Jeju (Jejudo) is the most famous beautiful island of the land of Kimchi, South Korea. No noisy, bustling and crowded like capital of Seoul, Jeju Island brings in its peaceful beauty with its fresh air, full of sun and wind. Jeju Island is known as the “paradise of love”, “the island of peace” or “Hawaii of South Korea” … and become one of the best destinations of South Korea that attracting a large number of domestic and international tourists to visit. Especially, it is an ideal destination for young couples to enjoy their honeymoon. Let’s explore this beautiful island through our Jeju travel blog (Jeju blog, Jeju island blog, Jeju island travel blog) — The fullest guide for a budget trip to Jeju island, South Korea from how to get to Jeju to where to go, top things to do, best places to visit, what to eat and what to buy and suggested Jeju itinerary 3 days with Living Nomads below.
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Jeju travel blog: When is the best time to visit Jeju island?
Jeju is a big island, located in the extreme of the southern tip of Korea. It has a temperate climate with stable year-round temperatures. The climate in Jeju is divided into two distinct seasons: The summer is from June to September with an average temperature of 20-28 degrees Celcius; and the winter from December to March of the following year with temperatures between 3-10 degrees Celcius. In Jeju Island, in the hottest month, the temperature is no over than 33 degrees Celcius, and the coldest month, the teperature is not below 1 degree Celcius. Depending on your preference and time you can visit Jeju at any time of the year.
However, you should not visit Jeju in the beginning months of the year (January, February) because the scene is quite boring, tedious. The summer and autumn is the best time to travel Jeju (from March to July), enjoy the summer weather with bright and warm sunshine and brilliant yellow fields of canola flowers. Late November, early December is nostalgic autumn landscape, beautiful as a dream.
Jeju travel blog: How to get to Jeju Island?
It takes about 1 hour to fly from Gimpo Airport or Incheon Airport to Jeju. In South Korea, there are cheap airlines like Jeju Air, Jin Air that fly continuously Seoul-Jeju about 30 minutes or 1 hour for every flight, very convenient, very cheap fares if you book early, fare for one way ranges from 35.000 Won – 78.000 Won (~ $30 – $70$) + 6000 Won (fuel and tax). There are three main airlines fly Seoul – Jeju are Jeju Air, Eastar Jet and T’Way Air. In additional, there are also Busan Air or Jin Air but not many flights to choose, others big airlines are too expensive.
The booking tip for Jeju Air or Eastar Jet is the earlier you buy, the cheaper the ticket. There are many flights for you to choose from in a day. For example, Jeju Air you can book the ticket about 40.000 – 50.000 Won for round trip if you booked early and the cheap tickets are available and depart from Gimpo airport. Cheap Korean Airlines are high quality, checked baggage free of charge 15kg per person per trip.
You can also fly from Busan Airport to Jeju, but the ticket price is comparable to that from Seoul.
In additional, from Busan you have one more good option is to take the ferry, the travel time is about 12 hours. Normally, people will take the night ferry to Jeju (7pm – 7am), the plus points of the ferry are cool, sightseeing the scene night on the sea; the minus points are too long route and waste time. Ferry prices are not cheaper than airplanes, too long ferry routes may consumes a lot of energy to explore Jeju. You go to Busan port to catch SeoKyung Ferry (SK) to Jeju Island. The cheapest ticket is 47.000 Won / trip.
Jeju blog: Getting around Jeju Island?
There are 3 main ways to get around Jeju Island for visitors: Self-drive car rental, bus and private taxi tour.
Suitable if you have more free time, can wait a long time and long walking. Frequency of bus in Jeju about 30 – 60 minutes for a trip. Buses are often inaccurate, less stop points and far from the tourist attractions so it is not very convenient. The two bus stops in Jeju will face each other, the same name but different direction. Make sure you stand in the right place, get the right bus and go on the right direction!
Self-drive car rental
There are two most famous self-driving car rental companies in Jeju are: KT Kumho and AJ Rent-a-Car.
The advantage points are extremely convenient and proactive in terms of time. It is cheaper than to hire a tour guide because its costs about 49.000 Won / 2 days car hire included fuel, full insurance. The disadvantage points: only for you who can drive and have an international driver’s license.
Note: You need to register members on their website to find discount car rental price up to 70%.
Private taxi tour
Rent a private taxi: You will rent a taxi to take you around Jeju within 1 day or 2 days (maximum 8 hours / day). They will help you make a plan: Where to go, what to do to save time for you. Or they will give you select the places you want to go and then make plan to help you.
The advantages points: You do not have to worry about driving, renting a car, even worry about itinerary. It was all done by the taxi company. You will get good tips for eating from the local people.
The disadvantage points: You only get maximum 8 hours per day and must be in the city of Jeju. Moreover, if you want to go early from 4 or 5 am to watch the sunrise you will have to pay more. The price of this tour is also expensive, about 170.000 Won per day (this price from November 2015). Only suitable for a large group of people because the price share will cheaper.
Recommend you hire the taxi tour of KJ company which get very good reviews on TripAdvisor. Taxi rental fare is 150,000 KRW per day for 8hours tour. Overtime charge is 20.000KRW per hour. Address: (Hwa Buk 1Dong) 80-2 , Dongje Won Gil, Jeju City / Phone: +82 10-6558-1267 / Opening hours: 9:30 AM – 6:30 PM / Email: [email protected]
There is also the option of renting a scooter, the price is cheaper but not really feasible because the distance between the tourist attractions in Jeju is quite far > 10km – 30km. It is very time consuming and dangerous for motorcyclists. This is only OK for those who stay all week in Jeju because they have more time.
Jeju blog: Where to stay in Jeju?
Jeju Island is divided into two parts: Jeju-si City (with Jeju Airport, more vibrant) and Seowgipo City (most tourist attractions located in here). Depending on the needs and preferences that you will make decision to choose a hotel in Jeju city or Seowgipo.
Jeju-si city is the main city in Jeju Island, close to the airport, and also close to the bus station, so it is convenient for those who want to use the bus as the main means of transportation on the island. Moreover, from here to the airport is also quite convenient. This place is suitable for visitors who want to enjoy nightlife like nightclubs, shopping, dining and for renting private taxi tour. You can refer to the good-value hotels such as Ocean Suites Jeju Hotel with beautiful sea view, top choice of travelers 2016 by Agoda (You can check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com), or Check Inn Jeju Hotel (Agoda.com or Booking.com) with better price and also have view to the sea. Goodstay December Hotel (Agoda.com or Booking.com), You & I Guesthouse (Agoda.com or Booking.com) with better price and also have view to the sea. Goodstay December Hotel (Agoda.com or Booking.com), Co-op Jeju Beach Hotel right to the beach (Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Seogwipo City is located in the south of the island about 40km from Jeju city, centralize almost tourist attractions and luxury, expensive hotels. If you choose stay here you should rent a car because the travel time from Seogwipo-si to the airport is quite long, it takes about 1 hour. Nightlife is not as vibrant as Jeju city (no nightclubs), but as we see, there are many restaurants and even night markets in here. This place is suitable for visitors who want to self-drive car rental. Some beautiful and good value hotels in this area can be mentioned as Ocean Palace Hotel (You can check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com) or Strawberry Field is designed in European style (Agoda.com or Booking.com), Minjoonggak Guesthouse (Agoda.com or Booking.com), Doldam Guesthouse very nice (Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Our hotel we have stayed is Yeon in Seogwipo-si city, a very nice room with a balcony overlooking the sea and 새 연교 SAEYEON bridge. This hotel has wide parking space so if you want to rent a car on the island can be assured, facilities in the room is full and high quality. Room price is $110/2 nights. You can check rates Hotel Yeon on Booking.com or Agoda.com.
Below are some best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
- Yeha guesthouse (Address: 9 Samo-gil, Samdo 1(il)-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea / Phone: +82 64-724-5506), 2-star hotel with room rates from $11/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Best Western Jeju Hotel (Address: 27 Doryeong-ro, Nohyeong-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea / Phone: +82 64-797-6000), 4-star hotel with room rates from $56/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Maison Glad Jeju (Address: 80 Noyeon-ro, Yeon-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea / Phone: +82 64-747-4900), 5-star hotel with room rates from $75/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Shilla Stay Jeju (Address: 100 Noyeon-ro, Yeon-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea / Phone: +82 64-717-9000), 4-star hotel with room rates from $78/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Lotte City Hotels Jeju (Address: 83 Doryeong-ro, Yeon-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea / Phone: +82 64-730-1000), 5-star hotel with room rates from $93/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Jeju travel blog — Jeju experience: Best places to visit, top things to do in Jeju
To saving travel time when visiting Jeju Island, you need to arrange the most appropriate sightseeing spots. For example, in Seowgipo city, the first day you should spend all the time to visiting the places in this city. On the second day you will discover the remaining places in Seowgipo. On the third day you will go to the Jeju-si city to explore some best tourist attractions of this city and return the car you have hired and then go straight to the airport.
Watching sunrise at Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak
This is the most beautiful spot for watching sunrise in Jeju. You should go early from 4am to catch the sunrise. This is the farthest point on the east side of the island. Whether in Jeju City or Seogwipo, you will have to drive 1-1.5 hours to get here, so if you intend to watch the sunrise on the island, remember to get up early. Walking up the trails and climbing the stairs to the top is also quite hard, tired, but the scene is extreme beauty. At the foot of the mountain there are many shops, eateries but expensive prices.
Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak [UNESCO World Heritage] (성산일출봉)
284-12, Ilchul-ro, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Entrance fee: 2000KRW.
Jungmun Daepo Coast & Jusangjeolli Cliff
This place is same as the sea cliff of stone plates in Phu Yen province, Vietnam with the layers of hexagon stones are overlates. These are remnants of the lava rock layers from the old days because Jeju itself was formed from volcanic eruptions. Here, local people call them the Jusangjeollidae cliffs.
Daepo Jusangjeolli Cliff
36-30, Ieodo-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Opening hours: 09:00-19:00 (Last admission 18:00)
Individuals – Adults 2,000 won / Teenagers & Children 1,000 won
Groups – Adults 1,600 won / Teenagers & Children 600 won
* Group: 10 or more people
* Free admission for children (below 6 years old), seniors (ages 65 and above) and people with disabilities (including 1 companion for level 1-3).
If you have a lot of time, you can visit the most prominent Hallasan volcano on the island, because it is very large and it takes all day to climb here. It is also the highest mountain in Korea with the whole mountain area is a huge national park with many beautiful sights. To climb Hallasan you will take a whole day to climbing up, sightseeing, and climbing down. The Hallasan volcano is located in the middle of Jeju Island, divide the island into two parts are Jeju-si city and Seowgipo city.
Hallasan National Park [UNESCO World Heritage]
Address: 2070-61, 1100-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Phone: Eorimok Office: +82-64-713-9950/Seongpanak Office: +82-64-725-9950