Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

5 Things You Must Do On Jeju Island; The Hawaii of Asia

Posted on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

Jeju Island is Korea's top tourist destination and an international attraction that Korea is very proud of. In 2011, Jeju Island got voted as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature  (New7Wonders Foundation) and boasts the stunning crater lake of Mt. Hallansan at a magnificent 1,950m high. Jeju Island is known as the Island of the Gods and is the largest volcanic island on the Korean peninsula. Known as the Hawaii of Asia, the island boasts stunning scenic views that are breathtaking all year-round, especially in the Spring and Summer months.  Jeju is also the home to attractions such as white-sand beaches, large volcanic rocks, waterfalls, caves and cliffs.  There is also an abundance of fauna and flora as the island filled with beautiful landscapes of flowers and fall leaves depending on the season.  Finally, Jeju Island also recently got awarded the Global Geopark certificate and got the Mannganggul Cave registered as a UNESCO world heritage sight.
Seopjikoji walking trail
Visiting Jeju Island is a must while you are teaching in Korea and although it is a little pricey, it is worth every penny and you get to feel like you are traveling outside of Korea. It is easily accessible from Seoul, with only an hour flight from Gimpo Airport (Gimpo Airport is smaller than Incheon Airport and is used for domestic flights and close flights to Japan and China). If booked in advance a round-trip can cost as little as $140.00 on Jeju Air. Korean Air is a little more expensive, but has a larger range of flights, and a round-trip is about $210.00. Jeju can also be reached by ferry from Seoul and Busan ports, and from local cities you can easily catch a bus to Gimpo Airport or a train into Seoul or any other domestic airport nearby.
Jeju Island man in the Spring
It is possible to travel to Jeju Island over the weekend, catching a late night flight on a Friday night and an early morning flight on a Monday morning (if you work for Chungdahm your classes will start at 4pm on Monday). Also, if you are wondering how you will get to the airport so early, cabs are a 10 minute call away and your hotel can organize this for you as well. For example, we traveled from Seogwipo to Jeju City at 5:30 am and the cab ride took one hour for $36.00. There are also Airport buses but they only start running at 6:30 am. If you have time however, buses are a cheap and easy to travel around the island. Booking hotels are pretty simple and there are some great deals on Agoda.com! For instance, we stayed at The Ocean Palace Hotel for a third of the usual 4-star hotel price and enjoyed a luxurious European Family Twin room with breakfast included.
Jeju Island is possibly one of my favorite places to travel to in Korea and here are 5 activities you must do on Jeju Island when visiting:
Sunset at Seogwipo Bridge
1. Mt. Hallasan 
Mount Hallasan is a breathtakingly beautiful volcanic crater that is stunning all year-round. Every season in Korea you can hike up the mountain through different terrains, never seeing the same scenic landscapes twice. For example, in the Spring the crater is filled with water that looks like a lake and the whole mountain is filled with purple and yellow flowers. The hike is a long 8 hours to the summit, but it has only a few strenuous parts with most of it being a slow incline up. Even if you do not climb to the summit there are short walking trails and points where you can enjoy breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.  Jeju is famous for its bright pink skies. 
Directions: There are various entrances and routes from all major cities. Please look at the Mount Hallasan tourism website for directions. 
Hallabong Oranges from Jeju Island
2. Hallabong Oranges 
I honestly cannot wait to pop a succulent Hallabong orange into my mouth when traveling around Jeju Island! Hallabongs in my mind are the best oranges I have ever eaten in my life! And as a person coming from the Western Cape of South Africa that is saying something! The oranges are only harvested on Jeju Island and are a unique treat when visiting there. They are in season from Winter to Spring and are primarily grown on Hallasan Mountain. The peel comes off so easily and the orange has a huge bump in its center. You can buy them all over the island and also bring a packaged box back with you from the Jeju Airport. 
Hallabong Orange Jeju man
Cheonjiyeon falls in Seogwipo city
3. Cheonjiyeon Waterfall 
Cheonjiyeon Waterfall is possibly one of the most stunning waterfalls I have ever seen. The beautiful backdrop in the Seogwipo city of Jeju Island is lush with forestry and a wet vegetation. The walk up to the waterfall is breathtaking with scenic views and a peaceful atmosphere. There is a mix of Jeju statues everywhere and some relics of Chinese fusion around the area with cute cobble stone walkways and an interesting mixture of modern and old Korean architecture. The water is an aqua blue and you can see Koi and Terapines in the water as you walk up to the falls. Also, the volcanic cliffs are something to see with magnificent erosion patterns. 
Directions: Bus 600 from Jeju Airport, get off at Kayang Tourist Hotel. Walk down the hill towards the CU. Turn right by Kosa Mart and and then make a right at NamMi Motel. Walk straight and follow the signs to Cheonjyeon Waterfall
Olle trails by Seogwipo: Route 7
Olle trails by Seogwipo bridge
4. Olle Walking Trail by Seogwipo City 
The Olle trails go right around Jeju Island and is one of the main tourist attractions of the island. Plenty of tourists walk miles around the island and enjoy the different scenic views with the 18 different routes the trail has to offer. Seogwipo City is the 2nd largest city on Jeju Island and is a wonderful place to stay and see a lot of art and culture, as well as scenery and landscapes. The Olle Trail at Seogwipo has many stunning views such as the Seogwipo Bridge, Oedolgae Rock and Wolpyeong Port. Close by on Olle Trail 9 you can enjoy Jungmun Beach, Yakcheonsa Temple and Jusangjeolli Cliffs. 
Seopjikoji walking trails up to the lighthouse
5. Seopjikoji and Seongsan Ilchubong (Sunrise Peak)
The famous Seongsan Ilchubong crater that extends into the sea is on the far right hand side of the island. From Jeju city and Seogwipo city alike, it will take you about one hour bus ride to reach it. You can take bus 701 which will take you from both side of the island right around to all the tourist stops. Get off at Seongsan Ilchubong stop and Sinyang-ri stop for Seopjikoji. (You cannot walk between the two as they are too far apart), Seopjikoji is a stunning walkway that winds around a volcanic cliff shoreline up to the top of a lighthouse. I recommend getting off at Sinyang-ri stop, instead of Seongsan Ilchubong, and walking through the town up to the lighthouse. On this route you can see the magnificent view of Seongsan Ilchubong, ride horses on two white sand beaches and walk all the way up the beautiful coastline of Seopjikoji. Also, once walking through the town there is a wonderful Phillippines dessert and mango shake shop, which you must stop by in the Summer and Spring months! 
DirectionsBus 701, Sinyang-ri stop (Seopjikoji). Walk right, make first left and walk towards the town. Keep following the signs to Seopjikoji and turn left into Pacific Island. There is a short cut through the resort, instead of walking all the way around.  
Spring time in Jeju island
Apply here to teach in Korea! 
 It is no surprise that Tijana Huysamen, a South African born Capetownian, avid traveler and travel journalist, fell in love with South Korea and its people. After Tijana arrived in South Korea in 2010, she had the opportunity to live in the heart of the Korean countryside. During her time spent in Chungnam province she learned to speak Korean, prepare Korean food and experience the humble nature of the countryside people.  After a year break in New York, Tijana jumped at the opportunity to return to Korea again, and is currently working at the CDI Jamsil Branch, in Jamsil, Seoul. Read Tijana’s Aclipse blog to gain a unique perspective on Korea and her shared experiences and adventures both in a major city and in the countryside. Follow Tijana on Twitter @TeeAnni or email tijanahuysamen120@hotmail.com to request more information on teaching in Korea

Tags: Jeju Island, traveling

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