Since the very first moment, we arrived in Seoul, whenever we asked anyone to tell us about places worth visiting in the country, they all opened their mouth with the words “Jeju Island”. None of us had heard about it before, so we looked at each other with skeptical eyes while they explained how incredibly beautiful the island is.
Short after classes began and we received the university calendar, we started to plan trips for all the holidays we had during the semester. For Korean Hangul Day (Korean Letters Day) we had three days off, and it was still September, which meant good weather, and a great opportunity to travel through the country, so, we decided we would give Jeju a try and see what all the locals were talking about.
We were so lucky to meet Albertini the first days of class, a Korean guy that took almost all his lessons in English and loved it to hang out with the foreigners, he was born in Jeju and all his family lived there, and since he was also traveling to the island to spend the vacations with his family, he offered to host us at his own home in Jeju, that was so cool of him.
My friends decided to make it a day trip and took a train to the south coast of the country and then a ferry from there to rich the Island, since it was Friday and I had an exam in the morning, I took a plane in the evening and made to Jeju at night. I arrived with almost no expectations about the island, but my friends had already had their first contact with the island and they were already quite impressed.
Seongsan Ilchulbong, Jeju
The next day, we woke up early in the morning to visit the Seongsan Ilchulbong volcano. I remember it was a hot day, but the peak was not that high so, we made it to the top with not much difficulty. The views were Stunning.
That same day, we went to a beach to spend the evening, I don’t even remember asking for its name, we were so stunned by its beauty, that we even forgot to unfold our cameras. Its white sands, its crystal blue water and all the green nature surrounding it…, the colors were just perfect. It definitely falls into the top three beaches I have ever seen. Its name is Hyeopjae Beach in case you want to google it. The very moment we arrived there we felt in love with the Jeju.
Hangul Day Celebrations
After that amazing day we had, we ended it up with a couple of beers in our hands and a nice chat.
The morning after we woke up really early to celebrate Korean Letters day with Albertini and his family, the celebrations started with prayers led by the oldest man in the family and followed with an amazing meal. After that, we left to continue visiting the Island, but normally, the celebrations go on all day long, they spend 3h approx. in every family member’s home who has to prepare a meal just as abundant and delicious as the previous one and they down the food with some Soju.
It definitely was one of the highlights of the trip, and we can’t thank enough all the hospitality received.
Jeongpang Waterfall, Jeju
After that incredible experience with Albertini and his family, we headed to the Jeongpang Waterfall. It was so huge, that I remember feeling small like a peanut when I was underneath it.
Hallasan Volcano, Jeju
This is the highest pick in South Korea (1950m).
After three non-stop days, having less than 5h sleep, the last day, we decide to hike Hallasan, it was exhausting and it seemed like it was never going to end, but we made it a competition to make it to the top, plus, there were plenty of ladies and gentlemen on their 60s hiking like if it was nothing to them, elderly Koreans are really in shape, and if they could we could.
At the end, it was worth it!
Jeju is one of the most beautiful memories I have, and it will always be, the two words that better define that tip is Unexpected Beauty. Learn how to keep your expectations low, and you live in a world of surprises.
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