Jeju, always known as the Hawaii of Korea, is a gem in its own right. Gorgeous natural landscapes, idyllic beaches and seafood galore – that’s how we’d describe the beautiful island! We had the privilege of heading to Jeju with Jeju Tourism Board earlier this month and it was an experience like no other!
With the perfect cool weather (albeit the occasional storm😔) and pretty spring flowers blooming, there’s no doubt that the island in spring is probably one of the best times to visit. If you’re worried about finding halal food, we’ve got you covered with our 5D4N Muslim-friendly itinerary! So read on to find out more about our amazing Jeju adventure😉
#HHWT Tip: As the weather in Jeju changes all the time, do check the weather forecast and prepare various types of clothing. Jeju is also known for having strong winds, so it’s best to bring scarves to keep you warm!
Travelling to Jeju
We took a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Jeju via AirAsia X. For our Malaysian readers, we highly recommend this flight if you’re not heading to other parts of South Korea during your trip as you don’t have to go through the hassle of transits through Seoul.
#HHWT Tip: It’s almost a 6-hour flight and you won’t want to go hungry so pre-book your meals to get more savings.
Getting around Jeju
The best way to get around Jeju and perhaps to enjoy the most of what the island has to offer, is by driving. It’s easy to mistake Jeju as a small island but in reality, it’s two and a half times as big as Singapore😱
Credit: @ingsyuuu on Instagram
There are many rental companies but we highly recommend booking your car through Lotte Rent-A-Car or AJ Rent-A-Car as they’ll be able to converse with you in English. Car rental rates vary according to the car you choose but daily rates start from around $50. Before you rent a car, make sure you have your international driving permit with you and don’t forget to get a full cover insurance for your car!
#HHWT Tip: Book online with Lotte Rent-A-Car and sign up for membership to get 60% off your car rental fees😉
P.S. Did you know that there’s a prayer room at the second floor of Lotte Rental Car Autohouse? It’s even complete with Quran, qibla and prayer mats. Find more prayer spaces in Jeju here.
Alternatively, you can also explore the island through its various bus services. The Jeju City Tour Bus lets you explore Jeju city’s must-see sights. You can either purchase a one-time ticket for 3,000KRW or a one-day pass for 12,000KRW.
If you’re looking to explore outside Jeju City, (which you probably would!) hop on the Jeju Tourist Shuttle Bus which will bring you to various tourist attractions like the O’Sulloc Tea Museum.
There are also public buses that run throughout the island but do note that the travel time with buses is longer so do plan your itinerary accordingly. Find out more about the bus routes here.
Arrival at Jeju Airport
- Once you’ve arrived at Jeju Airport, the first thing to get would be a pocket WiFi especially if you’re social media junkies like us😝 There are many counters selling pocket WiFi once you come out of customs but we got ours from SK Telecom.
- Our pocket WiFi provided unlimited data at a rate of 5,000KRW per day! Alternatively, you can also purchase the pocket WiFi online and collect it when you arrive.
Seafood dinner at Daewonga
- Once you’re all settled in, you must be feeling hungry especially if your last meal on the plane was hours ago. So, it’s time for a big feast and what better way to welcome you than with Jeju’s specialty – seafood!
- We had the haemul cheongbol or seafood steamboat (60,000KRW) which had abalone, mussels, crab and squid all in one pot with kimchi broth! The soup wasn’t too spicy and once the taste of all the seafood had sunk in, the broth was just perfect 😋
#HHWT Tip: Once the soup is mixed with all the seafood taste, add a packet of ramen in to soak up all its flavour!
- Although the price of the seafood steamboat is quite steep, each pot serves around 3-4 people!
- Plus, the seafood at Daewonga is freshly caught by Jeju’s famous haenyeo divers (read on to find out more about them!), so that definitely makes your meal there more special.
- Daewonga is one of Jeju’s 13 Muslim-friendly restaurants, recommended by the Jeju Tourism Organization. You can even request to do your prayers here.
Disclaimer: Like most eateries in Korea, Daewonga serves alcohol, so do dine at your own discretion.
Accommodation: Maison Glad Jeju
- During our time in Jeju, we spent most of our nights at Maison Glad Jeju, which is located right in the heart of Jeju City. The beds were really comfy and we had a pleasant stay at the hotel! The Deluxe Twin Room is from 124,040KRW per night.
- The hotel is also located near the popular Yeongdong Street pedestrian mall, so you can easily do some shopping after you’re done with the day’s activities.
Accommodation: Playce Camp Jeju
- Jeju island is made up of two main areas – Jeju City and Seogwipo – and it takes about 40 minutes to 1 hour to travel between both areas.
- So, you might need to switch accommodations if you’re there long enough and that’s exactly what we did! Our first night was spent at Playce Camp Jeju. With a minimalistic interior and an industrial-themed design, this hotel is every hipster’s dream come true 😍
- We stayed at the Standard Double Room (from 49,134KRW) and although the room was a little small, it had all the amenities that we needed.
- Playce Camp Jeju is perfect if you’re intending to head to Seongsan Ilchulbong or Udo Island. Head up to Playce Camp’s rooftop terrace and you’ll be able to get a nice view of Seongsan Ilchulbong too!
Visit Jeju’s little brother, Udo
- Udo is one of the 30 islands surrounding the main island of Jeju. Udo literally means cow island as the shape of the island looks like a cow lying down😂 If you think that Jeju is the perfect respite from the busy city life, Udo is even more laidback.
- You can only get there by ferry from Seongsan Port. Each return ticket costs 8,500KRW and the ferry leaves every half an hour from 7.30am till about 5 or 6pm (depending on seasons). You’ll need to fill up 2 copies of the declaration form before you can get your tickets to board.
Note: Even though the ferry allows both passengers and vehicles, private rental cars aren’t allowed unless you have a special permit.
- Whether you’re an adventure junkie, nature lover or an avid photographer, Udo has got you covered! You can cycle, hike, try horseback riding, cafe-hop or just simply bask in the beauty of its mountains and gorgeous beaches 😍
- Get around Udo by renting a bicycle (10,000KRW for 3 hours), scooter or “tuktuk” (20,000KRW for 3 hours). You can even get around with the Udo Tourist or Shuttle Bus!
#HHWT Tip: We highly recommend you to spend half a day in Udo to really immerse yourself in the island’s beauty.
- The main agricultural product of Udo is peanut, so expect to find a lot of peanut-flavoured desserts which you have to try! We tried the peanut bread and peanut latte from Bongkkeurang Bakery and both were really yummy! The peanut latte reminded us of a peanut butter drink 🤗
- You can’t leave Udo without trying THIS peanut ice cream!🤤 Add your choice of toppings like we did to make it more Instagram-worthy!
Lunch at Uribong Sikdang
- Once you’re done exploring Udo, head back to Jeju island and have lunch at another muslim-friendly restaurant, Uribong Sikdang. This eatery is located near the Seongsan Port where you’ll get off when arriving back in Jeju.
- Uribong Sikdang is known for its seafood hotpot and grilled mackerel but we recommend getting the braised beltfish and seafood pancake too!
Credit: @ssungvely_in_jeju on Instagram
Watch the haenyeo divers’ performance
- After lunch, watch the haenyeo divers’ performance near Seongsan Ilchulbong. The haenyeos are a community of women divers who catch exquisite shellfish like abalone or sea urchins for a living and they don’t use oxygen masks.
- Most of the haenyeos are in their 70s with the oldest in this particular community, being 85. They work everyday for 4-5 hours if the weather permits and dive 10 to 25 metres to catch more than 80kg of seafood.
- During the performance, the haenyeos sang about their livelihoods and how they longed to be some place far away where they’re not working. Most of them had no choice but to work as haenyeos as the livelihood was passed down to them by their mothers. This really opened our eyes to their life story and we really applaud them for their efforts!
- But the good news is, this strong haenyeo culture has been recognised by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage. So, we hope this would give them more recognition and help them get more financial aid 💪
Hike up Seongsan Ilchulbong
- You can’t say you’ve been to Jeju without heading to Seongsan Ilchulbong – one of Jeju’s must-see destinations. The crater at the peak of Seongsan was formed after an undersea volcanic eruption thousands of years ago, making the place a scientific gem.
- It’s also been called Seongsan Sunrise Peak but if you can’t wake up for sunrise, fret not as the view from up there is still magnificent any time of the day!
- It takes around 20-30 minutes to hike up to the top. The hike seems daunting at first as there are a lot of steps but just keep going and you’ll realise it’s not that bad! Do remember to wear comfortable shoes though.
- If you’re here in spring (like we were😊) you’ll find these pretty purple flowers at the foot of Seongsan Ilchulbong. Of course, we couldn’t resist snapping some photos with them and not to mention, it’ll make the perfect Instagram backdrop too!
#HHWT Tip: Once you’re done with the hike, get a hallabong juice (jeju orange juice) from one of the fruit juice stands. Gulping it down after all that climbing is the best reward you could possibly give yourself 😉
Take in the sights of Seopjikoji
- You’ve probably seen a lighthouse near the beach in a Korean drama or movie. Chances are it was filmed at Seopjikoji! This picturesque cliff and beach area became a popular tourist spot after the hit Korean drama All In in 2003.
- Take in the scenic sea views at Seopjikoji and hear the sound of waves crashing – this is probably the best way to chill out and have a relaxing evening. It’s also a romantic place if you’re here on your honeymoon😍
- If you’re here during spring, you’d be treated to this pretty sight of canola flowers dotting the area. Frolic around the yellow flowers or play hide-and-seek with your travel buddies, or simply just admire its beauty.
End the day with dinner at Bagdad
- Who knew you could find scrumptious northern Indian cuisine in Jeju?! And better still, it serves halal food! If you’re missing a taste of home just a little bit, head over to Bagdad Cafe and Restaurant Jeju for some finger-licking Indian food.
Credit: @taehee_k_im on Instagram
- We highly recommend getting the Tandoori Chicken and Butter Chicken to eat with your naan bread. We just couldn’t get enough of the butter chicken and even ordered a second serving😋
Credit: Bagdad Cafe & Restaurant Jeju on Facebook
#HHWT Tip: After you’re done with that delicious Indian meal, order a mango lassi for a refreshing finish!
Note: Bagdad has a certificate from the Jeju Islamic Cultural Center for its halal meat, but they do serve alcohol, so dine at your own discretion!
Get lost at Maze Land
- Jeju isn’t just known for its beautiful natural sights but also its theme parks and Maze Land is one of them.
- Step into its 3 mazes for the perfect bonding activity for you and your travel buddies! Did you know that the popular Korean variety show Running Man was also filmed here?😱
- The 3 mazes here represent Jeju’s “samda” culture which describes the 3 things abundant on Jeju island – rocks, wind and women.
- We tried the wind maze and the whinstone maze. It wasn’t as clear-cut as we thought it’d be but it was really fun going through the corners of the maze to find our way out🤗
Fun fact: The whinstone maze is actually the world’s longest stone maze, measuring 5.3 km.
- The admission fee is 9,000 KRW per person and the park is opened from 9am to 7pm (counter closes at 6pm).
#HHWT Tip: There’s a lookout point in the middle of the 3 mazes so you can plan your route before stepping into the maze, or if you prefer getting lost, you could just go in and have fun😉
Chill out at Woljeong-ri Beach
- After spending the morning sweating it out at the maze, it’s time to chill out at Woljeong-ri Beach, known for its white sand and emerald waters.
- This beach is usually full of people during summer so heading there in spring isn’t such a bad idea after all.
- Remember to get your cameras out and strike a pose as you wouldn’t want to miss the sight of this lovely beach!
- While you’re chilling out, pop into one of the hipster cafes around the beach area.
- We recommend Woodstock Cafe for its chill and laidback vibe! Their alfresco area has beanbags for you to lie on and watch the world go by, or you can also sit upstairs and get a good view of the beach while sipping a cup of coffee 😉
Have lunch at Jeju Onuii
- Just a short drive away from Woljeong-ri, you’ll find Jeju Onuii, a Muslim-friendly restaurant. This eatery is known for its hot stone rice with sliced abalone so you definitely have to try it.
- While Jeju Onuii is not in the official list of Muslim-friendly restaurants in Jeju, the eatery only sells seafood and does not use any alcohol or meat in its cooking. Note: We recommend dining at your own discretion.
#HHWT Tip: The best part about dining in a Korean restaurant is the abundance of side dishes, which are included in the total price of your food. So, feel free to ask for a second serving ☺️
Soak in the breathtaking view of canola flowers
- Gasi-ri Wind Power Plant Park comes alive during spring with the annual Jeju Canola Flower Festival. The park is located along Noksan-ro, one of the most beautiful roads in Jeju during spring lined with cherry blossoms and canola flowers.
- You can only catch these canola blooms in spring as they are resistant to cold weather. The best part is how vast the park is so you don’t have to worry about jostling with the crowd🤗
Challenge yourself at Zipline Jeju
- If you’re a thrill-seeker, you have to check out Zipline Jeju. This is your chance to get a view of Jeju from above and take in the fresh air of the island.
- The cost for zipline is 28,000 KRW per person. Choose from any of the 4 courses and be prepared to spend about 30-40 minutes here.
#HHWT Tip: As you can’t bring too many things with you during the zipline, you’ll need to keep your belongings in the lockers provided. If you’ve a GoPro, do bring it along to capture the experience!
- With priceless views of tea plantations and the surrounding nature, the zipline is an experience like no other. You might even be able to spot South Korea’s tallest mountain, Hallasan!
#HHWT Tip: If you need to do your prayers, you can inform the staff at Zipline Jeju and they will provide you with a space.
Savour halal shabu-shabu at Cheonhaecheon
- Halal shabu-shabu in Korea? We kid you not! Cheonhaecheon serves all-you-can-eat buffet with halal meat certified by the Jeju Islamic Cultural Center. It costs 34,000 KRW per person.
- Not only do they have different cuts of beef, you can also indulge in their wide selection of seafood such as abalone, crayfish, prawns and crabs.
- Each table is given 2 soup bases, the original and kimchi broth. We recommend dipping your beef slices in the kimchi broth for a kick of flavours!
- The beef was so succulent and it soaked up all the taste of the kimchi broth🤤 Don’t forget to add in some ramen after the flavours have kicked in to enjoy the tasty soup.
- Cheonhaecheon also has a cooked food section and they have Korean fried chicken, tteokbokki and even takoyaki among other food items. For the variety of spread that they have, it’s definitely worth your money 😊
Pick strawberries at Dongsan Strawberry Farm
- Start your day by picking strawberries at Dongsan Strawberry Farm. Strawberry-picking is one of the things to tick off your to-do list when in Jeju.
- Strawberry season is from December to June and the cost for a visit to Dongsan ranges from 12,000-18,000 KRW depending on the season.
- You’ll be given an empty container where you can pick the strawberries and bring them home but along the way, you can pick and eat the strawberries as you like! Not to mention that the strawberries are really sweet and juicy – that’s even a better deal than getting those at the supermarkets 😉
#HHWT Tip: If you’re in a large group, do book early via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also give them a call at 010-9838-2479 or 010-3119-2479.
Make your own soap at Innisfree Jeju House
- If you’re a fan of Korean beauty products, a visit to Innisfree Jeju House is a must! All Innisfree’s products are made from natural ingredients found in Jeju.
- Get your very own soap-making kit for 15,000KRW and try making your own soap. Choose between green tea, tangerine and volcanic pore scents and decorate your soap using the stamps provided.
- It was a really fun and interactive experience and there were clear instructions for us to follow, so you don’t have to worry if it’s your first time 🤗
Walk around O’Sulloc Tea Plantation
- Head out and take in the sights of Jeju’s largest tea plantation – O’Sulloc. Be one with nature as you walk along the neatly-lined rows of tea plants and capture as many photos as you can!
- Don’t forget to check out O’Sulloc Tea Museum to find out more about Korean teas and the traditional tea culture of Korea.
- If you’re a fan of green tea, you’ll love the Green Tea ice-cream at the cafe!
- Green tea fans rejoice as you can get almost anything green tea-flavoured at O’Sulloc’s souvenir store, from green tea milk spread to cookies and chocolates!
Relive your childhood at Jeju Shinhwa World
- Who’s a fan of Larva cartoon here? If you or your kids are a fan of the hit Korean cartoon Larva, Shinhwa Theme Park is definitely the amusement park of your dreams! With over 20 rides and attractions over 7 sections, Shinhwa is Jeju’s biggest theme park.
- Shinhwa Theme Park is one of the four parks at Jeju Shinhwa World – slated to be one of South Korea’s largest integrated resorts😱 A water park and Lionsgate Movie World are also under construction so expect the resort to get bigger soon.
- If you’re a thrill-seeker, head over to Oscar’s Speed ‘N Bump, a W-shaped version of your “pirate ship” ride. Prepare to get dizzy as you’re taken on a whirlwind spin. This is definitely one of our favourite rides and a must-try at the park 🤗
- Tickets cost 39,000KRW for adults and 29,000KRW for children.
#HHWT Tip: If you need to do your prayers, head over to the Guest Service Center at the entrance of the park and ask the staff for permission to pray in one of the rooms there. You have to bring your own prayer mats and garments though!
- After you’re done with all the fun and laughter at Shinhwa Theme Park, head over to GD Cafe just in front on the park. This futuristic and chic cafe was designed by K-pop star G-Dragon himself!
- Sit back, relax and enjoy a cup of coffee at this fancy cafe while admiring its fancy designs. If you’re a fan of G-Dragon, you’ll love the range of G-Dragon merchandise available 😊
Make a stop at Sanbangsan
- Sanbangsan is an 800 thousand year old volcano and it’s one of more than 360 volcanoes on the island!
- If you can spare some time, peek into the mountain’s cave to witness the beauty of the natural rock formations and walk over to the nearby Yeongmori Coast for a picturesque view of the ocean.
- But if you’re strapped for time (like we were!) you can also admire the mountain from afar. We were lucky to be greeted once again by the sight of breath-taking canola blooms 😍 As the wind near the coast can be very strong, do use a scarf to keep yourself warm!
Have a once-in-a-lifetime dinner at Chunsimine
- Just a short drive away, you’ll find Chunsimine, a Muslim-friendly restaurant specialising in Korean seafood dishes. The eatery is well-known for THIS hairtail fish. Can you believe it costs 78,000KRW?!😱
- Have a taste of this exquisite fish and you’ll know why it’s so expensive. We’ll admit, we just couldn’t get enough of it! Its fresh taste is unlike anything we’ve tasted back home. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Credit: @i__am_jingmo on Instagram
- But if you’re on a tight budget, get the grilled mackerel instead! Chunsimine’s spread of side dishes are amazing too, so feel free to ask for seconds!
Note: Only the seafood dishes at Chunsimine are Muslim-friendly. Although they don’t serve pork, the other meat at the eatery are not halal-certified. Do dine at your own discretion!
Shop with the locals at Dongmun Market
- It’s your last day in Jeju and it’s time to mingle with the locals at Dongmun Market. This is the oldest and largest market in Jeju and you can get almost everything here from fresh fruits and seafood to Korean sweet snacks and souvenirs. You can also get some fresh sashimi from the seafood vendors.
- The market opens very early in the morning till about 9pm or 10pm. We hear that there’s also a night market on weekends too!
- Don’t forget to try the street snacks at the market! We tried Octopus Pancakes which were made of octopus bits, barley and cheese. Trust us, they were super yummy!😋
Note: Don’t forget to check with the stall vendors if the snacks they’re selling contain any meat-products.
- The market is also the best place for you to get some Jeju Hallabong chocolates as souvenirs for your loved ones back home. We’ve checked the ingredients of the chocolates and most of them don’t contain gelatin but it’s best that you check with the stall owners too!
Visit the world’s first Brick Museum
- Before you head home, make a stop at Brick Campus, the world’s first brick art museum. You’d probably have seen this museum if you watch Running Man. This new museum is one of the latest additions to more than 100 different museums in Jeju.
- Admire the works of over 40 renowned Korean and international artists using just LEGO bricks and other blocks. Did you know that a total of 2.8 million bricks were used to create 250+ artworks?
- There’s also a section at the end of the gallery where you can play with LEGO bricks and create your own masterpiece! Perfect for those of you who want to relive your childhood days.
- Brick Campus has an admission fee of 12,000KRW for both adults and children.
BONUS: Try some LEGO-themed burgers
- While you’re at Brick Campus, pop by the cafe to try some LEGO-themed burgers. Choose from 6 different colours of bun – each of them have different flavours like Sweet Potato, Squid Ink or Spinach and only natural ingredients are used to make the buns.
- The beef and chicken patties aren’t halal-certified but the shrimp patty is Muslim-friendly so do dine at your own discretion!
Saying goodbye to Jeju
It’s finally time to say goodbye to Jeju after an awesome 5 days 😢 Though Jeju airport is small, it’s also one of the busiest in South Korea. So, you definitely need to arrive early to do your check-in preparations before your flight.
#HHWT Tip: Once you’ve cleared customs, turn right and you’ll see a sign that says “Prayer Room”. Feel free to perform your prayers there! There are prayer mats and garments so you don’t have to worry about anything 😉
There you have it, your 5 days 4 nights Muslim-friendly guide to conquer Jeju😊 As you can see, there are many sights to explore in Jeju and we recommend staying at least 4 days to fully experience what the island has to offer. Although we had 5 days to discover Jeju, there’s still so much more to explore and even more local cuisine to try.
And as more Muslim travellers make their way to Jeju, we can soon expect more halal food and prayer spots to open up on the island. In the meantime, if you’ve always wanted to visit Jeju, what are you waiting for? Time to book your flight now and start planning for that adventure of a lifetime!
This article was brought to you by Jeju Tourism Organization.