Whether you are looking to get the most out of your last day in the city, or you have until evening to get back on your cruise ship, one-day tours are what you are looking for.
Jeju City is a lot more compact than most cities, meaning you can get around it easily and cheaply. There are historical sites to enjoy, streets dedicated to local delicacies, traditional markets and even boutique shopping outlets. The secret is knowing where to find them.
A petrified dragon? Check. A romantic walk? Check. A moonlit hilltop seascape? Check. A traditional market? Check. An underground shopping splurge? Check.
This guide includes some of Jeju City’s top tourist attractions and also some lesser-known spots that might be overlooked. It has been designed so it can be done in one go, or you can pick and choose from the suggestions to suit your own schedule.
All of the attractions are within 20 minutes of the airport or the cruise terminal, so no matter how tight time is, one should be within reach. Have a look and see what suits you best.
Yongduam ▶ Yongyeon Bridge ▶ Jeju Mokgwana and Gwandeokjeong ▶ Samseonghyeol
▶ Jeju Folklore and Natural Museum ▶ Sarabong
“Dragon Rock” on the north coast of Jeju Island is iconic for its resemblance to the mythological creature. The coastal road here is also popular for its scenic walks and cycles and you can rent bicycles or scooters from the rental shops nearby. You can cycle to Iho Tewoo Beach in 30-45 minutes and by scooter it will take 15 minutes.
Bike Rental: Yongduam Hiking, 18, Bukseong-ro, Jeju City
Rental Fee:7,000 won ~ 50,000 won. The price depends on the bike model with standard prices around 10,000 ~ 15,000 won.
Yongyeon is about five minutes walk from Yongduam and there is a beautiful walkway along the valley which is popular for romantic evening walks. The bridge is lit up at night and there are a number of seafood restaurants nearby, making the area lively come sundown in the high season.
Jeju Mokgwana and Gwandeokjeong
If you want a taste of historical Jeju then you really must not miss Jeju Mokgwana, the provincial seat of government during much of the Joseon era and into modern times (1423-1914). Also contained here is the military training complex, Gwandeokjeong, which is National Treasure No.322 and the oldest remaining building in Jeju (1448). Visitors can also use the pavilion shade to sit down, rest and chat.
25, Gwandeok-ro, Jeju-City / 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Fee: Adult (25-64): 1,500 won / Youth (under 13-24): 800 / Children (7-12): 400
Historic Site No.134, Samseonghyeol is located in the pine forest between the KAL Hotel and Jeju Folklore and Natural History Museum. There are three holes in the ground here and legend has it that three demigods, the founding fathers of Tamna (the former name of Jeju), first arose here. It takes about 20 minutes to look around Samseonghyeol.
22, Samseong-ro, Jeju-City
Apr. to Sep. 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. / Oct. to Mar. 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Fee: Adult (19-64): 2,500 won / Youth (13-18): 1,700 won / Children (7-12): 1,000 won
Contact: 064-722-3315 / samsunghyeol.or.kr
Jeju Folklore and Natural Museum
Jeju Folklore and Natural History Museum is the place to go to get a taste of Jeju’s unique nature and culture. It is divided into four exhibition halls: the Natural History Hall, the Folklore Exhibition Hall, the Folklore Exhibition Hall Ⅱ, and the Outdoor Exhibition area. It takes around two hours to see everything.
40, Samseong-ro, Jeju-City
8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fee: 1,100 won (adults) / 500 won (youths)
Contact: 064-710-7708 / museum.jeju.go.kr
This oreum is one of the most popular in Jeju due to its convenient location and the expansive views it offers at the summit. There are a number of points for picnics, exercise or just a rest. There are also historic sites such as Chilmeori shrine and public sports facilities. During daylight, hikers can continue across to the neighboring Byeoldobong, although, unlike Sarabong, this route is not lit at night. The night views from Sarabong to the harbor and city are also very popular.
Taxis are recommended and affordable. The minimum daytime fare is 2,800 won for 2 km, and 100 won is added for every additional 144 meters. In heavy and slow traffic, the rate increases at 100 won per 35 seconds rather than by distance. Taxi fares increase 30 percent between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m.
Buses are available, and cheap, yet often inconvenient for the traveler. Please check local bus shelters for schedules.
E1 Noodle Street (“Guksu Geori”)
The road on which Samseonghyeol and the Jeju Folklore and Natural Museum are located is known as “Noodle Street,” or “Guksu Geori.” Its real name is Samseong-ro. Pork broth noodles (“gogiguksu”) are a Jeju speciality and come highly recommended.
*Every 1st, 11th, 21st and 31st is “noodle day” and the restaurants here give a 500 won discount.
E2 Raw Fish Restaurant Street (“Hoetjib Geori”)
It’s only 10 minutes away from Jeju Airport and the downtown area. Not only tourists but also local people like to visit this street to enjoy fresh raw fish.
E3 Black Pig Street (“Heukdwaeji Geori”)
Black pig is a must for all visitors to Jeju. There are many restaurants all over the island to choose from, but “Heukdwaeji Geori” is located conveniently and offers many options to choose from.
S1 Jungang-no shopping district
Jeju’s main shopping district is centered on Jungang-no, the main thoroughfare running north to south through the old part of Jeju City. The main street is host to many international brands and the covered streets and alleys around Chilseong-no have boutiques and top brands. When the weather is not conducive to outdoor shopping, there is also a covered shopping area known as Jiha Sangga, below street level, with clothing, cosmetics, food and souvenirs.
*Tax tip: Almost half of shops offer tax-free shopping while most big brand shops do. Participating businesses will display a tax-free logo and visitors can present their receipts to the tax-free desk at Jeju International Airport to claim the refund.
S2 Dongmun Market
If you are looking for something a little more traditional, go to Dongmun Market. 15 minutes by car from the airport and just 3 minutes from the cruise terminal, this market is popular with tourists. The market is open between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. and there is also a shuttle bus to the cruise terminal between May and October.
Shaded from the streets outside, the hustle and bustle of Jungang-no is kept at bay. The alleys leading off the thoroughfare enclose what is the oldest and largest permanent outdoor market on the island. The stalls sell fresh agricultural, fisheries, and livestock products at low prices and the market is passed by Olle Course No. 17 to bring travelers to what is a taste of old Jeju.
Dongmun is one of the best places for travelers to immerse themselves in Jeju culture and join in with the bartering between punters and sellers, or the cackle of laughter between stallholders.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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