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Monday, September 2, 2019

JEJU ISLAND DAY 1

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JEJU ISLAND DAY 1


Jeju Island is known as the Hawaii of South Korea. It's an ultimate holiday island for both local and international tourists. Jeju Island offers everything from crystal clear water, amazing beaches, mountain, waterfalls, amazing foods, shoppings, and the list goes on.  
I recently discover that Indonesian passport holders can enter Jeju Island VISA FREE. To be eligible for a visa free entry, you are not allowed to fly to Jeju via Seoul but alternatively you can fly to Jeju via Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong.  


WHEN TO VISIT JEJU ISLAND

Jeju is known for its beautiful weather and beaches. It is best to visit Jeju in Spring (Mid March - May), in time for cherry blossoms and also canola flowers festival (in the beginning of April) and the weather wouldn't be too hot (for people like me who don't really enjoy the heat but still favor a warm breeze). Autumn is also a good time to visit Jeju Island (mid September to mid November). 
I visited Jeju Island in the beginning of October and the weather was amazing, the sun was out and the breeze was just perfect.


GETTING TO JEJU ISLAND

Jeju Island is accessible both via flight and ferry.  
I would recommend getting to Jeju via flight just because it takes less time and cheaper fare.  
We flew to Jeju Island through Seoul Gimpo International Airport with T'WAY Airlines. We booked one way flight for KRW39,400 (approx AUD50)and it comes with 15kg checked in baggage.  
Once we arrived in Jeju Airport, we took Airport Limousine (basically a coach) number 600 to Seogwipo and paid cash upfront KRW5,500 for the ride. Since our hotel is located near the second last stop, it took us about 1 hour bus ride from the airport. Most of Jeju buses come with free wifi access, so you'll be just fine.
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Airport Limousine no 600 Jeju Airport to Seogwipo and its stopping point



GETTING AROUND JEJU ISLAND

  • By car : if you hold an international driver license and you are okay with driving around the island, renting a car would be a perfect way to get around jeju. It will save you time getting from one place to the other.

  • By car with driver : if you are not willing to drive around but you still prefer to get around the island by private care, there are some private drivers who offer the service to take you around the island based on your itinerary. I found out about this during my research. It costs approx KRW180,000 per day for 8-10 hours. I think this option works well with a group of 3-4 people or for a family.

  • By taxi : there were times where we got around with taxi, especially if the destinations are in shorter distance. I forgot how much was the rate but it was quite reasonable and not too expensive for short distance travel. 

  • By public transport (Bus) : this was our way for getting around Jeju Island. One reminder before you continue reading, if you are not good with direction or reading map, this might not be a good option for you. It is the cheapest way to get around Jeju as well as the most adventurous in my opinion. My friend and I almost got off on the wrong stop many times and we ended up having to walk miles to our destinations but then it creates such a good memories. To get around with Bus, you need Naver Map as your guideline to find out about the bus number and bus stops. Public transport costs a lot cheaper (ranging from KRW1,200 to KRW2,000). You can purchase T-Money Card at any convenient store
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Inside Jeju Island Bus


ACCOMODATION

While planning about where to stay in Jeju Island, it is crucial deciding which area that will be your base. On my trip, I opted Seogwipo (second big city in Jeju, located down south) because we have limited time in Jeju Island and based on my research, traveling to both West and East coast of Jeju by Public Transport is easier from Seogwipo. 
We opted EINS HOTEL which is located in Seogwipo. It costs KRW162,000 (approx. AUD200) for 2 people on 3 nights stay including breakfast. 
EINS HOTEL probably has the best breakfast through out the South Korea trip. The hotel served abalone porridge (which is famous Jeju dish) which truly makes you feel like home. The breakfast lounge itself is pretty special, located on level 9, it offers a beautiful Seogwipo harbour view as well as a glimpse of the hotel surroundings. 
The receptionist speaks basic English even though he has a little bit difficulty in conversation but we understood each other just fine. 
I would say Eins Hotel has a strategic location with easy access to public transport, some tourists attractions as well as city centre.

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View from our hotel room

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Room with twin bed

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view from EINS HOTEL breakfast lounge

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view from the breakfast lounge


JEJU ISLAND ITINERARY

DAY 0 - ARRIVING IN JEJU ISLAND

We arrived at our hotel at around 8PM. After we checked in, we decided to have dinner around our hotel and we found this korean barbeque joint. Our main focus was to try the famous Jeju Black Pork. Locals said that it tasted better than the regular pork, so we had to give it ago.

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the famous Jeju Black Pork belly ( 제주흑돼지; jeju heuk-doe-ji)

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소고기; sogogi

The difference on the Black Pork compared to other pork is that on its skin you can see black dots/hair on it but on the taste wise, I don't know if I am biasing this or not in the matter of ambiance for being in Jeju Island, but there was this tenderness, juiciness and delicacy of the Black Pork Belly and spending KRW36,000 (for two pax) was worth it.


DAY 1 - EXPLORING THE WEST COAST
MUST DO : BANANA MILK 
It tasted just like a regular banana flavoured milk, what made it special was we were having it in South Korea :)

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Left : Original Banana Milk / Right : Chocolate Banana Milk (KRW1,300 each)



CHEONJIYEON WATERFALL 

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Cheonjiyeon Waterfall

From Eins Hotel, Cheonjiyeon waterfalls can be reached within 15 mins by feet. There are food stalls located near the entrance of Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls. 
The entrance fee is KRW2,000 for adult, but one thing you need to note, there is a 'teen' category which ranges from age 17-24 years old and it costs KRW1,000, the ticketing office will check your eligibility based on your ID.

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Cheonjiyeon Waterfall

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Purchase Entry Ticket At Ticketing Booth / English Option Available

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DOL HAREUBANG 돌 하르방 (Grandfather Stone) - Jeju Icon

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You will see dol hareubang at corners of Jeju Island and you can also find it at Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls tourism complex. 
Dol Hareubang is one of the representatives and image of Jeju Island around the world. Dol Hareubang is also believed to represent the fertility Gods, that's why Jeju is known to be 'Honeymoon capital' and legend has it that if a newly married women can rub its ears if they wish to have for a daughter or its nose for a son. 

SEOGWIPO HARBOUR 

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Seogwipo New Paradise Boat (excursion)

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Saeseom Island Saeyongyo Bridge


O'SULLOC TEA MUSEUM

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free tea tasting

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must try : O'sulloc Green Tea Milk Tea
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From Seogwipo Harbour, we walked to the main street and take bus to O'Sulloc Tea Museum. It took 3 buses to get to Osulloc from where we were based on Naver Map guidance.  
O'Sulloc Tea Museum is jam-packed when we got there. It's home to the famous Jeju green tea spread and also green tea beverages, but besides that the in-house cafe that serve delicious tea-made cakes and beverages also attracts visitors. You can try different teas at the brewing station and buy teas as souvenir too.

INNISFREE JEJU HOUSE

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CAFE UNTITLED by G-DRAGON at JEJU SHINHWA WORLD

From O'Sulloc Tea Museum, we took taxi to Jeju Shinhwa World (KRW4,400), not to play but we wanted to visit the famous cafe Untitled, created in collaboration with G-Dragon from Bigbang. My friend, Vivien, is a huge fan of Big Bang and it would be a missed if we did not stop by. 
The building itself is really unique and in the inside you can see G-Dragon merchandise as well. We didn't actually purchase any food or beverage because we were still full from O'Sulloc, we just browsed around and took some photos then left.
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LUNCH : NAENGMYEON 냉면 (Cold Buckwheat Noodle) 

When midday started to kick in, you can feel the heat in Jeju Island which is perfect for a bowl of Naengmyeon. Naengmyeon or Cold Buckwheat Noodle is a famous Korean dish that serves cold, usually the soup broth is made from beef stock and the noodle is thin and made from Buckwheat. I forgot the name of the restaurant at Shinhwa World that we visited.  
My favourite part about this bowl of Naengmyeon is its buckwheat noodle which is really soft making it easy to go down the throat.

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Naengmyeon : KRW8,000

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CHEONJEYOEN WATERFALLS

After lunch, we continued our jam-packed itinerary to the next waterfalls : Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls. We took taxi from Jeju Shinhwa World to Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls (KRW11,000). The entrance to Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls cost KRW2,000 for adult, but since I figured out that I still belonged to Teen category, I only paid KRW1,000. 
It was a little bit disappointing visit to Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls because it wasn't really what we expected. Yes, there is this rock formation surrounding the water, but nothing was really special out of it (in my opinion). It will be totally okay if you skip this waterfall. 
We then continued walking to another waterfall around Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls and we found Seonimgyo Bridge so we decided to take a photo.

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cheonjeyeon waterfalls

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Seonimgyo Bridge

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another waterfall at Cheonjeyeon Waterfall (I actually didn't remember the name)

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finding a way out to the main street from Cheonjeyeon Waterfall

JUSANGJEOLLI CLIFFS

From Cheonjeyeon Waterfall, we decided to walk to Jusangjeolli Cliff. At this point, we tried to follow Naver Map for a path to get to the main street so we can take bus or taxi to Jusangjeolli, but we almost  got lost in the middle of nowhere but thankfully there were two ajjummas (mid-age woman) and she explained the route with body language and a bit of Korean conversation from her to get to the main street and we found our way out.  
The struggle didn't end there. After we got to the main road, we had to walk quite a distance to get to the bus stop, hopped on the bus then got off the wrong stop. So we had to walk for another 20-30 minutes to Jusangjeolli Cliff. We got there just in time for sunset and half an hour before they closed. 
But the view paid off the journey to get there, it was just so peaceful to sit there amongst other tourists and enjoy the beautiful sunset. I remembered the conversation that Viv and I had, we were saying that  
"we were so busy in our day-to-day life back in Sydney that we barely got a chance to have that peaceful and quiet time for ourselves to slow down, enjoy the surrounding and soaked it in like what we are doing it now."
I guess both of us can feel the gratitude to simply just be there in person and really soak all the good vibes of the start of our South Korea trip. I will never forget that moment.
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sunset at Jusangjeolli Cliffs



DINNER : ARANG JEOUL FOOD STREET

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We discovered this neighbourhood full of restaurants in Seogwipo from looking out the window during our bus ride back to our hotel. We had no idea what this food street was, but we decided to hop off anyways. 
Turns out this is a dedicated food street in Seogwipo. You can find mostly Jeju originated dishes and it's quite lively in Seogwipo. I thought Seogwipo would be a quiet country side town but I was wrong. There are retail shops, souvenir shops, bars and restaurants.  
It was quite confusing to pick one particular restaurant or dish to dine in at, but we found this restaurant in the corner of one of the streets. I couldn't recall why we decided to dine in at this restaurant. The owner was really friendly, I guess she could tell that we are foreigner, she offered to take a photo for us after she saw us busy taking pic of our food then we asked her to join our selfie.

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top : dwaeji-gukbap (pork and rice soup) // bottom : noodle soup with pork

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the friendly owner :)

Stay tune for JEJU ISLAND DAY 2 :) 

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