Since my semester abroad started, many people have asked me: Kim, what are the Must-See’s in Korea. I hope that at the end of the Semester I will be able to give a detailed description of everything that is an absolute must see, but for now, I will focus on my favorite part of my stay so far: Jeju Island, which is very often compared to Hawaii.
How to get there
There are multiple ways to get to Jeju from Seoul. We chose to fly there, because flight rates are fairly inexpensive. We flew with “T-Way”, which is a common cheap-rate aviation company. We paid about 35€ per flight but if you book earlier, flights can be even cheaper. Another way to get to Jeju is via ferry from Busan or other South Korean cities in the southeast. However, this is quite a long trip, which is another reason why we preferred the one-hour flight.
Where to stay
The most common place to stay on Jeju Island is Jeju City, which is why we opted towards staying in the south of the Island, in Seogwipo. We decided to stay there, since it is surrounded by water and many different waterfalls, so there are many things to do within walking distance. However, if you get the chance to stay on Jeju longer, I would recommend looking for a place to stay on U-Do Island, since it is absolutely breathtaking. We booked our Hostel (Gudeok Hostel) on www.bookings.com and were very happy with our choice.
What to do
There are many different things to do on Jeju Island. You can look at many waterfalls on the entire island, and also visit many beautiful beaches. If the weather is good enough, you can swim or even scuba dive, the water is very clear and beautiful. However, it is very cold. I recommend taking a trip to U-Do and enjoying the beautiful island by renting a scooter, and just driving from beach to beach. U-Do has an amazing waterside road, where you can drive along the entire coast and explore its nature. Also, there are many different restaurants and cafés, where you can take a break from driving and just enjoy the view. U-Do Island is very famous for its divers, who free dive in order to find snails, eels, see cucumbers and other edible creatures to sell. You can see these female divers from almost any point on the Island. Also, hiking is very popular in Korea, which is why you shouldnǯt miss the chance to go hiking during your stay on Jeju Island. There are many different routes on many different parts of the island. The most common spot however is Mount Hallasan, which is the old volcano in the Center of Jeju Island.
Getting from A to B is simple in Jeju, however, it takes very long if you don’t have a rental car or scooter. Although buses have a widespread network across the entire island, and even though they drive regularly, it takes very long to get from one place to another. This is why I would absolutely recommend bringing your international drivers license and getting a rental car, just because you are able to save so much time and enjoy more of the island. Also, bring clothes for every weather. Even though we were quite lucky with the weather during our short stay, we had rain for an entire day. This was not a problem, since it was still quite warm. The day after however, the temperature dropped dramatically, which is why I recommend being prepared.
Definitely don’t miss out on this beautiful island if you get the chance! Even though we only went for a longer weekend trip, I definitely think Jeju is worth at least a one-week trip, in order to experience the entire island.