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Stories of Jeju IslandEnjoy this selection of three years of great reporting and writing talent from The Weekly's contributors and staff
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승인 2012.05.15  09:45:40
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May 14 was The Weekly’s third anniversary. In recognition of this milestone, the editors have compiled the following 33 excerpted selections from three years’ worth of archived stories, recapping our wide-ranging coverage of Jeju news.

There are plenty more where that came from. Click here for our archive. If you have a keyword in mind, click here to use a site-specific Google search (which tends to be more accurate.)

And please let us know what you think. Post your comments to our Facebook page or at the bottom of this page.

Dark tourism shines a light on tragic histories
Published on December 30, 2009
Nicole Erwin

A photo of an elderly woman's face covered in bandages from the top of her head to her chin hangs on one wall. The image is black and white and represents the story of a survivor of a 60-year-old massacre. The woman in the picture died five years ago of old age while wearing a similar bandage — new cloth covering an old wound and the story that went with it. She lost her jaw, but many other people in the photos surrounding hers lost their lives. The choice of black and white for the pictures seems to signify the purpose for which the photos hang; dark times being brought to light, freely, for the first time in more than half a century.

In 2008, the Jeju April 3rd Peace Park opened to remind the world of what occurred on the island of Jeju and should never happen again — an attempted genocide committed by the very people who had promised to protect the populace. The dark history is referred to as the April 3 Massacre, when about 10 percent of the island's residents were killed, according to researchers at the park.

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Time for a traditional market makeover
Published on February 16, 2010
Jon Walker

Intertwining covered alleyways located in the bowels of Old Jeju's shopping district make up the oldest and largest outdoor market on the island. Established decades before the first muttering of the word "mart" on the island, Dongmun Traditional Market greets each visitor with a blast of attention grabbing colors, scents and sounds.

From the brilliant, nearly-glowing Hallabong oranges seeming to light up the alleyways on their own, to the friendly banter between vendors and customers as pork samples are offered and bargainers lock down deals, combined with the fresh smell of fish who completed their final swim just hours before, life inside Dongmun beats strongly as you meander around inside.

Despite the stimulating atmosphere, Dongmun Traditional Market has steadily lost business over the years and struggles to keep shoppers coming back for more.

"I walked through the market with some visitors a while back and I think I bought some veggies," said Kim Cummings, a Canadian halfway into her third year of teaching, "But I haven't been back since."

While in agreement that the market is much cleaner than in years past and may make an entertaining 20-minute stroll for visiting tourists, the vendors believe the facility is in need of some modern attractions if they are to win over new fans.

"Maybe that's why it's so clean. We don't have many customers," said Chang Mal Soon, while sitting beside the hairtail fish she had for sale.

"Most of my customers are grandmothers," said Kim Nam Soon who, after 41 years working in the same location, discussed the state of the market while gutting mackerel with ease. "The younger generation is over shopping at E-Mart."

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A swinging good time
Published on February 25, 2010
Jon Walker

Unknown to those treading the noisy streets above near Jeju City Hall, a different world lies just around the corner and down the stairs, where personal inhibitions and cultural taboos are checked at the door.

This is the world of Swing Island, an island surrounded not by water, but by shelves overflowing with flat dance shoes and oversized mirrors that reflect a myriad of synchronized arms and legs. With swing classes and open dance sessions five nights a week, this large basement is an island of dancing where having fun is the currency for survival, and arriving without a minty-fresh breath is the only committable crime.

Leaving their street personas behind, members of Swing Island take on an alias before heading downstairs. This allows dancers to let down their guards and drop the conservative demeanor they might feel necessary to maintain outside the Swing Island walls.

"I actually don't know their real names," said Cynthia Loiselle, known inside as Shia, who lets loose in the evenings after playing classroom disciplinarian during the day. "It's a whole different side of Korea down here. It's about having fun, and nobody talks about work."

Losing these societal constraints not only creates a unique environment, but is crucial to learning swing, a style of dance which, here and there, may break a cultural taboo or two. "It's a social dance," Loiselle said. "People have to be comfortable with dancing with many different people."

With partners constantly being exchanged in a speed-dating-like fashion, couples enrolled in a class together need to be willing to ignore their primal possessive instincts. According to Loiselle, who has been with the club for almost a year, dancing with various people is the only way to learn and read the cues of others.

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A Jeju artist in London
Published on February 25, 2010
Darren Southcott

There is something about Jeju Island which leaves an indelible mark on those who leave it. Natives and foreigners alike are seemingly drawn back to Asia's own emerald isle by something which is not always easy to encapsulate in words.

Despite many finding their way back, there are also many who are left with only memories of their Jeju experiences. While this may be a minor inconvenience for some, others who are left with a yearning for the land they once called home.

Bada Song is one such woman. She was born on Jeju Island but whisked away to Seoul in the 1960s when little more than 3 years old, to be followed by an even longer exile in London. Building a career and reputation as an outstanding artist, she still feels a deep connection to Jeju and its spiritual essence. Bada's story of the essence of Jeju in her art and self begins when she was just a toddler and first moved away.

"My parents moved to Seoul from Onpyeong-ri with a vision of making enough money to buy land in Jeju," she said. "They did buy some land, but as the family got settled in Seoul, our education and careers became the priority and slowly the dream faded of returning to Jeju."

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Woodland stroll
Walk the Saryeoni Forest Path
Published on June 24, 2010
Daniel Kojetin

There is a trail not far from the city described as a natural masterpiece where shitake mushroom collectors and charcoal burning farmers once wandered. The Saryeoni Forest Path reaches from Jeju City in the north to Seogwipo in the south, calling hikers to a peaceful woodland stroll.

The rainy season has started on Jeju and the weather is unpredictable at times. The day I went to Saryeoni was foggy and wet in the city but driving down the scenic Bijarim Road (1112) to the forest path entrance, I could tell it was going to be a beautiful day. When I arrived at the trailhead, I couldn't imagine a better time to come. The trees glowed green and the mist gave a mysterious enchantment to the forest.

This new trail is actually old access roads turned into a pleasant walking path. The road is nearly flat the entire way with virtually no grade so is accessible to almost anyone. Much of the trail has been repaved with fine-grained red gravel that is easy on the feet and pleasing to the eyes. Stretching 16 kilometers from Mulchat Oreum to Saryeoni Oreum, the path is wide but enclosed by the temperate forest canopy.

Kang Mann Saeng, chairman of the Jeju Saryeoni Forest Experience Committee, said that the trail provides an alternative to packaged sightseeing tours. It is "a new ecology experience and (provides) a new 'healing' product which brings Jeju tourism to a new level," he said.

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Officer Quinn, cloned police dog
Jeju PD's star canine copies hoped to have same detection skills
Published on August 13, 2010
Darryl Coote

On March 16, 2007, nine-year-old Yang Ji Seung was abducted on her way home from a private learning institute in Seogwipo City. What ensued was a nationwide manhunt for the girl and her abductor. The Jeju Police Department established an investigation team that canvassed the province, handing out flyers, knocking on doors and following leads. Local citizens, government employees and the Korean army took to the streets and combed through orange fields in search of the girl, but to no avail.

In April of that year the National Police Agency announced the country's first AMBER Alert and all over Korea warnings were broadcasted, missing posters were displayed in subways, and billboards on highways and national roads read 'Have you seen this girl?' with her picture underneath.

A month after Yang's disappearance and fearing the worst, the Jeju Police Department began training their best bomb sniffing dog, Quinn, a black German Sheppard, to find her body. To properly train a dog for this task it takes months, if not years before they are ready. "For 15 days we buried decomposing pork 15 centimeters under the ground and practiced," said Kang Hyeun Cheol of the Jeju Police Special Forces Unit (JPSFU).

Forty days after Yang went missing, on April 25 Quinn was deployed and within 30 minutes her body was found wrapped in black plastic bags under a pile of debris in a barn roughly a 100 meters from her home. A 49-year-old suspect with an extensive criminal record was found living in the barn. He was questioned by police and admitted to the rape and murder of Yang.

Two years later, in August 2009, with the tragic events of Yang's murder still haunting the province, the captain of the JPSFU came up with the idea to clone Quinn. "He was best at detection," Kang said, and was believed to have innate olfactory capabilities that other canines lacked.

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A test of Korean self-governance
Published on August 13, 2010
Darryl Coote

On July 1, 2010 Jeju celebrated its fourth year as a special self-governing province. For many foreigners that call Jeju home, at least temporarily, this term is as elusive as the island's other government christened moniker of being a Free International City. To understand these two terms one must view them as being interconnected.

"Our ultimate goal is to be a Free International City," said Ryu Do-Yeol, assistant director of the Division of investment Policy for the Free International City Bureau of Jeju, "and the Special Self- Governing [Province status] is the method."

Like many government slogans that the island adopts it is Konglish, admits Ryu, a hybrid of two ideas conjoined into a nonsensical bite-sized morsel. The "Free" is derived from the term, free economic zone, which is an area with less economic restraints than that of its country, with the purpose of trying to attract foreign investment.

"International" comes from the province's desire to be an International hub in Asia, primarily for tourism.

It was in 2002, with support from President Roh Moo Hyun, when the Free International City act was passed, but shortly after "Jeju realized we need more autonomy to manage the free international city," said Ko Sang-Ho, Deputy Director of the System Improvement Team for the Special Self-Governing Province Division. To help facilitate the end goal President Roh suggested Jeju to become a self-governing province. Jeju submitted a proposal to the central government and the province held an election on July 27, 2005.

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Haenyeo school attempts to revive dying art
Women of the water typify Jeju Island's resilience
Published on September 18, 2010
Darryl Coote

It is no secret that the haenyeo (diving women) vocation is becoming obsolete.

Some 200 years ago these women took to the waters, harvested the seabed and returned to shore breadwinners of the household, matriarchs in a Confucian society; the manifestation of Jeju's resilience, strength and courage.

According to "Jeju Myths and History," produced by the Jeju provincial government, during the colonial Japanese occupation of the early 20th century the haenyeo stood as freedom fighters, organizing an estimated 240 demonstrations against their oppressors. In the 1950s there were 30,000 registered haenyeo. In the 1970s they were responsible for producing 50 percent of the island's income.

During the 1980s the island began its rapid transformation from what it had always been, into the isle we live on today; an urbanized metropolis in-training. With development came foreign investment, government funding and less of a need for the women of the sea.

Currently there are 2,500 haenyeo, half the number of a decade ago, with a large majority above the age of 50. This job of necessity has undergone its own transformation from work that was once looked down upon to that of which legends are made. As their numbers dwindle, the media, including the Jeju Weekly, has reported with nostalgia and sentimentality about the final remnants of a bygone era.

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Caution key for island's enthusiastic cyclists
Biking on environmentally friendly Jeju is growing in popularity
Published on October 16, 2010
Kelly Mackin

A longtime favorite activity of both tourists and Jeju locals alike, exploration of the island via bicycle offers an opportunity to experience Jeju's abundant natural beauty at a leisurely and appreciative pace.

Cited by CNN iReport as one of the "Five Best Biking Cities in Asia," Jeju in autumn, with its cool temperatures and colorful scenery, is a particularly popular time of the year for cycling. Thanks to the abundant bicycle lanes and low-traffic roads, which stretch over the majority of the island, sightseeing on Jeju by bike has grown in popularity over the past few years, although many safety issues still exist which might deter potential cyclists.

Until the 1970s, bicycles were a common sight on Korean streets, and were the most common mode of transportation in the countryside. But an increase in the number of cars on the streets prompted a decline in cyclists, and travel by bike has only recently been revived as both tourism and environmental awareness have risen in Jeju.

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On the inky sea, a search for squid
A first-person account of night fishing off the coast of Jeju Island
Published on October 16, 2010
Nicole Erwin

I was in a sporting mood on Saturday, Sept. 25 and, wanting to make our squid fishing excursion more interesting, made John Curtin an offer he couldn't refuse; five thousand won to whoever catches the most squid. John and I shook hands and made the bet with high hopes. We were 10 minutes out to sea, and our dear friend Mona Hassanien had already set the tone for the evening — queasy.

"She has the scurvy," John announced trying to make light of Mona's sea sickness. However it just got worse.

Eight of us were on one boat, while another three squid fishing boats carried an additional 30 or so foreigners who had agreed to partake in an evening of white lights, salty sea air and of course, the squid fishing experience.

Peter Jang organized the event via Facebook sending out invites to more than 50 people with the intention of going with a group of no more than 10. Close to 40 people showed interest but I didn't expect all of them to actually commit, especially for this particular evening, with a forecast of showers and strong winds.

I had been drawn to the idea of squid fishing since figuring out the purpose of all those looming lights out on the ocean. Sitting on my deck that overlooks the ocean at my home in Samyang, the view often looked like a cross between the Friday night lights of a football field and an alien invasion. Like the squid, those white lights had drawn us in.

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An artist's contemplative island exile
Jeju Chusa Exhibition Hall offers excellent artistic and historical experience
Published on November 13, 2010
Todd Thacker

To step into the Jeju Chusa Exhibition Hall is to enter an actual masterpiece — in this case a painting by a prominent Joseon government minister, Silhak scholar, poet, painter and calligrapher, who lived from 1786-1856. The hall is modeled after a triangular roofed structure in Chusa Kim Jeong Hui's 1844 painting Sehando ("A Winter Scene"), which was completed during his eight years of exile on the island.

But this is just the beginning of an unusual artistic and architectural experience.

The 75 billion won ($6.7 million) building in Daejeong-eup, Anseong-ri was designed by renowned Korean architect Seung Hyo Sang and impresses right from the beginning with a very unusual staircase down to the front entrance. A narrow, steeply-inclined path crisscrosses down over the concrete steps.

Having never seen anything quite like that before, I asked for more information from our guide, Park Yong Beom of the Cultural Policy Division of the Jeju provincial government.

He indicated that the peripatetic nature of Chusa's long walks, with such lonely and austere surroundings, was the basis for the design of the front of the hall. The unusual design of the steps forces visitors to "slow down" their usual sightseeing pace and actually reflect on the hard life Chusa had as an exile, Park said.

It was a subtle but effective beginning to the visitor experience.

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Jeju's take on buckwheat pancakes
This week's recipe: Bing ddeok
Published on November 13, 2010
Kimberly Comeau

Bing-ddeok (buckwheat pancake) is a traditional food served on special holidays in Jeju. Bing-ddeok dates back over 700 years and the recipe is passed down from generation to generation.

This recipe is not difficult as long as you do not rush it. It takes about an hour to prepare and you can make smaller batches if only serving one or two people. Make sure the batter is watery but not too watery or it will cause air bubbles in the pancake. Also, make sure the pan is not too hot or the pancake will burn or darken.

Ideally the pancake should be a light beige color. It is very filling and quite delicious. For a lower fat recipe, add less oil when frying and to the filling. This is a great gluten-free recipe for people who cannot eat wheat or wheat containing foods.

The recipe is to be served fresh and cannot be stored in the refrigerator or it will get a rubbery texture.

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Mt. Halla: Jeju's Geopark crown jewel
GGN designation leads to huge tourism boost, though science research has yet to see funding increases
Published on January 02, 2011
Todd Thacker

At the beginning of October, 2010, the Global Geoparks Network announced that Jeju Island would be its 20th member, making it Korea's only province to be assigned Geopark status.

Under the categories of geology, archaeology, biology and cultural interest, nine sites on the island were inspected and later certified: Mt. Halla, Seongsan Sunrise Peak, Manjang Cave, Seogwipo Formation, Mt. Sanbang, Dragon Head Rock Cliff, Suwol Peak, Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls and Daepo Columnar Joint. Twenty-one other sites on the island are under consideration for certification in the coming years.

This series will look at the ramifications of Geopark certification in the areas of science and research, preservation, and education. The question we are asking is if and how the increased attention from tourists and locals alike will have a positive or negative effect on these sites.

The Jeju Weekly will speak with scientists, environmentalists and others associated with these nine sites over the coming months. We begin the series with the most prominent of geological features on the island: Mt. Halla. — Ed.

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Sex museum seeks to educate, not to shame
The tame and the taboo confronted at Seogwipo's Sex and Health Museum
Published on February 06, 2011
Christian Yetter

In the entrance of Seogwipo's Sex and Health Museum sits two-thirds of a traditional Korean house. The sliding door is made of paper with holes poked in it. A peek through the holes reveals a semi-comprehensible montage of a very bad porno. Music swells, recedes to a woman gasping. Nipples, pale flesh, springs of pubic hair; fade to black and the music returns.

"It's for traditional Korean villages," translator Byun Ik Su tells me. "The ... sex was like this. Very shut away. People learned about the sex by ... Yeah, poking holes. Looking in. No one talks about it. Lots of ..." he summons the word. "Yeah. Shame." I nod. "Lots of shame."

The museum is the brainchild of Kim Ywan Bae, a man whose museum-mantra is, "Healthy sex for a healthy person. Healthy people for a healthy world." Kim works for Se Bee Corp., a precious stone transportation company, and in the late 90's his work had him traveling all over the world. Inspired by sex museums in other countries, he resolved to found his own on Jeju.

In 2000, Kim amassed exhibits from all over the world. An astounding effort of trans-Pacific coordination went into finding and securing the pieces. And in 2001, when he shipped them to Korea to begin his museum, they were nearly all stopped at the dock and returned.

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Keeping the Jeju dialect alive
Published on February 06, 2011
Kim Soo Yang

There is a joke people rarely forget to say when they discover my identity as someone from Jeju. That is, I am lucky enough to be naturally bilingual in both the Korean and Jeju languages.
Korea is a small country, but Jeju is, from a mainlander's point of view, still mysterious, and much of this stems from its linguistic uniqueness.

Before going further, let's see the definition of standard Korean: the Seoul dialect, used by "cultured" people.

Who can blame me for not speaking Jeju dialect when hanging out with non-Jeju Islanders? I desire to "look cultured" as much as others do. Nevertheless, I feel very proud when people envy me because of my Jeju identity.

On the other hand, I enjoy their surprised reaction because I can intentionally remove all clues of my local identity when I speak. Ironically, this fact highlights the distinctiveness of the Jeju language, as most Koreans from other provinces find it difficult to conceal their accent. Also the Jeju language preserves many archaic words which other dialects have lost.

It's no wonder though, that the Jeju dialect is designated a critically endangered language when even my mother (in her early 60's) has lost much of the Jeju accent and words that people one generation earlier (including my grandmother) once used.

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'Rhymes with Jeju' founder dies at 69
'The person who says it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it!': Mike Duecy
Published on February 24, 2011
Eugene Campbell

Michael Duecy passed away at the age of 69 on Feb. 7, 2011, in Mesa, Arizona. He was one of a stream who took a tour teaching English in Korea, Japan, and finally on Jeju Island, and he left a special mark here, having set up the Internet group Rhymes with Jeju.

He continued to run it hands-on even after he could not return to Jeju as he had hoped; Mike stayed active on the list, if during the last year mostly in the background, until the middle of January, even as cancer spread its final tentacles throughout his body.

Rhymes is a forum for foreigners in Jeju. Many of us depend on it to keep connected with each other, schedule gatherings for sports or other events, buy and sell personal items, ask advice, or just rant. Mike Duecy made it possible.

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Two grand 'citizens of the sea' visit Jeju
The Weekly learns of adventure, laughter and freedom on the high seas
Published on March 11, 2011
Darryl Coote

"A collision at sea can ruin your entire day," reads a black plaque edged in gold in the wheelhouse, close to the main window of the 56-foot yacht known as the S/V Charioteer.

This understated maxim pretty much sums up the yacht's owners, Brian and Carol Boswell from Wellington, New Zealand, who have been traveling around Southeast Asia since 2006. During a short sojourn on Jeju Island en route to Nagasaki, Japan the married couple of 40 years took time out to sit down and talk with The Jeju Weekly.

"It's a jolly good life," said Carol, sitting comfortably in the kitchen of the S/V Charioteer as this reporter was becoming quite unnerved, the boat rocking and bashed against Gimnyeong harbor on the rough sea.

"People say 'why you do it?' We meet people of every age and they accept us as two sailors, a couple of people. When we go back home we are promptly grandparents, old age, senior citizens that sort of thing, but that's because that's the way it is, you know? This life is really good."

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Seokguram: A temple experience
Stunning Mt. Halla hike leads to enlightening day at Buddhist temple
Published on March 11, 2011
Douglas MacDonald

After driving for 10 minutes along a steep winding road from Shin Jeju, I arrived at the parking lot for Seokguram Temple. Built in the 1950s, this Buddhist temple is a popular destination for those who want a short hike while still enjoying the natural scenery around Mt. Halla.

As I prepared to go up the 1.5 km trail, I was struck by something odd. There were two piles of bags on the left and the right side of the trailhead. I learned that one pile is for items that have been brought down the mountain and one pile for items that need to be brought up to the temple. Anybody can volunteer their time to help. As if on cue, a man hurried down the trail and dropped off an empty gas tank in front of me.

Cold and barren at the bottom of the trail, things began to look up as I reached the upper areas close to the temple. Three woman just ahead of me were trudging their way to the top, which was surrounded by beautiful red pines bathed in golden early morning sunlight. It was a welcome contrast to the patches of snow and remnants of winter a few meters behind me.

A brand new walkway with shiny orange ropes welcomed me to Seokguram. Nestled in the breast of Halla mountain and surrounded by towering granite walls, it is a stunning location.

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Mara Island proves important in study of migratory birds
Korea's southernmost land mass needs to balance development with conservation
Published on May 14, 2011
Matthew Poll

About seven kilometers off Jeju's southwest coast, as the proverbial crow flies, lies Marado, South Korea's southernmost bit of real estate. As such, it is an ideal spot to find and study migrating birds. During the spring, waves of exhausted birds coming mostly from Southeast Asia land on tiny Marado, desperate to rest before continuing their journey north to their Siberian breeding grounds.

Kim Eun Mi of the Jeju Wildlife Research Center has been conducting research since 2005 on the migratory birds that use Marado as a stopover. I've run into Kim or her researchers several times on Marado, while they were catching birds with large nets, then measuring and putting leg rings on the birds before releasing them. I recently caught up with Kim via email to discuss her research.

Ringing the birds is an important tool for bird researchers, as it lets them know where certain species that use Jeju as a migratory rest-stop spend their summers breeding as well where they winter down south. The research team on Marado has not only re-confirmed Jeju's importance as a vital stepping stone for migratory birds, but it has also helped discover several extremely rare or newly-discovered birds for Korea.

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Foreign plants threaten Jeju's indigenous species
Arrow bamboo, false dandelion change island's landscape
Published on May 27, 2011
Darryl Coote

Jeju is using its unique and beautiful environment as a vehicle to be known to the world, but due to invasive species the island's tenuous ecology is under threat.

Dr. Kim Chan Soo from the Korea Forest Research Institute defined invasive species as foreign plants that spread into and adversely affect the local ecosystem. According to a recent study, there are 254 invasive species on Jeju. This accounts for 13 percent of all plant varieties on the island.

"The biggest problem concerning the invasive species' impact is the disturbance of the ecosystem," said Kim in an email interview with The Jeju Weekly. He continued that invasive species are negatively affecting agriculture production, though no study has yet to be conducted to fully understand to what extent. "Some alien species have become weeds on farm land, and this lowers the productive capacity of crops. Most weeds on farms or rice paddies are alien species," said Kim.

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Check out that 70's show in Seogwipo!
Photography from retro night at MayB Café
Published on May 30, 2011
Andrew Elwood

On Saturday, May 21, in a small corner of Seogwipo's famous Lee Joong-Seop Street, a small café turned back the hands of time, and when the clock stopped the 70's were in full swing. Stevie Wonder was on the stereo; people sported polyester, wide collar shirts, and afros; disco lights spilled out into the street, and passer-bys stopped to take in the retro. Can you dig it?

The venue, May飛 (MayB) Café, is typically Seogwipo's top destination for the perfect after-dinner cup of coffee; soft, lush, ambiance amicable. However, on retro night the staff pushed the tables aside to make a dance floor, and the quiet café turned into a mini-discothèque.

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A little taste of Taiwan in Jeju
Deok Seong Won restaurant: 'A garden filled with goodness'
Published on June 24, 2011
Kimberly Comeau

When I first stepped into the Deok Seong Won restaurant, the deep smell of rustic wood filled my senses. The sign above the restaurant welcomed us with Chinese characters that directly translate to goodness (deok), growing and prosperity (seong), and garden (won). In Chinese this phrase means "A garden filled with goodness." The restaurant is clean and bright, with plants and flowers creating an atmosphere with a distinct Asian flair, adding to its overall charm.

The restaurant has a wonderful view overlooking the ocean at Seogwipo, and from afar you can see the International Convention Center and The Museum of African Art. For tourists especially, this is an amazing location for a memorable meal. For diners looking for some fresh air with their dinner, clean and comfortable seating is available outside on the deck, allowing for a full horizon view of Jungmun.

The menu is tailored to tourists, providing English, Korean and Chinese translations of the dishes. Some of the more popular ones are jjambbong (spicy red pepper soup with noodles) with seafood or crab, jajangmyeon (noodles served with black bean sauce) and tangsuyuk — known in Western parts of the world as sweet and sour pork (tang meaning sugar, su is vinegar and yuk, pork). Specialty dishes are also offered. I had the crab jjambbong and tangsuyuk and they were delicious! All ingredients served at Deok Seong Won come from Jeju except for the crab which comes from Busan.

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KCTV English News turns 3
With a switch to Channel 7 on the dial, viewers get their local programming HD
Published on August 14, 2011
Steve Oberhauser

KCTV English News quietly hit the three-year mark last month in the midst of the Jeju broadcasting company going completely high definition (HD) and switching their main programming to Channel 7.

Two people are primarily responsible for the nascent rise of Korea's only locally and daily produced English news program.

Producer Bu Hye Seon and anchor Nik Brountas were part of the first simplified 10-minute broadcast on July 14, 2008. Today, many add-ons – including full translated and occasional field reports by Jeju residents and foreigners, in depth local weather and newspaper headlines, "In-the-News" segments and national Arirang TV reports – mark a professional product that can be viewed Monday through Friday nights in HD for roughly 17 minutes starting at 7:30, 10 and 11:30, and the following mornings at 7:40.

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Jeju Smart Grid lacks street smarts?
A Jeju Weekly investigation finds local test bed participants are having trouble using the system
Published on August 14, 2011
Darryl Coote & Baek Hee Youn

Located in the northeast of Jeju Island, the town of Gujwa-eup has been home to the Jeju Smart Grid Test Bed since the beginning of the national project in December 2009. In an area of 185 km2 that includes both agrarian and fishing villages, Gujwa-eup was divided into four quadrants that were then given to companies to experiment with their technologies.

The first phase of this massive 240 billion won project commenced in 2009 with the building of the Smart Grid's "infrastructure for demonstration," according to Kim Yong-Jin, the Senior Manager of the Smart Grid Information Center (SGIC). This was completed in May 2011. The second phase has now begun, which is to test and demonstrate the grid and prepare the technology for national and international export.

Kim described the citizens of Gujwa-eup who are currently using Smart Grid technology as being older, and says that "they lack understanding of the Smart Grid system." According to the 2010 Jeju Statistical Yearbook, 44 percent of Gujwa-eup (3,282 residents) are over the age of 65. He said they have been trying to educate them through meetings, presentations, conferences and forums.

Once leaving the SGIC, located in Haengwonli (a subsection of Gujwa-eup), we ventured into the scorching heat looking for homes with solar panels. The houses in Haengwonli are small and grouped in clusters around a courtyard. They are old, somewhat in disarray, and none of them had solar panels. We asked several people in the streets about the Smart Grid. They replied that they did not know anything about it. Eventually, a middle-aged woman, Kang Seung Mi, told us that her house was connected but didn't really understand how or what it did for her.

"You should talk to the village chief. If you meet him, he will explain it to you," she said.

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A place where Jeju meets Africa
The Museum of African Art in Seogwipo gives visitors the chance to compare cultures
Published on September 23, 2011
Sarah Warren

When I first heard of the Museum of African Art in Seogwipo City, I was intrigued. Where does African culture fit into Jeju, let alone Korea?

On my first visit to the museum, I was astonished by its mere architectural presence. The building is a downsized replica of the largest clay building in the world, the Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali. I entered the museum to the thunderous sound of drums and rhythmic singing. As I made my way to the bottom floor, I was met by four Africans performing their hearts out on a dimly lit stage, which was beautifully colored with patriotic flags and a mural of an African safari.

As I strolled through the museum not only was I curious about the myriad of artifacts and photographs, I was floored by the sheer amount of them! How on Earth did they find their way to little ol' Jeju?

It wasn't until my second, more auspicious visit to the museum that my queries were answered.

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NLCS-Jeju opens its doors
The prestigious all girls' school begins its first semester next week
Published on September 24, 2011
Darryl Coote

The walls have been painted, teachers hired, and students enrolled. The North London Collegiate School (NLCS), the first school to be built within the Jeju Global Education City (JGEC), will officially open its doors for the first time this semester on Sept. 26.

The prestigious 160-year-old English girls' school has taken a bold step by lengthening its hallowed halls all the way to Jeju to be the first school of the ambitions JGEC project in Daejung-eup, Seogwipo City. The entire project is set on 3.7 million square meters and will be home to six to seven elementary, middle and high schools, as well as sports and commercial facilities when completed.

The stated purpose of this project is to curb the trend in South Korea of parents sending their children abroad to earn an international education in English.

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The 12th Jeju Women's Film Festival
Over 1,100 people enjoyed a total of 33 films showing from Sept. 22 to 25
Published on September 28, 2011
Sarah Warren

This year's Jeju Women's Film Festival conveyed a truly powerful balance of opinion and ideas, through exhibiting and fleshing out global, national and individually specific issues women are still fraught with today.

The festival started off on cheeky yet ostensibly truthful note with Doris Dorrie's "The Hairdresser," a film that looks at the life of a voraciously happy obese woman. It concluded with a powerful — and at times shocking for a Korean audience — story of female sexual desire in Patricia Rozema's "When Night is Falling."

This year's theme was "Women, the exploding power that turns the tables." Looking at the opening and closing films, it may be difficult to see where this year's theme was going, and perhaps that is exactly what the Jeju Women's Association was shooting for. "It's difficult to choose one theme," says An Hye Kyoung, festival director, so they decided to categorize the festival into four sessions, with four clear issues in order to develop a relationship amongst all issues.

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Fish farms: Jeju's unsung industry
The Weekly speaks with a pioneer in the field
Published on November 25, 2011
The Jeju Weekly

Fishing. Not only a popular pastime on Jeju to while away a lazy day but also an important industry that brought in an estimated 766 billion won (US$668 million) last year for the local economy. The bright lights of the fishing boats are a common sight off the island's coast, but what most don't see is that a number of Jeju's fisheries are opting for a safer, more stable form of fishing; aquaculture or more commonly known as fish farms.

"In primary industries, after tangerines, fish farming is the second best [industry] production wise and profit wise," said Jang Geun-Su of the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Fisheries Policy Division.

On Jeju there are 338 coastal fish farms, an additional 27 offshore fisheries, and 93 fish egg nurseries, which brought in a total of 277 billion won last year.

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Biking Jeju: A lesson in beauty and the kindness of strangers
Five flat tires, a lost wallet, and an amazing adventure
Published on December 09, 2011
Marisa Burton

Two hundred kilometers in five scorching hot days, featuring one lost wallet, and five flat tires: but even with our questionable luck, cycling around Jeju was amazing. Our five days also included almost constant beach views, deserted roads even in peak tourist season, a school of dolphins, snorkelling in turquoise waters, and the kindness of many, many strangers.

Highway 1132 goes all the way around the island and has a bike lane for almost its entire length, but the smaller coastal roads are infinitely superior. You do have to use the 1132 for some sections, but keep an eye out for likely-looking roads going off towards the coast. Some are marked as official scenic "coastal drives" but there are also plenty of unofficial detours you can take to stay off the highway and closer to the water.

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Jeju United leadership aims for '3 plenties' in 2012 season
Head coach Park Kyung Hoon hopes to perfect team to be as 'strong as rock, swift as wind, and as beautiful as a woman'
Published on February 02, 2012
The Jeju Weekly

On Feb. 1, following two big additions last week to the team's roster, Jeju United held a photo op at Jeju World Cup Stadium unveiling the island's 2012 K-League squad that will take to the pitch for their season opener, March 3 against Incheon United.

This will be an important and trying year for the Orange. Along with needing to produce consistent play to lift them from last year's disappointing ninth-place finish (one spot short of a playoff birth), they will also have to adjust to the new K-league ranking system which will drop the bottom two teams to the second tier league at the end of the season.

Due to last year's game rigging scandal, the league's format was changed, and though hopefully forcing players to excel, this puts an added strain on the coaches.

"I'm sure all the coaches, including myself, are feeling the pressure due to the new system in the K-League," Jeju United Head Coach Park Kyung Hoon said to The Weekly after posing for team photos. "However, it will be an opportunity for many Korean soccer teams to step up to the next level."

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'It was a great struggle. But it was worth it'
Meet a remarkable haenyeo who dove Jeju's waters for over 70 years
Published on March 09, 2012
Song Hannim

All along the black basalt shores of Jeju stand haenyeo, the women divers who embody the island's living history. They plunge into the sea, breaths held, searching the ocean floor for seaweed, abalone, octopus, and more.

The sea is numbingly cold, but that does not stop these women from going into the water. Many serve as the main breadwinners for their families. In a Confucian culture where men were the heads of the households, the haenyeo are a rare example of Jeju matriarchy.

So Ae Soon, 87, is possibly the most senior haenyeo on Jeju. She has lived her entire life in Hado village, on the northeast of the island not far from Seongsan Sunrise Peak. Diving from the age of 15, she has spent over 70 years underwater harvesting sea products and selling them to support her family.

"It was a tough life that no youngling these days would understand," said So. "My body wasn't strong enough to get into the deep water, so gathering seaweed and mostly agars was my main harvest." With the small amount of money she earned from selling these at the local market, she managed to raise seven children who are now happily living with children of their own on Jeju.

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Jeju goes to the polls
The Weekly takes a look at the local issues and personalities in this year's National Assembly election
Published on April 09, 2012
Angela Kim

Polls open on Wednesday for the 19th General Election. Three hundred national assemblymen, composed of 246 regional representatives and 54 proportional representatives, will be selected by voters all across South Korea. These lawmakers will take office on May 30, 2012 and serve out terms until May 29, 2016.

For Jeju's three election districts, a total of 452,218 people, including both Jeju residents and absentee voters, are registered to vote.

The latest approval rating survey was conducted by the Jeju Ilbo, Jemin Ilbo, Halla Ilbo, KBS Jeju, MBC Jeju, and JIBS from March 31 to April 1 with a randomly selected sample of 1,000 potential voters in each district. It had a 95 percent confidence level and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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Claiming Ieodo Rock, an update
Giving up on Ieodo is like giving up on Korea's future development, says one researcher
Published on April 09, 2012
Lauren Flenniken

Ieodo has become the center of public attention after recent reports by local and national media that China has once again claimed Ieodo as being part of their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The proclaimed "dispute" between the Chinese and Korean governments was ignited after Liu Cigui, the director of China's State Oceanic Administration, stated in a March 3 interview with Xinhua News that his administration intended to patrol and enforce domestic law over China's maritime jurisdiction including the waters surrounding Ieodo rock.

Ieodo, internationally known as Socotra Rock, is a submerged rock located 4.6 meters below sea level and according to international maritime law, cannot legally be claimed as territory by either country. The issue at hand is the territorial waters surrounding Ieodo which lies in both China's and Korea's EEZ.

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