Jeju is a place we really love and wouldn’t mind going back again and again. The sights are gorgeous, the pace of life is slower and it’s just the best way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life 😍 Not to mention that there’s always something new and exciting to do every time.
If you’re planning a trip to Jeju soon, you’re in luck! AirAsia, which is the only airline that flies directly to Jeju from Kuala Lumpur is having an awesome promotion 😉 Book between now until 21 July and you can fly directly into the beautiful island from only RM299 (one way) for BIG members. Enjoy various in-flight options such as their comfortable Premium Flatbed, their peaceful Quiet Zone, or opt for one of their Hot Seats! Find out more on their website.
*Travel period is from now till 31 January 2020.
Here are the top 10 awesome things you should do on your Jeju vacay this 2019!
1. Marvel at the gorgeous Silver Grass at Saebyeol Oreum
Every year during autumn, Jeju’s Saebyeol Oreum and several other hills on the island are awash with tall silver Eulalia turning the landscape into a magical sight 😍
Credit: @mariambadidu on Instagram
“Oreum” refers to a small defunct volcano that can be found across the entire island, and there are over 368 oreums in Jeju! Saebyeol is around 520 metres high so you’d need to climb a little before you’re greeted with the sight of these graceful plants swaying along with the wind. The best time to catch these Eulalia plants is from mid to late October!
Credit: @wanderlust_jinh on Instagram
Though most of the hike is perfect for beginners, there are some parts where you’d have to be prepared for steep hills so wear comfortable shoes. Besides the enchanting sight of Eulalia, you’ll also be treated to an amazing view of the mountains around!
#HHWT Tip: If you’re heading to Saebyeol Oreum in the evening, we recommend staying for a breathtaking sunset.
Address: Bongseong-ri, Aewol-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, South Korea
Directions: Saebyeol Oreum is located along Pyeonghwa-ro (Route 1135)
2. Catch the sunset at Saengyigijeong
There’s just something about sunsets that’s so romantic and we’re about to introduce you to Saengyigijeong, one of the best spots to admire the sunset on Jeju Island!
Credit: @yt_0131 on Instagram
This beautiful coastline is part of the Jeju Olle walking trail route no.12 which starts from the Dangsanbong volcano. Experiencing sunset here feels almost surreal as you listen to the sound of waves crashing on the rocks and look out to the open sea beyond.
Credit: @sunny_4484 on Instagram
Even if you don’t come here during sunset, the morning or afternoon view is just as impressive as you’d be able to see the 2 small islands of Chagwido and Wando, plus the emerald blue waters which are sure to take your breath away 😍 The best part is that not many travellers know about this spot so you won’t be disturbed by hordes of tourists!
Address: 산60 Yongsu-ri, Hangyeong-myeon, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea
3. Witness the changing seasons of Camellia Hill
One thing we love about Jeju is that the flowers change with every season and Camellia Hill is the go-to spot on the island to spot different flowers! Though this arboretum has 6000 camellias trees of over 500 species on site, it’s also home to many other plants which makes it a colourful display any time of the year.
Credit: @askwenn on Instagram
In summer (usually from June-July), you can expect gorgeous hydrangeas to fill up the whole place and make sure you plan matching outfits so that you can strike the perfect pose with these baby blue petals 😅
Credit: @calm._.calm on Instagram
Once November comes and the island welcomes autumn, the camellias take centre stage with their red and pink petals. Did you know that camellias are known to be a romantic flower too? So, if you’re here with your significant other, don’t miss out on this golden opportunity to take some swoon-worthy pictures!
Address: 166, Byeongak-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Opening hours: 8.30am-5pm (Dec-Feb), 8.30am-5.30pm (Mar-May, Sep-Nov), 8.30am-6pm (Jun-Aug)
Admission fee: KRW8000 (Adults), KRW6000 (Teenagers/Seniors), KRW5000 (Child/Persons with disabilities)
P.S. Planning to visit Jeju at the end of the year? Here are 5 reasons why Jeju should be the place to go for your year-end vacay!
4. Join the haenyeo divers at Hado-ri
One of the experiences you can’t miss while in Jeju is to know more about haenyeo divers. For the uninitiated, haenyeo are women divers who catch exquisite shellfish like abalone or sea urchins for a living and they don’t use oxygen masks. What’s more amazing is that most of these women are in their 60s-70s, some even in their 80s. Each time they dive, they go 10 to 25 metres deep 😱
Credit: @mapoffice on Instagram
While there are many haenyeos around Jeju and you can watch as they do their jobs, nothing beats experiencing it for yourself and at Hado-ri, you can sign up for a haenyeo experience. The programme is available from March to November and lasts about 1.5 hours. All you need are basic swimming skills!
Credit: @totem0551 on Instagram
Once you go through the programme, you’ll learn to immerse yourself in their livelihood and understand the hardships and struggles these haenyeo face. As part of the programme, you’ll get to change into the haenyeo suit and also savour all the fresh seafood that you catch!
Address: 1897-27, Haemajihaean-ro, Gujwa-eup, Jeju City
When: March to November (Must reserve in advance)
Price: KRW20,000 (groups of 5 or more)
Reservation: Call +82 64-783-1996 or visit here for more details
6. Visit sunflower farms
We love how Jeju has flowers for every season and if you’ve seen enough of hydrangeas and camellias at Camellia Hill, now it’s the time to see some sunflowers!
Credit: Ankita Sharma on Facebook
These warm and bright flowers which you’ve probably only seen in pictures come alive at Kim Kyung Sook Sunflower Farm as they flourish in the summer heat. Here’s where you’ll find a postcard-worthy backdrop as you walk through a sea of 750 thousand sunflowers!
Credit: Aida Yusoff on Facebook
There are different sizes of sunflowers here and you’re free to take pictures with them or simply bask in the amazing sight. Some are even as tall as (or even taller than) humans!
Besides taking in the view of these vibrant petals, you can also get some sunflower-infused gifts like home grown edible sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, cosmetic sunflower essence and sunflower soap. They also sell some snacks like sunflower seed soft-serve ice cream and hallabong juice, made from fresh Jeju oranges which are really sweet 😋
#HHWT Tip: Try to spot the entrance of the farm with a smiling yellow sunflower signboard. You won’t be able to see the sunflower field yet until you enter the farm.
Address: 854-1, Beonyeong-ro, Jeju, Jeju Island 63330, South Korea
Opening hours: 9am-7pm
Contact No: +82 64-724-1482
Admission fee: KRW3000
6. Savour Muslim-friendly seafood dishes
If there’s one cuisine that’s a specialty in Jeju, it’s fresh seafood. From its famous abalone and cutlassfish to more common ones like mackerel, mussels, crabs and prawns, Jeju is heaven for seafood lovers!
For those who aren’t familiar with abalone and you’re not sure where to start, we recommend heading to Daewonga (대원가) to try their Seafood Stew (haemul cheongbol) – consisting of fresh abalones, mussels, crab and squid in a piping hot kimchi broth. It costs KRW60,000 but it’s perfect to share between 3-4 people.
If you don’t plan on eating such a huge pot of seafood, Uribong Sikdang (우리봉 식당) also serves a lighter and smaller version of abalone seafood hotpot (KRW15,000). The broth is light on the palate but yet flavourful, making it comforting and refreshing to slurp.
Commonly known as galchi by locals, cutlassfish (or hairtail as it’s also called), is known to be a fish that’s highly prized by locals. The best way is to eat it grilled and what some stores would do is to debone the fish for you, making it easier to eat.
Credit: @i__am_jingmo on Instagram
This exquisite fish might not be cheap but we had a taste of it during our trip to Jeju and trust us, it’s unlike anything you’ve tasted back home. The freshness of the fish is just unparalleled, with a satisfying aftertaste that’ll awe even the non-fish lovers 😋 One of the places to indulge in this fish is at Choonsim’s House (춘심이네) where you’ll get to see how long the fish is (pictured above). Priced at KRW78,000, it might be a tad expensive but so worth it if you share it among friends. They served a braised version of the fish here too!
If you’re on a tighter budget, you can also try a salted grilled version of cutlassfish (KRW29,000) at Uribong Sikdang instead. Cutlassfish is usually very popular from July to October as that’s the season when they’ll catch the fish.
Another seafood dish that’s very popular in Jeju is Braised Mackerel. Fresh mackerel is braised and then left to cook in a slightly thick red pepper stew.
One eatery where you can enjoy this simple but fulfilling dish is at Bada Punggyeong (바다풍경). The Braised Mackerel Stew (KRW29,000) is put over a hot stove where you’ll be able to savour the dish piping hot. What we love is that as the stew dries up, the mackerel soaks up all the flavour 😋 What’s even better is that Bada Punggyeong lets you enjoy the view of the sea while you’re having your meal.
Here’s a list of the Muslim-friendly restaurants mentioned above:
1) Daewonga (대원가)
Halal Status: Only seafood dishes sold, no alcohol/meat is used in the preparation of food. Alcohol is served in establishment, so do dine at your own discretion. You can also request to do your prayers here.
Address: 15, Donam-ro 16-gil, Jeju-si, Jeju-do (Korean: 제주특별자치도 제주시 도남로16길 15 재영)
Opening hours: 9am – 9.30pm, closed on Tuesdays
Contact No: +82-64-753-3030
2) Uribong Sikdang (우리봉 식당)
Halal status: Only seafood dishes sold, no alcohol/meat is used in preparation of dishes. Alcohol is served in establishment, so do dine at your own discretion. Prayer facilities in establishment.
Address: 273, Ilchul-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do (Korean: 제주특별자치도 서귀포시 성산읍 일출로 27)
Opening hours: 8.30am – 9pm daily
Contact No: +82 64-782-0032
3) Choonsim’s House (춘심이네)
Halal status: Only the seafood dishes at Chunsimine are Muslim-friendly. Although they don’t serve pork, the other meat at the eatery is not halal-certified. Alcohol is also served in establishment so, do dine at your own discretion. You can also request to do your prayers here.
Address: 16, Changcheonjungang-ro 24beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do (Korean: 제주특별자치도 서귀포시 안덕면 창천중앙로24번길 16 2층)
Opening hours: 10am – 9pm daily
Contact No: +82 64-794-4010
4) Bada Punggyeong (바다풍경)
Halal status: Only seafood dishes sold, no alcohol/meat used in the preparation of dishes. Alcohol is served in establishment, so do dine at your own discretion. Prayer room in establishment.
Address: 654, Seohaean-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, South Korea (Korean: 제주특별자치도 제주시 서해안로 654)
Opening hours: 11am – 11pm daily
Contact No: +82 64-711-7992
Between gorgeous sunsets, beautiful fields of sunflowers and delicious authentic Korean delicacies in Jeju, aren’t you just itching to make your way there now? Book with AirAsia from now till 21 July to catch your flight there from only RM299 (one way)!
7. Go cafe-hopping
Cafe-hopping has become such an integral part of Korean youth culture that you’re bound to find many amazing cafes in major destinations like Jeju. Besides coffee, the cafes also double up as picture-perfect spots!
Opened by K-pop star and Big Bang leader G-Dragon, the Monsant Cafe is located in Jeju’s Aewol district overlooking the sea. You’ll probably be able to spot Monsant from afar due to its reflective mirrored exterior, which looks almost magical.
Credit: @iamjiiiiin on Instagram
But enter the cafe and it’s a different story – the atmosphere is more rustic with earthy tones and ceiling-to-floor views of the sea, giving a feeling of openness.
Credit: @eqienura on Instagram
There’s also an outdoor seating area where you can watch the sunset and a platform terrace where you can chill out and enjoy the gentle breeze 😊
Halal status: Do note that besides coffee, tea and other beverages, Aewol Monsant also serves desserts and light bites but we are unable to confirm their Muslim-friendly status. We advise doing your necessary checks and visit at your own discretion.
Address: 56-1 Aewolbukseo-gil, Aewol-eup, 애월읍 Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea
Opening hours: 9am-7pm
Contact No: +82 64-799-8900
Another cafe that’s worth a visit in Aewol is Bomnal, located just a few minutes’ walk away from Monsant. Once you enter Bomnal, it feels like you’ve entered a small cluster of shops instead of just one cafe, which makes it really unique!
Credit: Wan Munirah on Facebook
The spacious cafe has both indoor and outdoor seating areas, with this wooden exterior and signboard (pictured above) acting as a backdrop for many Instagram photos! The cafe also exudes a homely and inviting vibe which means you’ll probably want to stay for long 😝
Credit: @kn.arante on Instagram
We highly recommend walking around the cafe to discover the different wall art and art painted on wood as well as other knick knacks. There’s even an area overlooking the sea where you can sit and chill at, making you feel as if you’re on some Greek island rather than Jeju!
Halal status: Do note that besides coffee, tea and other beverages, Bomnal also serves desserts and light bites but we are unable to confirm their Muslim-friendly status. Do note that the cafe also serves alcohol. We advise doing your necessary checks and visit at your own discretion.
Here’s another cafe with links to a Korean celebrity – Gongbech Cafe is newly opened by the older brother of Korean boyband BTS member, Suga. Set in a minimalist and modern concept, you might feel as though it’s still under construction when you step in but that’s just the industrial aesthetic of the cafe!
Credit: @legoscoffee on Instagram
With artistic green features and walls adorned with plants as backdrops, a walk through the cafe feels more like a museum than a cafe. Don’t forget to take a photo with this iconic spiral mirror too!
Credit: @legoscoffee on Instagram
This cafe is still pretty much unknown to many travellers and you’ll probably see a lot of Korean youths, which is great if you’re looking to escape the tourist crowd!
Halal status: Do note that besides coffee, tea and other beverages, Gongbech also serves pastry but we are unable to confirm their Muslim-friendly status. We advise doing your necessary checks and visit at your own discretion.
Address: 83 Dongbok-ro, Gujwa-eup, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea
Opening hours: 10am-7pm
8. Hike Mt. Halla
This one’s for the adventurous souls! If you’re in Jeju and you love a little bit of a challenge, why not hike up Mt Halla? At 1950 metres above sea level, it’s South Korea’s tallest peak!
Credit: 산드라 Sandra on Facebook
Did you know that Mt Halla is actually a volcano? But it hasn’t erupted for more than 5,000 years so it’s practically dormant. You can climb the mountain all-year round (even in winter!) but the weather in summer and autumn/spring is milder and it’s a more favourable climate to climb.
Credit: Jeju Tourism Organization on Facebook
There are 5 hiking trails at Mt Halla but only 2 will take you to the summit – Seongpanak (9.7km) and Gwaneumsa (8.7km). While Seongpanak is longer, it’s also less steep and easier to climb. Plus, the start trail is better served by public transport. Gwaneumsa is a shorter route but it’s steeper and the view is more scenic, especially in autumn (pictured above).
#HHWT Tip: Do note that the park administration has a cut-off time for when you can start your climb as well as when you need to leave the summit. This is so that you won’t head back to base when night falls. Check out the Hallasan official website for more information and the opening times for the trails.
Seongpanak Trail starting point – 1865 516-ro, Jochon-eup, 조천읍 Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea
Gwaneumsa Trail starting point – Sallokbuk-ro, Odeung-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea
Opening hours: 5.30am (Spring – Mar/Apr & Autumn – Sep/Oct), 5am (Summer – May to Aug), 6am (Winter – Nov to Feb)
Cut-off time to start: 12.30pm (Spring/Autumn), 1pm (Summer), 12pm (Winter)
Cut-off time to leave summit: 2pm (Spring/Autumn), 2.30pm (Summer), 1.30pm (Winter)
9. Ride a horse at Gwangchigi Beach
Located on the eastern side of Jeju island, Gwangchigi Beach is where you can get a stunning view of one of Jeju’s landmarks, Seongsan Sunrise Peak. Why not take your sightseeing a notch higher by doing some horse-riding?
Credit: @gahee415 on Instagram
Whether you’re travelling with family or as a couple, horse-riding with Seongsan Sunrise Peak will be a memorable experience and a photo opportunity here is a must!
To start your horse-riding adventure, head over to Steel Flower Horse Riding Ranch (쇠와꽃 승마장). A horse-riding session along the coast would you cost you KRW35000 for around 20 minutes. You can also take a cheaper or more expensive course depending on your budget!
Even if you’re not at Gwangchigi Beach for horse-riding, you have to admit that the view here is pretty spectacular and many people would recommend coming here for sunrise 😍
Address: 354-1 Goseong-ri, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo, Jeju-do, South Korea
Opening hours: 9am-6.30pm (Summer), 9am-5.30pm (Winter), hours might vary depending on the weather conditions
Admission fee: KRW35000 (Coastal course), KRW20000 (Basic Course), KRW50000 (D Course)
Contact No: +82 64-782-3900
10. Take Insta-worthy photos
Besides the magical natural scenery of Jeju, there are many other gorgeous attractions in Jeju where you’ll absolutely want to snap a photo for the ‘gram. From European-themed villages to art installations and wall murals, you’d want to dress up when you visit these places!
Jeju Swiss Village
Stepping into the Swiss village in Wasan-ri, you’d definitely feel as though you’ve been transported to a village in Europe.
Credit: @lovelybella109 on Instagram
The village’s brightly painted houses mainly in red, yellow and orange, lined on a hilly street are perfect for a leisurely afternoon stroll. You’ll find a cluster of cafes and small artisanal shops here too. So, why not head into one of the many cafes here and just watch the world go by? The plus point is that the village doesn’t see many tourists too, so it’s the best place to go to escape the crowds.
Credit: @eun_jjjiiiii on Instagram
Besides the vibrant houses, the village also has some wall art like this flower arch. Go wild with your travel buddies as you think of different poses to do for the perfect shot!
#HHWT Tip: If you’d like to spend the night in “Switzerland”, the Jeju Swiss Village also has accommodations that you can book.
Address: 1345 Wasan-ri, Jochon-eup, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea
Opening hours: Open 24h
Light Art Festa
You’ve seen much of Jeju in the day but did you know that it’s equally magnificent at night too? Inspired by Jeju’s volcanic terrains, various light installations are sprawled out over green tea fields, lighting up the night sky.
Credit: @kyeonghwa on Instagram
The main design of the installations are by British lighting artist Bruce Munro plus installations by other international artists too.
Credit: @whoisclarence on Instagram
If you’re looking for a romantic night out with your significant other, perhaps the Light Art Festa is a great place to be!
Note: The Light Art Festa is happening all year-round but the exhibitions might change. Do look out for updates for the next Light Art Festa on their website!
Address: 115-1 Seongyo-ro, Jocheon-eup, Jeju City
Opening hours: 6pm-12am (Summer, 16 Jun-15 Oct), 5pm-11pm (Winter, 16 Oct-28 Feb), 5pm-11pm (Spring, 1 Mar-15 Jun)
Admission fee: KRW18000 (Adult), KRW10000 (Youth, 13-18), KRW8000 (Child, 7-12)
Contact No: +82 064-784-9030
Combining the best of landscape and architecture, the Bonte Museum has both traditional and contemporary works.
Credit: @yooneun84 on Instagram
The whole museum is designed by award-winning Tadao Ando and the space consists of 4 art galleries, and an outdoor sculpture garden where you can roam around and find nooks and crannies to take photos!
Credit: @from.seraphicday on Instagram
You can spot famous works by renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama like the Infinity Mirrored Room and The Pumpkin. Once you step into the Infinity Mirrored Room, you’ll step into a dark room with dotted lights and a galaxy of lights which change their colours. Definitely an immersive experience if you ask us!
Note: The exhibits that are currently ongoing at Bonte Museum will be till 31 Dec 2020. Do check out their website for updates on their exhibitions.
Address: 380-5 Sangcheon-ri, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo, Jeju-do, South Korea
Opening hours: 10am-6pm daily
Admission fee: KRW20000 (Adult), KRW14000 (Teen), KRW12000 (Child/Senior)
Contact No: +82 64-792-8108
So, the next time you’re in Jeju, make sure you check these 10 things off your to-do list! Not to forget that you can easily fly into Jeju from just RM299 (one way) with AirAsia’s sweet deal if you book between now and 21 July 2019!
From picture-perfect flowers to savouring fresh seafood, cafe-hopping and discovering Insta-worthy spots, there’s so much to do in Jeju and it’s time to let 2019 be the year that you visit this charming island 🤗
*Travel period for AirAsia promotional flights to Jeju is between now and 31 January 2020.
This article is brought to you by AirAsia.