When I decided to go to Jeju, I knew I only had four days to see as much as I could. While I was determined to figure out how to travel some of it alone, I knew I’d be exhausted by the tail end. When I saw that Funtastic Korea had a list of Jeju tours, I decided to reach out and see if I could participate in one. The East Coast seemed a bit harder to navigate solo, so I signed up for their Jeju World Natural Heritage Bus Tour. After getting a bus early from Moseulpo Harbor to the Jeju City Bus Terminal, I joined the tour for truly unique experience (and one made much easier by not having to figure out the bus system!).
Jeju Stone Park
Our first stop was at Jeju’s Stone Park. A lot of Jeju’s history and culture stems from stones, whether it’s images of Grandma Seolmundae, Obaek Janggun, and Grandpa Dol or the fact that Jeju’s whole formation is a result of volcanic activity. As a result, they created this park to celebrate Jeju’s heritage. It’s really interesting to walk around, and since it was fall there was a lot of silver grass spread out as well. If you’re a geology nerd, there’s an awesome museum that goes into more detail about how Jeju was formed.
Seongeup Folk Village
We then went to a lovely folk village, reminiscent of photos I’ve seen of Andong. While we didn’t get to walk around, we did get to chat with one of the village’s residents as he showed us how life is in the village. I loved getting to try Jeju’s version of Omjia Tea. It’s sweeter than the ones I’ve had in Namwon, and I bought a whole jar only to realize it was too heavy for my bag… -_- I hope my guesthouse in Jeju City enjoys it!
Jeju Black Pork Lunch
We did get to have lunch in the village, and we got to try some of Jeju’s famous black pork! While I had it in burger form in Seogwipo, it was fun to try it more traditionally prepared.
Seongsan Sunrise Peak
This was the place I was looking most forward to as I’d seen it written about quite frequently. While we went midday, it was still beautiful! Getting the top wasn’t too difficult, and the view of the crater and the city is worth it. You can also experience horseback riding and a Hanyeo performance here. Hanyeo are these awesome woman divers who are all older than forty, and I’ve been wanting to see them in person since I read this CNN article. However, I just missed their performances on both ends (1:30 pm and 3:00 pm)!
Side Note: If you’re not on tour and plan to stay in this area, check out Udo Island!
Manjanggul Lava Tube
Our last stop of the tour was the Manjanggul Lava Tube, considered one of the biggest and best. You’ll walk a 1 km path (have a little flashlight ready for darker parts) all the way down to see the largest lava column in the world. It’s eerily quiet–even a hoard of high school students’ voices quickly faded after I passed them.
After Mangjanggul, I was dropped off near my guest house, but they do have the option of ending at Silla Duty Free if you want to do some shopping.
It was an extensive day exploring Jeju’s East Coast, but with only one day left, I’m glad I was able to see everything I could. Jeju, I’ll definitely be back in the future– hopefully with more than four days to wander!
Disclosure: I was a guest on this tour with Funtastic Korea. However, all opinions are my own