JEJU WEEKLY

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Jeju Jungmun Resort — something for everyoneAssociated with upmarket hotels with prices to match, the sprawling complex has many other attractions
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승인 2014.09.03  10:17:22
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▲ Photo courtesy Jeju Tourism Organization

Jeju Jungmun Resort is known as the Mecca of Jeju tourism. Situated almost 14 k.m. west of Seogwipo City, the transformation of this once sleepy fishing village began in 1978. It is now one of the biggest and most popular resorts in Korea with the landmark 2.9 trillion won development still only 49 percent completed.

Visitors numbered 6.7 million in 2012, 62 percent of all visitors to Jeju; however, the resort still has an exclusive air, in no small part because of the luxurious hotels such as Shilla, Lotte, and Hyatt, attracting celebrities from both Korea and abroad. While upmarket hotels are central to the vast complex, there are also plenty of natural delights to attract daytrippers by the coachload.

The resort is renowned for its many museums, for example, although most are not museums in the dusty, cobwebby sense. There is the Alive Trick Eye Museum, the world-famous Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, the popular Teddy Bear Museum, the Chocolate Factory, and many more.

▲ Photo courtesy Jeju Tourism Organization

If weird and wacky museums are not your thing, then there are also plenty of natural delights. Yeomiji Arboretum is among the most popular, as is the walk along the Seonim Bridge, an attraction in its own right owing to the 14 nymphs adorning its sides, which takes you to the east and Cheonjeyeon, Jungmun’s waterfall. A visit there is perfect for the hot weather, as a walk in the shaded valley is bound to cool you down.

If you want to get out on the water there are two harbors, one in the complex and the other just outside at Daepo, both of which provide yachting, jet boating and other marine sports. Even land sports fans have something to do at Jungmun Country Club, with 18 holes right on the seashore.

In addition to being UNESCO World Natural Heritage and a Biosphere Reserve, Jeju also has 12 Global Geopark sites, one of which is at Jungmun, the Daepo Jusangjeolli Cliffs, volcanic stone pillars which artistically rise from the seas. These are particularly impressive if you can see them from out at sea, as many people do on jet boats or yachts.

Of course, we mustn’t forget Jungmun Beach, the premier attraction of the area and shooting location for many movies, dramas, and commercials. The beach gets packed in summer with all sorts of watersports and additional attractions with the relatively good surf attracting surfers and beachgoers alike.

Jungmun is also the international conference center of Jeju, with the huge International Convention Center (ICC JEJU) which held the 2012 World Conservation Congress. You will also find the Jeju Peace Institute and Jeju International Training Center, plus many more meeting facilities mostly in the east of the complex.

Getting there and around

The resort entrance is found on the Cheonjeyeon-ro, a minute or two from the 1132 which runs from Moseulpo to Seogwipo City. It is clearly marked with a Jeju Tourism Organization information booth at the entrance providing foreign language materials on all Jeju’s attractions. You can even pick up a copy of The Jeju Weekly there.

From the resort entrance to the beach it is a full 2 k.m. or 30-minute walk. While a car is not essential, visitors should bear in mind that exploration on foot is time consuming and you might need a hat and some sun cream. There are bus stops within the complex for the airport limousine, but for other public buses you will need to get out of the complex and the Cheonjeyeon-ro.

By car from Jeju City

Jeju International Airport ▶ Pyeonghwa-ro (1135) ▶ Turn left at Donggwang IC ▶ Jeju Jungmun Resort
By bus from Jeju City
Jeju International Airport ▶ #600 ▶Entrance of Yeomiji [1 hour]

By car from Seogwipo City
1132 road ▶ Jeju World Cup Stadium ▶ Jeju Jungmun Resort [25 mins]
By bus from Seogwipo City
Jeju World Cup Stadium ▶#780 ▶Jeju Jungmun Resort [35 mins]

Taxis cost around 30.000 won from Jeju and 15.000 won from Seogwipo.

Public bike hire within Jungmun
Olle Bike - 064-738-2119
Natural wonders

Yeomiji Botanic Garden

Yeomiji Botanic Garden is one of Jungmun’s must-see tourist spots, visited by 1.4 million tourists every year, and the proprietors claim its greenhouse was the largest in Asia when it opened in 1989. The whole site sprawls over 100,000 square meters with 2,000 kinds of rare tropical plants inside in the greenhouse, and 1,700 kinds of flowers and trees outside.

The garden blossoms can be view-ed from an internal train or from the 38-meter observatory, which commands views of Jungmun and the Seogwipo coast. Some interesting fruits in the gardens include the jackfruit, weighing 40 k.g., papyrus, from which ancient Egyptians first made paper, and insectivorous plants which devour insects.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tickets:
Adults 9,000 won, youths 6,000 won, children 5,000 won
Where:
93, Jungmungwangwang-ro, Seogwipo-si
Contact: 064-735-1100
Web: yeomiji.or.kr

Daepo Jusangjeolli (Columnar Joint)

▲ Photo courtesy
▲ Photo courtesy JTO

These volcanic pillars, known as columnar joints, were designated as Natural Monument #433 in 2004 and were added to Jeju’s Global Geopark sites in 2010. The lava formations resemble black hexagons rising from the shore, looking man made yet absolutely natural. The columnar joints reach 40 meters in height and extend for about 1 k.m. along the coast making the site globally rare.

Hours: 8 a.m. to sunset
Tickets:
Adults 2,000 won, youths and children 1,000 won (group discounts available)
Where: 36-30, Ieodo-ro, Seogwipo-si
Web: geopark.jeju.go.kr
Contact: 064-738-1532


Cheonjeyeon Pokpo

▲ Photo courtesy
▲ Photo courtesy JTO

Cheonjeyeon Falls are at the end of a scenic valley walk that is cooly shaded from the summer sun. The falls themselves are framed in a bowl-like natural amphitheatre and are popular as a backdrop for selfies or couple shots.

Hours: 8 a.m. to sunset
Tickets:
Adults 2,500 won, youths and children 1,370 won (group discounts available)
Where:
132, Cheonjeyeon-ro, Seogwipo-si
Contact: 064-760-6331


Having a splash!

Jungmun Saekdal Beach

▲ Photo courtesy
▲ Photo courtesy JTO

Jungmun Saekdal Beach is considered one of those must-see pearls, especially if you visit the south of the island. While much of the coast around here is black rocky cliffs, Jungmun Saekdal Beach, taking the name of the local village, is a soft sandy haven.

The seas here are renowned for their roughness (by Jeju standards) and the lifeguards are very vigilant, so stick to the designated swimming area in high season. You will also see plenty of marine sports and surfing out on the crashing waves, with an annual surf contest being held here.

The beach gets very crowded on summer days, particularly public holidays, and be aware that unlike other public beaches on Jeju there are few well-stocked shops within walking distance. You are restricted to one or two seasonal sellers which sell limited refreshments, so it is best to stock up before you arrive.

Beach season hours
Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from June 29 to Aug. 31
Where: Sallongnam-ro, Seogwipo-si
Contact: 064-760-4852

Jeju Jet Boat

▲ Photo courtesy
▲ Photo courtesy Darren Southcott

Situated slightly to the east of Jeju Jungmun Resort is Daepo Harbor where you can find Jeju Jet Boat. All good theme park rides should leave us questioning our survival, and Jeju Jet Boat certainly does that. Its 360-degree turns seeming like they will throw you into the water at any moment as the boat twists one way and then another through the Jungmun waters, even stopping for sightseeing at the beach and Jusangjeolli Cliffs.

Times:
Around one per hour between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. (call first)
Tickets:
25,000 won for adults / 20,000 for high school students and younger
Where: 172-5, Daepo-ro, Seogwipo-si
Call: 064-739-3939

Nonjinmul

Nonjinmul, about 2.5 k.m. west of Jungmun as the crow flies, is a swimming area with a difference. It can be reached along Olle Route 8, about 15 minutes walk west of Yerae Ecological Park. What marks Nonjinmul out are the pools of cool spring water which refresh bathers. Sheltered from the waves, it is also safe for children, although sensitive feet should be protected from the rocks. Facilities include a swimming pool, toilets, lockers, convenience stores and restaurants. Rock pooling is also popular as is the annual festival in August.

Hours: All day
Where: Haye-dong, Seogwipo-si
Contact: 064-760-4864

Indoor attractions

Teddy Bear Museum

The most popular of the many attractions at Jungmun is the Teddy Bear Museum, bringing joy to many visitors, big and small. This great rainy-day option has three galleries full of Teddy bears portraying scenes from history, mimicking works of art, or as part of seasonal exhibitions.

Low-season hours
9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
(September to May / Last admission 7 p.m.)
High-season hours
9 a.m.-10 p.m.
(June to August / Last admission 9 p.m.)
Tickets:
8.000 won (adults), 7.000 won (teen-agers), 6.000 (children, seniors)
Where:
31, Jungmungwangwang-ro 110 beon-gil, Seogwipo-City
Contact: 064-738-7600
Web: teddybearmuseum.co.kr

Ripley's "Believe It or Not"

▲ Photo courtesy
▲ Photo courtesy
Ripley's "Believe It or Not"

Ripley’s museum introduces the collections of explorer Robert L, Ripley, who was a newspaper cartoonist who visited 198 countries. On his 18 trips around the world he collected many curiosities which led to a foundation, a book, and then a museum after his death in 1941. The Jeju museum is the 32nd in 11 countries, and the only in Northeast Asia.

Low-season hours
9 a.m.-8 p.m.
(September to May / Last admission 7 p.m.)
High-season hours
9 a.m.-10 p.m.
(June to August / Last admission 9 p.m.)
Tickets:
Adults 9,000 won / M and HS students 8,000 won
Where:
32, Jungmungwangwang-ro 110 beon-gil, Seogwipo-City
Contact: 82-64-738-3003
Web: ripleysjeju.com

Alive Museum

▲ Photo courtesy
▲ Photo courtesy Alive Museum

North of Ripley’s is the optical illusion-packed Alive Museum, resembling a Roman temple. This is where to go if you want to stock up on your holiday pictures as you put yourself in various artworks or just appreciate the tricks of the eye courtesy of the digital art, sculptures, installations and much more. The museum is modern and interactive allowing visitors to not just look but interact with the displays.

Year-round hours:
9 a.m. -11 p.m. (last entry 10 p.m.)
Tickets:
9.000 won (adult), 8.000 won (teen-agers), 7.000won (children)
Where:
42 Jungmun Gwangwang-ro, Seogwipo-si
Contact: 064-805-0888
Web: alivemuseum.com/jungmun

Olle Route 8

The famous Olle walking paths pass Jungmun in the form of Route 8 which runs for over 15 k.m. between Wolpyeong to the east and Daepyeong to the west. Many of Jungmun’s attractions are included on the route including Seonim Bridge and the Hyatt Hotel grounds. There are also three swimming stops, so don’t forget to prepare your trunks!

For more information
jejuolle.org or 064-762-2190

Eating in Jungmun

There are increasing options for eating in Jungmun. For a pricey option, visitors can enjoy the buffets in most of the many hotels which provide all-you-can-eat international cuisine at higher-than-average prices. During high season there are also food stalls set up just above the beach for snacks, or you can try the international-style seafood restaurants such as Kao Kao facing the ocean. For some fine dining, why not try Delizia at the ICC JEJU, particularly worthwhile for its seasonal menu such as chicken and ginseng broth (samgyetang) in summer.

Seri World

▲ Photo courtesy
▲ Photo courtesy Seri World

Outside of Jungmun, this is great for those exploring a bit further. Seri World offers not just golfing and a spa, but car racing, bird shows, horse riding, a maze, and a bungee jump. Everything you want is here, making it a good alternative to Jungmun and just a short drive to the east.
Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Tickets: Depends on the attraction
Where:
97-17, Beophwansang-ro 2beon-gil, Seogwipo-si
Contact: 064-739-8254
Web: seriworld.co.kr/index.php

Seogwipo Submarine

▲ Photo courtesy
▲ Photo courtesy
Seogwipo Submarine

Seogwipo Submarine offers exclusive 70-minute rides to an underwater kingdom of corals 40 meters under 18-20 times a day. Reservations should be made in advance as tickets quickly sell out and rides last around 1 hour 10 minutes and leave every 35-40 minutes.
Hours:
First ride: 7:20 a.m. Last ride: 6:40 p.m.
Tickets:
Adults: 55,000 won; Youths (middle and high school students): 44,000 won; Children (3 years to elementary school students): 33,000 won.
Where:
40, Namseongjung-ro, Seogwipo-si
Contact: 064-732-6060
Web: submarine.co.kr

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