There are so many reasons to visit Jeju Island while you are teaching English in South Korea. The island is a major tourist attraction in Korea, and in fact, attracts thousands of tourists from across Asia. From beautiful beaches to stunning hikes, the island has it all. One often overlooked facet of the island is the extensive variety of museums. Some are quirky, some are tourist traps, some are childish, and some are well worth a visit. Today, I want to give you PART 1 of my list and review of my favorite museums on the island!
The Trick Art Museum
Step into the art and get your photo taken at this fun and creative museum. Trick artwork that makes the pictures and sculptures look 3-D allow visitors to step into the painting and be apart of the picture. Lots of optical illusions also make for great photos. Be sure to bring a camera and a couple of your English teacher friends when you visit this awesome museum!
Haenyeo Museum (Women Divers Museum)
I plan on writing a blog about the incredible history of the Jeju women divers soon, but for the meantime, I will give you the quick facts. The women of Jeju used to free dive (without any type of breathing device) deep down into the ocean and hunt for fish, clams, and other seafood. Even to this day, there are still women who practice this traditional way of hunting. Check out the museum and learn about why and how the women hunted this way.
Described as a sex-theme park, this attraction is more of a museum in my opinion. Either way, this museum/park is full of statues, exhibits, and artwork that depict....well, I am sure you can guess. Don't take this museum too seriously and you will have a good time. The most entertaining part of my visit was walking around the statues with old Korean women and men. For the most part, Korea has a fairly conservative society so experiencing this musuem with older Koreans was quite a trip!
Green Tea Museum
This one might not be everyone's cup of tea (forgive the pun), but for me, it was right up my alley. I love tea, especially green tea, so it was entertaining for me to sample different types, learn how the tea is grown and produced, and to tour the fields of green tea.
Bukchon Dol Harbang Park
Even though this more of a park, this attraction gives visiting English teachers the opportunity to learn about the iconic stone statues that can be found all over the island. This park offers hundreds of different representations and styles of the historic statues that at one time were found scattered around the island. Today, this statue is the symbol of Jeju and can be found on postcards, shirts, magnets, and other Jeju souvenirs.
So that's Part 1 of my Jeju museum list. Look out next week for the conclusion to my list. Also feel free to join in with your own entries and let me know what is your favorite museum in Jeju (or Korea).
Adam Montgomery is a 25-year old teacher at the Chungdahm Branch on Jeju. He has been teaching in Korea for over a year. When he is not teaching, he enjoys exploring the wonders of Jeju and Korea.