Fantasic Jeju: Down South in Seogwipo

Written by on January 22, 2013 in Travel

Over the past two weeks, The Korea Blog has generated some travel itineraries highlighting the east and northeast areas of Jeju. This part of the island is incredibly beautiful, offering a wide range of experiences to be had. However, no visit to Jeju is complete without venturing to the southern side of the island to the other city, Seogwipo. While the northern side of the island impresses visitors with its volcanic history, a trait shared by the southern coast, Seogwipo has a completely different look and feel. This week we explore this scenic wonderland, an area truly not to be missed.

Roughly 156,000 residents call Seogwipo home. That may sound like a lot for a city on an island the size of Jeju, but one must keep in mind, that the city-district encompasses the entire southern side of Jeju. Driving from Jeju city to Seogwipo will take a little over an hour due to the windy, yet scenic roads, so if you’re going to follow this itinerary, you’d better get an early start.

First Stop: Oedolgae Rock (외돌개)

Just off the shores of Seowipo is Oedolgae Rock (it is pronounced way-dol-gae). This iconic formation was used in the 2003 Korean Drama “Daejangguem” and has since been a major tourist draw. What makes traveling here a must is the large number of pine trees dotting the landscape. The fresh scent of pine mixed with the saltiness from the sea make the scenic overlooks all that more enjoyable. It’s one reason why so many benches have been positioned overlooking the sea. The rock itself is 20 meters tall and 10 meters in circumference. The formation was used as a military maker during the 1200s.

Address: Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Seogwipo-si Seohong-dong 791

Phone: +82-64-760-3031, +82-64-1330 (Tourism Line)

Admission: FREE

Public Transit Directions

From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal take a bus bound for Seogwipo and get off at the Dongmun rotary stop. Go west along the Jungjeong-ro street for 130 m to bus stop. Take bus 8 bound for Oedolgae Rock

From Jeju International Airport take airport limousine bus 600 and get off at New gyeongnam hotel stop. Take a taxi to Oedolgae Rock(5min).

From Seogwipo Intercity Bus Terminal take bus 100 and get off at Yeoseonghoegwan (Women’s center) stop (travel time apprx.50min). Take bus 8 and at the bus stop on the opposite side of the street and get off at Oedolgae stop.(3 stops away.)

Stop Two and Thee: The Falls of Jeju

If you love waterfalls, then Jeju has two of the most spectacular you’ll find in Korea. They are named Cheonjiyeon and Cheonjeyeon. For the nature lover a trek to these spots is not to be missed. You can more about these falls in this 2011 Korea Blog post.

Stop Four: Sabanggul Temple (사방굴사)

Korea’s rich Buddhist history has led to the creation of some amazing temples across the land. Even the Gwaneumsa Temple mentioned last week is a great example of what one can find. However, on the south side of there’s true gem. Sabanggulsa, as its name suggests, is in a cave overlooking the ocean. The lower temple is similar to other found, but making the 300m climb to the grotto is what makes the trip worthwhile. Once there, you’ll find an additional staircase leading up to the Buddha statue. The acoustics of the cave are also amazing. As water drips from the ceiling into the pools below, the echoing sounds aids in calming your soul.

Address: San 16, Sagye-ri, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do

Phone: +82-64-794-2940, +82-64-1330 (Tourism Line)

Hours: sunrise-sunset

Admission: W2000 (Adult), W1500 (Children)

Public Transport Directions:

From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus bound for Mt.Sanbangsan. Get off at Mt. Sanbangsan bus stop.(travel time apprx. 2hrs) Taxi takes 40 minutes.

From Jeju Seogwipo Terminal, take a local Bus bound for Sagye and get off at Sanbanggulsa Grotto. (travel time apprx. 1hr)

Stop Five (Final): Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Traveler’s note: If asking for directions, do not refer to the museum as “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” Locally it is referred to as 믿가나 말 거나 박 물관.

Address: 2864-2, Saekdal-dong, Seogwipo-shi, Jeju, SOUTH KOREA
Phone
: +82-64-738-3003
Admission
: Child: W5,000 / Youth: 6,000 / Adult: W7,000
Hours
: 9am – 8pm (Summer hours extend until 10pm)

Public Transportation: From Jeju-si, take an airport limousine or intercity bus bound for Seogwipo-si and get off at the Jungmun Tourist Complex. From within Seogwipo, take an airport limousine or intercity bus and exit at the Jungmun Tourist Complex. The museum is 5-10 minutes from most hotels in the Jungmun Resort area.

Next week we conclude the series by exploring several sights within Jeju City. Join us then as these series of day trip itineraries concludes. If you’ve been to Seogwipo, what’s your favorite spot? Haven’t been? What tickled your fancy in this video or post?

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Steve Miller

Steve Miller, the QiRanger, is Korea’s best-known travel video blogger-journalist. His videos have been viewed by millions and seen on media outlets in throughout the word. In addition to sharing his entertaining and informative videos, he writes about life abroad and releases a popular podcast. Steve appears regularly on international radio stations, talking about travel, Korean culture and East Asian news. He’s also appeared on Arirang Television sharing unique aspects of Korean life. You can follow Steve on Twitter @QiRanger or visit his site QiRanger.com.