to this artifact on honeymoons in order to have their pictures taken with it.

Hyeopjae Cave (a numbered National Monument) and Ssangyong Caves are also in Hallim Park, along with Love Land, a sexual theme park for newlyweds.

Geomunoreum Lava Tubes, Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes Near Hallim Park

Geomunoreum Lava Tubes, Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes, Republic of Korea
Geomunoreum Lava Tubes, Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes, Republic of Korea | Source

Mt. Halla

Source

Tap-Dong Main Strip

Tap-dong Street in Jeju City runs near the boardwalk away from the Port of Jeju and features large hotels and many restaurants that serve fresh fish. Many establishments are open until 4:00 AM.

Honeymooning couples, college students, and local residents seem to flock to this main strip. Nightlife includes late seafood dinners, shopping from night vendors, nightclubs, shows at the Jeju Seaside Art Center, and the boardwalk. T’apland Amusement Park offers 8 amusement rides for children and adults.

Folk arts and crafts are also sold in shops as well as by nighttime street vendors along Tap-Dong, but also in the Jeju Folk Arts Center in Jeju City..

Jeju Independence Museum

Jeju-do and its residents struggled against many Japanese bids for takeover in the 20th Century. This is especially true for the years from 1900 - 1950, and most particularly in the years previous to and during World War II, when Japanese Forces occupied much of Korea..

This museum commemorates those events and heroes.

The Jeju Independence Museum includes two full floors of exhibits, a theater, several outdoor monuments, ponds, and ongoing construction of additional buildings. Signs and plaques are in Korean, and English is not likely available.

Interestingly, Korean Martial Arts form patterns have been written to commemorate several such events related to WWII and Japanese occupation.

Many other attractions are waiting in Jeju-do, including botanical gardens, memorials, museums, and unique geography. A unique sculpture garden was designed specifically for newlyweds.

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For more information about atytractions and traveling to Jeju-do, visit the website KOREA SPARKLING.

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Comments 11 comments

Lissie profile image

Lissie 8 years ago from New Zealand

Fascnating and obscure location: Korea would be an interesting destination - but my travels are land based for the moment!


white atlantic profile image

white atlantic 8 years ago from INDIA

nice places..u visited most of the places?


josephdiego profile image

josephdiego 8 years ago from Eastern Long Island , New York

What a beautiful Island. I have never heard of SenJu Island. I have so many other places I would love to travel to, now I have another. I am really impressed with the marriage root and what it stands for. Being married 23 years, I’m a little mushy when it comes to things like that.

Patty is Taekwondo the style of Martial Arts you hold your title in? I one day want to travel to Okinawa, with my Teacher Taika Oyata. I would really be honored if you take a look at my hub and tell me what you think.

http://hubpages.com/misc/Defend-Yourself-101


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Patty! Nice hub as always. Another place to put onto my travel card.

Hope you're well regards Zsuzsy


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Lissie - I wonder if you're closer to Jeju than I am in the States? I'll have to look at a globe for sure.

White atlantic - I have known several people who have lived in South Korea that visited the island. They describe it expertly and I feel that I have been there, even though I have not.

Joseph - I signed up for TKD in 1982, but at the same time, received training in five styles together. I will look at your Hub.

Zsuzsy - If we ever retire with some money, we will go there. Bring friends, group rates possible. :)


mulberry 8 years ago

Interesting and beautiful, something to file a way for future trip planning!


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

Wonderful and interesting place you brought us to Patty. It is always fun traveling with you.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

And this one is really unique!


Tony 7 years ago

Really nice page, this looks like a great place to visit, thanks so much for sharing.


applejuic3 profile image

applejuic3 6 years ago from San Diego, CA

i have never heard of this place before but it sounds like it could be very exciting and fun. thank for you for the article, will be taking note of it for future reference.


nick 5 years ago

Very nice and interesting place to visit! I looks great,maybe one day to try this trip,thank you for the useful info

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