Find out how to Spend 4 Days Travelling Solo in Jeju Island, South Korea
I spent a number of days travelling solo on Jeju Island in South Korea. I rented a automobile, explored the seashores, visited temples, ate some nice meals and customarily simply had a stunning time doing precisely as I happy. Right here’s what you possibly can count on if you wish to do the identical…
It was December, I used to be highway tripping the coast of Jeju Island in my rented KIA Morning. The sat nav beeped manically to alert me to each upcoming velocity bump, my abdomen was stuffed with cake on cake, and I used to be pumped to climb Mount Hallasan the subsequent day. As the best spot on Jeju and a UNESCO web site, it was the second purpose for my journey.
The primary, was that I’d wished to drive all the way in which round an island. I’ve at all times liked the sensation of being on the sting of the world. Realizing that once I stand on that shoreline to look out, all there may be for miles and miles is sea till my eyes metaphorically meet with another person searching, on one other coast, far, distant.
And so, after researching how I’d spend my week in South Korea, I made a decision to dedicate half of it to driving round Jeju Island, off the nation’s south coast. The concept I might full the round drive in a number of days glad my want for a way of completion. At simply 45 miles east to west and 25 miles north to south it will be a mini journey not certainly one of my many journey pals had completed.
I deliberate to climb Mount Hallasan, calm down on the seashores, and indulge within the underrated, as then unknown Korean delicacies.
Seems, I’d fail on all accounts.
Driving round Jeju Island
I wasn’t allowed to choose the automobile up a minute earlier than my booked time. Cue me sat at AJ Vehicles, with the automobile simply metres in entrance of me, and the keys behind the counter till useless on 12. After months of flying out and in of giant airports, I hadn’t counted for the mere minutes it’d take me to exit Jeju Worldwide Airport and be able to drive.
No downside, I might examine the map. Areas on Jeju Island are mapped by cellphone quantity – it’s the one method you possibly can programme them within the Korean sat nav. Until, after all, you possibly can communicate, write and perceive Korean whilst you’re driving alongside.
“Do you perceive how you can use it,” requested the involved attendant as I fiddled with the sat nav as soon as I used to be lastly within the automobile.
I didn’t, however I used to be desperate to set off, having embarrassed myself spending at the least 10 minutes making an attempt to begin the automobile earlier than I known as them over to indicate me what turned out to be a easy ‘begin’ button.
I instructed myself I’d work the sat nav out later. ‘Later’ turned out to be day 3 of my four-day journey.
Google Maps doesn’t work in South Korea you see. They haven’t granted them their map information and so you utilize ‘Naver’ – which I hadn’t bought together with strolling the streets of Seoul, by no means thoughts driving the roads of Jeju.
However, with a tough route plotted on the map, some cellphone numbers written out, I used to be able to go.
READ MORE: My Full Information to Highway Tripping on Jeju Island is right here
Gwakji Seashore and Aewol
My first cease was Gwakji Seashore. God it felt good to be by the ocean and out within the open after 4 days in Seoul. The foaming waves lapped on the black stones that I used to be at the moment stepping over. I ran alongside the sand, shocking myself with the sudden enhance of vitality the solar and the seashore introduced me.
After Seoul public transport, the liberty of my very own automobile was invigorating.
I left for the small fishing village of Aewol. Parking up within the tiny automobile park I handed over a number of South Korean Gained to a girl who might or might not have been an official parking steward. The actual fact I didn’t pay for parking anyplace else on the island might recommend the latter.
Aewol Seashore space was cafe after cafe. A sheltered cove within the centre of the village had a string of octopus carcasses drying out within the solar, whereas youngsters paddled close by. Korean day trippers wandered the coastal path whereas all I might consider was how hungry I used to be, having skipped breakfast.
Following the upper view, as I had nothing else to information my method, I ended up on the well-known Montsant Cafe – run by Okay-pop star G-Dragon (GD). This was my launchpad into the sturdy cafe tradition of Jeju Island. I sat out the entrance with cake, whereas Korean fashionistas placed on a present for me, and all their Instagram followers too.
I had rather a lot to cowl in my 4 days, and if all of the villages had been as scenic and cute as this, rather a lot to see, too.
Driving in Jeju
The perfect factor about driving round an island is you could’t actually go unsuitable. You simply observe that coast. There’s the enjoyment of exploring a brand new charming little highway if you see it, and the enjoyable of making an attempt to get again out of it once more too.
Driving on Jeju is sluggish. There’s one highway that goes 70km/h however most are 50 and the indicators make you decelerate to 30 about half a mile earlier than a roundabout. That’s 30km/h not mph.
I felt protected.
I stayed on the Olleyo Resort that night time for lower than £20, full with a shower in my room overlooking the gardens. It was right here that I managed certainly one of my few correct meals of the Jeju journey, Heuk Dwaeji Gui (black pork BBQ) – with all the edges as historically served in South Korea.
I bathed and went to mattress. Tomorrow was for Mount Hallasan, and I wished to be rested.
READ MORE: The Greatest Locations to Keep on Jeju Island
I woke as much as rain.
Mount Hallasan is a dormant crater proper within the centre of Jeju island, with a lake on high. It’s a UNESCO World Pure Heritage Website and a Biosphere Reserve, surrounded by one other 368 volcanoes, and apparently it’s an unbelievable sight.
I say ‘apparently’ as a result of I didn’t really make it up there.
I might cite many excuses, all legitimate: it was raining, I hadn’t correctly ready, I’d be alone, I didn’t have the proper tools, would there even be a view on this climate?
Basically, one thing simply didn’t really feel proper, and I selected to hearken to my intestine feeling.
As an alternative, I consoled myself with a misty view of Mount Hallasan from the 360 diploma window of the 38-metre statement tower on the Yeomiji Botanical Backyard.
I explored the spectacular Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls as an alternative – three totally different waterfalls, every one greater and higher than the final.
The epic bridge led over to the Jungnum Advanced – a vacationer space crammed with museums on every part from teddy bears to Okay-pop to a type of Imagine it or Not Museums. It was crammed with the novelty issue I’d come to study the typical Korean loves a lot.
I drove again to the coast, in quest of some lunch. I tried to get the Korean favorite of abalone and porridge – sea snails. I wasn’t totally dedicated to my order within the first place, and when two specialist eating places instructed me they’d none left, I used to be relieved to surrender. Tangerine and carrot cake it was then. Tangerines are in season in Jeju in December, you possibly can’t fail to overlook the fields of them rising from the roadside.
That night time I used to be staying in Seogwipo, the second metropolis on the island after Jeju Metropolis.
Residence to the Chilsimni Meals Avenue, I used to be excited to get caught into some native meals. Past a bibimbap I used to be stumped on what to order, nonetheless. I’d finished the Korean hen and chips in Seoul, and seeing as I used to be on the seashore, seafood appeared proper.
As I wandered I noticed a woman come out of a restaurant with a two pronger grabber in hand. She stabbed with precision on the large tank of dwell eel exterior. I ended in my tracks as she held it up victorious – eel nonetheless squirming – able to take inside for her hungry prospects.
Recent, however not for me.
The Haenyeo girls
The subsequent day I used to be up and out prepared for the japanese level of my anti-clockwise Jeju highway journey. This was the place I’d discover a few of the most iconic locals on all of Jeju: the Haenyeo girls divers.
Every single day the Haenyeo girls divers dive for mollusks, seaweed, and different sea life from the ocean. The ladies are typically 60+ and dive with out tanks to reap the marine delicacies from beneath.
Some of the fashionable spots for it’s across the Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, aka Dawn Peak. A 182-metre excessive tuff cone, with a bowl like crater. One other iconic factor to do on Jeju, however one other factor I didn’t – this time it was closed because of the excessive winds.
I stayed close by although, with a view from my ground to ceiling window, from my mattress. With all of the rain exterior it appeared the proper strategy to see it.
Highway journey spherical Jeju Island
The subsequent morning the rain had cleared, so I headed for the seashores on the north coast. Cake for breakfast once more, because the cake store was the one place open.
Cruising that unbelievable shoreline round Woljeongri Seashore I simply felt so free. It was December: the waves had been excessive, the skies dramatic and I knew we had been feeling the calm after the storm, and earlier than the subsequent one. I liked the drama, protected from the heat of my automobile.
There was one final name I wished to make, to the Bukchon Dol Hareubang Park. Dol Hareubangs are a powerful function and power in Jeju, as you’ll see across the island. The statues are recognized for his or her good luck and Koreans place them close to graves to calm the spirits.
I wandered round, took a number of pics, and marvelled at one more world I knew nothing about.
Jeju Island had been a journey. One I’d admittedly gone into with religion and minimal planning, however regardless of how a lot planning you do, you possibly can’t management the climate.
4 days in Jeju solo
Again within the automobile to the airport, I believed in regards to the sights I’d seen during the last 4 days in Jeju. I hadn’t seen a western vacationer, and barely spoke to anybody. The highway journey had been reflective, quiet but simply what I wanted as a peaceful journey away from regular life. I’ll not have eaten dwell eel, or climbed Hallasan, and even the Dawn Peak, however I’d had my very own journey unmarred by the affect of these earlier than me, on my phrases, and eaten some rattling positive desserts (for breakfast and dinner) alongside the way in which.