There is no question about it – Jeju Island is my favorite island in the world. There are several reasons why I love this island, but nature is definitely the biggest reason. I’m not surprised at all that Jeju Island recently won the title as one of the seven new natural wonders of the world since nature is incredible stunning on the island. 2 million years ago Jeju was created from volcanic eruptions and has today developed into an island filled with beautiful scenery, tropical waterfalls, and friendly people.
Jeju Island isn’t the most popular destination to visit, but I’m glad I looked at it more closely when I was looking for the cheapest flight route through Asia. If it hadn’t been for Skyscanner’s fantastic search engine, I would today, probably not have visited this beautiful island.
Here are the 12 biggest reasons why Jeju Island is my favorite island:
If there’s something that I love about Jeju Island, then it’s for the island’s stunning waterfalls. I like to visit waterfall wherever I go; there is something magical and relaxing about them that makes you want to throw yourself in the water and relax.
Since Jeju Island is called “Hawaii of South Korea” I had quite high expectations – and, as you might know, high expectations can easily lead to disappointment. Was I disappointed? No, not at all! All the waterfalls that I visited were incredibly beautiful and special in their own way. Jeongbang, Cheonjiyeon, and Cheongjeyeon are just some of the waterfalls I visited on Jeju Island!
Teddy Bear Museum
Before I went to South Korea, I had never heard of a Teddy Bear Museum – but after my visit to this country, nothing really surprises me anymore. The whole country is filled with different and quirky things, which is something that I appreciate about South Korea. In this museum, you can see the teddy bears that looks like all sort of different persons, events, and things- where you among other things can see the “Creation of Adam,” the Terracotta Army and teddy bears that looks like the South Korean singer PSY (Gangnam Style)!
Mount Hallasan is the highest mountain in South Korea and has over 400 different species of plants and animals. Wherever you’re on the island, you will see this majestic mountain which also has a cool crater on the top. The mountain offers five different hiking trails that vary from 3.7 to 9.1 kilometers.
Yes, Jeju Island also offers beautiful beaches. Who would have thought that this island is so amazing? Beautiful beaches surrounded by lush nature, white/golden sand, and crystal blue waters. It’s no wonder that Jeju Island is also known as “Hawaii of South Korea” when their beaches look like this. If there’s one beach that stands out from the others, then it’s the paradise beach Hyeopjae!
The Dol Hareubang ”Grandfather Stones” Statues
All across Jeju Island, you can spot the beautiful Hareubang statues. These figures are made of lava and look like penises. Some may find it a bit strange, but I think they are incredibly interesting.
Over the years these statues have become a great symbol of Jeju Island, and today you can buy small miniature Dol Hareubang statues in almost every souvenir shop. Historically, these are known to protect against evil spirits and enemies, and therefore, they can often be seen outside homes and buildings.
There are several stories about these statues. One thing that’s said is that the souvenirs will bring good luck to infertile women – if it’s true or not, I’m not sure. But what I do know is that these statues are cool and wacky, and worth a visit when you’re on Jeju Island!
Fields of Gold
I just love the amazing landscapes of Jeju Island – and when it’s season, especially the golden fields. When spring finally reaches Jeju, the canola fields starts to bloom and gives a stunning contrast to the lush green nature. You’ll stumble upon these fields almost everywhere you go, which is wonderful when you’re out on a road trip!
Peanut Ice Cream
If there’s a sweet that I enjoy eating, then it’s ice cream. I think that ice cream is that good that I could eat it in Antarctica – which, funny enough, is one of the things I’ve written down on my bucket list.
South Korea offers so many fun and different snacks, so when I stumbled upon peanut ice cream made out of local peanuts I just had to taste it. And how good was the ice cream you might ask? Well, it was delicious – it was the best ice cream and peanuts I’ve ever had!
The diving women of Jeju Island
In the years gone by, when the men of Jeju Island went off fishing, there was someone who had to work to put food on the table. Since rice can’t grow on the island, the women of Jeju Island had to learn to dive to catch squid, abalone, clams and seaweed. These women are called “haenyo” and are known all over the country to dive in 10 to 20 meters depth without tubes.
The haenyo women have an average age of 65 years, but some work until they are 80 years old. One can see these women work in several different places on the island, including Jungmun Beach in Seogwipo.
Hallabong oranges are a delicacy of Jeju Island and are the tastiest oranges I’ve ever had! These oranges are grown in the Mount Hallasan area and are sold during the months of winter until early spring. The second best thing about these oranges, after the sweet flavor, is that they are so easy to peel!
The locals on Jeju Island are so incredibly friendly, kind and helpful. They’re actually one of the reasons why I yearn so much to get back. Wherever you go, there’s always someone who gives you a smile, and as soon as you seek help or look confused, there is always someone there who want to help you out.
I just love when you’re out walking and you will find a beautiful natural pool that you can cool off in. There’s something magical about these natural pools that makes you just to want to throw yourself into the water and relax. The coast along Jeju Island is really amazing, so don’t be surprised if you encounter one of these turquoise pools while exploring the island.
Just outside Jeju Island lies this little gem – an incredibly beautiful island that has its own charm and traditions. One of the best things about Jeju Island is that it’s easy to access Udo Island, which lies only 15 minutes away by boat.
On this beautiful island, there is much fun to do. From visiting beautiful beaches, eat delicious food, stroll around lush nature and do sightseeing from a scooter on three wheels. There is much to explore on Udo Island, so much so that I have to get back to explore it all!
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