6 Days in Seogwipo, Jeju Island (서귀포시, 제주도)
|At Cheonjiyeon Falls (천지연폭포)|
|View from the room at Hotel Good Inn. Coconut not included ^^.|
Winter in Jeju, Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak) in the distance.
|Beautiful view from the roof of Hotel Good Inn, Seogwipo Jeju|
On my first trip to Jeju in 2012, I was traveling alone in late July, one of the hottest weeks of the summer. On the 1 hour plane ride from Incheon to Jeju, the atmosphere on the plane was bubbly and lighthearted. On average, Koreans take the fewest amount of vacation days of all countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and the last week in July is typically when everyone goes on vacation...at the same time (it really feels that way). On my plane, every TV screen was showing America's Funniest Home Videos on mute...people slipping at bowling alleys, falling down the stairs, breaking chairs, getting harassed by animals, etc. Audible laughter and giggling could be heard throughout the plane. No better way to start your vacation than watching Americans acting like idiots I guess. In the continental US, people drink the most on flights to Vegas. The atmosphere was kind of like that. It was the best flight I've ever taken!
Hotel Good Inn, Seogwipo (호텔굿인, 서귀포) Seogwi-dong, Seogwipo, CJ, South Korea (+82 64-767-9600)
This hotel was PERFECT for me, as someone trying to find the medium between sleeping on a mat in an empty room and spending $$$ on a big hotel. It was ~$50-$55 dollars a night during peak season. The rooms are simple and clean, my view was excellent, and each room has its own AC unit. If you walk around in the neighborhood behind the hotel, you will find many restaurants and cafes. This page at Booking.com has the best pictures of the hotel. Hotel Good Inn is within walking distance to Jeongbang Falls (정방폭포) which was my favorite of the 3 waterfall tourist spots in Jeju. At Jeongbang Falls, you can clumsily climb over rocks and get in the water near the waterfall if you want.
My room at Hotel Good Inn
From Hotel Good Inn, it's a ~15 minute taxi ride to Jungmun Tourist Complex. There's a lot going on in the Jungmun area which includes Jungmun beach, shops and restaurants, Yeomiji botanical gardens, a tourist center, and lots of other stuff.
WHAT NOT TO MISS IN JEJU:
Seongsan Ilchulbong: This UNESCO site is on the eastern side of the island, ~35 minutes from Seogwipo by car. Whether you actually hike to it or just want to walk along the coast, it's worth seeing. Aqua Planet Jeju is also nearby, the largest aquarium in Asia.
Jeju Orange Makgeolli: Find it. DRINK IT. It is SO DELICIOUS. I bought bottles to take back with me to Suwon, and I should have taken more. I couldn't find this makgeolli ANYWHERE in mainland Korea.
Jungmun Beach: You don't have to be staying in the resort to use the beach. You can jet ski, ride on a banana boat, rent snorkels/scuba gear, or just relax on your own. Since I was at the beach alone, I was worried someone would steal my bag when I went into the ocean, but all was fine.
OTHER STUFF, IF YOU HAVE TIME:
Udo: This small island is off the east coast of Jeju, near Seongsan Ilchulbong. You have to take a boat ride to get there, and should plan on spending half a day there. On the island, you can rent ATVs, bikes, and go hiking. I have actually never been here but it's definitely on my list.
Jeju LoveLand: This is a park full of sculptures in sexual positions. Don't know how else to put it! Worth it if you have rented a car & have time to kill in Jeju City (near airport), also obviously more enjoyable when a bus full of old lady tourists pulls up before you and wants to take silly photos posing with the sculptures. I have some photos from this place but they are certainly NSFW.
World Cup Stadium: Jeju helped host the World Cup in 2002, and the community has done a great job integrating new business into the stadium since the cup ended. They converted an area under the stadium into a movie theater, which is a great use of space. The theater is literally under the bleachers. There is also a Doll Museum and another small-scale sex museum nearby (Jeju, horny much?) More importantly - Emart opened next to the stadium. If you are staying in a pension, you can go shopping here/walk around the stadium.
Explore Museums: Jeju has a lot of eccentric little museums throughout the island. Teddy Bear Museum, Sea Shell Museum, Dinosaur Land (not Jurassic Park, sadly), Chocolate Land, Davinci Museum...basically these can all be missed unless you are in the area and want to kill time.