Jeju is a province of South Korea. It's located southwest of the country's mainland and has about 570,000 inhabitants. The name Jeju also refers to the island Jeju itself, which makes up for most of the province. There are however some smaller islands and rocks scattered along the main island.
It's a popular holiday destination for honeymooners from South Korea and nearby countries. The weather is perfect, although it can rain heavily sometimes (usually in outburst) and the combination of fantastic landscapes and beaches is one that few people can resist.
Jeju Island is a volcanic island, dominated by the Halla-San mountain, a volcano of 1,950 metres high and the highest mountain in South Korea. The province/island lies in the Korea Strait, south of South Korea and west of Japan.
Sights and Activities
Beaches - Gwakji, Jungmun, Hamdok, Pyosan, Samyong, Hwasun
- Gwakji, on the northwest shore of Jeju, has beautiful color of open ocean and white sand beach. The beach is spacious, calm and relaxing. The nearby Handam shore has beautiful small hidden beaches. Those small beaches, emerald-color ocean and beautiful black seaside rocks can be enjoyed by a sea kayaking tour (20,000 Won for a person, an hour). Be sure to bring extra clothes to enjoy the beatiful ocean and beach.
- Jungmun, on the south shore of Jeju, has surf lessons and board rentals. The beach drops off quickly in the ocean and waves dump on swimmers and tubers (can also rent a tube for 8,000 Won). Beware of the sticky sand; it will stay with you for days, no matter how much you try to wash it off.
- Hamdok, east of JejuShi, is excellent. Rent a kayak for an hour for 25,000 Won. The water is shallow really far out. Great for frisbee games or water parties.
- Pyosan is on the south-east of the island. Another shallow water beach. Waist deep for a kilometre out. Cheap horse back riding is available there.
- Samyong is a black sand beach also east of Jejushi, with a beautiful walkway lite up at night for strolling.
- Hwasum beach, further west of Jungmun, is a popular Korean beach, packed in the summer, though, if you walk along for an extra 1/2 hour along the olle trail, you come to a secluded beach where there is rarely anyone on the beach aside from a few passing hikers. It is possible to camp here, though maybe not legal, nobody will bother you and its a beautiful out of sight beach.
Climbing Mount Hallasan
A full day adventure to climb the highest mountain in South Korea. Catch the #516 bus from the bus terminal in either JejuShi or Seowipo to "Hallasan" and be at the Seongpanak rest area by 9:30am or they won't let you climb. You should leave either city by 8:30am. It takes about 10 hours round trip to make the climb. Bring everything you would need, ie, water, snacks, a warm top, good shoes, hat etc. You can buy some things - halfway up there is a shop, but be prepared. It can be very busy during the tourist season.
A tall pillar of rock standing alone in the ocean, definately worth a picture. You can take a 5-minute bus ride from Seogwipo, or find it walking 20 minutes along the olle trail from the harbor area. Just east of the trail to Oedolgae, on the road, is another trail that leads down to an area you can snorkel and swim. There are some areas you can dive off the rock into the ocean on the far side, or just wade around in a shallow ocean water pool - left behind from an old fishery. Well worth an afternoon!
Other Sights and Activities
- Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes - a Unesco World Heritage Site
- Hallim Park
- Jeongbang Waterfall
- Donnako waterfall - a waterfall hidden up in the mountain with icey an cool water pool for swimming and jumping into on a hot day. It is possible to jump off the waterfall into the water, about 7 meters. Catch a bus from either JejuShi or Seogwipo.
- Seowipo Horbour area
- SanBanSan and the Youngmorri coast - The myth says SanBanSan is the top of Halla, blown off when it last errupted.
- Olle trail hiking
Events and Festivals
Buphwan Fishery 1st Quality Squid Festival - Regarded as one of the major summer festivals of Jeju, this festival manifests the devotion of General Yeong Choi who protected the land against the Mongolians. The history of the land is celebrated while feasting upon squid dishes, making it a great time to visit as locals and tourists get to see the patriotism of the people of the land. There's also squid karaoke and squid dish competitions.
The Field Fire Festival
(February) - Jeju Jeongwol Daeboreum Field Fire Festival is held annually to celebrate the Lunar New Year and is one of the largest festivals in Korea. Traditionally, villages used to set fire to their fields between late winter and early spring to get rid of the dying grasses and insects for the new season planting. There are parades, Tug-of-War, marches, light and laser shows, performances, pig herding, folk games, delicious foods, kite flying, drinking world teas. It is a fantastic three day festival!
International Wind Instrument Festival (Between 12th & 20th August) - Magnificent musical performances are held to promote the popularity and specialty of the wind music. The festival alternates every year between entertaining the audience and competition between the musicians. There are many performances to be seen and participants/competitors have increased hugely since it became a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions in 2009.
Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival - The King Cherry Trees blossom for only 2 or 3 days in April, but they make an impressive sight. The festival celebrates the blossoms which are the largest and luxurious of all the cherry blossoms. Nature lovers will love this.
Seogwipo Chilsimni Festival (October) - Folk performances rooted in Jeju's history, legends and natural environment are held. Street parades, singing contests, body building competitions (Mr Chilsimni Contest) and pop music are amoungst the festivites, and the ocean sports activities are incredibly popular with visitors.
Moseulpo Yellowtail Festival Jeju (November) - This festival is to honour the yellowtailed fish that are so abundant near the southern part of Jeju. it is launched with a colourful parade called 'gillori', followed by prayers for a plentiful fishing season and a procession of boats for the inaugural ceremony. Other festivites include fireworks, hand fishing yellowtails (keep what you can catch!), yellowtail dishes, markets and exhibitions.
Seongsan Ilchul Festival (31 Dec 2013 - 01 Jan 2014) - This ffestival is both the last and first festival of the year as it begins on December 31st and stretches into 1st January. Rites and rituals focus on songgyuyeongsin (bidding adieu to the past year and ushering in the new year) and pray for the well-being, health and prosperity of the Jeju locals in the Wishing Ceremony. It is a celebration of sunrises as the rituals commence around the first sunrise of the year. Fireworks, traditional folk games, poem recitations and Himangje (rite of hope) also occur. Address: Near the Seongsan Ilchul-bong in the Namjeju-gun part of Jeju Island.
Jeju has a mild coastal climate with generally warm and humid conditions in summer and mild temperatures in winter, with temperatures rarely dropping below 5 °C during the coldest nights, except at higher elevations and in the north where snow is possible. The island is on the border of moderate and subtropical zones. Temperatures during the summer (June to mid-September) are mostly between 27 and 30 °C with nights around or above 20 °C. Winters are coldest up north, though the south remains relatively mild. Precipitation is heaviest during the warmer summer months with sometimes heavy downpours.
Jeju International Airport (CJU) is the third busiest airport in South Korea and handles all flights to/from the island. There are dozens of connections with other South Korean airports, as well as flights to and from China, Japan and Taiwan.
During high tourist season, June to August, plane tickets to Jeju can easily be double the price of low season, and can sometimes be booked solid for weeks, though airlines are trying to accomodate.
During low season, flying to or from Gimpo airport in Seoul can range from 30,000 Won to 100,000 Won or more depending on your airline. The cheaper airlines are Jeju Air, Jin Air and Eastar Jet. During low season, you can generally get low prices across the counter without reservation.
Jeju Island Ferry from Wando
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There are ferries to 4 mainland cities, including Busan (11 hours), Incheon (13 hours), Wando (3 hours) and Mokpo (5.5 hours at 25,000 Won), though flying usually is much faster and sometimes even cheaper!
Cheap! Get a T Money card for 4,000 Won at any Family mart or GS25, add some money and you have free transfers for an hour off and on any bus. Fares range from 990 Won to no more than 4,000 Won to cross the entire island.
Rent a scooter from 20,000-40,000 Won a day depending on the season.
You can find many places to quench your thirst on Jeju.
JejuShi - city hall area (shi-chun), look and ask for:
- The Bar - basement level with free pool table, mainly foreigner patrons.
- Island Stone - the put on awesome flair shows when the bar is packed, foreigner and Korean hang-out.
- The Factory - small stage with regular live music, though they also have DJ nights.
- Dome Nightclub - a must try at least once experince. Friday night tends to be ladies night, so go on a saturday night unless you want to see the korean male strippers and the midget man dancing on stage all night., which is interesting, once also. This is the largest club on Jeju. Hundreds if not a thousand people pack in on the weekend to drink and dance to live performances of K-pop, hip-hop, live bands and DJ's. Around midnight or 1:00am you can see the aero-space engineered rooftop open like a lotus flower to the night sky and be snowed down on by foam, or in the winter, possibly by real snow. You gotta see this. The 30-foot-tall moving light-up wall behind the stage is like nothing you've ever seen at a club before. The price is a bit steep, 40,000 Won for 4 people at a table, though you do get a fruit plate and a few beers. It's open all night until daylight.
- Rose Marine - this is a must go! Down in the harbour area, you would walk right by it unless you knew it was there, though once you notice it you can't belive you missed it in the first place! In the summer hang outside right on the water and sip suds as the fixhinf boats get ready to roll out for the night. In the winter, get inside and sit in one of the many booths beside one of the many wood fire places. It's run like a convience store so beer and soju among other things are cheap.
- Coolest Norabong - from the market area or Dungmun rotary, get a taxi to King mart, to the left of the kingmart enterance go down the stairs. Below is what used to be a large night club but is now converted into a 20-room norabang complete with palm trees and a stram running through the middle of the place!
- Gecko's - After the beach, when you just need a good western meal and a beer or cocktail, head to Gecko's. It's a little more western priced, but well worth it for the amazing food and strong mix drinks. Free pool, darts, and an all-round good time. Foreign and Korean patrons. It's at the far west end of Jungmun, a long walk or a short taxi away from the beach or the centre of town.
|Island Guesthouse||1612-4 Boseong-ri ,Daejeong-eup Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do||HOSTEL||80|
|Jeju Hiking Inn||587-15, Seogwi-Dong, Seogwipo City Seogwipo||Hotel||80|
|Tae Gong Gak Inn & Guesthouse||823 Seo gwi dong Seo Gwi Po||GUESTHOUSE||94|
|Yeha Guesthouse Terminal||561-17, Samdo 1-dong Jeju-si||GUESTHOUSE||92|
|Doona Guesthouse||621, Bomok-Dong Seogwipo||GUESTHOUSE||90|
|Hani Guesthouse||Jeju-do Jeju-si Hallim-eub Geumneung-ri 1258||Hostel||89|
|Joseph Tree Guesthouse||Haeng-won ri 1545, Gujwa-eup||GUESTHOUSE||82|
|Backpackers in Jeju City Center||1772-18 Ido 2dong||GUESTHOUSE||92|
|Backpacker's Home||315-2, Seogwi-Dong Seogwipo-Si||HOSTEL||92|
|Arthouse||Gujwa-eup Woljeong-ri 958-1 Jeju Jeju City||GUESTHOUSE||88|
|Greenday Guest House||#251-9,Samdo 2(i)-dong Jeju-si, Jeju-do||GUESTHOUSE||92|
|DolDam Guesthouse Stone Wall||Daepyung-li 903-4||HOSTEL||92|
|Hae-Oh-Reum Guesthouse||4, Haengwon-Li, Gujaw-Eup Jeju-Si||GUESTHOUSE||84|
|h3 Hostel||Hallim-eub Geumneung-ri 1258 Jeju-do Jeju-si||HOSTEL||-|
|HKjeju||1192-14, SamDo 2-dong, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, Korea Tapdong-ro 17, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, Korea||HOSTEL||89|
|HK Jeju III||279-3, Namtae Haean-ro, Namwon-eup Seogwipo-si||GUESTHOUSE||89|
|Jeju The Guesthouse||3443 Sagye-ri, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si Jeju-do||HOSTEL||89|
|HK Jeju Guesthouse||1192-14, SamDo 2-dong||Guesthouse||87|
|HKjeju II||7-1, Gwandeok-ro 15-gil, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, Korea 1331-1,il-do 1-dong, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, Korea||HOSTEL||-|
|Lefthander Guesthouse||471-25 sangdo-ri gugwa-eup Jeju-si South Korea||HOSTEL||91|
|Rainbow in Jeju||Ido 1(il)-dong Jeju-si||HOSTEL||91|
|SUM Guest House Jeju Airport||2829-1 Yongdam-1Dong Jeju-Si (Seo Gwang-ro 5Gil 2-||GUESTHOUSE||91|
|Sleeper Guesthouse||Seogwipo-si Jung Ang Dong, Ole Market 276-14||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|B&B Pan||1410, Geonip-dong||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Jeju Skywalker Guesthouse||Ildo1dong 1348-2 Jejusi||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Worlang House||#1271-5 Nohyeong-dong||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Yellow Guesthouse||1477-1 Ildo Il Dong Jeju City||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Yeowoolmok Guesthouse||662-1 Gujaup Walljungri||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Yeha Guesthouse CityHall Branch||6th Floor, 278, Seogwang-ro Jeju-Si||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|The Danvillage Guesthouse||1578-2, Gosan-ri Hankyung-myun||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Vision Guesthouse||1277-25 ildo-1dong||Guesthouse||-|
|Game Guesthouse||Geonip-dong 1347 Self-Governing||GUESTHOUSE||96|
|U & I Guesthouse||1772-10 Yido 2Dong Jeju City Jejudo||GUESTHOUSE||-|