Jeju-do, a large and idyllic island located in Jeju province. Known for its beautiful beaches, marvelous mountains and wondrous waterfalls, Jeju Island is the perfect destination for travellers who enjoy being outside and surrounded by nature. Jeju-do boasts an array of cafés, restaurants and markets to eat at, as well as a variety of sights to see and activities to do.
For those who are keen on coming back home with a tan, Sagye Beach is the perfect spot to hang out at. Not only is it a great place to sunbathe, it features the impressive views of Yongmeori Coast and three of Jeju’s volcanic mountains in the distance–Songaksan, Sanbangsan, and Hallasan. There is also a café, Hey! Brother, located at the edge of Sagye Beach and inspired by the name of a small island, Hyeongje-seom or ‘Brother Island’, which can also be seen from the beach.
Looking for a more fun and fascinating experience? Try visiting any of Jeju-do’s traditional markets–of which there are many. There are two types of markets on the island: permanent and 5-day. Permanent markets are those that are open every day, whereas 5-day markets are only open once every 5 days (hence the name). Jeju Dongmun Traditional Market is the largest permanent market in Jeju City and during the day it sells everything from fresh meat and veg, to clothes, pots and souvenirs. In the evenings, the market is transformed with stalls selling a variety of meals, drinks, and desserts. If you’re keen to visit one of the 5-day markets, try the Jeju Minsok Market–the largest 5-day market in Jeju with around a thousand stalls. This market is quite special and unique in its own right as it contains a Halmang Jangteo, or ‘grandma market’, in which anyone over the age of 65 can rent a stall free of charge.
If you’re interested in something a little more picturesque, why not take a visit to one of Jeju’s wonderful waterfalls? Cheonjiyeon Falls is a waterfall located on the outskirts of Seogwipo. Travellers can enjoy a relaxing 1km walk up the valley along a stepping stone path, before finally arriving at the waterfall which features a platform that provides a breath-taking view of the opposing cliff face. This may well be all nice and pretty, but it’s the night-time excitement which really makes this place magical. The pool in which the waterfall pours into is home to iridescent eels. At night, the waterfall is lit up by a soft, orange glow, and the pool is illuminated by the eels–both of which combine to create an enchanting, ethereal experience.
Another thing to add to your Jeju list is to visit one of the several mandarin orchard cafés on the island. These cafés are usually quite small, and they are situated in the middle of a mandarin orchard. One of these cafés, Dendri, was inspired in design and name by a Greek town the owner had previously visited.
The menu includes Greek-inspired desserts and drinks made from the mandarin oranges grown in the orchard. The café also runs a mandarin-picking experience from mid-November. Another popular mandarin cafe is Dogot. Perfectly situated near downtown Jeju, it features views of Hallasan Mountain and the sea, and is named after the Jeju word for “couple”.
Author Skylar Sukklam