Jeju-do Island in a Day

23 Oct

To get an idea of the kind of quandary your in when you try to do Jeju-do Island in a day it’s worth noting that this is Korea’s number one holiday destination, home to the highest mountain in South Korea, around a dozen sandy beaches and it’s one of the hotspots for Honeymooners in East Asia.

So what do you do with just one day on Jeju? Well, you don’t have a lie-in that’s for sure! Except we did. Hmm…

In spite of our initial laziness we actually managed to see a fair bit. Our hotel was well located for the town. Although, quite central, the town isn’t all too scenic but we needed to eat so we started the day by going to a recommended chocolate café, called ‘chocoart,’ featured in my guide book. We filled up on a delicious lunch of sandwiches and chocolates.

We then headed straight over to the nearest beach, which happened to be Iho. Iho beach has contrasting black and white sand, meaning that if you so wished you could make different coloured sand castles. Although, not as striking as it was described to us in the guidebook it was a fairly warm day so we managed to enjoy a spot of sunbathing and we took some nice photographs. Obviously, we couldn’t afford to lounge for too long though as we had lots to see.

We then headed off to a ‘Secret’ sculpture park, an area dedicated to sex sculptures. We, perhaps mistakenly, didn’t visit the original ‘LoveLand‘. Although, I can’t imagine it being any more explicit than the one we visited instead. This is of course the whole point, it’s hardly an art exhibit – it’s just a massive photo opportunity to get your picture taken with gigantic penis sculptures and laugh yourself silly. We spent a good hour looking round in a state of bemusement and shock at such scenes as a Santa Clause flasher and a bridge where you had to pass under a woman’s skirt to cross. They had a gallery with art work and another strange room set up with park benches as plinths for various graphic sculptures. To summarise, we had a giggle and took plenty of amusing pictures which I’m too cowardly to upload.

Next stop was Samgumburi Crater, it’s a natural monument and the result of a extinct volcano. It’s 100 meters deep and around 350 metres wide and is thought to be home to around 400 different species of plants and animals.  So imagine our disappointment when the taxi driver dropped us off at what appeared to be three small grassy wells in the ground far less shallow than a grave. We were baffled and confused looking at how unspectacular these dents in the ground were. To be honest, my impulse was to throw down my guide book in disgust and angrily declare “We’ve been conned!”  That was until it dawned on us both that I had showed our driver the wrong column in the guide book.  We were in fact at a shrine. Since we had found ourselves here we decided to pay the small entrance fee and have a look around. These circular concave holes in the ground although unspectacular to look at actually had an interesting story behind them. They were thought to be where three demi-gods rose from the ground and came to protect the island. This is just one of the many myths and legends embedded into the island culture, which is one of the things that makes it an interesting place to visit.

Once again, we headed off for Samgumburi Crater. We did attempt to get a bus but after we did the maths, (and got lost trying to find the bus terminal), we decided a taxi would be far more efficient. The taxi driver spoke very little English but was very sweet. He waited for us at the entrance gate whilst we went up to the crater. I actually think we couldn’t have seen the crater at a better time. We got there just as the sun was beginning to set and I got some great photos as a result. The crater itself seemed colossal and it’s supposedly quite small compared to the crater on Mount Hallasan.

I’m quite the foodie and my days are often shaped by the food I eat: So to encapsulate the day I ate well that night at a brilliant Indian restaurant called ‘Bagdad Café’. However full I was that evening though I don’t feel I have had my fill on Jeju-do and look forward to another, hopefully, longer visit there next year.


3 Responses to “Jeju-do Island in a Day”

  1. fatgirlkr October 25, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    Hey just to let you know I love your blog and I have nominated you for the liebstar award. Check out the link to my blog for the rules to accept xxxx

    • licensetoroam December 3, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

      Thank you very much! It’s greatly appreciated!

      I went to Petra recently after reading your post about it and have been again since. Good shout. Loved it despite being a little miffed about them not selling booze. Was gorge.

      • fatgirlkr December 3, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

        Glad you enjoyed it x

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