Jeju Island, the largest island off the coast of the Korean Peninsula, was created entirely from volcanic eruptions about 2 million years ago. Wow! Currently, it is among the 7 Wonders of Nature and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We had the opportunity to book a year-end trip there and it turned out to be a great destination for the entire family.
Oh, and did I mention that it’s visa-free?
Here are 10 Fun Things to Do in Jeju Island:
1. Enjoy the Wonders of Nature
It’s among the 7 Wonders of Nature for a reason, right? 🙂
We were not able to go down the trail because of the kids.
Those who did however, witnessed 50-80 year old women sea divers (Haenyeo) catching octopus in the freezing cold water!
2. Check out Glass Art at the Glass Castle
Jeju Glass Castle is a glass art park featuring an exhibition hall, garden and models all made entirely out of glass. These include the world’s very first all-glass labyrinth, the world’s largest glass ball and largest glass diamond, a glass stonewall, a mirror lake, and a glass bridge. There are also glass art masterpieces by internationally famous artists from Italy, the Czech Republic, Japan, and more.
3. Visit Hello Kitty Island
This place warranted a separate post. You can check out my full post about this Hello Kitty wonderland to see more photos of the place.
4. Get Cuddly with Teddy Bears at Teseum
Teseum or Teddy Bear Museum, is one of the first museums in the world to exhibit all sorts of teddy bears and stitched dolls including ones shaped like wildlife animals, marine animals, flowers, birds, and more.
5. Soak in Underwater Marine Life at Aqua Planet
This is such a hit among the the kids!
6. Pick Tangerine Oranges
Another hit among the kids is the chance to pick their own Tangerines! These oranges are very popular in Jeju. They’re like Mandarin Oranges but with a round nubby top. They are harvested during winter and so it was the perfect time for us!
These two felt right at home, wandering on their own, picking as many as their little hands could carry. 🙂
7. Watch a Korean Show
Korean shows are very entertaining. You don’t need to understand their language to be able to enjoy it. Last time we were at Seoul, we caught the Cooking Nanta Show and it was truly amusing and enjoyable.
This time, it was the Painters Hero Show. Not only was the show super funny (the kids kept laughing throughout the show!), the works of art were truly remarkable as well.
Here are the artworks created during the show. Among them is a portrait of Clark Kent (leftmost) made entirely from Rubiks Cubes!
These are the 4 actors of the show with their heavy eye makeup.
8. Enter an R-18 Park
Jeju Love Land is a theme sculpture park based on sensuality and eroticism. Twenty artists, mainly graduates of top art school Hongik University, helped open it in November 2004. It was the first such museum in Korea at that time. The spacious park (39,667m²) is home to over 140 sculptures (40 within the gallery and 100 outside). The park as a whole looks like a piece of land art.
Since it is strictly for adults, the young guests can stay in an indoor playground nearby where they can also enjoy while waiting.
This is one of the sculptures inside. This is a very tame example as there are much more erotic and hilarious sculptures in the park. 🙂
Just look at that sign!
Or that “thing” on the floor!
9. Enjoy Korean food the Korean Way
Much like the Japanese, the Koreans traditionally also sit on the floor to eat their meals. Unlike the Japanese style however, Korean dining rooms do not have a descended hole for the diners’ legs. One has to sit cross legged to eat, which we found too uncomfortable. It was fun though just to be able to experience it. 🙂
Here’s a typical Bulgogi meal – a steaming pot of pork/beef plus side dishes of kimchi, salad, and other vegetables.
We also got a taste of Mackerel, one of the expensive fishes in Korea.
And some street food. This is very much like a typical waffle but instead of small squares, this one has raised balls all around.
10. See Mt. Halla and Play with Snow
According to the itinerary, we were supposed to see Mt. Halla, the highest mountain in South Korea. When we got there however, everyone got overwhelmed with the snow that we forgot all about seeing the mountain. Oh well, snow is so much more fun anyway! 🙂
One of the highlights here is the snow sled. We got to board these floaters and slide down the slope. So fun! 😉
It’s actually very much like the Tobogan Slide from Frozen in Hong Kong Disneyland but this time with real snow! 🙂
There were other attractions like ice sculptures but these two were happy just to play with the snow on the ground. 🙂
After 4 days, we were glad to be back in sunny Manila. Or so we thought. Haha! Now, we miss the cold in Jeju!
Have you been to Jeju? How was your experience? 🙂