5 Adventure Activities To Do In Jeju, South Korea
By: Pinki Thu, 13 Feb 2020 11:08 AM
Jeju might be tiny, but it’s packed with things to do. Art museums, sculpture parks, spectacular waterfalls, hiking trails; even a submarine ride and a theme park dedicated to erotic love. Your biggest constraint is likely to be time. So what are the activities you absolutely can’t miss? Here are 5 things every visitor should do and even better, most of them are free.
* Climb Mount Hallasan
Jeju Island is crowned by Mount Hallasan, a dormant shield volcano and South Korea’s tallest mountain. At the top lies a crater lake named Baengnokdam – which translates to “White Deer Lake”, referencing an old legend wherein gods descended from heaven to ride white deer along its shore (in South Korean culture, white animals are considered sacred).Two hiking trails lead to the summit: Seongpanak is the most popular trail, with easy inclines. Gwaneumsa has steeper paths and slightly more difficult terrain, but it’s also the most impressive in terms of views. During winter months, Hallasan is often capped with snow, and in spring its slopes are a riot of flowers. From the top, you can see all the way around the island and out to sea.
* Rent a bike and ride along the coast
The best things in life are simple, and there’s no simpler joy than taking a bicycle ride with the sun on your face and the sea breeze in your hair. If you’re up for an adventure, you can circumnavigate the whole island (a journey of around 234 km, or 3-4 days’ cycle). If you’d prefer a shorter cycle, there are interesting routes all around the island. It’s best to book your bike in advance, as you can often get better deals – some bike shops will even deliver bicycles directly to your hotel or to the airport for you.
* Eat black pork at Donsadon
Black pork is one of Jeju’s most famous delicacies and best eaten sizzling hot from a barbecue grill. You’ll find black pork restaurants all over the island, but for some of the best, head to Donsadon in downtown Jeju City. While it’s a little pricier than other options (expect to pay around 20-30,000 won per person), it counts celebrities like Big Bang’s G-Dragon among its fans. Another bonus: whereas many other barbecue restaurants tend to leave diners in charge of their own barbecue, servers at Donsadon will help you grill the meat to perfection.
* Paddle in clear blue water at Hyeopjae Beach
Hyeopjae Beach’s aesthetic credentials are well-established: its white sand shores have been used as a filming location for music videos (Big Bang’s “We Like to Party”; Soyou’s “The Blue Night of Jeju”) and TV dramas (Daejanggeum, or “Jewel in the Palace”). As one of Jeju’s prettiest beaches, it’s one of the island’s must-visit locations. Add to this Hyeopjae’s famously clear waters, and you have a perfect spot for paddling. Don’t forget to take a photo!
* Climb Seopjikoji Lighthouse
All of Seopjikoji is worth visiting. In spring and summer, this little spit of land is carpeted with golden canola flowers, and its dramatic lava rock cliffs are a spectacular sight year-round. Two elegant pieces of contemporary architecture float over the landscape – the Glass House, perched on the cliff itself, and the Yumin Art Museum, a gallery building with huge reflective panels which mirror the natural world around. But perhaps the most iconic structure here is Seopjikoji Lighthouse – a little white tower, perched on top of a steep hill. From the lighthouse, visitors also have fantastic views of the rest of Seopjikoji, as well as Seongsan Sunrise Peak.