JEJU: A Taste Of Heaven In The Island Of Gods!

June 2016

Jeju island is, no doubt, one among South Korea’s pride. Featured in most Korean movies and TV series, not to mention in the list of ‘7 Wonders of Nature’, it is hard not to put it (as well) on top of my personal ‘TO GO’ list. But the place has always been but a good idea. Distant, even, with all the time and financial constraints of being a student. Haha. But who could say no to a 5,700-worth HK-Jeju roundtrip tickets? Definitely, not me! So I booked (at long last), and into a rainy Jeju I go! 😀

Jeju or Jejudo is a volcanic island. It is considered as the main province of the country and situated 455 kms away from its capital-Seoul. It is called and believed as the Island of Gods because of its rich natural resources which attracts huge amount of tourists and travelers every year.

Quickfact #1: Jeju Island is three times bigger than Seoul.

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THE EASIEST WAY FOR A PHILIPPINE PASSPORT HOLDER TO VISIT JEJU

Apparently, Jeju is the only place in South Korea which we can visit VISA FREE. We are allowed a maximum of 30 day stay in the province.

Manila – Hong Kong – Jeju (v.v), I think is the easiest and the most convenient route. HK Express and Dragon Air offer promo tickets from their main hub at Hong Kong. However, if you’re coming from Seoul, you can either fly directly to Jeju from Gimpo International Airport or Busan International Airport. Securing a visa would be necessary if you opt to fly via this route since you will be entering Seoul. Another option would be a four-hour ferry ride from Busan.

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Flight Schedule from HK to Jeju

Quickfact #2: almost all of the ordinary passport holders (except the following – Afghanistan, Cuba, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Kosovo, Libya, Macedonia, Nigeria, Palestine, Sudan and Syria) can stay visa-free for 30 days in Jeju Province, even if they normally require a visa for South Korea.

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Spotted some Korean artists at Jeju Airport
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Spotted some Korean artists at Jeju Airport

5 REASONS TO VISIT JEJU ISLAND

1. The whole island of Jeju is listed among the New 7 Wonders Of Nature, mainly featuring Mount Hallasan, the tallest mountain and a dormant volcano, in South Korea. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to visit the place because of the unfavorable weather during my 4 day stay in the island.

Quickfact #3: There are 4 out 7 in  ‘New 7 Wonders of Nature ‘ located in Asia. This includes Underground river of the Philippines, Komodo National Park of Indonesia, Ha Long Bay of Vietnam and Jeju Island of South Korea.

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2. Aside from Hallasan, their volcanoes and lava tubes are also listed in the World’s Natural Heritage by UNESCO.

Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, a product of volcanic eruption years ago, features a crater on top of the peak. This has now become one of the main attractions in the island. Best time to visit, according to the locals, is during the sunrise.

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Jusangjeolli Cliffs, is another product of volcanic eruption. These hexagonal rock column was formed when the lava from Hallasan Mountain erupted into the sea of Jungmun.

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Manjanggul Cave is where the impressive lava tubes are found. It served as a conduit to flowing magma. I have skipped this one and I don’t know why. Haha!

3. Their peculiar amusement parks and museums are also worth the visit.  

Love Land, is one unique park in Jeju. The place has displayed sculptures which are mainly based on sexuality and eroticism.

img_7577img_7580img_7602DCIM100GOPROGOPR6659.Jeju Folk Village Museum: The famous Korean TV series, Jewel in the Palace, was shot in this place.  This museum allows the tourists an opportunity to experience and learn about the ancient culture of Jeju Island.

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Teddy Bear Museum, is another place featured in Korean TV series. I think it is the ‘Princess Hours’. You can also visit the Maze Land, the longest maze stone in the world. (I skipped these two places)

4. Beach hopping (for the beach lovers) is another thing you can enjoy in the island.

I think Jeju has several beaches scattered around, although I didn’t get to see that much. In fact, I had only seen one in Udo. The weather was cold then, even raining at some point, so I didn’t take a dip but the whole place was picturesque and really worth checking out. 😉😉

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Udo Island
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Udo island

For the waterfall enthusiasts out there, some of the famed waterfalls in Jeju (mostly around Seogwipo), is also a must see.

Jeongbang Falls, my very first stop in the island, is very unique in itself because it is the only waterfalls in Asia that falls directly into the ocean.

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Cheonjiyeon Falls is located near Jeongbang Falls. They say Cheonjiyeon means a “Sky connected to the Land”.

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Cheonjeyeon Falls, not to be confused with Cheonjiyeon Falls (the 2nd falls I mentioned above), is a 3-part waterfall. They are located within a walking distance from one another. The locals say Cheonjeyeon means, “The Pond of God”.

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1st Waterfall
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Path to the  2nd Waterfalls
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2nd Waterfalls
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Path to the 3rd Waterfalls
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The Last Waterfalls

5. The LOCALS!

It was during my stay in one of the guesthouses (near Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak) I booked through Agoda when I came across a local owner who knew how to speak tagalog. My room included a free breakfast but my host, my kind and affable host, cooked some korean dishes for dinner and offered it for free. 😁😁

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Name of the Hostel, Address and Contact Number
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Address
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The owner of the hostel (In full red shirt) and his brother.

and our dinner……

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P.S.
The free dinner was superb. 😄😄

And then I met one fellow traveler named Daniel (Korean, as well) who tagged me along his trip to the canola flower field. He even offered to drop me at the airport for free.

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Take Note: Flower picking is not allowed! hahaha

One of the starbucks’ baristas gave me a free coffee seed 🙂

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Understanding Jeju’s Bus System

Bus system in Jeju island is very organized. You just need to fully understand the route each buses ply to to save a lot of time and prevent spending huge amount of money by taking a taxi.  FREE Tour Maps and Jeju Maps are available in the airport. Just grab a copy.

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Bus Sytem Part1
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Bus System Part2

Point of Interests

It is crucial and very helpful if you will try to analyze their bus system first. You can use it as your guide in organizing the flow of your tour in the island. It will even help you cut your budget and fully utilize the time you have. Back then, I had a hard time planning my own itinerary because information on the internet are very limited and not fully detailed. So, here are some of the info that may come in handy.

Day 1: Seogwipo area

1.Jeongbang Waterfalls
Transportation:
Airport Limosine 600 (Green Route): Get off at Paradise Hotel
Jungmun Express 780 (Light Blue Route): Get off at Dongmun Rotary
Namjo-ro 730 (Light Brown Route): Get off at Dongmun Rotary
Iljuro Eastern Line  701 (Red Route): Get off at Dongmun Rotary
**Taxi from my hotel: 2,800KRW
Operating Hours 
08:30-18:00
Admission Fees 
Adults 2,000 won / Group 1,600 won
Children 1,000 won / Group 600 won
** Groups: 10 people or more

2. Cheonjiyeon Falls
Transportation:
**Taxi from Jeongbang Waterfalls : 6,000KRW
Operating Hours 
Sunrise-22:00 (Last admission at 21:10)
Admission Fees 
Individual: Adults 2,000 won/ Children 1,000 won
Groups: Adults 1,600 won/ Children 600 won
** Group: 10 or more people
* Free: Children ages 6 and under, Seniors (ages 65 and older)

3. Yackcheonsa Temple
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Transportation:
Airport Limosine 600 (Green Route): Get off at Yackcheonsa Temple
Operating Hours 
24 hours??
Admission Fees 
Free

4. Jusangjeolli Cliffs
Transportation:
Airport Limosine 600 (Green Route): Get off at Jeju ICC
Operating Hours 
Sunrise to Sunset
Admission Fees 
Individuals – Adults 2,000 won / Teenagers & Children 1,000 won
Groups – Adults 1,600 won / Teenagers & Children 600 won
** Group: 10 or more people
* Free admission for children (below 6 years old), seniors (ages 65 and above) and people with disabilities (including 1 companion for level 1-3).

5. Cheonjeyeon Falls
Transportation:
Airport Limosine 600 (Green Route): Get off at Jungmun Resort Entrance
Operating Hours 
08:00-18:00
Admission Fees 
Individual: Adults 2,500 won / Teenagers & Children 1,350 won
Group: Adults 2,050 won / Teenagers & Children 850 won
* Free for Children (ages 6 or younger), Seniors (ages 65 or more), People with disabilities (must accompanied by one guide for people with disability (level 1-3), etc.
* Group: 10 or more people.
* Children: ages 7-12 / Teenagers: ages 13-24

6. Teddy bear Museum
Transportation:
Airport Limosine 600 (Green Route): Get off at Jungmun Resort Entrance
Operating Hours 
09:00-19:00
Summer Peak Season 09:00-20:00
* Last admission is one hour before closing.
Admission Fees 
Individuals: Adults 10,000 won / Teens 9,000 won / Children 8,000 won
Groups: Adults 8,000 won / Teens 7,000 won / Children 6,000 won
Seniors & People with disabilities: Individuals 8,000 won / Groups 6,000 won
* Group: 20 or more people
(Prior consultation required for school visits)
* Infants (under 36 months) may enter free of charge.
(Up to 2 infants per 1 accompanying guardian)
* For all special discounts, proof of ID required.

Day 2: Pyoseo + Seongsan Area

1.Jeju Folk Village
Transportation: from Seogwipo area
Ilju-ro Eastern Line 701 (Red Route): Get off at Pyoseon
*from Pyoseon bus stop take a taxi going to Jeju Folk Village for only 2,800KRW
*or ask the locals for interchange bus going to jeju folk village (sorry I forgot, but the fare is 1,300KRW)
Operating Hours 
October – February 08:30 – 17:00
March 08:30 – 17:30
April – July 15th 08:30 – 18:00
July 16th – August 08:30 – 18:30
September 08:30 – 18:00
Admission Fees 
Individuals:
Adults 10,000 won / Seniors 8,000 won / Teenagers 7,000 won / Children 6,000 won

Groups:
Adults 8,000 won / Seniors 6,000 won / Teenagers 4,500 won / Children 4,000 won
Men of national merits and People with disabilities:

Adults 7,000 won / Seniors 5,600 won / Teenagers 4,900 won / Children 4,200 won

* Adults (ages 19 and above), Seniors (ages 65 and above), Teenagers (middle to high school students), Children (ages 4 to elementary school students)
* For seniors and men or national merits, presentation of related-documents is required.

2.Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak
Transportation: from Pyoseon
Ilju-ro Eastern Line 701 (Red Route): Get off at Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak Entrance
Operating Hours 
1 hour before sunrise till sunset
Admission Fees 
Individuals: Adults 2,000 won / Teenagers & Children 1,000 won
Groups: Adults 1,600 won / Teenagers & Children 800 won
* Groups of 10 people or more
* Adults (ages 25-64) / Teenagers (ages 13-24) / Children (ages 7-12)

**for this part you can choose if you want to visit Udo Island  or go to Manjanggul Cave and Maze Park due to time constraint. Manjanggul Cave and Maze Park are close to each other. I chose to go to Udo Island because of the canola flower field within the area but I didn’t know it was the harvesting season already. So with that, and an unfavorable weather condition, I think I made the wrong move. HAHA**

3. Udo Island 
Transportation: from Seongsan
take a taxi or just walk going to Seongsan Port
Ferry Fare 
5,500KRW (roundtrip)
Bus Tour (for 2 hours)
5,000KRW

4.Manjanggul Cave
Transportation: from Seongsan
Ilju-ro Eastern Line 701 (Red Route): Get off at Manjanggul Cave Entrance
Operating Hours 
November-January 09:00-17:30
February-March / October 09:00-18:00
April-May 09:00-18:30
June-September 09:00-19:00
Admission Fees 
Individual: Adults 2,000 won / Teenagers & Children: 1,000 won
Group: Adults 1,600 won / Teenagers & Children: 800 won
※ Group: 10 or more people
※ Children: Ages 7–12, Teenagers: Ages 13-24, Adult: Ages 25-64
※ Free admission (with proof of identification): Children under age 7, seniors ages 65 and above, person with disability and one companion (levels 1-3), person with disability (levels 4-6)

5. Gimnyeong Maze Park
Transportation: from Seongsan
Ilju-ro Eastern Line 701 (Red Route): Get off at Gimnyeong
Operating Hours 
General operating hours: 08:30-18:30
Spring (March-June) 08:30-18:00
Summer (July-August) 08:30-19:00 (nighttime opening: until 22:00)
Autumn (September-November) 08:30-18:00
Winter (December-February) 08:30-17:30
※ Last admission at 18:00.
Admission Fees 
[Individuals]
Adults 3,300 won / Youths (ages 13-18) 2,200 won / Children (ages 6 and up) 1,100 won / Seniors (ages 65 and up) 2,200 won
[Groups]Adults 2,800 won / Youths (ages 13-18) 2,000 won / Children (ages 6 and up) 1,000 won / Seniors (ages 65 and up) 2,000 won
※ Groups of 20 people and more

Day 3: Yellow Canola Flower Field + Love Land + Rest/Coffee Day

1. Yellow Canola Flower Field (last stop before leaving Seongsan)
Transportation: from Seongsan
**Taxi (within the area but not walking distance)
Operating Hours 
Sunrise to Sunset
Admission Fees 
1,000KRW

2. Loveland
Transportation: from Seongsan
Ilju-ro Eastern Line 701 (Red Route): Get off at Jeju Intercity Bus terminal
**before going to Loveland, I dropped off my bags at the hotel near the area
*at Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal take a 1100-ro or Bus 740 (Pink Route) and Get off at Jeju Museum of Art
Operating Hours 
09:00 – 24:00 (Last admission: 23:00)
Admission Fees 
* Visitors must be 20 years of age or older to use the facilities

Adults 9,000 won / Group 8,000 won
Visitors aged 65 or older, the handicapped 8,000 won / Group 7,000 won

Day 4: Bye Jeju Island 😦

** You have to allot a whole day if you want to visit Mt. Hallasan National Park. Admission is free. Click here for more info** 

SOURCE: My experience and VisitKorea.

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Matcha green tea ice cream on an icy cold weather!

Expenses

MNL -HK- MNL Ticket (via cebupacific): 2,300PhP
HK – Jeju – HK  Ticket (via HK Express): 5,700PhP
3 Days Hotel accommodation: 2,600PhP
Food/Transpo/Excursions: 6,200PhP

Total: 16,800php  (+/-) without PH airport travel tax (1,620PhP)

49PhP= 1USD= 1160KrW (December 3,2016)

Author’s Note

  • Always bring your passport (it will serve as your I.D)
  • Check the weather before visiting the Island!!! (could not stress this enough)
  • Bring adaptor or check the type of South Korean plug here
  • Make sure to have enough Korean Won. Money changers are only located at the Airport. Stores and restaurants do not accept USD.
  • Riding a taxi is very expensive.
  • There are a lot of cheap hostels in Jeju Island and often times they offer FREE breakfast. (You just have to cook/prepare your own meal)
  • FOOD is EVERYWHERE! HAHAHA
  • ENJOY JEJU ISLAND 🙂
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Thank you and see you soon, Jeju!
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