How to spend a week in Jeju island day 1: transport and where to stay
Jeju island is an undiscovered, exotic and wonderful place. For many years it has been the vacation spot for Koreans unbeknown to the outside world apart from English Teachers who teach in Korea.
But that has changed and the rest of the world knows about this gem because the island was voted the 8th wonder of the world after an intense voting period that left the government with an $18.8 million dollar phone bill.This perhaps could be the reason why there is a sales tax in Jeju island, something that’s foreign to the rest of Korea – just speculating.
Nonetheless many bloggers and nature enthusiast have been asking: does Jeju island really live up to the hype? The answer to this question varies depending on your country of origin.
It is my second time to Jeju because I enjoyed my time the first time. There is something for everyone from hikers to beach lovers, from explorers to solitude seekers. That’s why I put the noise aside and go see for myself what the place offers instead of just going by a picture or a phrase or two online. And if you are like me, you will get out there and see for yourself what the hype is all about.
But before you go, here is what you need to know about transportation, where to stay and what to do for each day of your vacation. So here is how to spend your week in Jeju Island.
First thing to be aware of is that a lot of Koreans say it’s not as convenient to travel in Jeju island because the island is so wide and unused that it’s not easy to get around. They told us that it was impossible to travel in Jeju. And to be frank, the Koreans that say this are absolutely wrong. It was nothing like we were told when we got there. It was very easy to do everything we wanted to do from Jeju City.
Our hostel was 12 minutes from the city bus terminal and 12 minutes from the Airport. I will tell you about the hostel in a little bit. All we had to do was
- grab a cab for about 3500 won to the bus terminal
- point to the map where we wanted to go
- the attendant would look, ask us for the fare of 3000 won about $2.80
- we pay the fee, she printed a ticket for us and then there was another
attendant outside to make sure we got in the right bus.
Super easy! And that’s how we got around to all the things we wanted to do. And if you land in Jeju city airport, you could also take a taxi by saying to the taxi driver, “topdong emart” and across the street a few meters from emart, there are two hostels.
So, when you arrive to your hostel or hotel, the first things you want to inquire about after getting checked in is where the nearest bus terminal is and a map. A lot of people, unlike most cities in Korea, speak English in Jeju Island. After all is one of the top vacation spots for a lot of people in Asia.
Where to stay
You have several options here. Where you want to stay depends on what part of Jeju Island you want to explore.
We were going to Jeju city so we stayed in HKJeju I hostel near Emart in Topdong area in Jeju city. The place was okay. It wasn’t the best it wasn’t the worst. I didn’t like that we were told we couldn’t drink but the staff was drinking right in front of us. I also didn’t like that the bathrooms were dirty and there were no electrical plugs near all the beds. I had to wait until another guest checked out for me to switch beds and be able to use my laptop since the battery life is not the best on my laptop.
On the other hand the staff was helpful when we needed to know where to go. So if you are looking for just a bed that was quite comfortable I must add, then this place will be for you. I couldn’t find this particular location since they have three others on hostel world so I will just list their site and number.
Phone: ( country code 82+) 64-727-0027. They speak English so you shouldn’t have a problem communicating.
Their other locations with great reviews are also available. These two other locations have reviews of over 85% so here is their links and booking information on the worlds largest hostel site.
And their other location that’s even more popular because it is near the beach with good security etc is also listed.
Other locations with well priced rooms, great reviews and a fun atmosphere for those who want to explore further can be found in the Island. One suggestion if you really want to see the island is to book one hostel for two nights or so if you have a week, then two nights at another and so on then you will get to experience different parts of the Island with different people.
It will take you about 1 hour and a half to two to reach the places you want to see if you are in Jeju city, so you may want to see the lava caves then you may want to see the sunrise peak along with the women divers and both are not in the same area. So why not combine a hostel stay in one area and do all the things you want there then do the same for the other. So here are the 3 highest rated hostels/guesthouses in Jeju to get you started. As of writing this they stand as:
Jeju Island is a magnificent place for outdoor enthusiast and beach lovers. It is surrounded by water and has many untouched areas to swim in fresh blue water coupled with blue skies in this ever sunny paradise. It is one of my favorite places in Korea and I am sure once you visit, you too will be saying only Jeju Island.