Jeju is a magical place. Among all the islands in Korea, it’s the one most think of when the image of paradise comes to mind. Last week, we explored the east side of this famed area of Korea. This week, The Korea Blog zeroes in on sights closer to the central area of the island and near the northern coast. All the sights can be visited in a single day, provided you have your own car.
Stop One: Sangumburi Crater
The crater has a circumference of 2km and has been set aside as a national monument. Located not too far from Jeju City, it makes this the perfect place to start one’s day, since it allows for a hearty breakfast at your sleeping accommodations before driving out. The interesting thing about this crater is that when it erupted, it did not form a cone. In fact, when looking down from above, Sangumburi rater is said to resemble a sports stadium.
Address: Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Jeju-si Jocheon-eup Gyorae-ri San 38
Phone: +82-64-783-9900, +82-64-1330 (Tourism Line)
Hours: Summer Season 08:30 – 18:30 / Winter Season 08:30 – 17:30
Admission: Adult 3,000 won / Youth, Children 1,500 won
From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take an Intercity Bus bound for Beonnyeong-ro and get off at ‘Sangumburi‘ (Bus schedule: 1hr intervals, Travel time: 30-40min)
From Seogwipo Intercity Bus Terminal, take an Intercity Bus bound for Dongilju. Get off at ‘Pyoseon-ri samuso(office, 표선리사무소)’. (Travel time: 1hr 40min.) Walk straight towards the intersection and turn left and walk straight to bus stop. Transfer to bus bound for Beonnyeong-ro and get off at ‘Sangumburi‘ (Travel time: 1hr 30min.)
Stop Two: Jeju Stone Park
The stone park is truly a hidden gem on Jeju. When first visiting the park, I thought I’d only be inclined to stay one hour; however, as I explored the walking courses more and more, I was drawn into the area’s rich history. Jeju Stone Park is an ecological and cultural park, displaying several aspects of Jeju’s stone culture. These range from the icon Dol Hareubang to other formations. It is very easy to spend upwards of three or four hours here.
Address: Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Jeju-si Jocheon-eup Gyorae-ri San 119
Phone: +82-64-710-7731, +82-64-710-7755, +82-64-1330 (Tourism Line)
Hours: 09:00-18:00 (Last admission: 17:00)
Admission: W5000 (adults), W3500 (Children)
From Jeju International Airport, take bus 100 or a taxi to Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal.
From Jeju Bus Terminal, take a bus bound for Namjoro.
Get off at Jeju Stone Park.
Stop Three: Gwaneumsa Temple
Dotted throughout Korea are Buddhist temples. Each has their own characteristics and one can always find something special at them. Of all the temples in Korea, Gwaneumsa stands out in my mind. The temple is located at the base of Mt. Halla. In the winter, it is not uncommon to have snow covering the grounds, making it a magical sight to behold. The temple is thought to have been built sometime during the Tamra Dynasty. The original temple was destroyed during the Joseon Dynasty, which favored Confucianism over Buddhism, but it was rebuilt in 1912. The most spectacular sites on the grounds are the cave shrine and giant Buddha. Both should not be missed.
Address: Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Jeju-si Ara 1-dong 387
Phone: +82-64-724-6830, +82-64-1330 (Tourism Line)
Hours: 09:00 – 17:00
Public Transport: Take the city bus towards Sancheondan from Jeju-si (departs every 20min; 30min ride) >> 30min walk from Sancheondan
Stop Four: The Mysterious Road
A fun optical illusion located near Loveland
Stop Five: Loveland
Loveland is probably the most talked about destination on the island. The park started out as a sculpture project for university students and has expanded into so much more. If you haven’t guessed it yet, Loveland is a sculpture park dedicated to sex. Therefore, only adults are allowed to enter. Once you do make it past the front doors, some of the images may shock you, but more often than not, I think you’ll be left smiling. My favorite exhibits were the working crank machines. It’s something you’ll have to experience for yourself… or take a look at the video above.
Address: Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Jeju-si Yeon-dong 680-26
Phone: +82-64-712-6988, +82-64-1330 (Tourism Line)
Hours: 09:00 – 24:00 (Last admission: 23:00)
Admission: W9000 (adults), W8000 (seniors)
Public Transport: Take the bus bound for Chuksanjinheungwon >> Get off at Dokkabi Road
These are just some of the sights one can see on the island. In fact, it’s possible to be in the same area and do a completely different itinerary… which makes it a great excuse to go back another time. Have you been to Jeju? What sights did you see? Next week, we’ll explore the southern side of the island.