[KOREA] Jeju Travel Guide – Must Eat and Best Places to Visit

Best of Jeju Island – Must Try Food in Jeju and Best Places to Visit in Jeju, South Korea – 4 Days Itinerary Trip & Travel Guide by Myfunfoodiary

I always wanted to visit Jeju-do (제주도) since a long time ago, and finally, here we are, on the Island of the Gods. We’re extremely grateful and blessed for this trip, as Mr. Tony Fernandez, the CEO of Air Asia, gave me a surprise birthday gift on our trip to RedQ Head Office in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in May 2017. The fact that Jeju, as the Korea’s largest island, and the most popular beach destination in Korea, makes Jeju listed as the top honeymoon destination in Korea. That’s why we also decided to visit Jeju on our second trip to Korea this month. This time, we came during the autumn season, and spent 14 days in Korea, with a 5-days route in Busan, 4 days in Jeju (29 Oct – 1 Nov 2017), and spent the rest in Seoul. Even though it was very tough to get the transportation in Jeju, we had a wonderful moment on this island.

So, here’s the essential classic 4-days in Jeju, this includes travel itinerary on things to do in Jeju and what to eat in Jeju, with some of Jeju’s famous attractions you shouldn’t miss. I’ve included where to stay in Jeju, how to get to Jeju from Seoul/Busan, transportation in Jeju, shopping, admission tickets, directions, and some things you should try and buy which is only available in Jeju.

Where to stay in Jeju?

There are lots of options to stay in Jeju, and this varies from the guesthouse, motel, and hotel. You can look for them through agoda.com or look for a room via Airbnb.

FYI, Jeju island is very quiet, and most activities and shops close at 6-7pm. When the attractions closed at 6 pm, the streets are suddenly dark, since there’re no street lights, the city becomes like the one in Silent Hill game – if you know what I mean. Because of that, we recommend you to choose a place to stay around Yeon-dong at Jeju-si (Jeju city) because this area is more lively, and crowded than other places. And in this area, there are many shops selling clothes, accessories, Korean cosmetics, mini markets, mobile cases, restaurants, and coffee shops along the road.

We chose to stay at Champion Hotel, a 3-star hotel in Jeju Island. It was a standard room, but we’re happy because the room was clean, big enough, and comfortable, including with a standard breakfast every morning. And it only takes 10 minutes walk to the bus station. Price worthy!

Champion Hotel

751-8 Samdo 1(il)-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea

Phone: +82 64-751-8801

How to reach Jeju from Busan or Seoul or other cities in South Korea?

The most comfortable and fastest way to go to Jeju Island is by flight, and we recommend you to fly with Jeju Air as this is one of the cheapest flights to Jeju! I’m glad to know that they give 15kg of complimentary baggage per person and cabin bag up to 10kg!! Cool!! But, since Jeju Air is a budget airline in Korea, there’s no complimentary in-flight food. That’s why I bought Hanwoo Bulgogi Burger from Lotteria (8,700 Won set, equal to IDR 108K) at Jeju International Airport for lunch inside the airplane (on my trip from Jeju to Seoul), haha… However, they will give free water to passengers (on request). Nice!

Transportation in Jeju:

Initially, we wanted to rent a car again from Sixt Rent A Car and drive by ourselves in Jeju, just like when we drove in Thailand. Unfortunately, our International Driving License which issued in Indonesia cannot be used in South Korea (this includes the International Driving License issued in China & Taiwan), so we cannot rent a car! Hiks.. To make sure whether your driving license can be used in South Korea, you can check it out from this link.

We took a cab once to Jeju Loveland after we had lunch at Hwaro Hyang on Black Pork Street and the taxi driver offered us a round trip package by his cab for just 110.000,- won (for 8 hours day trip). It’s very expensive, and we didn’t want to spend that much. Besides, we’ve calculated that it’s impossible to visit 4-5 places in 8 hours, because we really want to enjoy the scenery, capture a lot of good moments, without any rush at all.

Overall, traveling around Jeju is much harder than in Busan and Seoul. We have to rely on public buses that are mostly available every 20-30 minutes (sometimes to 1 hour), or we can take a cab to move from one place to another, but of course, taking a taxi will cost a lot of money for us. That’s why we decided to travel and mobile around by bus and just walk to the famous sights in Jeju. It made us exhausted but on the other side, we can save more money, and of course, it’s healthier for us.

TIPS for Public Transportation in JEJU

Normal fare for public Bus: 1,250 Won/ride

Taxi based fare starts from: 2,800 Won

Payment acceptable in CASH or using T-Money

Day 1: Sunday, Oct 29, 2017

On arrival, we dropped our luggage first at the hotel and searched for dinner in the area closest to where we’re staying. That night, there was one local woman who took the initiative to help us, and she recommended us to try the 24 Hours Noodle Bar before we went to the famous Sisters Noodles in Jeju.

FYI, Noodles with meat (Gogi Guksu) is one of the popular local dishes that you should try on your trip to Jeju. What makes this noodle different from the other noodles? First, it’s because they make the soup from pork bones and cook it until the broth turns white, and this Jeju Guksu is only available in Jeju Island.

Dinner at 24 Hours Noodle Bar

This restaurant was quite crowded with locals, and I saw most of them eat Samgyetang and drink Soju. But because the weather in Jeju is way colder than in Busan (during the autumn season), and we froze that night, so we ordered two bowls of noodles with pork (7,000 Won per portion, equal to IDR 87.5K). We wanted to order something else, but the minimum order for this noodle was 2, which is why we had to order 2 portions of noodles at this restaurant.

At first, the noodles were not so special because the pork broth was tasteless. I found out that we must add seaweed to the soup to make it more flavorful to suit our preference, then the soup became more savory, and delicious. The pork slices were very tender, and best eaten with ssamjang (spicy sweet Korean dipping sauce). We finally finished it, yay!

TIPS for Culinary or Dining Out in KOREA

1. some restaurants in Korea (not only in Jeju) require every customer to at least order one dish (can’t be shared with each other) and sometimes, we have to order the same menu as well.

2. Banchan 반찬 (Korean side dishes) and mineral water is provided for FREE in all Korean restaurants

24 Hours Noodle Bar

Samdoil-dong, Jeju-si, South Korea

Day 2: Monday, Oct 30, 2017

Shopping: Jungang Shopping Mall

If you like hand cream, do not miss the one and only Jeju Dol Hareubang Hand Cream at The Face Shop in Jeju Island (5,000 Won, equal to IDR 62.5K). It comes in dol Hareubangs shaped that’s known as the symbol of Jeju Island. I bought the one that has a tangerine aroma, and it smells nice.

At Jeju International Airport, don’t forget to buy Jeju Hallabong Tea (20,000 Won, equal to IDR 250K) because Hallabong is a fruit grown only in Jeju island in South Korea. It’s filled with a very sweet citrus, Hallabong – rich in vitamin C, effective to recover and cold prevention, and also rich in anti-aging effects. I tried this Hallabong tea when we queued for dinner in front of Sisters Noodles Restaurant in Jeju. They served it hot because of the cold weather that night, and we immediately fell in love with the sweet and rich flavors of Jeju citrus, unlike other oranges.

TIPS for Choosing The Right Hallabong Jeju Tea

Apparently, there are two versions of Jeju Citrus drinks that we found at Jeju International Airport. Both of the packagings are very similar, which is why you need to choose and pay attention to the right one carefully.

The cheapest one costs 18,000 Won contains only Tangerine drink, comes in dark brown color, with a very fluid texture. The one that we bought was Jeju’s Specialty – Hallabong Citrus tea. It’s a bit pricey (20,000 Won), but it has a bright, nice yellow color and comes with a thick texture. High in vitamin C, and can be served hot or cold. A must buy when you’re in Jeju!

How to choose the right Jeju’s Hallabong Citrus tea:
1. look for the Jeju’s Hallabong fruit image on the top right side of the packaging,
2. choose for the packaging with a long Korean name on the front side of its packaging.

TIPS for Shopping in KOREA

Don’t forget to carry your passport wherever you go, and claim for a TAX Refund every time you spend at least 30,000 Won (per one bill) in most stores in Korea. Sometimes they will give you an Immediate Tax Refund (cut directly from the total amount, or they will give you an instant refund with cash directly in the store), for examples: Olive Young, Uniqlo, etc. But most stores will give you the Global Tax-Free Document that you need to fill-up and pass the documents (included with the bills) to the Refund Desk at the airport before you leave Korea.

제주 중앙지하상가 Jungang Underground Shopping Center

1425-3 Ildoil-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea

Phone: +82 64-755-0225

Lunch: Hwaro Hyang at Black Pork Street

As usual, we searched on the internet for Jeju’s local food that everyone should try in Jeju. It turns out that Black Pork is famous in Jeju which is made from Jeju Black Pig, a breed of domestic pig found on the Korean island of Jeju-do. The best way to taste the Black Pork is to visit Black Pork Street that is famous for their native black pork.

Among all the restaurants along this street, we decided to have lunch at Hwaro Hyang located on Black Pork Street. Not only because there are many good reviews about this restaurant from the Trip Advisor, but some of the local Koreans were also eating there. Thankfully, the menu had an English translation below each choice which was certainly helpful, and we decided to try SET MENU For 2 = 50,000 Won (equal to IDR 625K) as recommended by them.

Although the price is twice the price of regular pork meat, we were delighted with the food. For the Set Menu for 2, we got a portion of Grilled Black Pork Belly, Grilled Black Pork Neck Meat, Pork Cheek Meat, and Abalone. The guy helped us to grill the meat in the middle of our table, and from the first bite, we realized that the black pork meat was very juicy and chewier than the regular pork we used to eat in Jakarta. We’re even more satisfied because the guy returned to our table and served us with unlimited banchan, one serving of Kimchi Jjigae, and steamed egg that’s served in a stone pot, still boiling when it arrived at the table. It’s best to pair the meat with Cass Beer (one of the local Beer favorites, additional 4,000 Won – equal to IDR 50K) when eating Grilled BBQ Pork in Korea.

To enjoy BBQ Black Pork, we can mix the meat with paste, kimchi, garlic, bean sprouts, etc. and wrapped them with lettuce. It was indeed an unforgettable lunch for us, a perfect way to start our adventures in Jeju. It’s very expensive but where else can you taste Jeju’s specialty Black Pork if not in Jeju?

화로향 Hwaro Hyang Restaurant

27, Gwandeok-ro 15-gil, Jeju, Jeju Island

Phone: +82 64-724-4050

Attraction: Jeju Loveland

Of all the museums available in Jeju, we think that Jeju Loveland is one of the most fun to visit. This park is huge, and it’s mostly outdoor. There are lots of erotic sculptures in the outdoor area which are fun to pose with, ha-ha… We can’t stop laughing, seeing other visitors pose and hear them laugh out loud too. It was hilarious! At the indoor section, we can see the diorama exhibits showing some typical scenes of the Koreans love life, and there’s a gift shop that sells sex toys and fun stuff for married couples or honeymooners. Overall, it was a fun walk that took us about 2 hours, and if you are looking for a different experience, Jeju Loveland might be fun for you too! This park is for open-minded people, and for adults only.

Jeju Loveland 제주러브랜드

2894-72 1100 (Cheonbaek)-ro, Yeon-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea

Phone: +82 64-712-6988

Opening Hours: 09:00am – 12:00am

ENTRY FEE: 12,000 Won per person (equal to IDR 150K)

Dinner: Kimbap Cheonguk at Yeon-dong, Jeju si

From Jeju Loveland, we took a public bus (Bus No. 465) to downtown Jeju located on Yeon-dong street. I like this area so much because it’s crowded with young folks, and there are lots of interesting shops in this area. We stroll around, bought some bracelets, earrings, and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 mobile casing with Kakao Friends Theme before we finally eat something for dinner. At 9 pm, we decided to have dinner at 김밥 천국 Kimbap Cheonguk (located right next to Hollys Coffee) because this small cafe is one of the locals favorite, open for 24 hours, and they have a variety of Korean comfort foods ranging from Ramyeon, Kimbap, Fried Rice, etc. at affordable prices. The cold air outside made us craving for something warm, so we ordered Paigutang (Pork Short Ribs Soup served with rice, 6,000 Won – equal to IDR 75K) and Manduguk 만둣국 (Korean style Dumpling Soup, 5,500 Won – equal to IDR 68.7K) which is served with clear broth, and eggs. Both of them were very tasty and so comforting, perfect for this autumn season in Korea. Highly recommended!

Kimbap Cheonguk

273-1 Yeon-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea (next to Hollys Coffee and Paris Baquette)

Opening Hours: 24 hours

Day 3: Tuesday, Oct 31, 2017

Attraction: Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak – UNESCO World Heritage (성산일출봉)

Now I know why Jeju Island in South Korea is listed as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature of the world, an initiative led by the Swiss-based non-profit New7wonders Foundation. There are so many places to see the beauty of Jeju, but if you are looking for the best of Jeju, do not miss your visit to Seongsan Ilchulbong. Seongsan Ilchulbong is also called Sunrise Peak, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located 180m above sea level, erupted underwater in the ocean about 5,000 years ago. This is very rare, and from afar, the crater looks like a gigantic crown.

It was really tough and we’re so exhausted to climb up the hill, but after 30 minutes, we finally made it to the top and got to see a fantastic view from the peak. It was amazing and Seongsan Ilchulbong indeed one of the best scenic destinations in Korea that you shouldn’t miss on your trip to Jeju. No wonder that this place is also listed as number 1 things to do in Seogwipo, Jeju Island on Trip Advisor. Pssst, apparently, this crater often appears in Korean Drama as well. I will share more about Seongsan Ilchulbong in a separate post.

Since we arrived at lunch, we decided to have a quick lunch at McDonald’s on the corner of the street, near this area. We tried one of the Signature Burgers, which is a premium hand-crafted burger made with McDonald’s 60 years of expertise, Golden Egg Cheeseburger set with french fries and one soft drink (9,100 Won, equal to IDR 114K) and we loved it so much! It was so delicious, and the way they prepare it as if they knew that we’d take photos of it. We can see layers of ingredients clearly, and the flavors blend perfectly; the savory taste of freshly cooked egg, bacon, cheese, and seasoned with Texas BBQ Sauce, we want more!! After the climb, we went down and bought Hallabong Ice Cream (4,000 Won, equal to IDR 50K), served with Jeju’s specialty Hallabong Citrus, which is only available in Jeju. The flavor of sweet Hallabong citrus was so nice, sweet, and so refreshing! I highly recommend you to try both of them when you visit Seongsan Ilchulbong.

TIPS for Climbing Up Seongsan Ilchulbong

Make sure you bring along a jacket with you as the wind is quite strong (the wind was strong during my visit) and wear comfortable clothes and shoes to climb up the hill. If you’re lucky, you can watch the Old Women Divers performance between 13:00 and 15:00 on the left side of Ilchulbong.

Seongsan Ilchulbong 성산일출봉

104 Seongsan-ri, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo, Jeju Island, South Korea

Opening Hours: 07:00 – 19:00

Phone: +82 64-7106-6556

ENTRY FEE: 2,000 Won per person (equal to IDR 25K)

Attraction: Jeju Kimnyoung Maze Park

From Seongsan Ilchulbong, we took public bus number 201 to Manjanggul Cave, one of the finest lava tunnels in the world and this site is also listed as World Unesco Heritage. Unfortunately, we missed another bus that goes straight to Manjanggul, so we decided just to walk and climb the hill to Jeju Kimnyoung Maze Park 김녕미로공원 which is located between two major tourist destinations of Manjanggul Cave and Gimnyeongsagul Cave. We took about 25 minutes walk to Jeju Kimnyoung Maze Park from the bus station. This park was designed by the world famous company Adrian Fisher Minotaur Maze Designs and funded by the lifetime savings of an American Professor at Cheju National University, Frederic H. Dustin, whose love for Jeju has kept him on the island for 27 years. If you see this labyrinth from the top, it looks like Jeju Island and contains seven famous symbols of Jeju Island, including snakes, which are the object of worship on the island until the mid-70s; The original horse of Jeju Island, the ship, the Sparrow eagle, and the dolmens are relics of the Bronze Age.

For us, the maze was fun and quite challenging because we didn’t really care to get out, but we had fun collecting the stamps on the map. And guess what? We completed the stamps and get out of the maze after 30 minutes later, ha-ha… Don’t forget to take panoramic views of the entire maze from the skywalks (also called Gureum Dari). The other thing that we liked about this park is there are some cute, and friendly cats in the park as well, and they’re so chubby. I recommend you to visit the maze and have fun missing around inside! Ha-ha.. Great for couples, families, and kids.

Jeju Kimnyoung Maze Park 김녕미로공원

122, Manjanggul-gil, Gujwa-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do

Opening Hours: depends on the season

General operating hours: 08:30-18:30

Spring (March-June) 08:30-18:00

Summer (July-August) 08:30-19:00 (nighttime opening: until 22:00)

Autumn (September-November) 08:30-18:00

Winter (December-February) 08:30-17:30

Phone: +82-64-782-9266~7

ENTRY FEE: 3,300 Won per person (equal to IDR 41K)

Snack: Jeju’s Tangerine Manju (Golden Cake) and Hallabong Tea

Right next to the famous Sisters Noodles Restaurant, we stumbled upon this shop selling cute Manju in Jeju’s signature stone shaped, Dol Hareubangs. They made it fresh on the spot and served it warm to visitors. When we passed by their shop, the Ahjumma greeted us and gave us some samples. We ended up buying some of the Tangerine Manju, and a bottle of Jeju’s Hallabong tea (available in hot or cold versions). We can’t find this Manju anywhere else, that’s why I strongly advise you to give it a try on your trip to Jeju. Instead of the original Manju which filled with some nuts, the Jeju’s Manju has a different shape, Dol Hareubangs, a symbol of Jeju Island and is stuffed with the famous Jeju’s Hallabong Citrus, tasted sweet & fluffy; best eaten while it’s still warm.

As seen in our Instastory, we’re freezing that night, and the weather was colder than the other nights in Jeju. We had to wait outside, queued for about 35 minutes for dinner at Sisters Noodles Restaurant. That’s why, we warm up the cold night this autumn with a cup of Hot Hallabong Tea from this shop, just right next to it.

Jeju’s Tangerine Manju, 4,000 Won for 12 pieces (equal to IDR 50K)

Jeju’s Hallabong Tea, 3,500 Won (equal to IDR 44K)

Dinner: Sisters Noodles (Jamae Guksu)

And finally, we made it! Noodles with Meat is very famous in Jeju, and if you ask the locals, they will refer you to this place. We took public bus number 201 directly from the bus station near Manjanggul Cave. The famous Sisters Noodles (noodles with meat) located on Noodle Street (Guksu Geori) in Jeju, just 5 minutes walk from the bus station (walk straight to the intersection, and turn left). Although we had to wait for 35 minutes and freeze outside because of the cold and windy night, the experience was worth the visit! 💕

Once we got there, we walked into the restaurant and informed the staff that we needed a table for two. One of the sisters gave us number “1” and told us to remember the number. We should wait outside, and she’d call us when the time comes.

We ordered two of their signature noodles, Gogi Guksu 고기국수 (Pork Noodle soup, 7,000 Won – equal to IDR 87.5K) and Bibim Guksu 비빔국수 (mixed spicy noodles, 7,000 Won – equal to IDR 87.5K), and both of them tasted delicious! The Gogi Guksu, Jeju’s traditional noodles, came with some slices of pork belly in light milky pork broth. I heard that the broth for the gogi-guksu is made by boiling the bones of Jeju pigs for more than 10 hours. I think that’s what makes them special. The pork bones soup was so tasty, not greasy and not too salty for my liking. There’s a container of seaweed provided on the table, so we can add more seaweed to enhance the taste of Gogi-Guksu.

While Bibim guksu (비빔 국수) came without soup. It was very spicy, served with veggies, kimchi cabbage, cucumber, lettuce and mung bean sprouts. Unlike Gogi-Guksu, Bibim Guksu is served cold, not suitable for autumn, but we still enjoyed it! The pork belly was so tender and melts in your mouth. I strongly recommend you to try Sisters Noodles on your trip to Jeju.

I’m still compiling the full itinerary for your reference, meanwhile here’s some stories of our fun experience of our SOUTH KOREA trip October – November 2017 as follow:

~ [KOREA] Best Local Food Must Try in Busan, Korea

~ [KOREA] Ihwa-Dong Mural Village in Seoul

~ [KOREA] Playful Raccoons at Blind Alley Cafe, Seoul

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Author: myfunfoodiary

Myfunfoodiary as Indonesian Food and Travel Blog was born in July 2012 and has become one of the valuable online source for locals, tourists, food enthusiasts and industry professionals. It is a Jakarta based Food and Travel Blog managed by Mullie Marlina, a young, lovely, cheerful and blessed wife who loves to share her culinary and travel experiences through her writing. You’ll find her honest reviews, valuable suggestions, objective ratings and recommendation of eateries in Jakarta and selected cities in Indonesia and abroad. Her curated restaurant reviews are based on her meticulous inquiries and her rich dining experience in various restaurants in Jakarta. She has also traveled to different cities and countries where she finds interesting and inspiring dishes, cuisines and excellent dining ambience which she also included in the list. From recommendations, restaurant experiences, events, travel destinations, and recipes, readers will find anything food related in this website. She would really appreciate your feedback, and would love to hear about any suggestions, events regarding food, or just to drop in to say “Hi”. Again, thank you so much for dropping by, and she hopes you enjoy reading her journal. Thank you so much for all your supports! God bless you! ^_^

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