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Jeju Island 제주도, 濟州島 is the largest island isolated from the Korean peninsula, also home to Hallasan, the highest mountain in Korea. The domestic flight took only an hour, from Gimpo Airport to Jeju Island.
Check out our 3D2N itinerary on what to do in Jeju Island & Udo Island!
Touched down and had nourishing, heart-warming soup brimming with abalone and assortment of seafood in sizzling hot pot for dinner. Just the right food to soothe the tummy and soul in this chilly, raining evening.
Jeju Fresh Abalone Claypot Soup
Fresh abalone is one of the must-eat when in Jeju, be it grilled abalone, abalone hot pot rice, claypot abalone soup or abalone porridge. What lies behind this specialty is not how premium the abalone is, but the culture that takes place in – Jeju abalone is traditional caught by female divers, or more known as Haenyeo, also called Jeju’s mermaids.
As Jeju is a volcanic island that is not suitable for general farming like paddy, people on this island rely on fishing and seafood trading. Back then, Jeju men went out to the sea to fish. But due to the lack of information and access in forecasting the weather, many died in sudden title waves. Women who are left behind at home become the breadwinner, making a living by plunging 10m under the sea to source for seafood including abalone, octopus and sea urchin. This has led to divers dominated by women in Jeju. Now, Jeju Haenyeo culture is classified into UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
Had a short walk at JEJU Dongmun Market after dinner. Do buy some tangerine here. You can find them at almost every stall along the market.
Jeju Dongmun Market
Address: 16 Dongmun-ro, Ildo 1(il)-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do
Opening hours: 6PM till midnight
Finally checked-in to Regent Marine Hotel, a hotel located in the downtown of Jeju! Our room for 2 nights. Clean and comfy Twin Bed room, equipped with all essential amenities.
Hotel RegentMarine Jeju
Address: 20 Seobudu 2-gil, Geonip-dong, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, South Korea
DAY 3 – Udo Island – Black Sand Beach – Udo Bong- Lunch Grilled Hairtail Fish + Seaweed Soup – Jeju Folk Village – Sangumburi Crater – Nanta Show – Dinner BBQ Jeju Black Pork – Hotel Regent Marine The Blue
Good morning! Quick breakfast in the hotel and we are ready to off for Udo Island – highlight of this 8D6N Sparkling Korea trip.
As mentioned before, Apple Vacations is the only tour in Malaysia that offers this destination in their itinerary.
Located just 3.5KM off the Eastern coast of Jeju Island, Udo Island 우도 is a highly recommended pitstop to combine with Jeju trip. It is also named as Cow Island, as it resembles the shape of lying cow.
How to go Udo Island from Jeju Island:
It is fairly easy to reach Udo Island. Just make your way to Seongsanhan Port Ferry Terminal성산항 , bought ticket bound for Udo Island and you are ready to go. The ferry departs hourly from 8AM to 6PM daily (*schedule is different depends on season), but might be cancelled if the weather is harsh.
Initially we were quite worry that our Udo trip would be cancelled too, as the sky was gloomy and ocean currents seemed strong. But luckily yay, we managed to be there after a 15 minutes journey, with “WELCOME TO BEAUTIFUL U-DO” greeting us.
What to do in Udo Island
The local tourism has summarized Eight Scenery of Udo, called Udopalkyeong (우도팔경/牛島八景) to introduce the beauty of Udo Island, also as an itinerary guide for visitor. The 8 scenery is elaborated into the following: ‘Day and Night’, ‘Sky and Ground’, ‘Front and Back’, and ‘East and West’
- Juganmyeongwol (주간명월/晝間明月) – Day
- Yahangabyum (야항어범/夜航漁帆) – Night
- Chunjinguansan (천진관산/天津觀山) – Sky
- Jiduchungsa (지두청사/地頭靑莎) – Earth
- Jeonphomangdo (전포망도/前浦望島) – Front
- Huhaesukbyeok (후해석벽/後海石壁) – Back
- Dongankyeonggul (동안경굴/東岸鯨窟) – East
- Seobinbaeksa (서빈백사/西濱白沙) – West
Source: Wikipedia * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udo_(island)
We covered only the Geommeolle and Udobong areas but it is worth spending a day here, exploring the nature beauty surrounded by tranquility through trekking, walking, biking and more.
Do You Know that: Even though Udo Island is just a small island with less than 2000 residents, their tourism has brought them more than 1 million of visitors annually and rated as one of the top destinations to visit in Jeju Island.
Started at Geommeolle, the East side of Udo Island.
Many cafes around, some overlooking the emerald blue sea. Peanut butter ice cream is must-have, topped with Udo Island’s very own peanuts.
Take the steep stairs down and have your feet step on Geommeolle Beach 검멀레 해수욕장, or black sand beach. It is a short, 100m beach appears in black, formed from black volcanic rock. In contrary to Geommeolle Beach, there is Sanho White Sand Beach on another side of Udo, popular for its crystal white sand and clear blue sea water.
20m in height, 30m wide Udo cliffs around the beach, form from volcanic activity. They look like neatly stacked flat rock pieces, leading it to one of the 8 sceneries of Udo – Huhaeseokbyeok.
At the bottom of the cliffs located right next to Gummeollae Sand Beach is Dongangyeonggul, another 8 sights of Udo. You can only see it during low tides. It is said that the entrance is so big that it can fit in a whale, hence the name “East Coast Whale Cave”
Udobong 우도봉, the highest point of Udo Island, 132.5m above sea level. Hike up to the top for a magnificent view of the beach coast (*Jiduchungsa) or have a glimpse of the peak from Geommeolle if you choose not to join the trekking.
Such a pretty view. We can sit down, enjoying the view and do nothing for whole day here. But still, had to back to reality. Because stomach growl. Haha.
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Drop by at one of the Tangerine Farm along the road during our way for lunch.
Lunch was Salt Grilled Hairtail Fish, or Galchi Jorim- a dish that Jeju prides at. We were told that a whole long, slim hairtail fish is whopping expensive, costs more than 100,000 won, which is almost RM350. The reason why is because hairtail fish is hard to get, freshly caught from sea. Can’t deny, it tastes sooooo good.
The-Very-Expensive-Whole-Hairtail-Fish. And this generous bowl of seaweed soup. Good stuff.
You must try this Gejang 게장 (soy sauce crab)! It tasted a bit raw if eating alone, but balanced up once you mixed it together with the soy sauce.
Spotted the one and only Starbucks we bumped into in Jeju Island, so Summerkid excitedly add another Starbucks tumbler into his collection. *FacePalm
Continued our journey to Jeju Folk Village, a major tourist attraction that showcases the culture, living and traditions of Jeju residents in the past. There are 2 folk villages on the island, Seongeup Folk Village 성읍민속마을 and Jeju Folk Village 제주민속촌. Seongeup Folk Village is free to enter, while the latter charged an entrance fee but gives a better insights with over 100 houses and facilities that were once used by actual residences, displaying original scenes of Jeju’s village from the 1890s.
Jeju Folk Village 제주민속촌
631-34, Minsokhaean-ro, Pyoseon-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
[April–July 15] 08:30–18:00
[July 16 – August] 08:30–18:30
Thanks to our knowledgeable local tour guide, we learnt a lot about the past of Korea here, not to mention some interesting label for Jeju, like “Island of Three Abundance ” (三多) & Island of Three No “(三無)
Three Abundances 三多- “Abundant” of rocks, wind, women
Jeju is formed from volcanic activity about 1.2million years ago. Hence the island is covered in volcanic rock & soil, giving the scene 石多 (* a lot of rocks). Due to the location of Jeju Island that lies in the path of typhoons, it is very windy – 風多 . Lastly, as mentioned before, men in Jeju rely on fishing as their main income. Many of them lost their life due to the harsh environment in the sea, leaving women behind. That is why Jeju is always said to have – 女人多 (*a lot of women)
Three No 三無- “No” Begger, Thieves, Gates. Since there is no begger and thieves in Jeju. The island is so peaceful that people here do not have to worry whether someone would break into their house.
The gate with three logs are just an indication that whether the home owner is in the house, out for a while or not at home.
Sangumburi Crater is an extinct volcano located to the East of Hallasan. 2070m in exterior circumstances, 650m wide. It is not more than 450m above the sea, but with a depth of 132m, making it an almost flat crater that looks like a round shape stadium when view from top.
Wild plants and trees filling up the crater. You will be surprise that there are over 400 of rare species of plants and animals in Sangumburi, from magnolia trees and rare winter strawberries on the North side to maples and mountain strawberry in the South area.
With its unique volcanism named Maru in Korea and the diverse amount of wild species, Sangumburi Crater is now listed as Korea’s Natural Monument No. 263. Must-visit in Jeju especially during late Autumn.
Another thing that makes Sangumburi Crater so famous is the panaromic view of reed. In autumn, the whole field will be painted in shinny golden brown. So happy that we were here at the right season!
The name, 山君不離火山口 also means that the scenery here is so pretty that it will make a person doesn’t feel like leaving. True enough, we are loving this place. Look at the reed basking in the evening sun! So beautiful.
Fun Facts: This place is also where few Korean dramas shooting took place, such as Love Wind Love Song 恋风恋歌.
Sangumburi Crater 산굼부리
Address: 768 Bijarim-ro, Jocheon-eup, Jeju City
Hours of operation: 9 a.m to 6 p.m. (and until 5 p.m. from Nov. to Feb.)
Nanta Show, an award-winning culinary live performance that doesn’t need further introduction. It was so funny and we couldn’t stop laughing throughout the show even though we can’t understand Korean.
Highly recommended you to add Nanta Show into your itinerary when you are in Korea. You can also watch this in Myeong Dong and Hongdae Seoul.
Dinner with BBQ Jeju Black Pork, probably the best meal we had for our Korea trip this round.
Thick cut of meat grilled over charcoal stove till slight charred at the edges, wrapped with soybean sauce, kimchi in fresh vegetable. Sooo juicy, sooo good.
Back to hotel and rest. Couldn’t wait for the next day to PyeongChang!
*Sparkling Korea 8D6N trip 2019 is by Apple Vacations, in collaboration with KTO Malaysia.
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