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Don't Waste your Time on Jeju Island, South Korea

Updated on June 16, 2015

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.

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Martina's trip to Jeju Island

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.

Korea Travel Guides for your Jeju Island Trip

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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

jeju-olle.jpg
jeju-olle.jpg

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!

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

jeju-ice-skating.jpg
jeju-ice-skating.jpg

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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What do you think about Jeju Island?

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    • profile image

      chris 

      2 years ago

      So much rubbish on the shoreline even on their nicest beaches. A real shame.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: I thought the same thing when I read your blog. I thought you didn't like Jeju.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Yeah, I most certainly thought so when I first glanced the title haha

    • loveanime22 profile image

      loveanime22 

      5 years ago

      very beautiful

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Some people might interpret your title as meaning "don't bother going to Jeju"...FYI.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      i saw a documentary show on KBS recently about a lady artist who draws very beautiful fairy-tale-like drawings in Jeju. Her husband has even built a small art gallery for her too. Where can i find out more about this artist?

    • profile image

      acregmed 

      6 years ago

      Beautiful lens!

    • BLemley profile image

      Beverly Lemley 

      6 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Jeju looks spectacular! Love the lush green and the sea all around. I would love to hike up the mountain and see the volcanic lake. Great lens! B : )

    • profile image

      echizen01 

      6 years ago

      I wil add this on my list of places to visit the next time I go to South Korea

    • vincente lm profile image

      vincente lm 

      6 years ago

      Awesome tips! We will probably spend a whole week on Jeju! Can't wait!!!

    • SmartyGirlRenee profile image

      SmartyGirlRenee 

      6 years ago

      My sister liked Jeju too. Do you agree with my SmartyGirlTravel blog post about Jeju?

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      6 years ago

      This place looks amazing.

    • deyanis profile image

      deyanis 

      7 years ago from Oz

      I've been fascinated with the beauty of Jeju Island and want to go there one day. Have planned to visit South Korea sometimes next year, so thank you so much for creating this what-to-do guide. --- Blessed ---

    • bernie74 lm profile image

      bernie74 lm 

      7 years ago

      We had an exchange student from Jeju stay with us 2 years ago and he brought some gifts from there. This is a great lens and brought back memories of his visit.

    • profile image

      synotrip 

      7 years ago

      www.synotrip.com so much fun in this island. Will go!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      7 years ago from Ljubljana

      Now I want to visit South Korea too!

    • profile image

      Squidoo_Queen 

      7 years ago

      The Lava Tube looks amazing!

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 

      7 years ago

      Sounds like a great place to visit!

    • profile image

      livingfrontiers 

      7 years ago

      Sounds like a restful paradise! angel blessings...

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