My trip to South Korea with my high school friend, Mon, involved 11 days of touring Seoul (with day trips to Paju, Anyang, and Gapyeong), Danyang, Busan, and Jeju. Our fourth stop was in Jeju Island (Jeju-do) which is Korea’s largest volcanic island and smallest province. I take my hat off to its scenic view of the beaches, caves, waterfalls, and cliffs for being the key why it has earned a spot in the New7Wonders of Nature.
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Read my post here to view our complete itinerary with a list of directions, expenses, and tips.
How to get to Jeju:
We booked a flight from Busan via Jeju Air for only KRW 19,700 (PHP 808 or USD 17). Travel time is approximately an hour. Air Busan also offers flights to Jeju.
For more info, click here.
WHAT TO DO AND SEE:
1. Bring back your childhood memories at the Teddy Bear Museum.
The museum is composed of a variety of teddy bears you could ever think of in all shapes and sizes. The biggest challenge was restraining myself from taking them home because they are cuddly beyond words!
It is divided into three (3) sections, namely the History Hall, the Art Hall and the Project Exhibition Hall.
- History Hall
The History Hall consists of stuffed bears that are timeworn and show portrayals of notable scenes over the years. Teddy bear doppelgangers of some of the most renowned personalities and fictional characters are also displayed in this category.
- Art Hall
The Art Hall houses the teddy bear replicas of masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa, The Creation, The Last Supper, and The Thinker to name a few. The luxurious Swarovski teddy bear as well as the Louis Vuitton which is needless to say, the world’s most expensive bear (What a lucky toy!), are also eye-catchers. Meanwhile, the Princess Hours teddy bear collection was how I discovered the museum in the first place when it made an appearance on the drama itself that I was watching a long time ago. Fast forward to more or less 9 years and I finally saw it up close and personal in this hall!
- Project Exhibition Hall
The Project Exhibition Hall is where the teddy bears are classified depending on the subject of the exhibition.
The museum has a shop stationed on the ground floor where you can purchase not only stuffed toys but other souvenirs as well, e.g., clothing, accessories, toys, magnets, key chains, and the like. The cafe and restaurant are also found on the same floor.
But wait there’s more! The fun does not end inside the gallery as there is an outdoor park where you can have a photoshoot with bear sculptures.
- Location: 31, Jungmungwangwang-ro110beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
- Operating Hours: 09:00-22:00 (Peak season July 18 to August 23)
09:00-20:00 (Non-peak season)
- Admission Fees: Individuals: Adults KRW 9,500/ Teens KRW 8,500/ Children & Seniors KRW 7,500
Groups: Adults KRW 7,500/ Teens KRW 6,500/ Children & Seniors KRW 5,500
2. Cross the Seonimgyo Bridge and bask in Cheonjeyeon Falls.
After about 2 hours of touring the Teddy Bear Museum, we proceeded to Cheonjeyeon Falls which is a walking distance from the museum. In order to reach Cheonjeyeon Falls, one has to cross the Seonimgyo Bridge as it links the falls and Jungmun Tourist Complex. The bridge is formed into an arch with 7 nymphs carved on both sides that represent the legend of the descent of 7 nymphs from heaven at night.
Cheonjeyeon Falls is a three-tier waterfall. We only went to the second one because we were in a hurry to catch the scheduled shows of our next stop which was at PLAY KPOP (Priorities!). The water of the Cheonjeyeon pond comes from the first waterfall which then flows to the second and third waterfalls. In relation to the 7 nymphs on the Seonimgyo Bridge mentioned earlier, the pond is where they would bathe upon descending from the heavens according to the Korean legend.
- Location: 27, Saekdal-ro 189beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
- Operating Hours: 08:00-18:00
- Admission Fees: Individual: Adults KRW 2,500/ Teens & Children KRW 1,350
Group: Adults KRW 2,050/ Teens & Children KRW 850
3. Unleash your inner fangirl at PLAY KPOP.
Although it says “KPOP” on its name, I believe that PLAY KPOP is predominantly aimed at people who stan YG instead of KPOP in general. YG Entertainment, derived from “Yang Goon” in reference to its owner Yang Hyun Suk, is among the big three agencies in South Korea responsible for introducing catchy Korean tunes and multi-talented idols to the world. Talents signed under YG include Psy who is known for his acclaimed single “Gangnam Style”, boy group Bigbang, and girl group 2NE1. Prepare your heart for too much awesomeness compressed into three floors of interactive innovation and KPOP immersion.
1F: Live Holo Concert, Shop, Cafe
2F: KPOP History, Meet the Star
3F: Be the Star, Live 360 3D
- Location: 15, Jungmungwangwang-ro 110beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
- Operating Hours: 09:00-19:00
- Admission Fees: Adults (ages 18 and above): Individual KRW 15,000/ Group KRW 13,000
Teenagers (ages 13-18): KRW 13,000/ Group KRW 11,000
Children (ages 3-12): KRW 12,000/ Group KRW 10,000
- Visit their website here.
4. Be aMAZEd at the Gimnyeong Maze Park.
Gimnyeong Maze Park encompasses a 120 meter cedar formed in a shape that symbolizes the five periods of Jeju’s history and two geographical statements. It was designed by the renowned maze designer Adrian Fisher, and the founder himself Frederic Dustin. The challenge of the maze is to find your way to the tower and ring the silver bell. We were able to reach the goal though we still got lost initially even with the help of the map.
- Location: 122, Manjanggul-gil, Gujwa-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
- Operating Hours – General: 08:30-18:30
Spring (March-June): 08:30-18:00
Summer (July-August): 08:30-19:00 (Evening until 22:00)
Autumn (September-November) :08:30-18:00
Winter (December-February): 08:30-17:30
- Admission Fees- Individuals: Adults KRW 3,300/ Teenagers (ages 13-18) KRW 2,200/ Children (ages 6 and up) KRW 1,100/ Seniors (ages 65 and up) KRW 2,200
Groups (20 or more people): Adults KRW 2,800/ Teenagers (ages 13-18) KRW 2,000/ Children (ages 6 and up) KRW 1,000/ Seniors (ages 65 and up) KRW 2,000
5. Hike up Seongsan Ilchulbong.
Seongsan Ilchulbong is a UNESCO World Heritage that rose due to hydrovolcanic eruptions over a thousand of years ago. The peak measuring 180 m is where the crater shaped like a bowl is situated. In my opinion, the difficulty of the hike is quite manageable especially for people who have an active lifestyle. I suggest hiking up at sunrise or sunset to get a magnificent view. We started the hike a few minutes before 18:00 on a pleasant day in September and it took us half an hour to reach the top just in time for the sunset.
- Location: 284-12, Ilchul-ro, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
- Operating Hours: 1 hour before sunrise till sunset
- Admission Fees – Individuals: Adults KRW 2,000/ Teenagers and Children KRW 1,000
Groups (10 or more people): Adults KRW 1,600/ Teenagers and Children KRW 800
7. Stay at Mido Hostel.
Mido Hostel is a modern industrial-designed hostel that offers free breakfast, towels, WiFi, lockers, key card access, bicycle parking, air conditioning, hot showers, cable TV, reading light, hair dryers, and washing machine. Its convenient location makes a number of attractions accessible such as the traditional market, Lee Jungseob Street, Cheonjiyeon Waterfall, and Jeongbang Waterfall. The terrace of the bunker twin room where we stayed in was the perfect spot to sip a hot drink particularly at night when it was chilly outside.
- Location: 13-1 Dongmundong-ro Seogwipo-si Jeju-do
- Price per night of Bunker Twin + Terrace (Double Occupancy): We paid PHP 2,095/ KRW 53,315/ USD 45.
- Visit their website here or like them on Facebook for more details.
WHAT TO EAT:
Click or hover your mouse over each photo to read the descriptions.
I will never get tired of declaring that Jeju is my favorite among all the destinations we toured in South Korea. What I loved most about it is the wide range of diverse activities and attractions that suit different preferences. If given the chance to go back, I would visit Hallasan Mountain, Jusangjeolli Cliffs, Jeju Folk Village Museum, and Loveland.
Read the other posts in my South Korea blog series to know what to do, see, and eat in each destination.