It was a cool spring season in late April when we landed in Jeju. First time setting a foot anywhere in Korea, I did not know what I’d expect to find in Jeju. My knowledge about Korea is all about its makeup brands, tall good-looking oppas I always see in those addictive k-dramas and songs from Big Bang that my sister just introduced to me on the train from the airport.
Okay, so far I was quite impressed in all 3 areas:
- I already saw plenty of makeup brands in the airport that I wanted to get my hands on!
- I already saw one cute Korean guy on the train; standing tall with sharp suit and his bangs sweetly sweeping his forehead..
- Yes, these Big Bang songs were pretty catchy… *puts on repeats*
Ah Korea.. what do you have in store for me next?
Throughout our 5 days in Jeju, I found myself in awe, enjoying every minute of it.
Jeju is the perfect mixture where the city girl in me could shop til she drops, and my nature-lover side was equally fascinated its the amazing scenery and rich cultures. Above all, my tummy was definitely a happy one!
Although we found it hard sometimes to communicate with the locals, they were always nice and friendly. During our first dinner, we spent 15 minutes using google translate and pointing uselessly at words we did not know in the menu. But it was a delicious BBQ meal, and the owner of the shop graciously helped us in cooking the meat!
It’s hard to go wrong when it comes to food in Korea. We always had a good meal everywhere we went…
A large city by the seaside, Seogwipo was a good 1 hour+ car ride from where we stayed. Settled on a rocky volcanic coastline, it was a popular tourist attraction with many things to offer. When we came, we were greeted by this amazing scenery…
And we decided to try going for a submarine tour, which apparently is on Guinness Book of Records for being the longest tour submarine attraction without accident!
Thanks Seogwipo Submarine for that seal of safety and confidence!
Side note: I took this picture not just to show the submarine, but also because the guard was quite dreamy. But he turned his back on me!
AH I’M HEARTBROKEN…
(I’ve been watching too much drama)
innisfree Jeju House
Still located in Seogwipo, this is a place you have to visit if you love innisfree! Although the highlight is not innisfree per se, it’s the cafe located inside! Look at how cute and pretty the food here is!
I can’t bring myself to eat… and we made sure we took plenty of pictures beforehand.
Also, around the house, there are these tea plantation that’s soothing and too pretty not to take pictures in!
Interesting note: The shop here only sells their skincare products.
I’d still be the first one to admit that I bought a lot of stuffs here! Take all my money innisfree!
Possibly the highlight of Jeju, we took the hike up to on top of Seongsan Ilchulbong (called the Sunrise Peak) to enjoy the full scenery from above!
The hike up was exhausting but the view is well worth it.
If you don’t drive there, I would suggest renting a car with a driver for the whole day to take you to wherever you want to go, especially if you’re looking at nailing down a few spots in a day. We tried taking a cab before, but it ended up to be more expensive rather than if you just get a car for the whole day. We were quite lucky to come across a nice old uncle (ahjussi) to take us around, although it was hard to communicate! However, all you need is a map, and a finger to just point!
When you come down after the hike, you would find these small hills covered with flowers!
This wasn’t very high on our list, but our ahjussi (our taxi uncle) recommended this for us to check out. We still had some time in the evening so we decided to go indeed! Made up of 4 different mazes from easiest to the hardest, this is something fun to do!
I saw a lot of couples in here. And I’m thinking, wow, maybe it’s a good first date spot for guys to showcase their excellent navigational skills and protect the girls from being lost!
I see your intention there, highly hormonal teenage Korean boys!
After taking a fun walk around the maze, it ended our full day in Jeju and we were ready to eat more good food afterwards.
We also had the chance to visit some traditional Jeju houses – which is an attraction in itself. We were told that Jeju women had to walk miles every day to and from their house to fetch clean water while carrying this heavy pot over their shoulder! Not only that, they still looked after their children, cooked meals for the family, cleaned the house and did everything while the men were useless, watching tv or drinking all day long.
You’re amazing Jeju women!
To this day, you can still find a lot of female divers who are already in their 60s or even older!
What do you do with your life, Tina?
Hats off to you Jeju women!
And of course, I had to mention the most iconic attraction of Jeju – Hallasan. It’s a shield volcano on Jeju Island, and also is the highest mountain in South Korea! People would hike up the mountain and were told that the view would be phenomenal.
We planned to hike there one morning, and we woke up very early to make sure it wouldn’t be hot as we made our climb. The climb itself would take 2 hours! And all in all, it was about 10km back and forth (and it was one of the easiest routes!)
As we woke up that day, the weather seemed very cloudy, and as we were on the taxi, it started pouring and raining cats and dogs! And by the time we almost reached, it became clear that the God of Hallasan didn’t want us to do our hike!
Depressed, we had to make a u-turn and went to our hotel to….. continue our sleep because it was too early to go anywhere else.
Hallasan 1 – Us 0
Fine, we’d settle this debt next time! I would climb you one day for sure!
Thank you for your hospitality Jeju!
(Sadly, I didn’t see any more good looking oppas for the rest of the trip!)
Tina, you *really* need to sort out your priorities.