29 Kasım 2016 Salı

Jeju Island Guide

Everyone wants go to JEJU, buy why? Because Jeju Island is so beautiful! If you are reading this, you are probably planning to go and visit Jeju soon. So, let's start our Jeju guide that will help you in your next visit.

The island has an area of 1849 km2 (714 sq mile), located at southern side of South Korea. Its length covers 73 km and its width covers 31 km. So, cycling is a good option for this island, as long as the weather allows.


We went to Jeju island twice; First in mid-October, second in the beginning of November. The weather was nice in our both visit. If you are going there for the beach, late spring, summer and early fall would be better.


You fly to Jeju island from Gimpo airport where you can reach via metro/subway. Since it is an international airport, you may fly from somewhere outside Korea to Gimpo, then fly to Jeju with a connected flight.
In our each travel to Jeju, we chose different airline companies (to save money). We flew there first with T'way air, in our second trip with Jeju air.
Both airline companies were similar, not quite different than each other. You have 15 kg of baggage to check in and a backpack to carry on. The sum of width, length and height of the checked in baggage must be 203cm or shorter, fyi.


We booked and stayed in 3 different places in our each visit to Jeju island.

1) Art Airport Guesthouse (Jeju Center) It is a centrally located, cute, quiet guesthouse. We stayed here for 2 nights, 2 people which cost us 108.000won (92$) total. The receptionist girl was lacking of fluent English but was eager to help. There is a supermarket and a pastry shop near this guesthouse. The bus stop is only 2 minutes away. You can get to this place from the airport by taxi as well. It takes 8-10 minutes by a taxi.

2) Kkodak Kkodak Guesthouse (Seogwipo) It is a very simple, quiet guesthouse. You sleep on the ground comfortably. Even though the page of the guesthouse on booking.com mentioned free eggs for its breakfast, the owner of the place said no eggs. Also there was nothing to eat in their breakfast, only kitchenware (like toaster, fridge, kettle to use). So you may better do the shopping for breakfast beforehand or have your breakfast outside (recommended). We paid 29.700won (25$) for our one night stay there.

3) Nammi Hotel (Seogwipo) This hotel is not listed on any website, so you cannot book through those booking, agoda, hotels.com agencies. We coincidentally came across this small hotel while walking through the streets of Seogwipo on our way to the seaside. It was centrally located, yet on an inside street where cars passing by. The hotel was almost empty due to the low season, so it was easy to book our room in the last minute with an early check in. When you walk into the hotel, you are going to see delicious Jeju tangerines on your right, those are free for you. We had so many of those yummy fruits in our each entrance and exit to the hotel :) The hotel owners live at the reception area, so you will have a 24/7 reception ready to help you :) But they don't speak any English, so to be able to communicate, you will need to use google translate through your phone's internet. There is no breakfast in this place either. We stayed there for 4 nights and paid 40.000won for each night's stay there (Double room)


There are 4 options here;

1) Renting a Car (Requires International Driver's Licence).

2) Renting a Bicycle or Bringing your own bike.

3) Taking public buses (We chose this for Mt.Halla , Seogwipo, Jungmun, Airport) 

4) Taking a taxi (We chose this for our first stay in the center from the airport and the opposite direction) It doesn't cost much for the short distances, so you may choose this if you have no idea about the destination or in a rush.


If you like junk food, you'll be happy to see Dunkin Donuts or Paris Baguette in Jeju. Since most of the guesthouses, pensions and mini hotels don't provide breakfast (or a hearty and nutritious one), you better plan it in advance. There are Starbucks branches as well but prices there are high for us so we always look for somewhere else.

We found a rice porridge cafe in Seogwipo, had porridge there in 2 different visits and liked it.

Rice Porridge with assorted seafood (with kimchi side dishes) 8500won

 For lunch or dinner in Jeju, you have much more options for any budget and any kind of food.
Our first dinner was flawless! It was at a Japanese sashimi restaurant in Jeju Center, very close to the sea. Only one young chef was able to speak English in the whole restaurant, so we had his help to communicate and make sure what we were about to order. We weren't able to figure out the name of this nice restaurant but I guess there are not many Japanese Sashimi restaurants in Jeju center, so you may find it easily.

I thought they would never stop bringing food, I was happy, so my stomach was.
We were lucky with our dinner decisions. Another good restaurant to have dinner was Soul Kitchen in Seogwipo. It is in the first place among 2841 restaurants of Seogwipo while having a certificate of excellence on tripadvisor website. They really deserve it. The waiters were polite, welcoming, helpful, the menu was varied, food was delicious, prices were reasonable for a fine dining restaurant.

Real hamburger menu at Soul Kitchen in Seogwipo, Jeju

Our other favorite restaurant was a very little Fish and Chips place in Seogwipo. It is actually called as Sol Fish but you may find it by clicking above and zooming in the map while there. We tried fish and chips and quality beer, loved it!


We read this while writing this article, so we noticed what we missed to look at before climbing to Mt.Halla

This should be another blog page itself. (And yes, I'm going to write about Hallasan with many visuals and infos, if you write down below this page that you would like to know more about it) Climbing to Hallasan is so special for any visitor of Jeju. It is a must, otherwise lost. So, whenever you are planning to go to Jeju island, make sure you reserve "an entire day" for the climb to Hallasan, I assure you that it is going to be worth. Hallasan is the highest peak of entire South Korea, located in the middle of Jeju island, which has 5 different routes to its peak suitable for any level of climber. Here are those 5 routes;

- Seongpanak Trail:
Seongpanak → Dongneung Peak
9.6 km / 4 hrs 30 mins each way

- Eorimok Trail:
Eorimok → Nambyeok Bungijeom
6.8 km / 3 hrs each way

- Eoseungsaengak Trail:
Eorimok → Eoseungsangak Peak
1.3 km / 30 min each way

- Yeongsil Trail:
Yeongsil - Nambyeok Bungijeom
5.8 km / 2 hrs 30 mins each way

- Gwaneumsa Trail:
Gwaneumsa Temple - Dongneung Peak
8.7 km / 5 hrs each way

Since we were staying in Seogwipo, we chose the Seongpanak route (Which was the longest and we didn't care). We started to climb at 10:30am which we learned that it was a very late time to climb if you wanted to reach to the peak. Since we were both runners with a climbing talent, it took us only 1 hour 34 minutes to reach Jindallaebat point (roughly instead of 3.5 hours) but neither of us knew that we were supposed to pass that point before noon time/12:00 and the worker at the checkpoint was very strict about this rule, while we were there at 12:02! Telling him that I was the overall winner of Jeju trail running race didn't help any :) I know it has a safety reason which should be valid for everyone, just we were a bit disappointed by knowing we could make it to the top in a short amount of time. So we had a long break at Jindallaebat point while it was sunny at noon time. So, if you are going to choose the Seongpanak route, make sure you start to climb "very early" time of the day.

Saeseom Bridge (very close to the Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls). So beautiful place!

Jusangjeollidae Promenade (Jusangjeolli Cliffs)

Another must visit in Jungmun, Seogwipo, Jeju. Jusangjeolli Cliff was formed when the lava from Hallasan Mountain erupted into the sea of Jungmun. They are rock pillars shaped like cubes or hexagons of various sizes and almost seem as if stone masons had carved them out. Its address is 216, Jungmungwangwang-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
제주특별자치도 서귀포시 중문관광로 216 (중문동)
It is a very popular place with many visitors. The entrance fee is 2000won. We coincidentally found this place with no knowledge about it and we were lucky to see it, as it was only 45 minutes before its closure. Its operating ours between sunrise and sunset. So make sure not to go there late.

Cheonjeyeon Waterfall

The Nammi hotel (where we stayed for 4 nights in Seogwipo) was only 500mt away from the waterfalls, so we visited there easily on foot. The entrance fee is 2000won per person. After walking for 5 minutes, you reach to the waterfall. Since it is a touristical place, it is crowded.

Stone Grandfather (Dol Hareubang)

Because of the relative isolation of the island, the people of Jeju have developed a culture and language that are distinct from those of mainland Korea. But as a visitor with no Korean language knowledge, you don't notice this difference. Jeju is home to thousands of local legends. Perhaps the most distinct cultural artifact is the ubiquitous dol hareubang ("stone grandfather") carved from a block of basalt. Some Koreans name it as the "wise grandpa". We met this cute grandpa when they had given it as one of the race awards in Ulta Trail Jeju Running Race. By the way, they don't give these grandpas to all the race participants. If you want to win one (besides other race awards, you may contact me through my online personal training page)

You will not only see Jeju residents on the island but come across many Chinese tourists who have the ability of visa free visits to the island, ended up 3 millions of Chinese visiting the island last year. Additionally, Chinese now own 2,050 acres (830 ha) on Jeju, up from just five acres in 2009 which has been concerning the Korean residents of Jeju Island.


Flights : T'way Air; October departing 60.000won, return 74.000won.
Jeju Air; November departing 30.000won , return 30.000won.

Tip: If you are flexible with your flight times, you can buy your Jeju ticket as low as 14.000won (one way) ;)

Accommodation : 30.000 to 50.000won for a double room per night is okay.

Tip: If you are going to travel to Jeju in high season, try to book your place by checking both tripadvisor.com and booking.com (in case you get discounts if you are a genius level member) in advance.

I'm going to add more information in the future as I remember and find time to work on this article. If you want to add any useful information about Jeju Island, please comment down below. New visitors are going to appreciate your help.


1 yorum:

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