Jeju Island – one of the new 7 wonders of the world – is an island 4 times the size of Singapore, 130km off the southern coast of Korea. One can get there via an hour long plane ride from Seoul, or 13 hours via a ferry ride from Incheon. Think of Jeju as the Hawaii for all Koreans, who regularly frequent Jeju and call the island one of their favourite family or honeymoon destinations.
With its spectacular nature attractions and made-famous locations due to the popularity of Korean television drama serials, it is no wonder Jeju is a hot travel destination for both Koreans and Singaporeans.
A month ago, I travelled to Jeju with Bryan and Cheryl Tay on a self-drive trip. Jeju is one of those destinations ideal for self-driving as the roads aren't congested and its easy to navigate around with your GPS. Having your own car also beats having to squeeze in a crowded bus with tourists - and because the attractions are faced out quite far apart, a car is quite necessary.
Here’s sharing the highlights of Day 1 of the places we visited in Jeju. Stay tuned for more blogs as we share with your our Jeju journey!
Jeju Day 1 - Hallim Park
Somewhat like the Botanic Gardens of Singapore, Hallim Park boasts acres and acres of flowers and fauna you would not otherwise get to see in the Singaporean climate. Hallim Park is also famous for its Ssangyonggul Cave and Hyeopjae Caves, formed when its resident volcano Mt. Halla erupted.
Image credits: Hallim Park
They are the only known volcanic caves that have stalagmites and stalactites, so if you’ve never had the experience of walking through caves like these before, Hallim Park is a definite must go to experience cave trekking without needing to do excessive hiking.
Getting to Hallim Park
English Address: 300, Hallim-ro, Hallim-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Korean Address: 제주특별자치도 제주시 한림읍 한림로 300
Jeju is home to the world’s first ever glass museum. Visit the museum and you’ll get to view “the world’s largest glass ball and largest glass diamond, a glass stonewall, a mirror lake, and a glass bridge”.
The Glass Castle also has a forest trek that brings you through various glass-themed installations, like flower fields and a family of deers, made entirely out of glass. If you’re interested in the craftsmanship of glass-making, the Glass Castle also shows you – first hand and on site – how glass is made!
Getting to the Glass Castle:
English Address: 462, Nokchabunjae-ro, Hangyeong-myeon, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Korean Address: 제주특별자치도 제주시 한경면 녹차분재로 462
O'Sulloc Tea Museum
This has got to be one of my favourite places in Jeju, and I highly recommend setting aside 2-3 hours at the Museum. The “O” in O'Sulloc Tea Museum means to “appreciate and enjoy” which is what you will exactly get to do if you are fans of tea, green tea in particular.
What you can do at the museum: visit the observatory, which will give you a bird’s eye view of the surrounding tea plantations, learn about Korean tea culture and its history at the Tea Cup Gallery, and lastly, end off your museum trip by purchasing O’Sulloc Tea bags, which you can sample and try out on the spot, or visit the O’Sulloc Café which serves you amazing green tea-infused desserts and drinks.
Getting to O'Sulloc Tea Museum
English Address: 425, Sinhwayeoksa-ro, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Korean Address: 제주도 서귀포시 안덕면 신화역사로 425
Craving more Jeju?
Check out Day 2 of our Jeju series, where we take a look at the Mysterious Road, World Cultural Heritage Centre and share our ATV experience. Also be sure to check out this video we filmed while we were exploring Jeju!
If you're looking for a different type of holiday with driving, Jeju is one of those places which just makes sense to go get a car and explore. And if you're the type who would rather travel in a convoy, you can consider the self-drive packages that are offered by the Automobile Association of Singapore. They usually have special "autoventure" bundled packages for groups.
Read more of TheSmartLocal's Jeju Adventures!
- 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Jeju at Least Once in Your Life
- Jeju Day 1 - Hallim Park, Glass Castle, O'Sulloc Tea Museum
- Jeju Day 2 - Mysterious Road, World Cultural Heritage Centre and our ATV experience
- Jeju Day 3 - Sseongsan Sunrise Peak and Pyeoseon Jeju Folk Village Museum
- Jeju Day 4 - Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls, Oedolgae Rock, Alive Museum and Jusangjeolli Cliff
This post was brought to you by the Korean Tourism Organisation and Jeju Tourism Organisation.