Don't Waste your Time on Jeju Island, South Korea
Jeju Island is the Top Place to Visit in South Korea
Welcome to Everything Jeju Island This is the site to help you make the most of your short, hard-earned vacation time on Jeju Island, South Korea.
Jeju island is filled with palm trees, mountains, volcanic tubes and amazing beaches. You can go scuba diving, hiking, sightseeing, museum-hopping, horseback riding, hot-air ballooning, water-sliding, or a million other adventures, all in a single weekend. It's truly a must-see if you're in Korea for work, travel or vacation. Come for a weekend or a week, it's easy and cheap to get there on a quick flight from Seoul on one of the many discount carriers like Jeju Air, Eastar Jet or Busan Air. Or, you can take the ferry from Busan or Mokpo as well. Visitors to Korea often list Jeju Island as their favorite part of the trip and for good reason: it's fabulous!
Take the ferry to Udo (cow) Island
My favorite spot is a little island East of the mainland called Udo. It's a quick ferry ride over to paradise. They have 2 amazing beaches, one of which is made from white coral. So relaxing, with no PC bangs or 24 hour convenience stores. Horses and cows. Amazing sunsets. Fun cruising on a rented scooter on the deserted roads.
You can do a bit of snorkeling off the beaches. The last time I was there, I spotted a couple octopus, a boxfish and a small school of big fish! They also have some pretty spectacular scuba diving.
Go for the day, or a week. You'll love it for sure.
Bicycle or scooter around Jeju Island
You can do the bicycle version, which takes 2-5 days, depending on your fitness level. Just ask tourist information at the airport to help you rent a bicycle.
But, if you want to cruise in style, and you have a Korean driver's license or an international driver's license you can bring yourself over to Mr. Lee's (who speaks English!) bike shop in Jeju City and rent a 125 cc scooter or motorcycle. Over 125 cc, and you'll need a separate license. But, he won't teach you to ride so you'll need to be an experienced rider.
You can cruise around the island on the beautiful coastal roads. Jeju Island is a volcanic island, so it's has these black, volcanic rocks everywhere. Combined with white sandy beaches makes for a stunning landscape. I've been to a lot of countries, but I would even go as far to say that this is one of the most beautiful places I've been to. The scooter was so amazing because the most beautiful stuff was off the main roads.
Where to rent a scooter on Jeju Island
- Mr. Lee's Bike Shop
He speaks English!
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The best beach on Jeju is Hyeopjae Beach
Down on the Southern-Western Part of Jeju Island is beautiful Hallim Beach. There are plenty of fabulous rooms with beachfront views. You can go snorkeling around the rocks and swim around until sunset. In the area are some caves and a big park that are both well-worth checking out.
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Hike up Hallasan: the Tallest Mountain in South Korea
A hike up Hallasan, the tallest in South Korea is a 6-10 hour affair, so you really should get up early if you don't want to be turned away by the park rangers. It's a beautiful hike with stunning views and almost no one on the trail. There are beautiful boardwalks and little get out on the rain shelters that make walking easy.
At the top, there is a volcano crater, with a little lake in the middle, surrounded by lush forest. Amazing.
Now, you may think that Halla, being the tallest mountain in Korea is excessively difficult. Not so much. I've certainly done harder trails, even in Korea. And 3 hours up isn't that bad all. And boardwalks for probably at least 1/3 of the way was a nice break from the rocks. And snacks! And springs! And hey, if the pretty girls in slip-on shoes, and 5 year olds can do it, so can you. Just leave early to allow yourself time for unforeseen possibilities.
My top tip: there are 4 trails that go up the mountain. 2 of them go all the way up to the crater-lake at the top. They can be quite grueling and strenuous. For the less in-shape, there are 2 other trails that go about 2/3 of the way up the mountain and start at a higher elevation. These trails are perfect for a 1/2 day's walk and are significantly easier. Although you won't get to see the crater, you'll still see amazing views of the whole island.
Go Scuba Diving with Big Blue 33
I've been diving numerous times with Big Blue 33 in Seogwipo, the Southern part of Jeju Island. I had a fabulous time. I could hardly believe I was in Korea because it was so amazing. I actually want to move to Jeju and go diving all the time. The owner is super-professional, safe, organized and fun. I'd recommend him for any diving you want to do, just for fun or a course of some sort. Even if you've never dove before, the instructors will give you a little lesson and take you down (holding your hand basically so you have nothing to worry about!)
Scuba Diving Jeju Island
Explore Jeju Island's Underwater Paradise
The Best Scuba Diving Shop on Jeju
- Big Blue 33
The only shop you should dive with!
Hike the Famous Olle Trail on Jeju Island
Beautiful hiking along the rugged, rocky coast
The Olle Trail is a new, but increasingly popular hiking trail that goes almost the whole way around the island. There are about 15 (more each month it seems!) basic routes, set-up to be about a day's walk for each one. There are basic hotels and restaurants at the ends of each, so it's possible to just walk the whole thing from start to finish quite easily, without much advance planning. The hotels will even send your luggage on by courier so you can literally walk with only a bit of money in your pocket. It seems like people from around the world are hearing more and more about it, and you'll meet lots of interesting people along the way.
The scenery is spectacular. Rugged, rocky coastlines, and little fishing villages will make your journey a memorable one. For more information, check out the official Olle Hiking Trail Website. Stop off at the information booth at the airport upon arrival to get your map.
Loveland on Jeju Island
A sex-themed park that is surprisingly tasteful
Opening in 2004, this park is all about sex and features 140 sculptures representing sexual positions. In addition, they have the biggest sex store I've ever seen in Korea. The park is very relaxing, beautiful and well-worth a visit. It's done quite tastefully and not as awkward as you might think it would be!
- Jeju Loveland
I guarantee an interesting experience!
Quick tour through Jeju Island
Go walk in a lava tube on Jeju Island
Around the island, there is an extensive lava tube system. While many are not open to the public, there are a handful that are. And these are well-worth checking out. They are very long tunnels, made by the retreating magma and they can be a welcome relief on a hot summer day in Korea. Bring a sweater if you plan to walk in them for any length of time.
Wake up really early to see the sunrise at Seongsan Ilchubon
On the Eastern side of Jeju Island is a volcanic mountain, with a crater on top that rises spectacularly up from the ocean with sheer cliffs on the sides. It traditional to stay at one of the little minbaks (homestays) at the base of the volcano, and they'll lend you a flash-light and wake you up in time to make it to the top for the sunrise.
This place is right next to Udo Island, so perhaps combine the 2 for a fabulous time in Jeju
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Go Ice Skating and Tubing Year-Round on Jeju Island
This new facility just opened in 2011. It's quite near to City Hall in Jeju City. You can skate or sled any time of the year. In the hot Korean summers, it can be a welcome relief to get out of the heat for a little while.
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