Travelogue: Guide to Jeju (South Korea), Oct 2018
Ten years later, I was back at the beautiful island of Jeju. Yet, travelling with a girlfriend is vastly different from travelling with a husband and a 16-month-old toddler. I breath in the crisp air. It was turning autumn this time too.
The autumn weather in October was supposedly good for trekking. Perfect for all the hiking trails in Jeju. Not too hot, not too cold, at least in theory. In reality, the sun was blazing upon us as we climbed steep stairs with a 10-kg toddler strapped around us. On most trails, I became super breathless after a while. Hence I would recommend going to Jeju first before relaxing in Seoul, that is if you are going to Seoul.
Travel To and Around Jeju
After a red eye flight from Singapore to Seoul, we took a connecting flight to Jeju. We booked a multi-city trip with Korean Air. The price works out to be about the same if not slightly more than if we separately booked budget airline from Seoul to Jeju.
From Jeju Airport, we could either take Jeju Airport Limousine 600 (“#600”) to Seogwipo, where our Airbnb was, or rent a car near Jeju airport.
Jeju’s intercity bus system has improved since ten years ago. Bus frequency has increased, and routes and fee structure are simplified. Refer to Jeju’s intercity bus information and route maps in English (of VisitJeju.net). Otherwise, here’s Jeju’s official bus system website in Korean. Bus is a viable option for solo or couple travellers.
With a toddler in the tow, it’s much more convenient for us to rent a car to explore Jeju. It’s easy to rent and drive a car around Jeju. We rented from Lotte Rent-A-Car and it was all good. Remember to use GPS phone numbers for a more accurate pin drop!
Where to Stay in Jeju?
Although Jeju is small, your decision on where to stay will save you a few hours of commuting time. Most people stay around Jeju City, Seogwipo City (“Seogwipo”) or Jungmun Tourist Complex (“Jungmun”) (Jungmun, Daepo and Saekdal). Later as we drove along Aewol Coastal Road, I imagined that it would be nice and relaxing to stay along here. There are many accommodations available here as well.
Jeju City is near to the airport and on the north of Jeju Island, while the Seogwipo and Junmun are on the other end, at the South. It takes more than an hour to drive from one end to the other end. Aewol Coastal Road is on the north west of the island.
If you have 2 nights, staying at Jeju City might be a safer bet to catch your flight. An hour drive from the south is not long, but you never know if there will be any unforeseen traffic conditions, like road closure.
If you have 4 or more nights, you can choose to split 2 nights in Seogwipo City and 2 nights in Jeju City. That’s what we did. Stayed in a spacious airbnb in Seogwipo City and Best Western Jeju Hotel in Jeju City. Both are not bad, but I think the former is overpriced, while the latter is on average. Best Western is located in downtown and hence you might have some traffic woes during peak hour.
What to Eat in Jeju?
You will have no lack of food options in Jeju. In any case, there’s McDonald’s to fall back on. I have done up a list of those food that we have tried, plus others that were on our list but our stomachs have no more space for them. You can go through them at:
These are the major sections that break up the list of the 21 food choices.
- Bread, Coffee, and Desserts
- Western Food
- Korean Food
- Seogwipo Maeil Olle Market
- Black Pork BBQ
What to Do in Jeju?
In beautiful Jeju, there are many trails to hike and climb. Sea breeze to feel against your face, mountain top experience to revel in. The focus of our trip was nature and the pace is to go slow.
Day 1 (19 October) – Seogwipo
- Jusangjeolli Cliffs
- Cheonjeyeon Falls (천제연 폭포) / Seonimgyo Bridge
Day 2 (20 October) – Seogwipo to Jeju City (Southwest route)
- Jeongbang Falls
- Songaksan Mountain
- Innisfree and Osullc Tea Museum
- Aewol Coastal Road (Sunset)
Day 3 (21 October) – Jeju City (Northeast route)
- Seongsan Iichulbong
Attractions we skipped
- Cheonjiyeon Waterfall
- Oedolgae Rock and Hwanguji Pools
- Udo Island
- and many more!
Our experience at these attractions are chronicled in:
That’s all folks! Let me know if you have other good food and fun places in Jeju to recommend. :) For more Korea travel tips, refer to our itinerary of our South Korea trip (Jeju and Seoul).