After enduring the overwhelming, but exciting scene of Seoul, we decide to jump on a plane and get away, yet stay within Korean borders. An hour later, we arrive on the resort island of Jeju, often called the “Hawaii of Korea," which I later discovered was in regards to all the honeymooners and not the close resemblance to the Hawaiian islands. After two short days, Jeju leaves a taste of sun, beauty, and bliss. Away from the hustle and bustle of Seoul, it is the perfect island getaway.
SEOGWIPO: we stayed in Seogwip while in Jeju, a town surrounded by beautiful waterfalls and a spectacular coastline. The waterfalls of Seogwipo are considered the “three famous waterfalls of Jeju.” Cheonjiyeon receives a large number of tourists every year; Cheonjeyeon is known for its Seonimgyo Bridge, which is carved with seven white nymphs on each side; and Jeongbang is the only waterfall in Asia where the water falls directly into the sea. Put on your walking shoes and hike along the coastline to each other the waterfalls.
SEONGSAN ILCHUBONG: probably one of the most interesting stops on the island was to Seongsan Ilchubong, where Sunrise Peak rises and the famous Jeju Women Divers dive. Sunrise Peak is an 180m volcano, named because of its popularity of climbing to the top to view the sunrise – an activity I, unfortunately, did not make. However, the afternoon still provides amazing views of the island and the sea. Back down on the ground are the haenyo, Korean for “sea women”, the female divers, who are known to be able to hold their breath for close to ten minutes, diving to depths of 20m. The women dive for the sea products that make up the majority of the island’s cuisine.
Food: Seafood is the way to go while in Jeju. The restaurants of Jeju are lined with fish tanks, stacked on top of each other, showcasing the various sea creatures that are often fished by the haenyo. Without knowing Korean, I was at a lose with the menu so I just looked at the fish tanks, pointed to a fish and prayed it wouldn't be given to me raw, sliced up right on my plate. To my luck, the fish came out and seemed to be braised in a sauce that, of course, included the spicy red Korean sauce. Tasty, spicy and dead before it gets to me - just the way I like it.
Getting Around: the bus system in Jeju is easily manageable, cheap and gets you to all the major sites and towns on the island.