With a new year comes a new you, it is a time to consider where and how you can push yourself outside of your comfort zone and try new things.
It is pretty enlightening to see how you can handle something you wouldn’t normally do by yourself. Have you ever wanted to take adventure into your own hands? Have you ever wanted to explore new places, people, and cultures?
If staying active and travelling your new year’s resolutions, Jeju Island is a great place to jump start your list and get you ready to hit the road.
From stunning natural landscapes, well-maintained trekking paths, numerous volcanic hills to running friendly coastal trails, South Korea’s Jeju Island is a must-visit spot for every outdoor enthusiast.
Dubbed the Hawaii of Korea, Jeju Island has a triple crown in the UNESCO’s natural science areas and has never failed to amaze us in bringing out the best travel and trekking experience.
Through the humble invitation of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province together with Jeju Tourism Organization (JTO), we flew to Jeju Island last October for a 5D4N adventurous trip.
The capital of the island of Jeju, Jeju City is divided into old Jeju and new Jeju. With almost 680,000 people, the old part of Jeju is to the east of the airport and it has the harbour with a lively seafood precinct at the waterfront.
On the other hand, the new part of Jeju has more grid-like streets and hosts most of the government buildings. It is also served by Jeju International Airport and the Seoul-Jeju air route is the world’s busiest, receiving 30 to 50 millions of tourists every year.
The Jeju Olle Walk FAM Trip was a pleasure, allowing us to live out every extraordinary moment exactly how we wanted without sacrificing the quality we’d expect from a self-indulgent vacation.
These are some attractions of Jeju Island that you shouldn’t miss. Get a pen and paper and include these to your bucket lists!
Jeju is famous for its oreum, which implies the parasitic cone. The name refers to a small volcano within a main volcanic crater in the Jeju Island. More than 360 oreums are distributed throughout Jeju Island from the mountains to coast, centered on Mount Halla.
Saebyeol Oreum is generally covered in grass, though the northern slope is partially covered in scrubs, and there is a cemetery on the north western slope. The volcanic cone gets its name from the fact that it stands along with the moving star under the evening sky.
If you plan to visit Jeju Island in February, be sure to partake in the Jeju Fire Festival. It is held to pray for good harvest and good health in the new year. During the festival, half of the hill of oreum will be burned as a tradition.
Jeju Olle Trail
Jeju Olle Trail is a series of hiking routes on Jeju Island, 130km off the southwest coast of Korea. This beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site is almost sub-tropical in climate, its scenery passing from windswept coastline, through countless tangerine groves crisscrossed by distinctive stone walls, and up to the 1,950m peak of Mount Halla.
Jeju Olle Trail consists of 21 main routes that loop the island’s coastal region. There are 5 sub routes that take in Jeju’s interior or smaller neighbouring islets. Together with the 26 routes stretch 435km in total. Each route has its own unique charms.
Seogwipo is the second largest city on Jeju Island, settled on a rocky volcanic coastline. There is a wharf that is 310m long, so a 500-ton ship can come alongside it, and the cargo capacity is 1,700,000 tons, and the materials handled are grain, tangerines, oil, fresh fish, etc.
This spectacular bridge that can be seen from Seogwipo Port is Saeyeon Bridge. It is the longest pedestrian overpass created in the southern-most area of the country. This bridge connects Seogwipo Port and Saeseom Island. It was designed to look like a Teu, a traditional flat wooden boat of Jejudo Island.
The island also has diverse convenience and leisure facilities such as a 1.2 kilometer walking path, a public square, wooden deck road, pebble road, forest walking path and theme photo zone.
From hiking to carting, the Wind 1947 Jeju Extreme Circuit allows you to enjoy a thrilling cart riding experience.
You can drive down a 1,947m race track, on one of the longest courses in South Korea with a scenic view of Mount Halla. As the name suggests, 1947 stands for the length in meters and same height as Mount Halla.
If you come to Jeju with your family, the Wind 1947 Jeju Extreme Circuit is a place for you. There are the vintage classic cart and children cart for you to choose from.
Located in the Seogwipo area of Jeju Island, Soesokkak Estuary was originally called ‘Soedun’, which means a lying down ox, and it was only later that it became more widely known as ‘Soesokkak’. This is the mouth of the Hyodoncheon Stream.
As the fresh water meets the ocean, it broadens into wide slow flowing river. ‘Soe; means an ox, ‘so’ means a ‘pool of water’ and ‘Kkak means ‘the end’. Soesokkak Estuary is lined with cliffs of curious lava formations, which are overhung with pine trees.
Soesokkak Estuary is located in Hahyo-dong on the Southern side of Hallasan Mountain. The area is not only well-known for its tangerines, but also a raft called “Teu”, which you can ride on to admire every nook and corners of Soesokkak Estuary.
On the raft, you pull the rope to pass through the crystal clear water, letting you enjoy the exotic view of the interesting array of rocks.
Seongsan Sunrise Peak
Waking up to the nascent rays of rising sun felt incredible. Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak rose from under the sea in a volcanic eruption over 100,000 years ago.
Located on the eastern end of Jejudo Island, there is a huge crater at the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak. The crater is about 600m in diameter and 90m high. With the 99 sharp rocks surrounding the crater, it looks like a gigantic crown.
While the southeast and north sides are cliffs, the northwest side is a verdant grassy hill that is connected to the Seongsan Village. The ridge provides an ideal spot for walks and for horse riding as well.
Jeju Drone Park
Have you ever piloted a drone?
Located at the Jeju B.E.S.T Hill, you have the opportunity to learn and fly your drone both indoor and outdoor at the drone park.
To begin with, you will be given a brief overview of how to operate a drone and pilot it in a cage designed specifically for beginners.
If you’re more experienced, there’s no problem flying drones outdoors. The batteries found in each drone can only last for 3 to 5 minutes. But you don’t have to worry, there will be staffs who will always help and assist you.
Jeju Monolith 9.81 Park
If you like the adrenaline rush, this racing theme park is an excellent option for you.
On the power track, you can enjoy riding the specially designed gravity cart. There is a non-motorized racing space that employs gravity to demonstrate acceleration and which has only a brake.
The term 9.81 indicates the acceleration of gravity, 9.81 m/s2. This course is completed in 1 to 2 minutes with a 20-minute turnaround.
Innisfree Jeju House
Innisfree is a natural brand that embodies the natural beauty of clean Jeju Island. At Innisfree Jeju House, you can experience everything about the brand with a variety of activities that satisfy the five senses, as well as spending a relaxing time surrounded by the beautiful nature on Jeju Island.
Innisfree Jeju House was built to preserve the natural environment of the area. Visitors can feel as if they have become part of nature while they enjoy Innisfree’s cosmetics made with quality ingredients harvested from Jeju, as well as organic food made with fresh local ingredients.
Dolphin Watching Tour
In Jeju, you get to wallow in the dolphins watching tour.
After boarding a speed boat at the Dongril-Ri Port, you will embark on an adventure to the southwest coast of Jeju and cruise out onto the ocean to spot playful dolphins and breathtaking views.
In the meantime, you also have the opportunity to experience fishing with bamboo sticks while overlooking the great view of nature with the emerald green ocean and marine wind fan town.
Aewol Handam Coastal Trail
The Handam Trail and Beach is spread out along the coastline from Aewol-ri Village, which is at the northwestern edge of Jeju Island, to Gwakji Gwamul Beach.
When you’re here, hitting the beaches or cafes is not to be missed. Either way will keep you define bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
Bomnal Cafe is a popular coffeehouse located behind Handam Beach. The sea breeze at this cafe is chilly and refreshing. Instagram users? This place is definitely insta-worthy!
Dongmun Traditional Market
A trip to Jeju would not be complete without paying a visit to Jeju Dongmun Traditional Market, which was established after the liberation in 1945.
As the oldest and biggest traditional, it has served countless customers in Jeju with diverse items at affordable prices. Tourists like us would storm into the bustling and vibrant market upon seeing the long alleys of shops spreading over a large area in the city’s heartland.
A vast array of products could be found – mackerel, small octopus, abalone, fruits, clothes, herbs, liquors, and so much more that we had a dilemma of selecting the ideal souvenirs back home.