JEJU ISLAND WITH ALICE CARRETT
NAME: Alice Carrett
WHAT YOU DO: Editor at Cool Guides & Publicist
STAR SIGN: Pisces
LIVING: Sydney, Australia
LOCATION: Jeju Island, South Korea
We stayed at Playce Camp in Seongsan-eup which is a quieter end of the island but so affordable and relaxing! Make sure you stay in the Duplex suites which are absolutely beautiful and well priced, plus they have an unlimited mini bar and plenty of cute bars and restaurants in the complex.
The hotel is walking distance to Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak) to sneak in a quick hike and enjoy the views.
You can rent electric scooters for around $20 which can get you into the local town quickly.
In terms of getting around the Island I would recommend renting a car if you can! We made the mistake of just using public transport which although great most of the time, takes a few hours to get to the major cities on Jeju which is where all the best food is.
You should definitely download the Visit Jeju App (you can contact their live message board if you get lost!), Kakao Maps, Kakao Bus and Rome2Rio to help navigate around. Generally, free public wifi is easily accessible though wifi sim cards are super cheap which you can collect from the airport!
Seongsan-eup is a far quieter end of town with not too many restaurants so we tried to eat in Jeju city and Seogwipo (both around 1hr away by bus) and just brought home snacks at night from the markets.
Jeju is famous for it’s citrus! Load up on as many mandarins, tangerines and oranges as you can!
Playce Camp also has the best Mandarin infused green tea in all the rooms which you can also purchase from their souvenir shop.
Our absolute favourite meal on Jeju Island was just down the road from our hotel at the bottom of Seongsan Illchulbong. The Haenyeo Women, a group of female free divers (no oxygen tanks!) dive for sea cucumbers, abalone, octopus and fish off the coastline. They are so adorable (all around 80 years old) and are super revered on the island for their strength and independent spirit!
If you go there at 1pm on the weekend (you can follow the path down from the mountain to the seaside) the women will sing folk songs and serve up the freshest seafood of your life. They only take cash, though it’s wildly cheap and you can sit by the sea and have ice-cold beers and fresh octopus dipped in homemade chilli sauce. THE BEST!
Dongmun market was a highlight, they have such a huge range of food stalls so make sure your work your way through all of them. Definitely go at nighttime as well, all the best stalls open up around 6pm.
Although touristy, Black Pork Street is also a must-try as the Island is famous for it. It’s hard to go wrong when it comes to choosing a Korean BBQ spot but always a good rule of thumb to go anywhere that is packed with locals.
Playce Camp has the best bakery and Cafe called Dorrell Coffee! They have these little eggy cakes which are honestly some of the best mystery cakes I have had in my life.
You can’t visit Jeju without a hike up Seongsan Illchulbong. It takes only about half an hour (though it is near vertical) and will give you the best view of Seongsan and the ocean.
It was formed by a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago so the crater has the most breathtaking greenery all through it.
For something a little ridiculous, I recommend going to Jeju Loveland. An erotic sculpture park that is pretty rundown but great for a hilarious walk. You can also get some dick-shaped steamed buns.
Next door to Loveland is the Jeju Museum of Art which is really beautiful and if you time it right can see some great international exhibitions.
Whilst you are in Jeju City, make sure you stop at Bed Radio for a beer in the afternoon sunshine. They have the cutest little team that runs it!
Jeju doesn’t have too much in the way of shopping though some places I would recommend checking out would include:
Playces Favourite: A great little store in Playce Camp with local Korean fashion brands, beauty products and home wares.
Visit Innisfree, even though it is a chain store they are famous for their Jeju Volcanic Mud Masks!
When you visit the markets don’t forget to get some cheap ceramics, great for kimchi soup and everything in between.