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Round trip South Korea (1) | Island of Jeju-Do

around the country South Korea to get to know it, it is best to make a large round trip. This is part 1 of my tour through South Korea, starting on the island of Jeju-Do (Wiki here ). The island can be visited all year round because of the good weather.

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jeju-do

Jeju-do Island (location here ), lies below the mainland and is the largest island in South Korea. Due to its beautiful beaches and beautiful nature, it is the holiday destination for South Koreans themselves. In the middle of the island is South Korea's highest mountain, which is also a volcano. Most of the island consists of untouched nature. This makes them on the list of the 7 new natural wonders of the world. This list also includes Table Mountain in South Africa and the Amazon in South America.

Jeju-Air, one of the local airlines to fly to Jeju-Si
Jeju-Air, one of the local airlines to fly to Jeju-Si

To and from Jeju-do

The best way to get to the island is to fly. From all cities on mainland South Korea, planes go to Jeju International Airport, the only airport on the island. The cost of the airline tickets is often cheap, because it is a domestic flight. Think about €20-40 per one-way flight with checked baggage. From Seoul Gimpo Airport there are several flights a day from different airlines. They also fly from Busan, Guangzhou, Gunsan, Ulsan and Yeosu.

Also read: Worldly | Flight time – How long is the flight to Asia?

Welcome sign at Jeju International Airport
Welcome sign at Jeju International Airport

Transportation on Jeju-Do

The bus is the only form of public transport on the island. The bus network is very large, so you can get everywhere without having to sit in the bus for a long time. Unfortunately the bus does not go everywhere and for some places it is necessary to take a renting a car or take a taxi.

A ride on the regional bus costs 1200 Won per ride (€0,90). The T-Money card is available throughout South Korea and it works like a public transport chip card in The Netherlands. On Jeju you can also use the T-money card. There are also a few express buses that run across the island. These are more expensive and faster.

It is also possible to cycle around the island (approx. 250 kilometers) in 3-5 days. This trip can be made via the landscaped bike path around the island. The bikes are rented in Jeju-Si and Seogwipo and the route is relatively flat.

Jeju Si

The capital of the island of Jeju-do is the Jeju-Si, a good base to explore the island if you don't want to travel around. Here you can go shopping in one of the many shopping streets and you will find the hippest bars and restaurants. The city is located in the north of the island and close to the sea.

The capital Jeju-Si
The capital Jeju-Si

The sights are mainly located around the city and not in the center. The most famous are the Arario Museum (location here ) and Jeju April 3 Peach Park(location here ), but also Samyang Beach (location here ) is worth a visit.

West Jeju Do

The west of the island is best reached by public transport and is known for its many museums and creative spots. Most tourists will not come here. This makes it very quiet, with only Koreans. The town of Hallim consists of many nice restaurants with beautiful views over the sea.

Seogwipo

At the very south of the island is the larger town of Seogwipo, which is a good base for visiting Hallasan National Park, but also other places of interest on the island. There are many places of interest around the town, so you can easily spend a few days there.

The Cheonjiyeon waterfall in the center of Seogwipo
The Cheonjiyeon waterfall in the center of Seogwipo

Seogwipo is located next to the sea, which means that several waterfalls can be found. Cheonjiyeon and Jeongbang are the most famous and are also the most visited and photographed. Close to the coast is the island of Saeseom, which you can reach from the mainland via the footbridge. The bridge has beautiful vistas to various islands and the Seogwipo.

Hallasan National Park

Hallasan National Park is the highest mountain in South Korea
Hallasan National Park is the highest mountain in South Korea

Hallasan National Park (location here ) is located in the middle of the island and has a major attraction, namely the highest mountain in South Korea with 1950 meters above sea level. This national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of South Korea's most visited attractions. You can get here via Seogwipo as well as via Jeju-Si.

Map Hallasan National Park
Map Hallasan National Park

It is possible to walk to the top via various routes. These routes do not all start from the same point and it is therefore important to carefully consider where the walks start. The easiest hikes are Yeongsil, Eoseungaengak, Donnaeko, Eorimol and Seokgul-am, but all of these don't reach the top and often pass through forests with limited views. Do you want to go to the top? Then you go via the Gwaneum-sa or Seongpanak walking route.

Don't forget to book in advance and take the weather into account. These hikes are not easy and a bit of fitness is required due to the many altimeters. It is important that you leave on time, so that you are back before closing time. Also take enough food and drink with you on your walk.

East Jeju-Do

Seongsan Ilchul bong at sunset
Seongsan Ilchul bong at sunset

In the east of Jeju you can find beautiful beaches, but the most famous volcano Seongsan Ilchul-bong also offers beautiful views. Next to the mainland there is another small island called Udo that can be visited by bicycle. From the east you can also take day trips to the interior of the island such as the Snoopy Garden and the Jeju Folk Village.

Seongsan Ilchul-Bong

One of the many stairs to walk up Seongsan Ilchul bong
One of the many stairs to walk up Seongsan Ilchul bong

Seongsan Ilchul-Bong (location here ) is the most visited place in eastern Jeju-Do near the town of Seongsan-Ri. This 182 meter high old volcano is also known as “Sunrise Peak” and recognizable by its bowl-like shape. The volcano is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This means you pay a small entrance fee (2000 won, €1,50) for protecting these beautiful natural phenomena.

Also read: Travel Trends and Popular Travel Destinations 2021 | Google search volume

From the entrance it takes about 20 minutes to get up via many stairs. On hot days it is best to hike up early, before it gets too hot and so it is also quiet. From above you can also watch a beautiful sunset and it is also a well-known place for sunrise.

Snoopy Garden

The recently opened (2021) Snoopy Garden has gained fame through Instagram and is frequented by many Koreans and rarely by tourists. Inside you have the Garden House, where the comics are divided into different areas, each with a different theme. Outside in the outdoor Garden are several areas, each with an important topic from the well-known Peanuts comics. The park is mainly visited by young people and costs 18000 Won (€13,-) for adults, here you can spend an entire afternoon among the beautiful flora and fauna of South Korea.

Also read: Singapore | 10 must-sees in the cleanest city in the world

The famous Peanuts comics recreated in the Snoopy Garden
The famous Peanuts comics recreated in the Snoopy Garden

Trip planning

When visiting Jeju, you can choose to stay in one place and go to several points of interest from here. The easiest way, however, is to make a tour around the island, starting at Jeju-Si.

In the capital Jeju-Si you have enough time in two days to see everything, including all the surrounding sights. After this you can travel to Seogwipo by express bus. It's a good idea to spend a day hiking in Hallsan National Park and take another one to two days for the other sights in and around Seogwipo. From here you can take the local bus to Seongsan-Ri, where you can stay for two days and one day to go to the interior of Jeju-Do.

Finally, you can return to Jeju-Si to catch a plane to Busan or one of the other destinations that Jeju International Airport has. More about that in the next blog!

Plan your holiday to Asia here

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Seven

From March 2021 to December 2021 I lived in Windhoek in Namibia for my studies. I would like to tell you more about this beautiful country that is still unknown to many!

Planning 2023: Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Rwanda.

In my life I travel a lot, so in 2022 I was on the road in Austria, Germany, Belgium, South Korea, South Africa and Namibia! In the meantime I have already seen 26 countries in this beautiful world that lies at our feet.

Check out my instagram @travel_with_eline for more beautiful photos and stories about my travels.

Quote: "Great times never come from comfort zones!"

Seen a mistake? Ask? Remark? Let us know in the comments!

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