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Jeju Island: Korea’s Top Tourist Destination

Updated on July 16, 2011

Korea's top honeymoon destination

Jeju Island is Korea’s most famous local honeymoon destination and can be considered as Korea’s equivalent of Hawaii. It takes only one hour by flight from Seoul to Jeju Island. It is also frequently visited by foreign tourists particularly those from Japan and China. Besides that, Jeju is also frequently used as a filming site for Korean dramas such as All In and Dae Jang Geum. The hit movie Shiri was also filmed here.

Jeju is famous for 3 things: Lots of volcanic rocks, lots of wind and lots of women. On this island, there are many women divers known as haenyeo. They age between 40 and 70 years old, and dive into the ocean to search for abalone, shellfish and seaweed to sell. The amazing thing is that they dive into the ocean without any oxygen tanks. Unbelievable but true!

Jeju Island's Dragon Head Rock

The Dragon Head Rock.
The Dragon Head Rock.

Jeju Island: Dragon Head Rock and Mysterious Road

My first stop after landing at Jeju’s International Airport was at the Yongduam (Dragon head) Rock. It is so named as the natural lava formation resembles a dragon head jutting out of the sea. After that we proceeded to one of Jeju’s Mysterious Road. The mystery here is that vehicles can move up although their engines are turned off. The truth is that everything is an illusion. Although it looks like we are going uphill, in actual fact, we are actually going downhill. The combination of the road’s surroundings creates this optical illusion.

At the top of Seongsan Sunrise Peak

The view at the top of Seongsan Sunrise Peak after about 30 minutes of walking up.
The view at the top of Seongsan Sunrise Peak after about 30 minutes of walking up.

Seongsan Sunrise Peak is a Must Visit at Jeju Island

Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak) is located at the east end of Jeju Island. It is a top attraction and a must visit for visitors to Jeju. It has also been designated as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage since 2007. It is an extinct volcanic crater which juts out to the sea. To see the crater, visitors need to walk up for about 30 minutes. When I was there, it was raining and very windy. An umbrella didn’t work as it would be blown away…The wind was that strong even in mid June. Although I ended up slightly drenched, the walk up was definitely worth it. On the way up, an interesting sight is the Gombawi which is a pair of bear looking rocks which face one another. It resembles lovers who are whispering sweet words to each other.

Cheonjiyeon Falls in Jeju

I braved the rain to take this picture of Cheonjiyeon Waterfall.
I braved the rain to take this picture of Cheonjiyeon Waterfall.

Cheonjiyeon Waterfall and Kimnyoung Maze Park

Cheonjiyeon Waterfall is located at Seogwipo. it is named Cheonjiyeon as the pond is between “heaven and earth”. The waterfall is unique because the water falls into the ocean after passing by a small pond. Before you reach the waterfall, you will see other sights such as the Jeju women statue and a bridge.

Kimnyoung Maze Park was another attraction which I visited. The hedges in the maze are created from Leyland Cypress trees and makes for a fun place for the entire family. My mum and I were able to ring the bell at the end of the maze and find our way out safely! Similar to many other sites in Jeju, Kimnyoung Maze was also a filming site for a handphone commercial starring actress Lee Young Ae of Dae Jang Geum fame.

The Folk Village Museum at Jeju

A traditional house at Jeju's Folk Village Museum.
A traditional house at Jeju's Folk Village Museum.

Traditional Folk Village Museum: Dae Jang Geum filming site

Due to the popularity of Korean drama Dae Jang Geum, many visitors also flock to the Traditional Folk Village Museum where part of the drama was filmed. Here, I learned that the gate of a traditional house consists of three removable bars. The number of bars placed represents the house owners’ time of return. If you see one bar, the owners are returning very soon while two bars means that you should come back later in the evening. Three bars then represent that the owners would only be back after a few days.

Guide performing Dae Jang Geum theme song at Jeju's Folk Village Museum

A round of Shopping before Leaving Jeju Island

As you venture around the island, you will also notice the various Harubang statues around. Harubang is the island’s “God of Protection” and is unique to the island. Thus, various shops sell miniature versions of the Harubang as souvenirs. Besides that, the island is also famous for its tangerines. Besides the actual fruit, there are orange-flavoured chocolates on sale too. So, to remind yourself of your wonderful trip to Jeju, you can choose to buy some souvenirs for yourself or your friends.

Comments

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    • lilian_sg profile imageAUTHOR

      lilian_sg 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for commenting! You definitely should visit South Korea someday...

    • Some Girl 8907 profile image

      Arlene 

      5 years ago from Ohio

      I'd love to go someday especially after reading this!

    • lilian_sg profile imageAUTHOR

      lilian_sg 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      You are most welcome Hannah! Have a great trip...

    • Hannah-g919 profile image

      Hannah-g919 

      6 years ago from Incheon, South Korea

      Thanks, I will be heading to Jeju Island in August, and will be sure to check out the sunrise and waterfall..

    • lilian_sg profile imageAUTHOR

      lilian_sg 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Ooh..thanks for the tip!

    • jjrgaskell profile image

      jjrgaskell 

      6 years ago

      I've been there twice and its a great place. The only thing is the weather. Be careful not to go in the typhoon season as I did!

    • lilian_sg profile imageAUTHOR

      lilian_sg 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Yeah, quite a lot of places in Asia =) Do try to visit when you can in future!

    • lilian_sg profile imageAUTHOR

      lilian_sg 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Nice...I hope to return to Jeju someday too. Maybe in spring/autumn!

    • profile image

      Daddy 

      7 years ago

      Just came back 2 days ago. Excellent destination. Took loads and loads of nice pictures. Will go back again probably in spring for a different feel.

    • lilian_sg profile imageAUTHOR

      lilian_sg 

      8 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks Jason for the compliment. Haha...nope. I went on a holiday not a honeymoon =)

    • jasonycc profile image

      jasonycc 

      8 years ago from South East Asia

      Wonderful hub.. I want to go Jeju Island after reading this. Would like to see those women abalone divers in action, just amazing. Voted up!

      Ahem, did you go there for honeymoon?

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