Jejudo (also known as Jeju) is the largest island of the Korean Peninsula. Another name of Jejudo is ‘Samdado’. It means that the island has three kind of large number things, wind, women and rocks. This windy island is also volcanic island, so it has a lot of volcanic rocks. You can see ‘doldam’ anywhere in Jejudo. Doldam is the stone walls made of the volcanic rocks, which surround a house, fields and orchards to break the wind. The reason why women outnumbered men in Jejudo was an island lived by fishing a long time ago. Many men died at rough sea in stormy weather at that time. So Jejudo was named ‘Samdado’ (삼다도, 三多島).
Jejudo was regarded as an old-fashioned place where my parents’ generation went on a honeymoon. But Jejudo is now the hottest tourist destination with more than 15 million visitors. It has doubled in the last five years.
Jeju Olle Trail
Jeju Olle Trail (제주올레길) helped the transformation of the image of Jeju island into young, attractive and passionate. Jeju Olle Trail is a circled walking trails on Jeju Island. The founder was inspired by the Camino de Santiago in Spain and created a similar themed walking trail on her home island of Jeju. Route 1 has opened since 2007 and now all routes, from number 1 to 21, have opened. It has 26 routes when including sub-route. The average length of a route is about 15km and all routes is total 425km long. You can take around the island by hiking or bike riding. If you buy a Jeju Olle Passport and collect 26 different stamps, you can receive ‘Jeju Olle Trail Certificate of Completion’. The most popular trails are from route 6 to 10 walking along the costal road.
Jeju Olle Trail English Guidebook (for downloading)
Hallasan, Oreum and Ilchulbong
Jejudo is a World Natural Heritage, Biosphere Reserve and Global Geoparks Network by UNESCO. It means that you can enjoy its many beautiful nature spots. Mt. Hallasan(한라산) is the 1950 meter high, which is the highest mountain in South Korea. In winter season, many people climb to Mt. Hallasan to see a beautiful scenery of the white mountain covered with snow. You can get ‘Certificate of Mt. Hallasan Hiking’ after climbing it down. It needs a picture on top of the mountain, and paying for 1000 won.
Jeju also has 368 Oreum(오름), which is lateral volcano. This volcanic cone is a small hill around 300 meters height. It takes 10~15 minutes to the peak, so it is the perfect place for a small hiking.
Jeju island is a volcanic island composed of balastic lava so it has many marvelous nature spots like dark black sand beaches with deep blue sea, black columnar joint and mountain with volcanic craters. Seongsan Ilchulbong (성산일출봉), which means sunrise peak, is one of the representative tourist point of Jejudo. It is famous for a sunrise, as its name. You can see its volcanic crater on the top. It is a little bit steep near the top, but it’s worth it! It took around 1 hour to climb up and down. (50 mins is what the sign said)
Food in Jejudo
Jejudo is famous for its delicious food. There are plenty of fabulous delicacies. Especially fresh local seafood and black pig barbeque are a must-eat in Jeju. I was going to eat Abalone dishes. Abalone was one of my favorite food, but never tried ‘Abalone hot stone pot rice’ before. Now this becomes my favorite food in Jeju! I fell in love with its rich flavor of abalone and pumpkin simmered in the rice hot pot. I will recommend it whenever I meet anyone planning to visit Jejudo.
I am always a meat lover and a kind of person who eats samgyeopsal for breakfast. I am crazy for eating any kind of barbeque and any type of meat. Jeju black pig is absolutely a must eat food for me. These days many Jeju style bbq restaurants have opened to other cities, so you can also try it in Seoul. I already did and I wanted to eat real Jeju black pig in this time. Jeju black pig bbq was really delicious though, it is quite expensive. Because they need me to order 600g of pork as minimum charge for two persons. In Korea, a serving size portion for one person is usually 200g. If you don’t have to eat black pork, you would go other cheaper places for similar quality of black pork, Jeju white pork which is called Geungogi(근고기), elsewhere in Jejudo.
Gogi guksu(고기국수) and dombe gogi(돔베고기) are the traditional foods in Jejudo. Gogi means meat. Gogi guksu is a noodle soup with pork. Dombe gogi is steamed and sliced pork served on chopping board. When you arrive at Jeju airport hugry and want to eat Jeju food nearby, going to Gogi guksu street is a good choice. It takes 10-15 minutes by taxi from Jeju airport.
Winter Season in Jejudo
Jeju is the place where spring comes first in Korea. Beautiful yellow yuchae flowers begins to bloom on February. Even in winter season, red camellia is in bloom in Jejudo. There are a lot of things to see in Winter of Jejudo. When I come to Jeju in winter, one thing must to do is to order fresh mandarin for delivery to Seoul. Many stores selling mandarin line along the street in Seogwipo, the south part of Jejudo.
I hope you visit this beautiful island and enjoy the place and let it attract you.
Jeju English Guide Books (for downloading)