ith the gentle summer breeze fading away quickly, there is no reason not to enjoy the forthcoming fall. The refreshing season is inarguably the most beautiful period to visit the stunning island of Jeju. The island – most famous for the views of Halla Mountain and its abundant supply of Oranges to the rest of the country – has more to see than these cultural traditions.
Jeju is a party island with celebrations and festivals at every corner. Jeju island itself has the traditional food stalls in Dongmun market, displaying beautiful colors of seasonal fruit and veg for either the eyes – or stomach – to consume. Outside and a mere five minute walk away is the spectacular grounds of the Jeju Fortress with a great wall and the grounds of Samseonghyeol to peruse.
For lunch, Guksu Geori – or Noodle Street – is a favorite for locals and visitors alike with various pork broth noodle dishes on offer. A gentle stroll back toward the Jeju City portal coast and a number of eateries open up in the evening to provide the freshest catches of the day line side by side in Sashimi Restaurants Street. Many have set menus to choose from (dependent on one’s tastes) and being a local market, do not price each other out with a meal starting at around KRW 30,000 per person. If fish isn’t your thing, cross over the road to Black Pork Street for the best of Jeju’s black pork galbi. Open for lunch or dinner, this strip is particularly thriving at night, located near the main shopping high street in the city center.
For those wanting to escape the city lights, Seogwipo lies in the south of the island, and caters for the five-star guest and their golfing weekends away. Numerous beaches are within a taxi-ride but at this time of year, the multitude of strangely themed museums is perhaps a better option. Ranging from the teddy bear museum, a specially-themed Hello Kitty museum to the more adult-themed Loveland, there is a choice for any interest. Jeju is also home to Jeju United, with the ground nearby with the local orange-kitted favorites playing K-league games until early December.
October brings the southern based island’s annual Jeju Olle Walking Festival when visitors from all around the world come to experience the trail walk around the island and is a definite option to see all of these attractions. The festival will be held for two days- from October 30-31. Visit www.ollewalking.co.kr for more information.
Moreover, the “A Day Away Awesome Jeju” program coordinated by the nonprofit Jeju Olle Foundation offers foreign travelers to experience the real local culture in depth by introducing travelers to Jeju’s hidden gems and tourists spots alike with an English-speaking guide. The program started on September 18 and will continue until November 14.
For reservations: visit www.jejuolle.org, click on the “community” tab and then the “A Day Away Awesome Jeju” tab. From there, travelers can choose their preferred travel route. The fee is KRW 64,000 won (USD 53.56) per person and covers the transportation, tour guide, lunch, experience session in the village and a souvenir. Travelers are advised to book one day prior to the departure date. For more information, call 064-762-2173
For accommodation: Airbnb (www.airbnb.com) have a vast selection of unique listings across the island. It is not difficult to find English-speaking hosts to assist visitors on their travels. Putting maps to bed, the hosts can provide recommendations and tips for your trip around Jeju. Communicate with your hosts who know the island like the back of their hand for hidden gems and local eateries tucked away from tourist spots. Any question is not too difficult for your hosts to answer.