Climb to the top of Ilchulbong, Sunrise Peak
Jeju is Korea’s largest island of the southern coast. Sometimes called “the Hawaii of Asia”, Jeju is a popular resort island destination for Koreans, Chinese and honeymooners.
Jeju is only an hour flight from Seoul and a great place to go for vacation or for a weekend getaway for English Teachers in South Korea. The weather is generally warmer than the mainland, which is appealing for those wanting a respite from the cold.
There are a million things to do here to keep you occupied for weeks. The plethora of black and white sand beaches are great in the summer months. At the beach, you can participate in a variety of water sports such as jet skiing, scuba diving, and wind surfing.
Another popular activity on Jeju is hiking. There are many hiking trails leading around and to the top of Mt. Halla, Korea’s tallest mountain. Or you can walk on one of Jeju’s famous olle trails that circle the island.
If outdoor activities are not your thing (or the weather is bad) there are a lot of indoor things to do as well. Jeju has a whole host of quirky and weird museums. My personal favorite is the Trick Art Museum where you are encouraged to take pictures and become a part of the paintings. There is also the Teddy Bear Museum, Love Land (a love and sex theme park), Miniature Land, a dinosaur park, and much more.
Another draw to the island is the UNESCO world heritage sites. Ilchulbong, Sunrise Peak, is a coastal volcanic tuff you can climb up and enjoy beautiful views of the ocean. More heritage sites include the longest lava tube in the world and Mt.Halla, a dormant volcano.
Without further ado, these are my five top reasons for visiting Jeju. Granted, I have lived here for less than a year and am discovering more about the island everyday. For those of you have been to Jeju, I want to hear your feedback. And for those of you have yet to make the trip, don't hesitate to ask any questions. Here is the list:
- Explore a surrounding Island: The black-lava landscape of Udo, a small island off the eastern coast, is famous for its white coral-sand beaches.
- Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Scale Korea’s highest mountain, Hallasan, hike up a coastal volcanic tuff, and tour the world’s longest lava tubes.
- Stay in Luxury: Splurge at one of the luxury resorts and lounge on surprisingly pristine beaches.
- Walk the Olle Trails: See the best sides of Jeju on one of the famous 19 walking trails that circle the island and provide some of the best views.
- Attend a Festival: Be immersed in the local culture by attending one of the many colorful festivals, the Fire Festival held on the first full moon of the Lunar New Year is especially invigorating.
Adam Montgomery is a 25-year old teacher at the Chungdahm Branch on Jeju. He has been teaching in Korea for under a year. When he is not teaching, he enjoys exploring the wonders of Jeju and Korea.