Travel Magazine

History and Nature in East Jeju

By Mustachio @mustachio2011
On my fourth day in Jeju, I was left to my own devices and I went on to explore a bit of the east side of Jeju.
Jeju Folk Village제주민속촌830AM to 5PM (Closes 30 minutes to an hour later in spring and summer)Admission fee: 11,000 wonAudio Guide rental: 2,000 won
Jeju Folk Village is a large open-air museum showing the different kinds of villages (mountain village, fishing village, shaman village, etc) in Jeju in the 1890s. (For K-drama aficionados, Jeju Folk Village was the filming location for Jewel in the Palace.) There were different kinds of houses, complete with tools, earthenware, and even animals (like a donkey, a cow, and a black pig!). There were also exhibition halls for fishing tools, farming tools, local crafts, and earthenware. It was quite interesting to see how Jeju people lived over a hundred years ago. There are three scheduled folk performances but I did not get to see any of them as I was at Jeju Folk Village early (the first performance is scheduled at 1120AM).
Directions by bus: From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus 221 to 제주민속촌 Jeju Folk Village bus stop (last stop; 1 hour).
History and Nature in East Jeju Houses in a mountain village
History and Nature in East Jeju Taewoo, a raft used for fishing
History and Nature in East Jeju
History and Nature in East Jeju Jeju black pig
History and Nature in East Jeju
History and Nature in East Jeju
History and Nature in East Jeju
Seopjikoji섭지코지107 Seopjikoji-ro, Seogwipo-si
The beautiful coastline of Seopjikoji peninsula starts at the sandy Sinyang Beach 신양 해변 where there are benches to just chill, feel the breeze (or if it's a strong wind, get pelted by sand), and take in the view of Seongsan Ilchulbong in the distance. Following the road into Seopjikoji, the landscape changes into a rocky coastline then to grassy areas and a Canola flower field.
Along the way there is an aquarium called Hanhwa Aqua Planet Jeju 아쿠아플라넷 제주; The Glass House (a building designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando), which houses Mint Restaurant and the Zippo Museum; a lighthouse; a building that looks like candy; the remains of an old signaling site called Hyeopja Beacon Fire Station 협자연대; and an art gallery called Yumin Art Nouveau Collection 유민미술관 which is housed in a building called Genius Loci 지니어스 로사이 (also designed by Tadao Ando).
Hanhwa Aqua Planet Jeju
아쿠아플라넷 제주
Daily 10AM to 7PM
Admission fees:
40,900 won (19-64 yrs old)
39,200 won (13-18 yrs old, 65 yrs old and above)
37,200 won (3-12 yrs old)
Yumin Art Nouveau Collection
유민미술관
Wednesday to Monday 9AM to 6PM
Admission fee: 12,000 won
It was spring and the walk from the entrance of Seopjikoji down to the southern tip of the peninsula was long but comfortable. The sun was out, but the breeze kept me cool, and the landscape all around kept my eyes busy. I didn't stop by Hanhwa Aqua Planet, but popped into Zippo Museum and checked out the artworks and the humongous artsy Zippo lighter cases. I also went to the lighthouse for sweeping views of the sea and of Seopjikoji. Continuing my hike south, I passed by a poorly maintained and off-limits building that was designed to look like candy, until I reached the Hyeopja Beacon Fire Station, which from afar looks like a small mound of rocks. On my way back, I went to see the Genius Loci building but it was Tuesday, the day when it (and the Yumin Art Gallery within) is closed. Nearby, I spotted a field of canola flowers where I took some photos before hurrying back to the entrance to catch the bus to Seongsan Ilchulbong.
Directions by bus:
  • From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus 201 to 성산포 수협 Sungsanpo Waterworks bus stop (95 minutes) and transfer to bus 295 to 섭지코지 Seopjikoji bus stop (3 minutes) or walk 2.5 km to Seopjikoji entrance. Be aware that bus 295 only comes 10 times a day. If you don't want to transfer, take bus 201 to 신양리입구 Sinyang Entrance bus stop (100 minutes) and walk 1.5 km to Seopjikoji entrance.
  • From Jeju Folk Village, walk 1 km to 표선환승정류장(표선리사무소) Pyoseon Transit Stop bus stop and take bus 295 to 섭지코지 Seopjikoji bus stop (40 minutes). Be aware that bus 295 only comes 10 times a day. If you miss bus 295, take bus 201 to 신양리입구 Sinyang Entrance bus stop (40 minutes) and walk 1.5 km to Seopjikoji entrance.
History and Nature in East JejuA view of Seongsan Ilchulbong from Sinyang Beach at the entrance of Seopjikoji
History and Nature in East Jeju Changing landscape
History and Nature in East JejuThe Glass House
History and Nature in East JejuArt at the Zippo Museum
History and Nature in East Jeju
History and Nature in East Jeju
History and Nature in East JejuThe Genius Loci building houses the Yumin Art Gallery
History and Nature in East JejuThe lighthouse reflected on the Genius Loci building
History and Nature in East JejuCanola flower field
Seongsan Ilchulbong성산일출봉Summer 710AM to 7PMWinter 730AM to 6PMAdmission fee: 2,000 wonSeongsan Ilchulbong, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a 180-meter high volcanic tuff cone. Tuff cones are formed from the interaction between rising magma and bodies of water. Tuff cones are between 100 to 300 meters high and have steep sides and a wide and broad crater at the top. Seongsan Ilchubong's crater is about 600 meters in diameter.
Seongsan Ilchulbong is also called Sunrise Peak, and people who have cars come here early to catch the sunrise. But people like me who can't afford or are too cheap to rent a car won't be able to catch the sunrise if taking a bus. No sunrise, no sunset, I still decided to make it Leg Day by climbing the stairs to the peak. The peak can be reached in 20 minutes, but unfit person that I am, I took many breaks to catch my breath and reached the peak in half an hour. Up top, the bleachers on the viewing deck afforded a view of the grassy crater.
Back down below, I checked out the surrounding area where the Haenyeo (female divers who don't use scuba gear) are (but the performance schedule was already over), and the viewing area where one could see Udo Island in the distance.
Directions by bus:
  • From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus 201 or 211 or 212 to 성산일출봉입구 Seongsan Ilchulbong Entrance bus stop (95 minutes).
  • From Seopjikoji, take bus 295 to 성산일출봉입구 Seongsan Ilchulbong Entrance bus stop (10 minutes). Be aware that bus 295 only comes 10 times a day.
History and Nature in East Jeju
History and Nature in East JejuThe stairmaster
History and Nature in East Jeju On top of Seongsan Ilchulbong
History and Nature in East JejuSeongsan Ilchulbong's crater
History and Nature in East JejuViews from the top
History and Nature in East JejuDown there is where one can watch a haenyeo
History and Nature in East JejuThe other side of Seongsan Ilchulbong
History and Nature in East JejuUdo Island in the distance
Note: Since I was staying in Jeju City, the directions I have provided above start from Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal. If you are staying in Seogwipo City, use Google Maps to find nearby bus stops and what buses to take. If you can read Korean or have the patience to use Google translate (though the translation is not perfect), the Jeju Bus app or the Jeju Bus website is a more accurate option than Google Maps.
In the map below, I have pinned two places that you might also want to stop by: Gwangchigi Beach, for a view of Seongsan Ilchulbong, and the Canola Flower Fields, if you're visiting in spring.
South Korea Spring 2018
Jeju Accommodation: Sum Guesthouse Jeju Airport
Traveling Around Jeju by Bus
Checking out Cafes in Jeju
Jeju: Location, Location, Location (for a Photoshoot)
Jeju Eats
History and Nature in East Jeju (you're here!)
(more soon)

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