Nicknamed the “Hawaii of South Korea,” friends told me that Jeju Island is place that I must-see. As soon as opportunity arose, I booked my flight and was on my way to this mysterious island. Made completely from volcano, Jeju Island is located 1 hour from Seoul. There are several tumbling waterfalls and multicolored beaches to keep water-lovers alike busy. As well as exotic dishes that will have you wondering “should I or should I not try it?
I recommend spending 4-5 days in Jeju Island to get the full experience.
KEEP READING THIS POST FOR A QUICK GUIDE TO JEJU ISLAND
What sets this waterfall apart from the rest is the way that it falls directly into the ocean. I loved walking along the giant rocks and feeling the mist from the waterfall on my face. This waterfall reminded me of Minnehaha Falls, a favorite of mine back in my home state of Minnesota that I frequently visited.
Chilsimni-ro 214beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
제주특별자치도 서귀포시 칠십리로214번길 (동홍동) 제주올레길 6코스
HOURS: 9:00 AM -7:00 PM (Last admission 6:00 PM)
Adults 2,000 won ($1.80 USD) / Children 1,000 won ($0.90 USD)
SWIM IN JUNGMUN SAEKDAL BEACH
This unique beach contains four distinctive colored sands: red, black, white and grey. It is a favorite spot for both locals and tourists to go surfing, scuba diving and parasailing. Whether you are looking for a nice dip in the beach or want to collect gorgeous sea shells, you most definitely will want to visit Jungmun at least once during your visit. Just a short bus ride from Jeongbang Falls, it is not a bad idea to visit both places in one day.
Jungmungwangwang-ro 72beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
제주특별자치도 서귀포시 중문관광로72번길 (색달동)
VISIT JEJU LOVELAND MUSEUM
There are over a hundred sculptures outdoors that consist of different sex positions, sexual body parts, as well as a masturbation cycle for women (although this cycle is nothing more than a bicycle with flaps on it, so ladies don't go in with high hopes). Many people like to call Love Land "Korea's sex museum" but I like to give it more credit than that. On a deeper level, it holds a lot of unique art as well as history since the idea of the museum began back in the 1970s; a time in which Jeju Island became a popular honeymoon destination for Korean couples.
2894-72, Cheonbaengi-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
제주특별자치도 제주시 1100로 2894-72 (연동)
HOURS: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Last admission: 11:00 PM)
COST: Adults 12,000 won ($10.79 USD)
JEJU STONE PARK
The park features various stone structures as well as a Sky Pond. There is a famous legend at Jeju Stone Park that tells the story of Grandmother Seomundae, a woman who threw herself into a cauldron to save her starving children.
2023 Namjo-ro, Jocheon-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
제주특별자치도 제주시 조천읍 남조로 2023
HOURS: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
* Last admission is 1 hour before closing
COST: Adults 5,000 won ($4.50 USD) / Teenagers 4,000 won ($3.60 USD)
ECOLAND THEME PARK
Conveniently down the road from Jeju Stone Park is Ecoland Theme Park. If you want to pair these two sites in one day, it wouldn’t be a bad idea. This pretty gem features an old fashioned train that takes its guests through the park and every stop has a different theme. Throughout the train ride I saw beautiful gardens and plantations, a windmill and a galleon ship.
1278-169, Beonyeong-ro, Jocheon-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
제주특별자치도 제주시 조천읍 번영로 1278-169 (조천읍)
[Summer season] 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
[Winter season] 08:40 AM - 5:00 PM
Adults: 12,000 won ($10.80 USD)
Youths: 10,000 won ($9.00 USD)
Children: 8,000 won ($7.20 USD)
Naengmyeon (cold noodles)
I had heard about this dish beforehand and wanted to give it a try. I mean cold soup?! I couldn't miss out on this oxymoron of a dish. Turns out that cold soup is delicious! There is the fresh taste of the noodles with the chilled broth as a backdrop. I’d definitely recommend.
Peanut Butter Squid Jerky
I know, I know, you’re probably scrunching up your nose just reading the title. Contrary to how it sounds, this snack is delicious. Since my mother is Vietnamese, I grew up with her making homemade squid jerky all the time. Jeju’s version of the add peanut butter; however, made it twice as good with the added sweetness. You can find this unique snack at a nearby 7-11 or other convenience stores.
Jeju Black Pork
This particular specialty is one that I was told that I “had to try” when going to Jeju Island. Although it was tasty, I have to confess that it is is a bit overrated. If you are pork lover than you probably won’t want to pass on this island’s spin on it.
I recommend staying for a minimum of 4 to 5 days since there is much to see and do.
If you’re like me, you will fall in love with Jeju’s spicy food and copious amount of free side dishes. The transportation system in Jeju Island is also fairly simple since the bus system is easy to navigate. Otherwise, if you prefer, there is always a taxi around the corner for a decent price. So what are you waiting for? Book your ticket to this mysterious volcanic island and experience for yourself South Korea’s Hawaii.