Jeju Island (Jejudo) is now the premiere holiday destination of every Korean. Whenever there is a chance to go on vacation just within the country, it would always be Jeju Island that would be the top choice. Right now, not just locals but also foreigners have noticed the beauty of Korea’s largest island. Jeju Island has a mild oceanic climate all year round. Pristine beaches and clean waters tempt many to enjoy spending time having fun or relaxing by the sea side. The island is now getting more and more fame with its ever growing attractions and unique offerings. In 2011, it has been declared as one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature. It boasts not just one but three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, making it the only place to receive such honors.
Jeju Island is known as the island of women. The island has been a place famous for its rich underwater ecosystem and many female divers have taken advantage of this opportunity. Fresh seafood is gathered from the ocean every day and you will find many shops and restaurants that will provide you with fresh, delicious seafood. There are many beautiful sights to see and things to do in Jeju Island. You can reach the island by sea or by air. You can also take a direct flight straight to Jeju International Airport if possible. If you are going from the mainland, you can also take a boat ride from any one of the major ports in South Korean to reach Jeju island. You are free to explore Jejudo’s 90 islands with eight that are populated.
I really liked the Return of Superman (Korean television show) that featured Jeju Island. It showed a lot of interesting things about the island and that was why I was inspired to make this list. If you are planning on going to the amazing Jeju Island sometime in the future, here are the top 12 attractions in South Korea’s holiday island that you should know:
1. Teseum – The Teddy Bear Museum
I first saw this in the Korean drama Goong and found the teddy bear collections very cute and interesting. The kids and kids at heart will surely love the Teddy Bear Museum. You will find not just teddy bears but also different kinds of stuffed animals in many costumes and poses. There are some that have an African safari style to stuffed animal counterparts of fairytale characters. The girls and women will probably be the ones most interested about Teseum but it’s the perfect opportunity for men to get brownie points if you take them there.
2. Jeju Love Land
So here is a place the guys may enjoy. Jeju Love Land is a place for adults (no minors allowed!) because the open air museum’s subject d’art is about sex. There are various exhibits and works of art related to sex and pornographic art. The place has its own shop where you can purchase a wide range of sex toys, aids and gadgets. Buying some souvenirs here for your family and friends would probably be a daring and amusing surprise.
3. Hallasan Mountain
Hallassan Mountain is in the middle of Jeju Island. It is considered as one of the three sacred mountains in Korea. It is the tallest mountain in Korea with a height of 1,950 meters about sea level. It is a treasure house of plants and is considered as a natural monument. It has been officially named as the Hallasan Natural Conservation Area. It was declared as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in December 2002. It was Jejudo’s Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes that became the first UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many trails that you can take to go hiking in Hallasan. You can take the Eorimok Trail, the Yeongsil Trail, the Seongpanak Trail, the Gwaneumsa Trail, the Donnaeko Trail or the Eoseungsaengak Trail. You can also go camping in Hallasan Mountain. Admission to the national park is free but there will be parking fees if you’re bringing your own vehicle.
4. Three Abundance, Three Lacks and Three Treasures
Samda or Three Abundance is a famous term in the island. The Seokda (rocks), Pungda (wind), and Yeoda (women) are the Three Abundance of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. The province gets its name from it, Samdado (the island of three abundance). Seokda shows the harsh surroundings of Jejudo because it is in an area where typhoons pass. Pungda and Seokda shows in the lifestyle of Jejudo’s people. Yeongda came from the fact that many men were lost at sea and that inadvertently created a larger population of women. Yeodo is a metaphor for the women in Jejudo working diligently as they fight against the waves to catch fish. Sammu or Three Lacks means there is no theif, gate or beggar in Jeju. Diligence, thrift and interdependence have been the main virtue of the people of Jeju in the old days despite the rough and harsh surroundings. The islanders are interdependent, thrifty and diligent that was why they did not need gates. They only leave a long log (Jeongnang) on the entrance of the house to inform others that they are out. Samryeo or the three beauties or Sambo, the three treasures, are nature, folklore and native industries; crop of special use, marine products and tourism; and generosity, beautiful nature and special industrial structure. Jejudo is widely known for its natural beauty. You will see royal azalea in the spring, shady nooks of summer, maples of fall and, the snow scopes of winter seen on Hallasan Mountain. You will find tangerines, pineapples and rapes being cultivated in the island. You will also enjoy delicious abalones and other fresh seafood.
5. Samyang Black Sand Beach
Samyang Black Sand Beach is near the Jeju City. Soak in the black sand. It will help with neuralgia, arthritis, obesity, dermatitis, flu, and athlete’s foot. Every year, a summer festival is held for marine leisure at Samyang.
6. Jeju Glass Museum
The place may be too pricey for some but glass enthusiasts should definitely visit Jeju Glass Museum. There are a lot of glass displays and even the flowers are made of glass. You can make your own souvenir with creating a piece made out of glass and colored sand. Many people recommend going there at night because the displays are lit up and it gives a romantic feeling.
7. Chocolate Museum
The Chocolate Museum in Seogwipo, Jeju is the second largest chocolate museum in the world. It looks like an ancient castle that compliments the surrounding environment very well. The outside of the museum offer a great view of the Chocolate Museum’s front garden. You will be welcomed by the statue of a cacao god at the entrance. There are various popular exhibits on chocolate and a workshop showing the process of making chocolate. There is also a theater, café and a chocolate store. You can enjoy handmade chocolates at the Chateau Chocolat: Real Chocolate Place. Any chocolate lover would definitely enjoy their time there.
8. Yongduam Rock (Dragon’s Head)
Yongduam Rock is Jeju Island’s well-known landmark. It is a picturesque landscape and offers fresh seafood. Enjoy a seaside snack from the just-out-of-the-water harvest by the local divers.
9. Seongup Min Seok Maeul (Seongup Jeju Folk Village)
The Seongup Jeju Folk Village shows the traditional Korean folk architecture. It shows the harmony of the various structures with the surrounding countryside. You will find many simple stone and wooden structures, some even as old as a thousand years.
10. Jeju Canola Flower Festival
Jeju is popular for its sweeping fields of yellow canola flowers. The backdrop of beautiful and fragrant flowers gives a feeling of relaxation. You can join the festivities every April.
11. Seogwipo Submarine Ride
If underwater adventures are your thing, you will greatly enjoy riding the submarine in Seogwipo. You will be able to see the rich underwater ecosystem of Jeju without getting yourself wet!
12. Ichulbong Peak
Take a hike at the Seongsan Ichulbong. It has a well-maintained pathway and stairway that you can climb up and down for an hour. There are several rest stops and if you reach the end, you will have a great view of Ichulbong (if there is no thick fog). Seongsan Ichulbong is an extinct volcanic crater that is also listed as one of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Here are just a few of the many attractions that Jeju Island has to offer. If you are willing to explore further, you may just discover other wonderful things about this Blue Island in the south of Korea.