Visiting Jeju Island

Visiting Jeju should definitely be at the top of your things to do if your ever in South Korea. Known as the ‘Hawaii of South Korea’, it is one of the busiest air routes in the world. You can board a flight to Jeju nearly every 15 minutes with over 200 flights going back and fourth every day. The flight takes less than an hour and if you can be flexible with dates and times, you can find a return flight for just £50. Surely, there’s no reason why visiting Jeju isn’t at the top of your list?

So whats so special about Jeju?

In 2011, Jeju was declared one of the the New Seven Wonders of Nature, and we definitely can agree with that. It’s the most beautiful location full of nature & colour. We were surprised at how big the island was as we expected more of a remote island. However, it’s certainly full of life and the tourist boom is forever growing there. It is full of opportunities to explore the wildlife so be prepared to get your walking shoes on.

Where to stay?

Jeju is a lot bigger than you think. You cant exactly stay in one part of Jeju and expect to see all the attractions in one day. Even just getting from the north to the south of the island can take hours. We recommend heading straight down south to Seogwipo as soon as you arrive on the island. Then when your ready to leave, you can spend a couple of nights in the north ready to get to the airport for your flight.

We stayed at a great guesthouse in the South of Jeju and we couldn’t really ask for more. It was a little more expensive than we wanted but we were struggling to find anywhere decent for a good price. For £24 a night we had a double bedroom with a private bathroom & free breakfast. The facilities were all really clean and the rooms were a good size. If you are visiting Jeju, we would highly recommend you staying there.

Click here to book your stay at Gudeok Guesthouse

Visiting Jeju in 2 days

If you decide to visit Jeju, it obviously depends on the time you have and the budget you have to stay there. As popular tourist destination, hotels & restaurants are definitely making the most of it and keeping prices high. That doesn’t mean you cant visit on a budget as thats what we definitely did and had the most amazing time there. Due to our timescale, we could only invest two days at Jeju. We wanted to spend an extra day there so if you do plan on going, maybe consider visiting for 3-4 days. However, if your like us and only have a couple of days visiting Jeju, here’s some things to do to experience the best and most beautiful spots on the island.

 

Things to do in Jeju…

Day 1- Chase Waterfalls

Jeju is known for many reasons and one of those being their beautiful majestic waterfalls. There are tons on the island but there are 3 that are more well known, more accessible, however more touristy.

  • Cheonjiyeon
  • Cheonjeyeon
  • Jeongbang

We spent our first day exploring and visiting the beautiful waterfalls. They are easily accessible by bus and have an admission fee of 2000. Although if your under the age of 24, it costs 1000. We definitely tried to put our baby faces on and get away with that. Bare in mind it doesn’t always work 🙂

Cheonjiyeon Waterfall

Cheonjiyeon, meaning ‘God’s Pond’ gets its name from the legend that the seven fairies serving the King of Heaven came down to the pond on stairs of cloud and bathed in its clean waters. What makes it even more beautiful is that at night time, the waterfall is illuminated.

This waterfall is just a 15 minute walk from our guesthouse. Perfect! We arrived at the waterfall about 10am which was apparently a good time as just as we were leaving, tours of people arrived. I think any time of day you go, there will be crowds but the earlier you go will be better. We would recommend staying for about 30 minutes as there are good photo opportunities and its really nice walking around the area.

Admission fee; 2000 won

How to get there?

  • If you’ve driving, parking at this waterfall is free!
  • Take the direct bus from New Kyoungnam Hotel which will take you to Jeju World Cup Stadium. The bus departs every 30 mins and takes around 8 mins.

 

Cheonjeyeon Waterfall

Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls, named “The Pond of God,” consists of 3 sections and is surrounded by a variety of plant life. Unfortunately, the day we went the waterfall had dried up, however the scenery was beautiful regardless. By walking along the different footpaths and bridges, you can reach the different pools of the waterfall. Whether sunny or rainy, Jeju continues to show its beauty so don’t be put off if these attractions aren’t what you expected. They are breathtaking in all environments.

In Cheonjeyeon Valley, you can also visit the big Seonimgyo Bridge which connects Cheonjeyeon Falls with Jungmum Tourist Complex.

 

Admission fee; 2500 won

How to get there?

  • Again if your driving, parking is free!
  • Take a direct bus from Seogwipo Bus Terminal to Jungmun. The bus departs every 30 mins and the journey takes around 8 minutes.

 

Jeongbang Waterfalleongbang Falls

By far our favourite waterfall in Asia. Infact, it is the only waterfall in Asia that falls directly into the Ocean. As soon as you start walking down the steps towards the pool of the waterfall, stop and just take a look out into the ocean. The view is incredible. What is also great at this waterfall, is that many local women go own there and cook their seafood.

The height & power of this waterfall is amazing and is perfect for tons of photo opportunities. It also didn’t get too busy which was nice. There is plenty of space to sit and chill for a bit before exploring anymore.

 

Admission fee; 2000 won

How to get there? 

  • Take the direct bus departing from Jeju World Cup Stadium which will take you to Seobok Exhibiton Hall. The buss departs every 30 minutes and takes around 12 minutes.

Day 2- Hike up Mount Hallasan

Probably one the most popular things to do in Jeju and something we highly recommend. Initially, we weren’t going to do it as we found little information about it, how to get there and what it was really like. It was only because we bumped into another couple in the guesthouse who had done it the previous day, who gave us all the information we needed.

At almost 2000 metres above sea level, Mount Hallasan is the tallest mountain in South Korea. So why wouldn’t we climb it ay? It is a massive shield volcano that is an iconic landmark on the island and being so high up, the clarity of the mountain can change a lot. Fingers crossed, if you do ever decide to hike up it, the weather will be in your favour.

The big hike…

To be honest, when we considered this hike and even when we started, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We wrapped up warm as we had heard it was cold up there, got there about 7:30am and started our hike. We seemed to have so much energy at the beginning, taking in the incredible nature surrounding us. As the sun was still rising, it was beautiful coming through the tree’s and really emphasised the colour.

As we got further into it, it really dawned on us how challenging this was going to be. We had been told it takes 3 hours to get to the peak so that was our goal and Joe was not letting me forget that. For the majority of the hike we climbed over uneven rock surfaces and steps. Although it was quite embarrassing when these elderly Korean ladies stormed past us with their walking poles, definitely showing us up.

3 and a half hours later, we made it to the peak and wow, was it worth it. It definitely took a lot of energy and commitment. The views were just incredible! Lucky for us the sun shone all day and gave us the best view of Baengnok Lake (crater lake)

Things to remember;

  • Start your hike early. It gives you loads of time to get up to the peak and its actually really refreshing while the sun comes up.
  • You can’t reach the peak after 12:30pm. So if you set off early, you can reach the peak before 12:30pm and take your time relaxing up there before making your way down.
  • Take lots of food and snacks with you. We made the big mistake of only taking a banana with us and a couple of sweets we found in our rucksack. You definitely need all the energy you can get and by the time you reach the bottom again at around 4pm, you’ll definitely be hungry!
  • Wear sturdy, comfortable walking shoes. Joe and I both wore trainers and walking over uneven rocks for a good few hours, definitely starts making your feet and ankles sore.

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If you are visiting Jeju, hiking up Mount Hallasan is a must. Yes its tough and you’ll probably want to give up half way through. However, it will be one of the most amazing and rewarding things you will do.

Do you have more time in Jeju?

Like I said, we wish we had more time Jeju. Even just one more day would have been enough. If you do have more time while visiting Jeju and need more ideas of what to do, here’s is a list of what you can get up to.

  • Teddy Bear Museam
  • Loveland
  • Jeju Folk Village Museam
  • Manjanggul Cave
  • Jungmun Beach
  • Jeju Waterworld
  • Jusangjeoilli Cliffs

We absolutely loved visiting Jeju and has been a highlight of our trip to South Korea. The country has exceeded all of our expectations and it is definitely underestimated for its beauty. If your thinking of visiting South Korea, check out more things to do in Seoul & Busan, the two biggest cities in the county.

http://twothattour.com/things-to-do-in-busan

http://twothattour.com/things-to-do-in-seoul

 

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