You don’t have to be an avid fan of K-Dramas to know that it is essential for the lead actors to have a trip (business or leisure) to Jeju Island. In fact, you know in your deepest of hearts that the plot only thickens from there.
Rightfully so, this coastal beauty, home to South Korea’s tallest mountain (and dormant volcano) is listed as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
So here are some hacks to save your buck for that long awaited trip! *Happy dance*
1. Jeju as an En-route Trip
There are no direct flights from Singapore to Jeju. It is more practical to schedule it as part of your trip to Korea. Expedia has good deals helping you to source for the cheapest flight and accommodation. Sounds like good enough a reason to visit Korea!
[No idea where to head to in Korea? Perhaps our articles here will be useful!]
2. Domestic Flights to Jeju
Considering the travelling time, it is much cheaper than you think!
Ferry rides may take up to half a day – depending on which port(s) you depart from. It would be ideal (maybe even romantic) if you have extra time on your hands. Otherwise, a 45-minutes flight from Gimpo Airport, is your answer to spending more time at Jeju Island (opportunity cost, people)!
#HHWT Tip: Gimpo Airport is approximately 33km away from Incheon Airport. We recommend to buffer in an hour of travelling time. Proceed to the basement upon arrival at Incheon airport and look out for signs to “Airport Railroad”. Take the commuter train instead of the express one that goes straight to Seoul station. Alternatively, it is reachable via airport limousine too.
Fly in the low cost carriers like Air Busan, Jeju Air, Eastar Jet, Jin Air, T’way Air – they are popular even amongst locals! While we wouldn’t exactly say it is hassle free (it is mostly, if not entirely, in Hanguk), it is still possible! #hellogoogletranslate. Otherwise, try Jeju Air or Eastar Jet with English Language portals.
While prices vary for different airlines and timings, they are largely affordable and speckled with discounts and promotions like off-peak periods, members’, early-birds and round trip bookings.
An average price is roughly 135,000 won (approx $SGD160).
Check out this comparison sheet for the various airlines here. It will come in handy when choosing an airline and gives you a heads-up on things to look out for when making the online booking!
#HHWT Tip: Sign up as a member and you will be able to enjoy considerable discounts! Also, visit the sites via Internet Explorer as most sites are optimised for IE.
Train ticket to Gimpo: Approx 3550 Won per pax
Jeju Flight Ticket (Round trip): Approx 135,000 Won per pax
3. Getting Around Jeju
Rent.A.Car. (Unless hiking)
(Yes, this is still the article on scrimping on your Jeju Trip.)
We cannot stress this enough.
Jeju is 3 times the size of Seoul, making renting a car a convenient choice for the activities you have lined up. You will also be free to change your itinerary without having to worry about bus timings and/or transfers! In addition, the cost of renting a car at Jeju is very affordable.
To put things into perspective, renting a Kia Morning for 2 days at KT Kumho will set you back approximately 119,000won (around SGD$140)!
Oh! Did we mention that there is an option for English Speaking GPS? All you need to do is to ensure that you have the (right) telephone numbers of the places to visit in hand and you are good to go!
#HHWT Tip: You are required to have an “International Driving Permit” to drive in Korea. Singaporeans may apply for it at Automobile Association of Singapore (AAS) at $25 – valid for a year. Alternatively, you may charter a taxi or guide to bring you around. It is definitely useful particularly to overcome the language barrier (if applicable).
Jeju does have its labyrinth of public transportation (buses) which is generally well connected, particularly to attractions. However, scheduled bus timings varies anywhere from 15 minutes – 1 hour!
It would be a good option for visitors with time to spare as the fares range from 1000-3000 Won.
Rent a Car: Approx 119,000 Won (2 days)
The keywords to look out for are “guesthouses” and/or “pensions”. There is no shortage of guesthouses catering to various levels of privacy and comfort levels. Here are a few places which fared good reviews – pocket friendly, of course!
B&B PAN Guesthouse
Address:1410, Geonip-dong, Jeju, Jeju-do, South Korea
Info: WiFi included, Free Breakfast, Male and Female Dorms Separated
Price per night: Starts from KRW16,000 (SGD$20) – 6 bed dorm
Endorsed by the Korea Tourism Organisation as “Good Stay” (reliable and affordable accommodation). We particularly like their consideration to Muslim travellers by providing utensils for Muslims.
Address: Samo-gil, Jeju, Jeju-do 63185, South Korea (Main) or 278, Seogwang-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju Special Self-Governing Proince 690-844, South Korea (terminal)
*Note that there are 2 branches within Jeju City
Price per night: KRW19,000 (SGD$21.51) – 6 bed dorm
We personally like this modern and sleek architectural piece conceptualised by Cho&Partners. From the lighting effect on solid colours to its chic furnishings – a combination of quirkiness and practicality. The place oozes style. Just check out their cute curtains you can draw for privacy while you have your shut eye time!
And rooftop chillin’? Brings “lepak” to a whole new level.
Address: 13-1, Dongmundong-ro, Seogwipo, Jeju-do 63590, South Korea
Info: WiFi included, Free breakfast, cable TV, cafe, Separate Male and Female Dorms available
Price per night: KRW20,000 (SGD$22.65) – 8 bed dorm
#HHWT Tip: Select locations where most of your activities are targeted at will save an hour or 2 of travelling from 1 city to another!
Here’s proof that some good things come free! Thank you, Mother Nature!
"Olle!” on the Other Side
One of the major draws of Jeju, this has attracted hikers globally. The Jeju Olle was inspired by Spain’s Pilgrim’s Trail. The routes are a collection of interconnected ‘hidden and forgotten paths’ otherwise inaccessible via vehicles. To date, there are 26 different routes (21 main and 5 spur routes) each hiding their own gems from volcanic landscape, beaches, mountains, remote places, rural villages and more. Ideal for those seeking to be with one with nature!
Trails are demarcated by signs (as depicted below) so you don’t have to fret about getting lost!
Chase the Sunset – anywhere
You can do no wrong with a sunset shot at Jeju. Its natural beauty takes care of everything! Pull over at a nearby fishing port, near the coastlines or anywhere really, and freeze time in a beautiful shot. Or just bask in the moment.
Saeseom (Birds) Island
Just 5 minutes away from Cheonjiyeon Falls, is Saeseom (Birds) Islands. If you are looking for something slightly different than the greens and waterfalls, this may just be it.
Besides bird watching, it is yet another good spot to catch sunsets. Just cross sits Jeju’s architectural pride, Saeyeongyo Bridge (Korea’s first single cable-stayed), connecting Seogwipo Port and Birds Island.
#HHWT Tip: The Island is small enough to be toured in 20 minutes! And, check out the LED illuminated bridge at night after your sunset viewing for another mesmerising view!
Create Your Own Korean Drama - Climb up Seopjikoji
10-15 mins away from Seongsan Ilchubong, lies a plateau – Seopjikoji, punctuated by a lighthouse at the end. Littered with scenic spots along the way (think open fields, meadows, rock formations), it is a popular location for Korean dramas and variety shows such as, “All In”, “My Girl”, “Running Man” and more. Here’s your chance to breathe the same air and possibly walk the same path as Lee Byung Hun and Song Hye Kyo!
Take a stroll up the winding pathway to the lighthouse with the strong sea breeze blowing in your face and revel at the spectacle that greets you after – a birds’ eye view of the coast.
Here are some popular spots:
#HHWT Tip: Admission fees are imposed to enter the popular chapel which appeared in the drama, “All In”. Otherwise, a stroll along the coastlines is just perfect!
Marvel Along the Coastlines
Finally, how can you talk about Jeju without frolicking in its beaches? These few beaches and coastlines are free but no less beautiful!
Jungmun Saekdal Beach
Yongduam Rock (Dragon Head Rock)
Have a stroll along the rocky coast while searching for a rock bearing the uncanny resemblance of a dragon’s head.
Legend has it belongs to a dragon, shot down by a mountain deity as it stole precious jade from Mt Halla. As its body sank into the ocean, its head froze to its current condition: skywards.
[For more activities do to in Jeju, check out our Muslim-friendly guide for Jeju!]
We hope this article somewhat helped in planning that long awaited Jeju trip to fully maximise your stay!
Like us to cover more activities to do in Jeju for less? Let us know in the comments below!