Since before coming to Korea, I had heard a lot of great things about Jejudo or Jeju Island, one of the nine provinces of South Korea. This island is known for its blue waters, beautiful waterfalls, Halla mountain, Manjang Cave, oranges, the grandfather carving known as dol hareubang, barbecued black pork and much more. During the first weekend of June, I had a three day long weekend. I decided to head to Jeju Island with Seoul Hiking Group. This group welcomes people in Korea to join events which take place on a weekly basis. Usually, everything is organized for you. You pay, thus reserving a spot for their excursion and you are all set!
We departed Seoul at midnight on Thursday evening. It was a long bus ride but we ended up at Yulpo beach by 5 am. From 5-10 am, people napped on the bus, relaxed on the beach and had breakfast. Following this, we moved onward to the Boseong green tea field. We climbed a bunch of stairs, high enough to get a great view of the tea fields and surrounding area. The area was filled with rich, dense greenery. We made our way to the ferry for a two hour ride to the island. Our ferry was delayed and we ended up leaving the island around 3:30 pm. We arrived at about 5:30-6 pm, dropped our bags off at the hotel, freshened up and head out for some barbecued blackened pork, a traditional dish that Jeju island is known for. We feasted and headed back to our hotel to crash out for the night. It had been a long day.
On Saturday, the group had their choice of hiking up Mount Hallasan, bike riding on Udo Island or going off to do their own thing. A bunch of people chose the hike, while 12-15 of us chose take a 15 minute ferry over to Udo Island. When we got there, we rented bikes for two hours and made our way around the entire island. It was warm, sunny and the cool breeze off the water was perfect! Once we were finished, we returned to Jeju island and took the bus to Jungmun Resort to kill a few hours before heading to to see Jeongbang falls and Loveland – where we would meet the rest of the group. Jungmun Resort is the largest resort in Korea. It features a botanical garden, a teddy bear museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Pacific Land, a park with four waterfalls, including the infamous Cheonjeyeon Falls, Jusangjeolli Cliff, restaurants and much more. The first thing Michelle and I did was have lunch at Kraze Burgers. Once we were finished, we decided to explore the park to see all of the waterfalls. They were awesome! While walking through this area, I didn’t even feel like I was in Korea. We finished up within an hour and a half and hopped back onto the tour bus. The bus drove us to Jeongbang Falls, which is known as the only waterfall in Asia which falls directly into the ocean. It was nice. Some of the guys also decided to be rebellious and go for a dip. This was before a Korean guard started blowing his whistle at us (whoops!). Loveland — well, it was very interesting. I’ll let the photos do the talking… That evening, the trip leaders and some of the other people staying in a 10 person room used their kitchen to cook us up some mandu, hot dogs, sausages and stir fried veggies. We all ate, had drinks, played some games and got to know each other better. It ended up being a late night but it was a lot of fun.
The next morning, we woke up bright and early. We made our way to Manjang Cave, and concluded with a hike up to Sunrise Peak. Afterwards, we headed to the ferry to depart Jeju and make our way back to Seoul! I don’t regret spending my three day long weekend in Jeju. I had a great time!