There are literally hundreds of attractions on Jeju island, and if you read travelogues on Jeju, you’ll find that no two are the same. Dokkaebi road (mysterious road) is probably one of the more popular ones. We had a go there as well, putting the car into neutral gear and watching in amazement as the car went uphill on its own. Quite fun.
We stayed at Neulpureun Guesthouse at the south western side of Jeju so we it will be convenient for me to visit Yeongmeori coast the next morning. As there was no information about restaurants in that area, i selected to go to the only restaurant that was marked in the GPS navigation app. It turned out to be a traditional cold noodles shop, which we were not so keen on, but along the same street, there was a BBQ place packed with locals. It was cheap and good!
It was not a comfortable sight seeing the abalones squirming as they were grilled. To be honest, i didn’t enjoy eating them when i had to grill them myself. Anyway, in case you’re interested, this restaurant is located at roughly the GPS coordinates 33.22360, 126.2539.
The hosts at Neulpureun Guesthouse were such kind and friendly people (as with all Koreans!). I recommend staying here if you’re visiting attractions near south western Jeju. The only downside was the shared bathroom.
The next morning, we went to Yeongmeori coast, only to be disappointed – it was closed due to high tide. The pathway can be seen submerged in seawater. Oh well, so much for arranging for a nearby accommodation. Anyway, we were told there was a nice view 5 minutes drive from the Guesthouse, prior to reaching Yeongmeori. True enough, there was a nice view, so not all was lost.
The next logical thing to do seems to be lunch, for which I have selected Seongmi Garden, a popular restaurant that features local chicken. Knowing this place will be packed, especially during the holidays in Korea, we decided to get there early (before noon), and thankfully we did so. The turnover was really quick, and we got our table not long after, but afterwards the queue just kept getting worse.
Next up, Jeoulmul recreational Forrest. This was a nice place for taking a stroll.
Our last item of the day was to scale Seongsan Ilchulbong, arguably the most important attraction in Jeju. The light rain didn’t deter us from going.
There are plenty of restaurants near Seongsan Ilchulbong. Again, i relied on the suggestions from my GPS app and selected Yetnalyetjeok. They specialize in pork (black pork, no less) dishes and also have a few seafood ones. The price is very down to earth. I would suggest that there is no point in going to a specialty BBQ place to eat black pork, as you probably can’t tell the difference between black pork and normal pork.
Udo island is a short 10 minutes ferry ride away from Seongsan town. Upon reaching the ferry terminal, there’s a signboard that points you to the car park and the other way which goes to the ferry. You need to go into the car park. Someone was stationed there to ensure all the cars visiting Udo would go into the car park. A boring job indeed, but so necessary. I have a confession to make: i was one of them who doubted and hesitated in going into the car park.
You do need to make a stop, fill up a declaration form and pay for the ticket before you can drive onto the ferry. I guess i’ve read about this from some blog posting before, but didn’t bother to note down.
I think the best sights on Udo island are Udobong Peak where the lighthouse is, and Geomeolle beach. The weather wasn’t so good while i was there though, so i scrapped the idea of walking up to the lighthouse.
Lunch was at the restaurant famous for Hallasan fried rice. You have a choice to start with either pork or spicy squid. Since we had quite a bit of pork the night before, we chose the squid.
At KRW 37000, lunch was not cheap, but for the “show” that was part of lunch, it was quite interesting.
The beaches on Udo are not as impressive as i thought they would be, save for Geomeolle beach. Nevertheless, it’s pleasant to take a stroll.
The final stop for the day was Manjanggul cave, which is actually a lava tube. Being able to walk inside a tube carved out by molten lava seems quite novel to me.
Since we were early for dinner, we had a look around the Yeondong shopping district. It was quite dismal, and was more geared towards Chinese shoppers. Maybe the Jungang underground mall would be better, but I’ll suggest doing shopping in Seoul or Busan.
I was initially thinking of Yurine for dinner as it is famous among Koreans, but decided on Doraji instead after reading bad reviews on TripAdvisor about Yurine. They both specialize in seafood and do more or less the same dishes.
By the way, the Hallabong oranges from Jeju were the best mandarin oranges I’ve ever tasted, so if it is in season while you’re in Jeju, make it a point to try it!
We had a morning flight to Busan. Based on a recommendation, we went to Droptop cafe at the airport (instead of the bigger franchise Cafe Bene which we haven’t tried). It was a good choice. Droptop gets my vote as being the best franchised cafe, besides Paris Croissant (by the way, Paris Baguette isn’t good).
The crispy ball was interesting. It was crispy indeed. The cheesecake was also quite unique. If you’re flying from Jeju, definitely go to Droptop!