Top 5 things to see on Jeju Island.

Jeju is the perfect weekend get away if you’re looking for a break from the main land. Just a 50 minute flight from Gimpo, return tickets can be bought for as little as 100,000 won.

I’ve just returned from my fifth trip to the island and have compiled my top 5 list of things to see on the island.

 

1. Seongsan Ilchulbong- Otherwise known as “Sunrise Peak”, this peak is located on the east side of the island. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is said to have risen about 100,000 years ago after a volcanic eruption.

The entry fee is a mere 2,000won.  The climb to the top depends on how fit you are. It generally takes about 40 minutes. It’s not that difficult and there are little look out points along the way.

The view from the top is spectacular. It is also recommended to do the sunrise here.

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At the bottom, you can take the steps down to the sea. You can get a boat ride around the coast for 10,000 won.

You can also see the Haenyeo here. Haenyeo are the diving women of Jeju. For many years, these women have dived into the ocean in search of clams, abalone or seaweed. They are a very unique part of the Jeju island. You may be lucky enough to see them out diving in other parts of the island but twice a day, they do a show at the bottom of Seongsan Ilchulbong.

 

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2. Hallasan– You cannot visit Jeju without visiting Hallasan. Hallasan is a vocano and the highest mountain in South Korea. It has five hiking trails of different lengths and which one you choose depends on your interest in hiking. My mum and I chose a super easy 1.2 km trail (off the Eorimok Trail) which was difficult enough but the view from the top was spectacular. wpid-20140926_145512_pano.jpg

 

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3. Waterfalls- Jeju is full of waterfalls. They are everywhere. I’ve visited a few and my favourite are probably Cheonjeyeon beside the Botanic Gardens. In this are you can see three waterfalls. It is a nice walk from one to another and you cross the Seonimgyo bridge as you go. This bridge has seven nymphs on the side.

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4. The Beach

Jeju during the summer season makes it worth visiting the beach. There are several around the island.  The one we liked best was Jungmun Saekdal beach. There are other things to see in that area so it is definately worth a few hours to visit.

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5. Yongduam and the coast road.

Just a few kilometres from the airport is an attraction calle dYongduam. It is a rock shaped like a Dragon Head. It is a nice thing to see (although it doesn’t exactly look like a dragon). Then hit the coast road for the next 8 kilometres to see the beautiful coast of Jeju. There are several things to do along the way.

 

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And a bonus………THE MYSTERY ROAD!!!!!!

Everyone loves a good mystery road. We found it on the drive around the coast ot maybe the drive on the way to sunrise peak. Anyway, we found it. There is a point in the road when you put your car in neutral and although the road looks to be a downhill, the car will mysteriously go uphill. WordPress wouldn’t let me upload it straight here so I uploaded to Facebook and here’s a link;

 

That’s all for now folks! Add your comments and questions below!!

 

 

 

 

 

Guam-Encouraging the anti-craic

Craic. It’s a great word. One that people don’t use enough. “What’s the craic?, Any craic? How’s the craic?”, all phrases you might hear an Irish person say.  But what exactly is “craic”? (pronounced “crack”) Well, for each it is different.  In Irish, craic is the word for fun.  So each person has their own version of what craic is.  For me, it’s a good music session where everyone seems to be having good craic and the session itself is good craic and the whole night turns out to be good old craic.  In Korea, a night where it’s 6am and you don’t know where the time went because you were having such craic is great craic. So you get the drift, to each their own.  Everyone has an individual idea of what great craic is.  

So let’s talk about “anti- craic”. This is a phrase that describes the opposite of craic.  Like anti fun.  Something where you stand there going “what’s going on here lads? No craic” That’s anti- craic.  I’d like to present a case study of anti craic as seen on Guam.  

Guam is an island full of resorts. These resorts have pools and restaurants and gyms and everything you can think of.  What they ultimately do is encourage you to spend all day hanging around the resort with just the people you travelled with, enjoying the facilities on offer.    There is only so long that one person can spend beside the pool or on the beach before one gets cabin fever.  It also encourages you to shy away from interacting with other people.   This is anti craic. Should you succeed in spending the day at the resort, you might want a few drinks at night.  Excellent, head down to the bar.  But be sure to go early enough because it closes at 12.30am, way past my vacation bed time.  Complete anti craic. Couple this with the fact that on a regular Friday night there are about 40 people in the bar.  For those 40 people there are not 1, not 2 but 3 security guards.  Not only have people spent the day avoiding one another but now they want to make sure we don’t somehow randomly start a fight with each other or heaven forbid order a drink past 12.30.  Anti-craic.

If you were brave enough to somehow venture outside the resort and head down to a bar, you are in for a big shock.  You should expect to be the only craic happening in that bar. Not only that but the 3 bouncers will I.D. you and ask you random questions like ” So you’re just passing through?” What was it that gave me away?  After a drink and 2 games of pool, you’re all done.  Back you go to the safety of the resort. Complete anti craic.

When I’m on vacation, there’s nothing I love more than to stay in bed longer than I usually would and enjoy a nice little lie in.  Forget it. If you stay in a resort, you must report for breakfast between 7 (it’s ridiculously early) o clock and 10am.  This is well and good if you have children and you’re all up anyway but it defeats the idea of having a lie in. Unless you want to skip the breakfast that you paid for and pay through the roof for the food in the cafe.    Anti craic.   

Then there’s getting around the island.  All of the touristy things are in the one place, more or less.  If you don’t have a car, you can use the trolley system.  Grand.  But if you have a car and you decide to explore the island be prepared to “explore”. Guam seems to have a problem with road signs.  And by problem, I mean they don’t exist.  You get a rather sketchy looking map with a load of road numbers on it and off you go.  ” Where are we?    Oh I don’t know somewhere along road number 3″. Excellent, I’ll spend the rest of my day driving along road number 3 trying to figure out either 1)  where on the map we actually are or 2) if anywhere on road number 3 actually looks like something I actually might somehow recognise. And if, like me, you like to go “for a spin”, don’t come to Guam.  The speed limit around the island is 35. Great for encouraging safety first but you are essentially taking your car for a walk and would probably end up going faster if you went in reverse.  Another classic example of anti craic. 

And to finish off my anti craic rant, let’s talk about the NYE party tonight.  It’s at the resort (surprise).  There’s dinner and later a band or a D.J. (nothing that’s too  much craic).  There will be a fireworks display at midnight and afterwards a party.  But only until 1.30am, that’s when it finishes and everyone will head home.  Or to the respective floor that their room is on.  That’s only 90 minutes after you ring in the New Year. Wow, such great craic……NOT… complete anti craic. 

I feel like my first luxury holiday will certainly be the last for the upcoming future as all roads in a resort lead to a town called anti craic. 

As ever, feel free to leave comments below and Happy New Year!