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The mystical Jeju Island

This pretty volcanic island situated at the south of Korea is a holiday destination not to be missed. I visited the island twice, once in summer and once in winter. Both experiences were different and unforgettable. If you are thinking of visiting the island, it would be more convenient to rent a car with a GPS (left-hand drive and international drivers license is needed). It is really easy to drive in Jeju – the road signs are in both Korean and English and to get to the destination, all you need to do is to key in the telephone number of that place into your GPS. However, the locals there speak very minimal English but so far I had not much difficulty getting by except once where I had to draw a picture of a fish and chicken in the restaurant because the waitress couldn’t understand English.

One thing I love about Jeju is the fresh produce. Remember to try the tangerines, persimmons and abalone! For accommodations, I would recommend Tae Gong Gak Inn. The location is good, rooms are spacious and the Inn owner is extremely friendly and helpful. She speaks good English too. The breakfast spread is good and the owner grows her own organic tangerines.

A good amount of time to spend in Jeju would be at least three days 2 nights.  If you are into hiking, there are a few mountains to conquer so be prepared to stay for a longer period. There are lots of attractions in Jeju Island but not all of them are worth visiting especially the museums. I’ll be sharing photos of my trip both during summer and winter and hopefully it will spark your interest to visit Jeju this year!

Jeongbang Waterfall
Verdict: A must visit
This 23m tall waterfall is the only place in Jeju where the water cascades straight into the ocean. During the summer, it is a popular place for the locals to come for a dip. You will also find the famous Jeju women divers selling freshly caught seafood on the rocks around the waterfall.

Verdict: A must visit
This place is so serene. The water is blue and crystal clear. The most interesting thing is that there are baby sharks swimming in the waters. You can rent a glass canoe and paddle out along the calm water and see the baby sharks and fish swimming beneath you.

Pyoseon beach
Verdict: Visit during summer only
The first time I visited this beach during summer, it was like a haven for the locals. This crescent shaped beach turns into a lake during high tide and dries again during low tide. The sand is made up of shell powder which feels extremely fine and soft when you sink your feet into it.

Verdict: Worth a visit
This place is a famous spot for Korean dramas and it gained popularity in the TV drama “Boys over flowers”. So if you are into Korean dramas then this is the place for you. There are also some local hawkers selling barbecue cuttlefish. I’m not a fan of cuttlefish so can’t say much about it.

Seongsan Ilchulbong
Verdict: A must visit
Your journey to Jeju ain’t complete till you have conquered this sunrise peak. This crater was formed when an underwater volcano erupted. It looks so much better during summer but it’s less crowded during winter. You can also see Udo Island from this place.

Maze land
Verdict: Not worth a visit unless you enjoy getting lost in mazes.
It’s the world’s largest maze which comprises of four different mazes. We spent about an hour there trying to find our way out (but we cheated a little). Not really my kind of fun.

Verdict: A must visit
This crater is not as popular as Seongsan Ilchulbong but it is vast and filled with diverse vegetation. I didn’t visit it during summer but it looks pretty during winter and there were even snow on the ground.

Alive Museum
Verdict: Worth a visit
Apparently Alive Museum was created by the same owners of Trick-Eye Museum and it’s newer but I’m not sure if it is better. I had lots of fun in there taking weird illusionist photos and it opens till late at night so you don’t have to waste your daylight indoors.

Cheonjiyeon Waterfall
Verdict: Visit only at night
This waterfall doesn’t look spectacular during the day. It looks better at night due to the lighting which makes it a romantic spot for lovers.

Verdict: A must visit
This rock standing out in the sea is named for its loneliness and is another popular spot for Korean dramas. I guess it’s because this dramatic place looks like the perfect place for wailing or some treacherous scene.

Jungmun Daepo Haean Columnar-Jointed Lava
Verdict: A must visit
This is one of my favourite sites in Jeju. It reminded me of the Giant’s Causeway in Belfast. From the viewing point you can have a good view of the waves hitting the volcanic columns. This natural wonder is one not to be missed.

Cheonjeyeon Waterfall
Verdict: A must visit
There are three waterfalls there. The second waterfall is the largest waterfall in Jeju. The first and third waterfalls are small and not really worth the visit. This was also the place where I dropped my phone into the lake while taking a photograph and I actually plunged into the freezing cold waters during winter in an attempt to retrieve my phone – classic me.

Glass Castle
Verdict: Not worth the visit
It’s a theme park and museum decorated with glass. However, it’s really boring and the glass pieces doesn’t even look that nice. It is not worth the time and money to visit.

Samyang Black Sand Beach
Verdict: Worth a visit if you haven’t been to a black sand beach before
There is nothing really spectacular about this beach, except for the fact that the sand is black. Most of the locals visit the beach to sand bathe due to the high mineral content of the sand which is supposedly good for health.

Verdict: Not worth the visit
Every local will suggest that you visit this lava cave. It’s actually the largest lava cave in the world that was created about 300,000 years ago. However, you have to walk at least 1km in to see the stalactites and it’s really dark there. I just wasn’t very impressed by it.

Verdict: Not worth the visit
This place is the mysterious birth of Jeju however there is nothing much to see there.

Iho Taewoo Beach
Verdict: Not worth the visit
The landmark of this beach is the horse shaped lighthouse – a symbol of Jeju. The beach is ordinary but you will see plenty of sea sports happening there.

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Food lover, food blogger, yoga addict

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