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Jeju City Tour Bus: Ups and downsThe city’s official tour bus takes in some of the top tourist attractions but needs improvement
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승인 2014.04.18  10:16:42
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▲ The bus tours take in many of the main tourist attractions in and around Jeju City Photo courtesyJeju Special Self-Governing Province

For a brief introduction to each of the tourist sites visited, click here. - Ed. 

The Jeju City Bus Tour resumed March 1 after a winter break. The bus tour, running from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, allows tourists to travel to selected attractions in and around Jeju City at a reasonable price.

Bus tickets costs 5,000 won for adults and 3,000 won for students, the disabled or people of national merit. The tickets can be purchased from the driver and the bus departs from Jeju City Bus Terminal hourly, except for an extended break between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m..

The bus is operated by Jeju City and the ticket allows passengers to board and alight at any of 19 stops throughout the day, but does not include entrance to any of the attractions. The ticket does allow, however, for a free transfer on to a city bus (not rural buses) upon presentation to the driver.

The bus goes in a loop which takes about an hour and 40 minutes to complete, although passengers will want to take some more time to enjoy the attractions along the way. There are two route options (see map for all stops).

Route A

Starting point: Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal (the bus stop directly outside)

Times: 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m.

Route B

Starting point: Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal (the bus stop directly opposite)

Times: 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 3 p.m.

   
 

The buses, with brightly colored murals, are clearly marked “Jeju City Tour” and boast the cleanest interiors of any Jeju bus I have ridden.

At each stop, there are tall, narrow signs written in Chinese, English Japanese and Korean, noting the tour schedule and the side of the street each route will pass. There are also announcements in English, Chinese and Korean, with short descriptions of the attractions, which greatly added to the brief descriptions included in the brochure I received when boarding.

The drivers seemed handpicked due to their helpfulness, friendliness and at-least-basic English ability. At one point, a group of Chinese girls missed their stop, and the bus driver took pains to help them in English. He also asked each passenger where they were planning to get off.

There are some notes of caution. Firstly, the bus does not stop for long enough at each stop, treating each as if it were just a regular bus stop. There are also points where the pickup is on the same side as the dropoff, possibly leading to confusion. Check all the signs and make sure you are on the right side of the street as there is little time to scurry over the road to board the bus.

Additionally, passengers should be sure to ring the buzzer at each desired stop, and be visible at the pick-ups. I noticed twice that the driver did not stop at attractions. Many of the stops are in rural areas without easy access to taxis and with a bit of walk to the next bus stop.

Although theoretically you can get on and off at as many stops as you desire, there is really only time for about four stops and for that you must start at 8 or 9 a.m.

Buses only pass each attraction every couple of hours, and you may have to wait up to three or four hours. It is advised to find out in advance when these gaps in the schedule are to avoid any inconvenience.

Also, be aware that you may want more than a couple of hours at some of the attractions, such as Jeju Stone Park or Jeju 4.3 Peace Park where exhibitions and extensive grounds can easily lead to three hours or more.

Although it is possible to visit these locations for the same price just by boarding the regular buses, it is more complicated for those unfamiliar with Jeju.

Overall, the Jeju City Bus Tour has some downsides, but with planning, it can provide a solid structure for a packed day trip.

For more information on Jeju City Tour Bus call Jeju City on +82-64-728-3211 (Korean) or the Korea Tourism Organization on 1330 (English).

 

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