What to Do in Jeju

Visit Jeju, the "Hawaii of South Korea," and enjoy restaurants owned and supplied by the Haenyeo women free divers, waterfalls, caves, beaches and more.

What to Do in Jeju

Where is Jeju? South Korea. The island lies in the Korea Strait, below the Korean Peninsula, south of the South Jeolla Province.  

Why go: Jeju Island is one of the world’s New 7 Wonders of Nature, including waterfalls, white sand beaches and a dormant volcano — South Korea’s highest mountain — at the center of the island (1950m above sea  level). 

A must: Eat at a Haenyeo’s House (Woman Free-Divers’ House), referring to a restaurant owned and supplied by female free divers. You can find a Haenyeo’s House at almost any coastal village. The seafood is unbelievably fresh. Try the iced spicy cuttlefish soup or sea urchin. 

How to get there: There are many flights from mainland South Korea to Jeju everyday. A flight from Seoul is about an hour. There are also ferries from Busan and Mokpo (about 4.5 hours) that make the crossing, though the journey is much longer and not necessarily cheaper. 

When to go: The best time to visit is in the spring, from November to February.

Do I need a car? Yes. 

How many days? 3 days is about right, depending on what you are drawn to. More to do:

  • Lava tubes: Manjang cave, formed by cooling lava, is more than 8 kilometers long. Hike with bats.
  • Loveland: A hilarious (we’re told) over-the-top adult theme park. 
  • Water, oxygen, water massage therapy. Float in a pool with lights out and music on, recline in an oxygen room, get wrapped in a sheet and cocooned in a hay crib…wake up by taking a tropical rain shower. Sounds good to us. 
  • Asia’s only waterfall that goes directly to the sea, Jeongbang Falls.
  • Eat the famous Barbequed Black Pig 

If you like Hawaii

  • Jeju is known as the Hawaii of South Korea. 


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Patricia Garcia-Gomez
Patricia Garcia-Gomez is a writer and artist working with visual media and sound. She is the editor of Travel by Ageist and a contributor to the Discovery Channel, Travel Channel and The Private Journal (Europe). Her work is also part of the permanent archives of the Tate Modern, the Museum of Arts & Design in New York, the Buhl Collection, and The Harwood Museum in New Mexico.


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