(Photos credit to: Caroline May Ling)
At the end of October, Air Asia X has organized a familiarization for media representatives in collaboration with Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), Jeju Tourism Organization (JTO) and Busan Tourism Organization (BTO). The purpose of this fam trip is to let the media explore and getting to know more about Busan and Jeju Island.
There’s no specific theme for this trip but what I can conclude is it was more to healing trip during autumn season and an escape from a hazy weather in Malaysia. It was a 6D5N awesome trip starting from Jeju and then to Busan. Let’s start our journey !
Once we arrived in Jeju, everyone was hungry after taking long-hours flight. We went to a unique café named Café Jeju Story (카페 제주 이야기) in Woljeongri to have our lunch. We found this café quite unique with its own concept; they actually served us edible flowers together with the meals. Most of the meals here is serve here is either made with the flowers or come together with the flower. And it is not just for decoration. We had abalone fried rice, flower pudding and also flower drinks. As much as it sounds weird, we can guarantee you that it is delicious!
Other than the delicious meals, this café actually have their own research lab, they also make and sell their own skin care products. They have everything from face mask, massage oil, perfume, body wash, EVERYTHING! The most important thing is all of their products are natural-based, does not contain chemicals. After lunch, we were given the chance to try and make our own perfume. We need to choose our own choices of dried flowers and scents, mix it together and there we have it our own perfume. It was such an amazing experience so much thing to learn at this place.
We then went to Mazeland, just nice after our lunch and to work out for a little bit! We divide ourselves into two group and went through the maze and which group manage to get out first will win ! Thanks to our quick-witted media team, our group managed to get out from the maze first.
Maze Land is a theme park boasting the world’s longest stone maze, measuring roughly 5.3km in total length. Mazeland is not just a perfect place for fun activity for you and your friends, the maze is also good for your health, as the stone emits high levels of far-infrared radiation and the wood (T. occidentalis) a large volume of phytoncides. (source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/)
Later that night, we went for Shabu Shabu (샤브향). When it comes to Jeju, you can’t avoid seafood galore! We had a great dinner and went back to hotel for check-in. We stayed at Leo Hotel, near the downtown of Jeju.
After check-in to our hotel we then walk to Baozen street. The shopping street is just 5 mins away from our hotel. You can find anything from coffee shops, cosmetic shops, bars, clothes, accessories and many more. Not to forget every night they have street performances too, especially during the weekends this street will be pack with people !
The next day started with our journey to Udo Island. We took bus to Seongsan Harbor and from there we need to take 10 mins ferry ride to Udo Island. You may refer here for the ferry schedule and directions to Udo Island.
Situated on the eastern end of Jeju Island, Udo Island was named because it resembles a lying cow. It boasts fertile soils, abundant schools of fish, and scenic sights; local heritage (female divers, stone walls, and stone tombs) as well as natural attractions abound on the island, making it a miniature of Jeju Island. The island is also full of amenities and tourism outlets: fishing, bike trails, sand massaging, tour submarines and cruises. (source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/)
The weather was perfect that day to spend time by the beach. The sea around the beach showcases different colors depending on the water level, makes it more unique ! If you walk around Udo Island there’s a lot of small cafes and dessert shop where you can enjoy coffee, dessert or snacks. Don’t forget to try the signature dessert of Jeju, tangerine ice-cream (할라봉 아이스크림). It is so delicious !
Later that afternoon we went to Harubang Stone Pot (돌 하르방 똑배기) for lunch. Had the best seafood pancake and grilled fish that afternoon.
Right after lunch, we went to the UNESCO World Heritage site Seongsan Sunrise Peak (성산일출봉). It took us around 20 mins to reach the top and it worth every sweats since the view from up there is exquisite !
Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak rose from under the sea in a volcanic eruption over 100,000 years ago. Located on the eastern end of Jejudo Island, there is a huge crater at the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak. The crater is about 600m in diameter and 90m high. With the 99 sharp rocks surrounding the crater, it looks like a gigantic crown. While the southeast and north sides are cliffs, the northwest side is a verdant grassy hill that is connected to the Seongsan Village. The ridge provides an ideal spot for walks and for horse riding as well. The sunrise from the crater is magnificent. Also the Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak surrounded by bright yellow colored rapeseed flowers in the spring is truly a sight to behold. (source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/)
On our way back before dinner, we drop by at the tangerine farm for tangerine picking experience. As you all know Jeju is famous for its mandarins/tangerines. We wouldn’t want to miss our chance to try ourselves, and yes it is sweet and juicy. The owner gives us a bag so that we can pick some and bring back to our hotel.
One our 3rd day, that morning we went to Osulloc Tea Museum. A huge green tea farm in front of museum, and probably because its Sunday a lot of visitors too on that day.
The museum, which first opened in September 2001,is widely known in Korea. The entire building takes the shape of a green tea cup. It seeks to harmonize the cultures of the West and East, and past traditions with the modern world.
At the O’sulloc Museum, not only can visitors enjoy unique o’sulloc teas, but they can relax next to the lotus pond in the indoor garden. The second floor of the building has an observatory, so visitors can enjoy the views of the nearby green tea fields and the surrounding landscape. (source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/)
When you enter the museum, you can see the history of green tea and also the branding of Osulloc walking along that will then leads you to the part where you to their shop. They sells all kind of products from Osulloc; green tea drinks, vitamins drinks, skin care products you can buy for souvenirs to bring back home. Also they have a café there, we would suggest you to try their green tea ice-cream and macha latte.
After Osulloc Tea Museum, we then head to Camellia Hill situated in Seogwipo-si. Camellia hill is a home to 6,000 camellia trees of 500 different species including species that are known to produce the world’s largest and earliest blossoms. In addition to camellia trees, the arboretum also boasts palm trees, wildflowers, and other plants as well as a sprawling grass plaza and an ecological pond. Auxiliary facilities include a gallery exhibiting camellia-themed handicrafts and a multipurpose seminar room. Camellia Hill also offers a variety of lodging facilities ranging from thatched cottages and wooden cottages to steel houses and a condominium-type resort. (source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/)
A lot of couples and families spotted here for a morning walk to get some fresh on Sunday morning.
We drop by at Jusangjeolli cliff on our way for lunch. If you follow the farm road 600 m to the southwest from Depo-dong, at the end of the pine tree forest is a cliff. At the base of this cliff is the Jisatgae Coast along with the imposing stone pillars. The Jusangjeolli are stone pillars piled up along the coast and is a designated cultural monument of Jejudo Island. The Jusangjeolli was formed when the lava from Hallasan Mountain erupted into the sea of Jungmun. They are rock pillars shaped like cubes or hexagons of various sizes and almost seem as if stonemasons had carved them out. (source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/)
The view of the ocean is just picturesque, the strong wave and the green sea water all are perfect. We are lucky that day because we witnessed woman-divers doing their job. It is amazing even during that cold weather they are still down there doing what they need to do. All respect goes to woman-divers !
After that we went lunch at Shangri-la Seafood Buffet near Seogwipo area. The view is so nice, near the yacht area and of course by the sea !
After lunch we went to Joanne Bear Museum, located in Jungmun Resort Complex in Seogwipo. It is a gallery exhibition hall for Joanne Oh, a world-famous teddy bear artist. The museum, which boasts the motto “nature and environmentalism", showcases teddy bears that are made of all-natural materials. The eco-friendly pieces mimic the natural beauty of Jeju Island and give visitors a feeling of comfort and refreshment.
Joanne Bear Museum features a variety of teddy bears, polar bears, and 'joon bears' that were created based on the character of Bae Yong-joon, a famous Hallyu star. Due to the ‘joon bear’s world-wide acclaim, the museum is frequently visited by many Japanese tourists.
The museum offers other conveniences as well: a café on the second floor and a backyard garden. Visitors are even permitted to go to the rooftop to enjoy the view. A variety of cultural events are also offered to double your fun. Those who wish to have a ‘joon bear’ of their own may purchase a mini joon at the museum’s souvenir shop. (source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/)
The most awaiting places to visit is of course the Play K-Pop Museum! This is a must place visit for any K-Pop fans out there ! This digital theme park was launched earlier this year by Jeju Jungmun Resort where the new media tech and K-Pop music meet. We was so lucky because the time we arrive where G-Dragon hologram concert about to start. The concert really gives us excitement as if we are in the actual concert. Play K-Pop proudly introduced itself as interactive entertainment space; featuring special exhibitions, food & beverage outlets and MD shops that await visitors to come and interact. (source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/)
Later that night is the highlight of our Sunday ! It’s the SBS Inkigayo Jeju K-Pop Festival. It is a great opportunity to travel around Jeju and watch energetic performances by popular K-Pop singers at the same time. In particular, the program “Inkigayo” brings a great lineup in keeping with its fame as one of the most notable music shows in Korea. In addition, among the participating musicians, those who are particularly renowned among foreigners will have an autograph event for fans. Various other programs are also prepared along with the performances in order to offer visitors many things to see and enjoy such as promotion booths of the Jeju Duty Free Shop, museums, playing facilities, a tasting experience of Jeju specialties, marketplace and more.
The concert was held at Jeju City Stadium. Starts at 18:00~20:00. The lineup for the concert is EXID, BTOB, BTS, GOT7, F(X), MAP6, HIGH4, AOA, Kyuhyun, A-Pink, Teen Top, Girl's Day, Twice, N.Flying, Lovelyz, Oh My Girl, Hong Jinyeong & more. Despite the strong winds and the cold weather, I’m very sure all the media were having so much fun that evening ! We started our last day in Jeju with Yacht sailing; the weather is so nice that morning and the blue sky make it all more perfect. We depart from Gimnyeong Yacht Tour (https://www.facebook.com/gnytour/) and sails around 1 hour across the sea. We had foot spa on the yacht, ate sashimi, did some fishing and just lay down on the deck enjoying the morning sun.
Next we went to Ecoland Theme Park. This theme park is really all about green and nature. We need to take train that will take us for a tour around the forest and railway trails. The train will stops at 6 stations, and each station have different theme itself like Eco-bridge Station – Lakeside Station – Picnic Garden Station – Lavender, Green Tea & Rose Garden Station. It also has a lake for visitors to experience the ecosystem of the forest, take a walk, and enjoy picnic. Besides, there are many things to enjoy including Eco Bridge, Hovercraft, Eco Windmill, Picnic Garden, Kid’s Town, Eco Road, Bare Foot on Scoria, Floating Café, and topiary art works. (source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/)
Had lunch at this cute little pension 초자와정 고맙수다. We had bibimbap, seafood stew and a lot of side dishes (반찬)!
Before heading to the airport we drop by at Sangumburi Crater. Sangumburi (산굼부리) is a crater with a circumference of over 2 km, and has been designated as a Natural Monument. It is located on the southeast side of Jeju-si, and is a flat crater, about 650 meters wide, 100 meters deep, and 2,070 meters in circumference. If you look at the crater from above up, it looks like a man-made circular stadium. There is a variety of plant-life in the crater. On the north side, Nandaeseong vegetation such as red-thorn trees, and magnolia trees grow, along with the rare winter strawberries. On the south side of the crater, Ondaerim vegetation such as evergreens, maples, and mountain strawberry trees cover the area. Because so many different kinds of trees and plants grow in such a limited space, it attracts the attention of researchers as well. (source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/)
It is so sad that we need to leave Jeju. But next adventure will begin in Busan ! More in Busan.
For more attractions in Jeju, click HERE !