Jeju and Seoul Trip from 15 Jun to 26 Jun 2019 – Part 1 (Jeju Island)

Finally, the long awaited trip for my Jeju and Seoul Trip is here.

2 firsts for this trip, first time flying by Asiana Airlines and first time visiting Jeju Island. For this trip, I will be spending the first 6 days (15 Jun to 20 Jun 2019) in Jeju Island followed by the remaining 6 days (20 Jun to 26 Jun 2019) in Seoul.

When in Jeju Island, it will be more convenient to travel around by car compared to using public transportation. With that in mind, I made a prior car reservation via rentalcars.com. I made a reservation for a Kia Carnival with Jeju One Car hire company at the Jeju International Airport. Korea is using left-hand drive and likewise an International Driving Permit is required.

With all things set, I am ready to commence my trip…..

I will be flying red-eye departing at 02:45 hrs.

Having said that, time to enjoy a light supper at SATS Premier Lounge prior to boarding.

Enjoying my all time favourite laksa without fail each time I am here.

Time to board for a good sleep….😴😴😴😴😴

Safe arrival into Incheon Airport at the scheduled local time at 10:15 hrs.

After immigration clearance, headed off to the Airport Railroad to take the AREX train to Gimpo Airport for my domestic flight to Jeju Airport at 13:30 hrs.

It will take around 40 minutes to reach Gimpo Airport from Incheon Airport.

Checking in for my domestic flight to Jeju via Jeju Air.

Starting my first food trail at Sky 31 Gimpo Food Avenue thereafter. How exciting…..😋

Burger Lab by Lotteria

Hanwoo Bulgogi

Traditional Korean Cuisine

Rice with vegetables & mushroom + Beef Soybean Stew

Interesting convenience store name that caught hold of my attention. ☺️ (nice to see you too)

Snacking on Paris Baguette before flight departure.

Time to depart again…..

Safe arrival to Jeju Airport and was greeted with a superb nice weather temperature at 21 degrees celcius.

Upon baggage claim, proceeded for my rental car pick up at Jeju One Car.

How to go to Jeju One Car from Jeju Airport?

You will have to exit the airport through Gate 5.

Cross the pedestrain crossing and follow the car rental bus signs to the right for 100m.

The Sixt shuttle bus will then depart from area 1, bus stop 1.

Here I am (after 10 mins of free shuttle ride), at the car rental company.

I have made a reservation for a Kia Carnival for this trip. A big and spacious car.

In Jeju Island, I will be staying over 5 nights at Ramada Encore by Wyndham Jeju Seogwipo East which is located at the southern part of the island, where it is near to most of the key attractions.

This hotel is about 40 mins drive away (about 45 km) from the Airport.

The room size is decent for 4 people with an area of 30 sqm which is considered a good space for abode.

Scenic views from the hotel roof top garden. 👍

I really love the quiet and tranquility of this place. Great for family relaxation, away from the usual bustling city lifestyle.

Did my usual SOP to recce the surrounding place after check-in.

Chanced upon this bbq premium cafe which is directly opposite the hotel I am in. This cafe specialises in fried chicken and I just needed to check it out. Looks damn appetizing.

Boneless Crisp Olive Chicken. Yum yum, really champion. As usual, you will never go wrong with fried chicken in Korea. 😀 Somehow the Koreans are damned good when it comes to fried chicken. Their version of fried chicken is not too oily and yet moist, crispy and crunchy. It will not make you feel gross after eating.

With a happy and satisfied meal, continue to drive around the vicinity and spent the rest of the night shopping at eMart, a big supermarket similar to Lotte Mart before calling it a night.

Interestingly, instant noodles are one of those ‘must haves’ when in Korea. Somewhat an in-thing to do.

To me, I always do what the Romans do a.k.a. 入乡随俗.

Trying out 2 different brands of instant noodles bought from the eMart. I have to admit that their instant noodles are indeed power!

Well, it has been a long day for today with all the travelling. It is now time for a good sleep to recharge in full for tomorrow.

Waking up to a bright sunny cool morning Day 2 at 19 degrees celcius.

A serene, calming & beautiful morning view from my hotel room. Wish I could wake up to this view every morning (at least for the next 4 mornings ☺️).

We will be doing some sight-seeing in the south today.

Catching a quick breakie at McDonalds before start of sight-seeing.

1st attraction – Jeongbang Falls. This attraction is about 10 mins drive from the hotel.

You are required to purchase entrance tickets to the fall and it cost KRW 2,000 for adult and KRW 1,000 for child.

Jeongbang Falls, falling from a cliff, is 23m high and 10m wide. It has unique scenery not only in Korea but also in the oriental area. It is called ‘Jeongbang-hapoak’ due to its picturesque when viewed from a boat and is one of 10 scenic wonders of Jeju Island. The waterfall starts from ‘Jeongmosi’ and it is said that if people play a drum and jang-gu at the point of the waterfall drops, turtles come up to the surface and dance on the water.

Jeongbang Falls is famous for a legend of ‘Seobul’ who is a legman of Shi Huangdi during the Qin Dynasty and came to Mount Halla in Jeju Island in search for an elixir of an eternal life. After he failed to find the elixir, he carved ‘Seobulgwagi’ on the cliff of the waterfall and returned to the west.

Along the route, you will find make-shift stall near the rock beds selling conch.

In Jeju, I was highly recommended to try their Hallabong (orange/tangerine juice) as it is a special drink here. You can easily find one of these as they are spotted almost everywhere throughout the island especially at all attractions.

Look at this with a cute juice bottle.

2nd attraction – Cheonjiyeon Falls

Entrance ticket costs KRW 2,000 for adults and KRW 1,000 for child.

Cheonjiyeon Falls plunge 22m into a pool with a depth of about 20m. The surrounding area contains a subtropical forest of evergreen trees and a cliff formed of bizzare-looking rocks which together create breathtaking scenery.

Local legend has it that a divine dragon used to live in the pool and that a prayer for rain performed here in time of drought worked wonders. The area around the falls is also a natural habitat for giant mottled eels, elaeocarpus and a subtropical forest each of which has been designated as a Natural Monument.

In Jeju, you will get to see a lot of stone sculptures, Dol Hareubang.

Dol Hareubang in the dialect of Jeju Island means stone grandfather. It was placed outside the gate for protection against demons travelling between realities.

Dol Hareubang is made of porous basalt (volcanic rock) that is common around Hallasan Mountain. It is dimensionally carved making the best use of its texture, highlighted with both hands holding in front of the chest and glaring eyes. It wears a bucket hat and there are elongated ears on the side of the bumpy cheeks. It may look dreadful but a smile on its face gives a ridiculous impression to the viewers.

There are stall holders that you get to see at all attraction places. Here, there is one stall that sells Squid Bread.

This Squid Bread is like pancakes stuffed with cheese and cream sauce baked to perfection. Taste chewily good.

Enjoying traditional Korean lunch at 巨富.

Korean Table d’hote with Seafood Tofu Stew & Rice porridge with abalone

After a satisfactory lunch, headed off to the 3rd attraction, Oedolgae (济州西归浦独立岩).

This is a free attraction.

Oedolgae is a rock standing out in the sea and was named for its loneliness. The 20m high rock with the pillar circumference of 7 to 10m is a kind of a sea stack formed by wave erosion on lava zone. The rocks here are composed of grey trachyandesite which is dense and has tiny holes compared with basalt.

Around Oedolgae the coastal areas are full of sea cliffs and caves made by wave erosion. Oedolgae has a story dates back to the time of the late Goryeo dynasty when a general, Choe young was battling against Moak-ho from Yuen, he disguised Oedolgae as a giant general to scare off the enemies. That is why Oedolgae is also called ‘General Rock’.

4th attraction – Jusangjeolli Cliff

Entrance ticket costs KRW 2,000 for adults and KRW 1,000 for child.

Jusangjeollidae, the columnar jointing is well-formed along the coastline of Jungmun-dong and Daepo-dong in Seogwipo-si. The cliff runs for about 2km off the coast. Since Jeju Island is a volcanic island formed in the quaternary period of Cenozoic era, it is mainly composed of basaltic lava. Joints (Jeolli in Korean) are cracks that developed on rocks and for volcanic rocks, columnar joints and platy joints are developed. The columnar jointing is a columnar parallel joint that is mainly formed in the basaltic lava flows. In other words, it is a ‘crack’ created by contraction during the rapid cooling of the high temperature lava. When seen from above, it appears like the shape of a constant polygon. The columnar jointing cliff, Jusangjeollidae, is composed of trachy-basalt that formed about 250,000 to 140,000 years ago when lava flowed from the ‘Nokajiak’ crater.

In recognition of its scentific and scenic value, it has been designated and preserved as a cultural asset.

Taking an afternoon break before the next attraction.

5th attraction – Cheonjeyeon Falls, another waterfall but do not be confused with the 2nd attraction, Cheonjiyeon Fall as there is a subtle difference in the spelling, Cheonjiyeon vs Cheonjeyeon.

Entrance ticket costs KRW 2,500 for adults and KRW 1,350 for child.

Cheonjeyeon Falls, named ‘The Pond of God’ consists of 3 sections.

The first waterfall only flows after a heavy rainfall, else it is as good a pond. This waterfall is 200m away from the ticket office.

The second waterfall is 300m downstream from the first waterfall.

The third waterfall is 500m from the second waterfall.

The entire walk will take about 40 mins to cover all the 3 waterfalls.

In Cheonjeyeon Valley, you can see Seonimgyo Bridge, an arch bridge with 7 nymphs carved on the side.

It is located between the second and third waterfall. The bridge is 128m long and 78m high.

6th attraction – Yakcheonsa Temple

This is a free attraction.

The architectural style of Yakcheonsa Temple is reminiscent of that of Buddhist temples of the early Joseon Dynasty. Measuring an impressive 30m high and spanning a total area of 3,305 square metre, it is the largest temple in the east.

Final attraction of the day, did a detour to Cafe May Flower.

This is a popular cafe and is well-known as an unmanned cafe. You can enjoy coffee or tea in this self-service cafe which provides a homely and cozy interior decoration on the inside while on the outside, looks like a giant white cloud.

You are required to clean up the place by washing your own cups and it is up to you to donate whatever amount after you are done with the enjoyment. It is about integrity. I love this interesting concept being adopted here.

Settled another round of cravings at McDonalds for their specialty food items. This is something that I enjoy checking out where fast food is concerned.

Tried out another 2 brands of instant noodles before ending the night.

Well, that brings a well packed Day 2 to an end.

Day 3, we will be heading over to the eastern side for sight-seeing today.

Charging up with a power breakfast at Paris Baguette prior to setting off.

Really loved the bread freshness especially when it is being served out directly from the oven in the early morning. Bread texture is soft, nice and hot.

1st attraction – Seopjikoji Cape, another free attraction.

Seopjikoji is on the east coast of Jeju Island. In the Jeju dialect, “Seopji” means a narrow piece of land and “Koji” means a promontory.

During the Joseon period, a signal fire beacon was located on “Seopjikoji”. Hyeopja Yeondae Smoke-Signal Station is located at Cape Seopjikoji, Sinyang-ri. The facility measures 9m by 8.9m at the bottom and 8.6m by 8.6m at the top. It is 3.1m high. A fireplace (diameter 4.2m) remains at the top of the station.

The shoreline is covered with volcanic red rocks and pebbles and many of the rocks are of strange, spectacular shapes.

One large rock known as “Seondolbawi” looks like a candlestick. According to local folklore, it was created when the son of the sea god turned to stone because his love for a nymph was not returned.

More scenic views of Seopjikoji.

Having a fun time horse riding.

Snack munching at Seopjikoji before moving out to the next destination.

2nd attraction – Seongsan Ilchulbong.

Entrance ticket costs KRW 2,000 for adults and KRW 1,000 for child.

Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone was designated as a World Natural Heritage Site in 2007 and confirmed as a Global Geopark in 2010. Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone also called ‘Sunrise Peak’ is an archelypal tuff cone formed by hydrovolcanic eruptions upon a shallow seabed about five thousand years ago. The 180m high tuff cone situated on the eastern seaboard of Jeju Island like a gigantic ancient castle, not only preserves its bowl-like crater but also displays a diverse inner structure with a volcanic edifice etched from the sea cliffs.

Dol Hareubang at the entrance gate.

Place to start the ascending trail to Seongsan Ilchulbong.

Deung Gyeong Dol (Jing Gyeong Dol) Rock.

People who live in the village of Seongsan call this rock Deung Gyeong Dol (Lamp Rock) or Jing Gyeong Dol rock. Villagers have a custom of bowing a horn four times when passing by. The first two bows are for goddess Sulmundaehalmang, a benevolent and beautiful creator of Jeju. The last two bows are for General Kim Tong-Jeong who sacrificed himself protecting his country from the Yuan Dynasty at the end of Korea’s Goryeo Dynasty.

Finally reach the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong after a tiring steep climb. This is certainly a great workout.

Bowl-like form crater caused by eruption process.

Birds eye view of the beautiful scenery taken from the top.

Managed to catch hold of the Jeju Women Diver Performance on this trip.

In Jeju Island, there are women who go diving under the sea without any oxygen equipment to catch abalone and conch, etc. These women divers called Haenyeo. Jeju Haenyeo are the symbol of women who have tough spirits. The diving work was originally done by men in the Joseon Dynasty. However, from late 17th century, Muljil (diving work) began to be done exclusively by women divers because Jeju men left Jeju Island in order to escape their heavy duties. Culture of Jeju Haenyeo was designated as the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2016.

Caught hold of my favourite Hotteok and simply had to snack it before lunch.

Proceeded for lunch at Handmade Gimbap Restaurant after the attraction visit.

Jeju seasoned aster cold noodle

Kimchi Ramen

Black Pork Gimbap

After a happy belly, time to depart for our final attraction of the day, Manjanggul Lava Tube.

Entrance ticket costs KRW 2,000 for adults and KRW 1,000 for child.

Manjanggul cave is a 7.4 km long lava tube with a multi-level structure. It is one of the largest lava tubes in the world having a main passage with a width of up to 18m and a height of up to 23m. Numerous lava tubes are found worldwide, but Manjanggul Lava Tube is an outstanding example because it has a well preserved passage shapes and internal micro-topographic features in spite of its very old age. Thus the cave possesses significant scientific and conservation values. Three entrances to the cave developed due to collapse of the ceiling, with the second entrance being the one used by tourists. A variety of lava formations and decorations such as lava stalactites, lava stalagmites, flowlines, lava benches and lava rafts are present. The 7.6m high lava column is known to be the largest lava column in the world.

Cave entrance for the 1km walkabout.

Ready for an interesting lesson on lava tube?

Enjoy the facts being explored when in the lava tube.

Fact 1

Fact 2

Fact 3

Fact 4

Fact 5

Fact 6

Fact 7

Fact 8

Fact 9

Fact 10

Fact 11

Hope you have enjoyed the walkabout and gained a better understanding of the lava tube.

I was told that it is a must to have a black pork meal when in Jeju as this is their main food attraction here.

One good place will be to visit Black Pork Street.

Settled for a great bbq black pork at Hwaro Hyang as recommended by trip advisor.

The highly anticipated meal of this trip!

Hmm…so much of the fanfare. Seriously, I am not too impressed with the ‘marbling’ black pork though it is supposed to be the star of the meal. However, the abalone does make up to me somewhat.

Recovering the night with a good Original Golden Olive Fried Chicken for supper at BBQ Premium Cafe.

Day 4, woke up to a cloudy wet morning with showers expected throughout the day. Hope the weather will not dampen our day though we will need to make slight amendment to our itinerary. As such, we decided to do the northern (instead of the original planned western) part of Jeju Island for today.

Enjoying breakfast at Tous les Jours (meaning everyday in French) authentic bakery.

With a tummy warming, followed by the 1st attraction (though not a typical tourist attraction) visit to the Mysterious Road, a famous spot in Jeju.

Mysterious Road is an offbeat attraction with the optical illusion of a downward-sloping hill that looks like an incline.

Now, I am ready to try out with a drive at the start point. 😉

My car is actually rolling forward with the gear set to neutral mode when the road is uphill incline.

Amazingly mind boggling.

2nd attraction, Jeju Love Land which is just beside the Mysterious Road.

Entrance ticket costs KRW 12,000 and visitors need to be above 20 years old to enter. (Oops! If you are below 20, pls skip this section! 😀)

Jeju Love Land is a themed sculpture park based on sensuality and eroticism.

This park as a whole looks like a piece of land art.

Interesting entrance plate to the love land.

Can you see the abstract art? 🤩

One more bonus piece for you…..😉

I love the directional signage that you can see it clearly marked throughout the entire park ground.

Enjoy and have fun with the various sculpture. 🤩

This place is certainly interesting and definitely great for kinky couples……😍😍😍

So, what’s style should we go for tonight? 🤔

Since the weather is working against us, we decided to go for indoor activities at the nearby Lotte Mart (the one and only in Jeju Island).

Lunch is on Level 5 of Lotte Mart Ashley family restaurant.

Had their value Korean style buffet lunch at KRW 9,900 per pax. Food quality is of good standard for this pricing.

Final attraction for the day, Yongduam Rock.

This is likewise a free attraction.

Yongduam Rock is situated along the coast of Yongdam-dong. It is a volcanic rock resembling a dragon’s head.

After very viscous lava flowed and became solid around 100,000 years ago, some part of the rock wall became carved by wave erosion into its unique shape of the dragon’s head.

It is a natural and cultural property and its scentific value is recognized geologically with its 10m height and 30m length.

Dinner was at this local restaurant (located right behind our hotel) specialises in tofu.

An awesomely delicious and simple traditional meal.

Had another 2 brands of instant ramen for supper before hitting the sack.

Time passes when you are having fun time. Before we knew it, we are in Day 5 (second last day in Jeju). This morning, we are blessed with great sunny weather.

We will be covering the western part of the island for today.

Enjoying a scenic breakfast at Sunny House Coffee, at the foot of Mount Sanbangsan.

Bulgogi Hotdog & Sausage Hotdog with Green Tea Latte & Iced Tiramisu Latte and soybean ice cream as dessert. Simply perfect day starter. 👍

Sanbangsan Mountain is the result of violent volcanic activity some 700,000 to 800,000 years ago and is in fact a huge body of lava. As its name ‘sanbang’ literally meaning ‘a cave inside a mountain’ suggests that this mountain contains a cave which is located about 150m above sea level and has a spectacular view out over the ocean.

Visited the 1st attraction, Sanbangsan Bomunsa Temple.

Bomunsa Temple has a commanding view of the South Sea and the tiny islands that dot the horizon.

It is located at the foot of the rounded Mount Sanbangsan.

The beautiful view of the South Sea at Bomunsa Temple.

2nd attraction – Yongmeori Coast which is right across Bomunsa Temple.

Yongmeori Coast is a popular place to walk. This rocky coastline features unique cliff formations. You can take a leisure stroll to the coastline area.

Along the way, you will get to see cafes and shops lining up to the coastline.

There is this one interesting cafe selling animal shaped ice cream.

Don’t you think the rabbit ice cream looks creatively cute?

Beautiful coastline views. Certainly great for picturesque.

3rd attraction – Visit to Mount Songaksan.

Mount Songaksan is a simple volcano on Jeju Island which has double craters and a parasitic volcano.

Starting point for the trail….

This is a free attraction as well. Routes are easy without steep steps so it makes strolling a breeze.

You can go at your own leisure pace and enjoying the coastal views at the same time.

On the summit of Songaksan Mountain, there is a crater about 500m in diameter and 80m in depth.

The crater is similar to the Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone in terms of its size and geographical position. Unfortunately, the access to the summit has been closed 5 years ago until 2020. Thus, did not have a chance to hike it for this trip.

Lunch is at one of the seafood restaurant near the rest area.

Had another round of seafood meal as the Jeju is well known for their seafood. Really affordable pricing with big servings of seafood items; mussell, clam, abalone, crab and prawn.

Headed off to the 4th attraction, Osulloc after a good lunch.

This is a free attraction too.

There is an Osulloc Tea Museum that you can visit to see all their teawares being exhibited.

Brief history for your educational visit.

Thereafter, visited their tea plantation which is across the street.

Enjoying afternoon tea break at the cafe.

The final attraction for today, Hyeopjae Beach.

Hyeopjae Beach is best known for its fine sand & clear shallow waters with cafes and shops lined up along the street.

So, if you are the sun, sand & sea type of person, this place is definitely worth checking out. 😉

Happen to come across this cafe joint, Lobster Bucks housed in containers (just like Common Ground in Seoul) selling lobster burger and I just couldn’t help but had to succumb to it.

Wow. Look at that! I am glad I made that choice, else I would have missed it big time!

Somehow, I had a craving for fried chicken for tonight and decided to drop by the nearest Mom’s Touch (a fast food joint) in Seogwipo (about 4km away from hotel) for dinner.

Ordered their Flake Garlic Chicken, Jalapeno Nugget with onion cheese, Unbelievable burger & Popcorn Dumpling. It just tastes superbly delicious without fail.

Well, before we knew it, we are into our final night in Jeju and we will look forward to departing for Seoul tomorrow.

Day 6, time to depart Jeju Island for Seoul.

Had to make my way back to the car rental company for the car return and take the free shuttle service to the airport for my flight departure to Seoul at 12:20 hrs.

Overall, it has been an enjoyable visit to Jeju Island and we have covered most of the attractions that we had planned for (in almost all nooks and corner of Jeju Island) in 6 days. Jeju Island have plentiful of attractions to offer as they have lots of different types of museums, parks, beaches, activities that you can do here.

So, depending on your preference, you will have to plan well in advance to ensure maximum coverage during your stay here.

Guess this will give me more compelling reason to be back again. 😀

Boarding now for Seoul and good bye Jeju. I will definitely be back again.

Hope you enjoy your read so far. Do continue with the Part 2 read on my Seoul adventure from 20 Jun to 26 Jun 2019.

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