Monday, August 20, 2012

Exploring Jeju Island

Jeju-do was our latest travel conquest this year. My husband and I would usually try to squeeze in some traveling during the short vacations our schedules would allow. Usually, we would spend a weekend or a few days out of town for summer or winter breaks. To date, Jeju island is the farthest we've been to within Korea as this takes one plane ride from Seoul.

I have always wanted to go to Jeju Island from the time I learned about it. Ideally, the place is for honeymooners given the climate and scenery it offers. When we got married, we were not given the luxury of time to spend our honeymoon anywhere special because we had to tour my family and friends from the Philippines who came to visit the wedding. Somehow, life events just got in the way right after and we just forgot about it, or opted to visit the Philippines instead if we could afford longer vacations. This year is our third year being married so husband agreed (after some serious prodding from me!) to give it a go.

We took the earliest morning flight from Seoul Gimpo airport. Thankfully, we were blessed with fair weather on the flight out.

Upon arrival we proceeded to our car rental. Car rental prices vary depending on car model and travel season. There are a bunch of travel agencies to choose from online offering hotel/car/plane packages (also combinations of 2 are available) which are also great deals. Bottomline is, all prices depend on the season whether you choose to get agency services or not. Summer is obviously the peak and they drop from fall to winter seasons. Cars already include GPS navigation. I suggest to bring your own navigation if you have so as not to waste time exploring a new gadget while on new territory.

Jeju 2012
Jeju's iconic palm trees
(Jungmun Resort Complex)
We had a planned itinerary for each day however, the weather wasn't too cooperative when we arrived. Initially, we intended to explore the northern Jeju city and the Western coasts on the first day. With the help of the officer from the Tourist Information Office in Yongdu-am, she provided us suggestions of places to visit should the rain wouldn't stop the rest of the day. So we ended up in Seogwipo/Jungmun area in the south which we originally intended for the second day. Fortunately, it was quite sunny down there but still too windy for some lazy stroll by the beach and the tides were soaring that most people like us skipped the beaches and chose to tour various themed museums. Thankfully, the rain had stopped around early afternoon. We were almost exhausted by the time we drove back to our hotel in Jeju City but that didn't stop us to try the famous 'black pig' samgyeopsal.

Overall, there are a million and one ways to enjoy the island. We spent three days and two nights here but time is too short to explore every attraction it has to offer. We were not faithful to our itinerary yet we enjoyed the luxury of driving around in traffic-free scenic roads, stopping by wherever and whenever for a photo-op, being in awe of nature, and fill our curiosity with each theme park or museum we had a chance to visit.

Here's a slideshow of some places we visited on our first and second days. Will write more about Jeju in the coming posts.

List of Places: (in order of appearance)

Chunjeoyon Falls
Saeseom Bird Island
Teddy Bear Museum
Sooinguk Theme Park
Gimnyeong Coast
Wind Power Complex
Gimnyeong Beach
Jungmun Beach
Jungmun Resort Complex
O'Sulluc Tea Museum


wendy said...

halu, april!

glad to see you update every now and then hehehe...

Chris Ra said...

I've always wanted to explore Jeju Island. I hope hubby and I can go there this summer. Thanks for this post.