Photo in Loveland in Jeju Island | The Hollapinos
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(Last Updated On: October 12, 2020)

I have known a lot of people who went to South Korea but none of them went to Jeju Island. It was surprising to me because there are a lot of amazing things to experience on your Jeju Island travel.

Reasons why Jeju Island travel is not preferred by most people

Curious why all people that I know who went to South Korea did not bother to go in Jeju Island? We’re on the same boat so I asked them why.

No companion

Someone said she wanted to go to Jeju Island but she knows no one who wanted to go to Jeju Island. One reason could be because Jeju Island is popular for honeymooners so single people don’t want to go.

Less chance to meet their idols

Most of them said that they are diehard K-pop fan and they think that they have a better chance to see their idols if they are in Seoul.

Limited Time

Some said that Jeju Island is far from Seoul which means they need a longer vacation to be able to visit but unfortunately they only have limited time for their vacation. For them, there are already a lot of places to visit in Seoul including shopping and food tripping. They also said that one trip should be dedicated to Jeju Island only.

Additional cost

One of the major concerns is the budget. A South Korean said that he loves the Black Pig BBQ, the beautiful sea or beach in Jeju Island. But for him, everything is too expensive including the food, the hotel, and other activities. If you notice, I have asked some South Koreans and even them have never been to Jeju Island so I should not be surprised with the Filipinos that I know. Additionally, some prefer to visit Busan if they want to go to the beach during winter instead of paying for a flight to go to Jeju Island.

Climate

Some South Koreans said they prefer to go to Southeast Asian countries than Jeju Island. They also think Boracay in the Philippines is more worth visiting.

Visa Policy

A Filipino also mentioned that the no visa policy for Filipinos to visit Jeju Island is confusing. I will give more details on this as we go further on this post.

English Fluency

Some said that people in Jeju Island are not fluent in English and majority of the signage have no English translation.

Is it worth going to Jeju Island?

Yes! It is a yes for me. When planning our trip to South Korea, it was no doubt that I wanted to spend most of our vacation in Jeju Island. I guess everyone has there own preference. So if you are someone who prefer to spend more time with nature and places with less crowd, Jeju Island is for you!

"My favourite place in South Korea is Jeju Island: it's a tropical paradise with sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and the magnificent Geomunoreum lava tube system of underground caves." ~ Lee Hyeon-seo Click To Tweet

Jeju Island is the largest island in South Korea. It is home to the highest peak in South Korea and several UNESCO sites. Known as the Hawaii of South Korea, it is a famous honeymoon destination for newlyweds. Also known as the Islands of the Gods or Jejudo, Jeju island is also popular for its beach resorts, volcanic craters, nature parks and waterfalls.

Facts about Jeju Island in Korea

Use the following facts to help you plan your Jeju Island travel.

Geography and Government

Jeju Island was formed by volcanic eruptions about 2 million years ago which explains the natural rock formations that you will see as you tour around the island.

Jusangjeolli Cliff

Additionally, be ready to walk on the steep streets of Jeju Island. When we stayed in Seogwipo, most parts are elevated. You may need to pace yourself when walking around, especially while carrying your luggage.

Also, Jeju Island is the only self-governing province in South Korea where the locals instead of politicians rule the province.

Jeju island has two major cities: Jeju City and Seogwipo. Jeju City is the capital of Jeju Island and where you will arrive if you are travelling by plane. Stay in Jeju City if you prefer shopping and opt for a wide variety of bars and restaurants. Seogwipo is located on the southern part of Jeju Island and the best place to stay if you prefer nature and to be closer to the tourist spots.

Money

The currency of Jeju Island is South Korean Won or won for short.

  • Code: KRW
  • Symbol: ₩
  • Bills: ₩1000, ₩5000, ₩10000, and ₩50000
  • Coins: ₩10, ₩50, ₩100, and ₩500

See South Korean Won conversions below so you will not be shocked with how many zeros you have in your bill.

  • United States: 1 USD = 1,110 KRW
  • Europe: 1 EUR = 1,300 KRW
  • Great Britain: 1 GBP = 1,500 KRW
  • Canada: 1 CAD = 870 KRW
  • Singapore: 1 SGD = 850KRW
  • Australia: 1 AUD = 830 KRW
  • New Zealand: 1 NZD = 770 KRW
  • China: 1 CNY = 170 KRW
  • Philippines: 1 PHP = 24 KRW
  • Japan: 1 JPY = 11 KRW

You may use our converter below.

Currency Converter by OANDA

Note: Values above are approximate and just to give you an idea. Foreign exchange rate varies daily. Click here to check the up to date exchange rate and list of money changers.

You can exchange money at exchangers at Jeju International Airport and banks in Jeju City. Use the link above to locate other money exchangers in Jeju City.

You will also need to purchase a T-money card for ease of paying when commuting. T-money cards can be purchased and loaded at vending machines at the airport. A T-money mobile app is also available. Click here to buy a T-money card or app credits. An option to deliver it to you by mail is available.

Transportation

Commute

You need the KakaoMap mobile app to help you navigate around whether by walking or commuting. Make sure to download this on your phone. KakaoMap app needs a Wi-Fi connection so rent a pocket Wi-Fi when you arrive in South Korea. Sure you have data roaming but it’s expensive!

Renting a pocket Wi-Fi in South Korea will cost you about $2 per day with several devices allowed to connect and strong signal all throughout the country, even at the top of Mount Hallasan. Click here to browse availability and book a portable pocket Wi-Fi.

The bus is the major mode of transportation in Jeju Island and has no railways unlike in Seoul. The bus system is efficient and convenient that the commute was easy for the elders. Although the bus has more space for standing than seating, it was never full!

One downside of the bus system is sometimes, you might end up waiting on a dead bus stop meaning the bus will never arrive! So always check your KakaoMap app for updates or consider alternate routes.

Depending on the distance, a one-way bus trip would cost around KRW 1,000 to KRW 5,000 per person.

Car rental in Jeju Island

You can also rent a car in Jeju Island with a convenient airport pick-up so you are in control of your travel time. Make sure you have an international driving permit if you want to rent a car in Jeju Island or hire a driver. Click on the View More button below to compare rates and book a car rental in Jeju Island.

Flights

Flying is how to go Jeju Island from Seoul. It is the most convenient way to go to Jeju Island and why most people think it is expensive to travel to this island.

If you flying from Manila, there is no direct flight to Jeju Island even with Jeju Air! Crazy right? We booked a flight with Jeju Air from Manila to Seoul. Arriving at Seoul Incheon International Airport, we took the Airport Railroad Express (AREX) to Seoul Gimpo International Airport as the flights going to Jeju Island are at Gimpo.

Incheon Airport to Gimpo Airport via AREX details:

  • Travel Time: 45 minutes
  • Cost: KRW 3,750 (~$3.50) one way per person
  • Frequency: every 10 minutes
  • Hours: 5 AM to 12 AM

Flight from Seoul to Jeju Island

From Seoul Gimpo International Airport, we chose to fly with Asiana Airlines to go to Jeju Island.  We chose Asiana Airlines because they have several flight schedules within the day and the airfare is reasonable.

The price calendar below shows the cheapest flights from Seoul to Jeju Island within one year. Click on the month that you like below to book your flight from Seoul to Jeju Island.

When booking your flight from Seoul to Jeju Island, choose a schedule that is not too close to your arrival at Seoul Incheon International Airport. Give enough time to pass through immigration, claim your baggage and pocket Wi-Fi device, buy T-money cards (unless you have it delivered by mail), exchange currency, ride the train to Gimpo and eat breakfast.

Refer to the flight schedules below and click on select dates to book your flight from Seoul to Jeju Island.

Mike and I arrive in Seoul at 4:05 AM. We chose the 11 AM flight from Seoul to Jeju Island so that we will arrive at our hotel by check-in time. It is also for us not to rush, have time to explore cafe and restaurants at the airport and check out other spots nearby the airport.

Park near Gimpo Airport
We went to this park near Gimpo Airport while waiting for our flight to Jeju Island

Asiana Airlines Flight from Seoul to Jeju Island details:

  • Travel Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Baggage Allowance: 1 piece, 20 kilos maximum weight

Other flights to Jeju Island

Other flights to Jeju Island are from the cities of Busan, Daegu, Gunsan, and Gwangju.

Ferry

Jeju Island is also accessible from Busan by ferry. The Jeju Island travel from Busan via ferry details:

  • Company: MS Ferry
  • Travel Time: 12 hours 20 minutes
  • Frequency: 3 times a week
  • Tip: Frequency varies depending on the season so always availability here.

Visa

There are no visa requirements in Jeju Island for stays up to 90 days which is tricky for a Philippine passport holder like me who wants to visit Jeju Island. Since from Manila there are no direct flights to Jeju Island, I will need a South Korean visa because I will be arriving in Seoul that requires a visa.

Read here to check if you need to apply for a South Korean visa.

Tourism

The island hosts to approximately 15,000,000 visitors per year. Just like Hawaii, it is the winter destination of locals and tourist looking for warm weather and beaches. Mike and I noticed that tangerine trees are abundant everywhere. Tangerine fruit is even widely provided as complimentary in hotels too.

Jeju Island is laid back compared to Seoul so you can relax during your vacation. There were fewer tourists and no traffic but the downside is that English is not widely spoken. Its native language is distinct from Korean.

English Fluency

Bus incident

On our first day in Jeju Island, there was an issue with our T-money card while we were riding a bus from the airport to our hotel. Mike and I tapped our T-money cards as we entered the bus but the driver approached us. He was speaking Korean but we think he was saying that we did not pay enough.

We know our T-money cards have enough funds but we cannot understand his concern exactly. Other passengers were looking but cannot speak English either. Thankfully, there was a student riding the bus who can speak English and helped us with the issue.

Hotel incident

We stayed in two hotels in Jeju Island. First in Seogwipo then in Jeju City. The receptionist of Eins Hotel in Seogwipo was fluent in English but the receptionist of Elin Hotel in Jeju City was not. Eins Hotel‘s receptionist was helpful in providing directions. We asked for a good place to eat and he even printed the picture of the restaurant and its map so we can easily locate it.

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Unfortunately, Mike left some of our gadget accessories in Eins Hotel and he only realized it when we checked in Elin Hotel. The Elin Hotel receptionist was kind to allow us to call Eins Hotel using their phone to ask about our stuff. When I called, the receptionist who answered was not fluent in English so we decided to go back in Seogwipo the following day. Going back to Seogwipo, it was a different receptionist on duty and could not understand us so we were unable to retrieve our stuff.

Climate

Jeju Island has a humid subtropical climate and four seasons. Jeju City is slightly colder than Seogwipo.

If you prefer a warm weather, the best time to visit Jeju Island is during spring and summer. But for us, we wanted to experience the beautiful foliage in Jeju Island so we prefer to travel during autumn.

  • Spring: March to May
  • Summer: June to August
  • Autumn: September to November
  • Winter: December to February
Jeju Island Climate Infograph

Time zone

The time zone in Jeju Island is Korean Standard Time (GMT+9) with no daylight saving time.

Electricity and electrical plug

The standard voltage and the standard frequency in Jeju Island are 220 V and 60 Hz. The power plugs and sockets used are type C and F.

Jeju Island Power Plug Socket Type

Where to stay

We stayed in Jeju City and Seogwipo during our stay in Jeju Island. It is not necessary to do this but we wanted to stay nearby the famous spots that we will be visiting based on our itinerary. During your Jeju Island travel, you can do the same like us or choose either to stay in Jeju City or Seogwipo.

Stay in Jeju City if you want to be close to a wide variety of bars and restaurants. If you want to stay close to the tourist spots, stay in Seogwipo. Click To Tweet

As per my observation, I can describe that the 3-star hotels at Jeju Island are about the same price as a hostel in Seoul. We stayed in Elin and Eins hotels during our Jeju Island travel.

See our price comparison below for our 3 nights stay in a private room for two persones in Seoul and Jeju Island.

1012 Namsan House, Myeongdong, Seoul

  • Property Type: Hostel
  • Price for 3 nights: ₩165,000 ~ $142
  • Price per night: $47.33
  • with breakfast

Elin Hotel, Jeju City, Jeju Island

  • Property Type: 3-star hotel
  • Price for 3 nights: ₩156,000 ~ $134
  • Price per night: $44.67
  • no breakfast but has a lot of convenience stores nearby

Eins Hotel, Seogwipo, Jeju Island 

  • Property Type: 3-star hotel
  • Price for 3 nights: ₩165,000 ~ $142
  • Price per night: $47.33
  • with buffet breakfast

Reviews of our stay

What we love about Elin Hotel:

  • Affordable
  • Cozy and clean room
  • Friendly staff
  • Free tangerine in the lobby
  • Near restaurants and bus stops
  • No steep streets within the area

Click on the View Hotel button below to book a room in Elin Hotel at the best price!

What we love about Eins Hotel:

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable bed
  • Clean and spacious room
  • Great room design
  • Delicious buffet breakfast
  • Breakfast area has a view
  • Receptionist is fluent in English and helpful
Buffet breakfast with view in Eins Hotel

Click on the View Hotel button below to book a room in Eins Hotel at the best price!

10 best hotels on Jeju Island

If you want to check other options, below are the top hotels on Jeju Island.

Click on the View Hotel button of the property that you like to get more details and book a room at the best price!

Top 3 budget hotels

For budget accommodations, below are the top cheap hotels at Jeju Island.

Click on the View Hotel button of the property that you like to get more details and book a room at the best price!

Top luxurious stays on Jeju Island

For Jeju Island luxury hotels, below are the top 3!

Click on the View Hotel button of the property that you like to get more details and book a room at the best price!

Top hotels on Jeju Island with a view

For hotels at Jeju Island with sea view, check below.

Click on the View Hotel button of the property that you like to get more details and book a room at the best price!

How about hotels at Jeju Island with panoramic view? Check the top hotels on Jeju Island below!

Click on the View Hotel button of the property that you like to get more details and book a room at the best price!

Top hotels by city

If you want to be close to shopping spots, bars and restaurants, stay in Jeju City. Below are the top 3 hotels on Jeju City.

Click on the View Hotel button of the property that you like to get more details and book a room at the best price!

Or stay in Seogwipo to be close to nature and tourist spots.

Click on the View Hotel button of the property that you like to get more details and book a room at the best price!

What to eat

Must try Jeju Island food

Heuk Dwaeji Gui or Jeju Black Pork – this is the most famous food to try in Jeju Island. Known as the Pig’s Wagyu, the Jeju Black Pig is bred only in Jeju Island. There is a black pork street in Jeju City called Chilseong Road where you can find the best restaurants to try the Jeju Black Pork. Make sure Dombedon is number one on your list! Click here for directions to Dombedon.

Jeonbokjuk or Abalone Porridge – it is easy to find a female diver or Haenyeo House in every an coastal village in Jeju Island that serves a bowl of abalone porridge.

Matcha or Green Tea – Jeju Island is the largest producer of green tea in South Korea. Make sure you will visit the O’sulloc Tea Museum! Click here for directions to O’sulloc Team Museum.

We gotta try all the matcha desserts in O’sulloc Tea Museum

Other Jeju Island food to try

Samgyeopsal or Grilled Pork Belly – the pig may not be as cultivated as the Jeju Black Pork but it still delicious and my favorite! It is easy to spot a Samgyeopsal place anywhere in Jeju Island. We were eating this everyday which is okay with me until one night when Mike craved for pizza.

Samgyeopsal in Seogwipo

Kimbap or Korean Rice Roll – a Korean-style sushi rolled in dried sheets of seaweed and sliced into bite sizes.

Guksu or Korean Noodles – with options for hot or cold and with broth or dry, you definitely don’t want to miss out on noodles in Korean cuisine.

Baguette – our day will not be complete without coffee and some bread. Paris Baguette is our go-to place! There are several branches of Paris Baguette in Jeju Island so they are easy to spot!

Bingsu – a popular Korean shaved ice dessert with red beans, chopped fruits and a variety of ingredients. Caffe Bene is our go-to place!

Mike and I said we will treat ourselves in Caffe Bene after hiking Mount Hallasan

Burger and Fries – we always try McDonald’s in every place we go! Mike and I went to the one near Ilchulbong or Seongsan Sunrise Peak. Click here for directions to Seongsan Sunrise Peak.

Can you check if Mike was touching my fries?

Note: We provided the directions using Google Map but you can conveniently find these places using Kakaomap mobile app or ask a local. 🙂

Unique experience in Jeju Island

Good Samaritan

After visiting Hello Kitty Island, both our phones’ battery got drained. Now, it was difficult to navigate and we were walking on a road where there’s no one to ask.

We’ve been walking for an hour hoping to be able to find a cab that we can ride back to the hotel. Fortunately, we passed by a car parked on the side of the road and the driver called us. He is a young gentleman who is fluent in English and offered to drive us to one of the best restaurants in Seogwipo since it was almost dinner. The young gentleman did not accept our offer to pay him.

We had a good dinner and a restaurant staff helped me to charge my phone so we were able to find the bus route going back to our hotel.

Of course, Samgyeopsal again!
Fellow Filipino

It is common that I meet a fellow Filipino when travelling abroad but in Jeju Island, I only heard someone speaking in Tagalog on our 6th day. He is the only Filipino I met in Jeju Island.

Unlike in Jeju Island, when we were in Seoul, you can hear someone talking in Tagalog coming from different directions while walking along the busy street.

Recap of links

Here’s the recap of links for ease of your booking. Click the links below to book online.

Conclusion

And that’s it! Jeju Island is definitely worth visiting and those who went to South Korea and did not go to Jeju is missing out a lot!

Our next post is about The Best Things To Do In South Korea. Sign up now to receive new post updates straight to your inbox every Sunday!

What do you think of Jeju Island? Have you been to Jeju?

Photo in Loveland in Jeju Island | The Hollapinos
Taken at Loveland

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Klook is an online booking platform for activities, attractions, and things to do wherever you travel.

We are giving out $20 Klook Gift Cards to 5 lucky subscribers.

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FREEBIE ALERT! Klook is an online booking platform for activities, attractions, and things to do in wherever you travel. We are giving out $20 Klook Gift Cards to 5 lucky subscribers. Mechanics: 1. Follow us @thehollapinos 2. Comment 3 of your favorite travel buddies on this post 3. Subscribe to our newsletter using link in our bio You can follow the mechanics until Sunday, October 12 2020 7PM EST We will go live to pick and announce our winners 15 minutes after the said date and time. You will receive your $20 Klook Gift Card via email after we have verified that the mechanics were followed. We thank you for supporting travel bloggers like us! #freebiealert #freebies #freebiesquad #freebielover #travelgiveaway #travelgiveaways #giftcards #travel #travelblog #travelblogger #tagafriend #traveltribe #traveltribeworldwide #travelcontest #travelagain #travelagainsoon

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Mechanics
  1. Follow us on Instagram
  2. Comment 3 of your favorite travel buddies on the Instagram post above
  3. Subscribe to our newsletter using the form below

You can follow the mechanics until Sunday, October 18 2020 7PM EST.

We will go live to pick and announce our winners 15 minutes after the said date and time.

You will receive your $20 Klook Gift Card via email after we have verified that the mechanics were followed.

We thank you for supporting travel bloggers like us.


Travel planning resources

Flights: Jetradar compares airfares from airlines and travel agencies to help you book the best flight deals. Check with CheapOair too!

Accommodation: Book with Hotellook! It compares accommodation rates of several booking platforms like Booking.com, Zen, Agoda, Expedia, Hostelworld, Trip.com, Hotels.com to make sure you book the best price.

Book budget stays: Hostelworld

Book hotel rooms: Hotels.com

or book rooms with Booking.com or Agoda

Car Rental: Book the best prices and services with Rentalcars.com

Search using your phone: Download the Jetradar mobile app in iOS or Android to set price drop alerts on flights and compare accommodation and car rental rates

Tours: Get Your Guide or book with Klook and Viator (a TripAdvisor Company)

Bike and Scooter Rental: BikesBooking.com for motorcycle, scooter, quad, and bicycle rentals

Ferry: 12Go for ferry tickets in Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Philippines, New Zealand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Macao, and China.

And don’t forget travel insurance with World Nomads!

What to pack

Reusable Water Bottle: Nalgene

Immune Support: Airborne Chewables

Comfortable Walking Shoes: ON Sneakers

Waterproof Action Camera: GoPro Hero 7 White

Pin to your travel board!

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The Author

Katie is a Software Quality Assurance Analyst by profession. She is also a dragon boat paddler, a Crossfit athlete, and a weightlifter by passion. She has travelled within Asia, Europe, and Micronesia before meeting Mike.

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