Jeju Island, South Korea

What to do on Jeju Island

What to do in Jeju Island

It was a very cold, windy morning when I crossed the empty streets of Seoul with white smoke coming out of my mouth. I hurriedly walk my way to the MRT Station to seek refuge from the weather. My original plan didn't involve visiting a nearby Island of Seoul named Jeju Island. It was formerly known as Cheju Island and is located off the southern coast of South Korea. A doctor I know convinced me of visiting this wonderful paradise, he said "If you're not going to Jeju Island might as well miss your flight." It got me thinking so decided to take a domestic flight to Jeju besides when I checked the airfare it was surprisingly cheap. No regrets, It was the best part of my trip to Korea. Let’s go! 

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Travel Tips
  • For flights, Skyscanner is excellent for comparing the best airline deals.
  • For accommodations, our family trusts for reasonable prices.

Seoul Airport to Jeju Island

Hongik University Station to Gimpo Airport

How to get there: Take AREX(Airport Express train) Light Blue Line to Gimpo International Airport (2 stations, 4 minutes).
Jeju Air Flight: Seoul-Jeju(07:00 - 08:10)
Ticket price: 51,200 won/66 SGD

Travel Light

I brought along a piece of luggage with me as it was hard to carry my winter clothes in a backpack. I'm not used to it, it was bulky and inconvenient. The MRT station in Korea is massive, you will need to navigate your way carefully and be ready to carry your luggage on a flight of stairs. It was a great way to exercise my muscles as I'm doing a lot of trekking for the following days. Most of the ladies walking around wore heels with thin leggings, it simply struck me how they managed to survive the cold plus the endless walks in the station. I on the other hand was not even close to being fashionable, I laughed at the thought of that. What matters most to me is that I'm comfortable with what I wear and what I smell. I'm more concerned with my luggage which I carry in all my transfers, it's such a pain in my head especially when there's always a mob at the MRT stations. I simply want to get away from the city crowd and be on Jeju Island right away. 

The moment I arrived on the Island there were only a few people in the airport, even in the bus terminal. I love the countryside feeling, nowadays I'm more withdrawn from society and I prefer to be with nature. I'm becoming a hermit, I might as well live in a Hobbit hole in New Zealand. Hopefully, someday I can link this post to my New Zealand trip. 

Gimpo Airport to Yeha Guesthouse

How to get there: 
By Bus (about 10-15mins) 
Total Fare: 1,200KRW
Take the number 100 bus at gate no.2 of the 1st floor, Jeju airport, and get off at Hankook Hospital (next to Jeju bus terminal). From there, it is a 1-minute walk.
Or By Taxi (about 5-10mins) 
Fare : 4,500KRW-5,000KRW
Take a short-distance taxi and show the printout of detailed directions to the guesthouse on the website or let him know the phone number.

Where To Stay: Solo Female Traveler

Check-in: Yeha Guesthouse  (Estimated Arrival: 9 am)
Address: 9, Samo-gil, Jeju-si Jeju Special Self-Governing Province South Korea, 690-812 Tel. 070-4012-0084/064-724-5506
3 days 2 nights for 38,000 won
Deposit: 8,000 won 
Balance pay on arrival 30,000 won
(Toiletries Small towel, hair drier, tissue Shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper and Breakfast provided).

Perfect Location

Yeha Guesthouse is 3 minutes away from Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal by foot. Getting around Jeju was not a problem, all the tourist routes were posted on a board below the bus numbers. When you hop inside the bus there's a small TV screen which tells everyone each bus stop's name in English and Hangul. It was a piece of cake! Upon arriving at the guesthouse I deposited my luggage at the counter and immediately walked back to the Jeju bus terminal. 

Explore Jeju Island: Manjanggul Cave and Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak 

Jeju Bus Terminal to Manjanggul Cave

How to get there: 

From Jeju-si Jeju Bus Terminal proceed to platform or post number 4 and take Bus 701. Take the Donghoe Line Intercity Bus to get off at the parking lot near Manjanggul Cave Entrance. Travel time: 1 hour and 30 minutes. At the parking lot, take a town bus bound for Manjanggul or a taxi for 2,000 won-4,000 won or take 20 minutes to walk to Manjanggul Cave Entrance. 

East Course of Jeju

My planned route for that day is to check out the East Course of Jeju, specifically Manjanggul Cave and Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak. I prefer to see the cave before going to the peak, light after dark, it was more of the distance actually and the bus availability at that time. Heading to the peak first is possible too, it's farther than the cave and you can avoid the long travel back to the Jeju Bus terminal. The bus drop-off is a bit farther away from the cave entrance, you can either walk or take a cab/taxi, I was lucky to be there when two tourists were bargaining with a taxi driver, and the driver asked me to come along to pay at a minimal fee. All three of us paid 2,000 won for the ride to the Manjanggul Cave Entrance. 

Manjanggul Cave

  • Address: 182 Manjanggul-gil, Gujwa-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, South Korea
  • Phone:+82 64-710-7903
  • Opening hours: Summer season 09:00-18:00 / Winter season 09:00-17:30
  • Entrance fee: Adults – 2,000 won / Youth – 1,000 won / Children – 1,000 won

The cave was beautiful, cold, and massive. I stand fascinated with the expansive space that sits still below the ground. Manjanggul Cave is considered the longest lava tube in the world. It stands 5 meters wide, between 5 to 10 meters high, and is over 13 kilometers long. I spent an hour walking back and forth inside the cave, I wanted to see everything that was down there. There was a point where I was walking by myself, that creeps me out a little bit yet I continued walking. Every time I see another tourist explorer I would wave and smile at them, though they're really not that friendly. I sang a song when no one was around, the echo simply ticked me off which really makes me laugh like a lunatic. Here I am still entertaining myself. When you're traveling alone you simply do silly things to keep yourself amused by your surroundings. 

Always Smile

At the end of my trail, I met a few 'Ajumma' or old ladies in Korea, they were kind enough to take my picture and in return, I took their group picture as well. I've totally forgotten to take a picture with them. I love taking pictures with strangers every time I travel to be with a group or on my own, I like to see them on my camera roll to remind myself who showed me the right way, gave a kind gesture, and just a reminder of who I've met in my travels. Afterwards, I made my way back to the outside world, dropped by the nearest convenience store, bought a drink, and made my way back to the bus stop where I alighted. 

Manjanggul Cave to Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak 

How to get there:

Take the same Bus 701. Alight at a nearby bus stop near the Inchulbong Entrance, it's a few meters walk away. In front of the bus stop look for Dosirak Guesthouse, a bit on your left side. Once you see it cross the street and follow that road beside the guesthouse, continue walking straight, and turn right. Right away the stairway to heaven appears right before your very eyes. 

Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak 

  • Address: Ilchul-ro, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, South Korea
  • Phone:+82 64-783-0959
  • Open daily: 5 a.m.-9 p.m. in winter, 4 a.m.-10 p.m. in summer, except in bad weather 
  • Admission: Age 24-64: 2,000 won 
  • Age 7-23: 1,000 won / 65 and over
  • Age 6 and under Free 

As a solo traveler, I love the convenient Bus Ride to Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak.

Bird's eye view of Jeju Island

Trust your Instincts

I didn't exactly know where the Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak was, people passing by were even confused when I asked for directions. I'm glad I was equipped with a GPS DNA, ahahaa. By instinct I crossed the street I figured that a crater would not be standing near a road. An old couple meets my gaze and I shout out with a smile powering up all my linguistic genes to ask for directions. Guess what they were just at the peak, they pointed the way with a big flash of white teeth on their faces. 

Best Mackerel Meal

Before heading straight to the peak entrance I went to a nearby restaurant for a traditional Korean meal. It was the best mackerel fish I've ever tried, it's soft, fragrant, and flavorful. It was served with rice, delicious soup, and different kinds of side dishes. I've always loved Korean food and I respected it, even more, when I got to try the authentic taste. Time and effort are much needed to create the meal. I salute the people's patience and dedication in maintaining the taste of Korean food. 

Top of Seongsan ilchulbong

Reach the Top of Seongsan ilchulbong

Merry and glee I made my way up to the peak. The stair was a challenge and I loved it because the following day I planned to climb Mt. Hallasan (Hike the Highest Mountain on Jeju Island). Don't focus on the flight of stairs as it will get more tiring, look at the view, with every step I make I have a grandeur view of Jeju Island. I try to avoid booking tour packages, I'm the kind of person where I don't want people leading me and giving me orders especially not on my vacation. 

Take your Time

Travel not just for the tourist spot, enjoy and experience a different side of the world you're used to. Everyone was trying to get there as fast as they could, I on the other hand took my own sweet time, taking it all in and smiling in delight. I find myself weird sometimes, I can be in a place for a long time staring at the same view and be still. Even my friends find my one-song playlist for a 10 km run bizarre. Let's embrace our weirdness, appreciate our strange ideas and be happy about it.

Ajumma Divers 

Going down was a breeze, the wind came through and the clouds shaded the way. I walked around the coast just on the other side of the peak, caught a glimpse of the Ajumma divers, and made my way back to the bus stop. Ajumma Divers also called the Mermaids of Jeju, are old female ladies aged 60-70 years old who dress in simple black suits to fight the cold water and hold their breath underwater to catch seafood using netted nylon baskets.

Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak back to Jeju Bus Terminal

How to get there:

Go back to the Bus stop area where you alighted but this time take the Bus from the Other side of the street. The bus that runs back to Jeju Bus Terminal is just a few steps away from the opposite road. 

The Winter season has longer nights so I intend to be back early in the guesthouse before it gets dark and when the temperature drops.

(Nearby: Bijarim Forest, Jeju Stone Park, Sangumburi Crater, Jeolmul Natural Recreation Forest, Eco Land Theme Park, Saryeoni Forest Path, Gyorae Natural Recreation Forest).

While I was waiting at the bus stop I noticed the cutest thing, there's a box of mandarin oranges on sale, an honesty box where you leave the money inside the box and you purchase the oranges and go. It really put a smile on my face, I was about to buy one for myself but then the bus came, a simple thing that really made me smile all the way back to the terminal. 

Another good thing when I arrived back in the city was that my guesthouse offered happy hour where everyone could get a bottle of beer or juice drink for free.

Timeline: 9:30 am Jeju terminal to Mangangul Cave arrived around 11 am, explore and out at the cave by 12:30 noon, bus to Seongsan Peak arrived 1 pm, 1:30 after lunch,2-4 pm hike up and down, bus back to Jeju terminal 4 pm, arrived in terminal around 6:30 pm. 

Have fun and be safe ^__^

Do you want more adventure?
If you still have one more day to spare why not go to Nami Island and check out the most romantic island in South Korea.

Where am I going next?


  1. hi i was glad to bumb into your blog. This is very helpful on my winter trip in jeju next year. I also intend to use public transport and this blog helps a lot. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    1. HelloAnne, My pleasure. They have an efficient transport system so you wont get lost. Thanks for dropping by. Cheers!