Jeju Island South Korea
February 17, 2012 by staff
Jeju Island South Korea, Jeju Island is not on many Western tourists’ radar. This speck of land off the southern coast of South Korea is hugely popular amongst domestic tourists and is the honeymoon destination of choice for Korean newlyweds. Large parts of Jeju remain stunningly natural, with windswept coastlines, green forests, waterfalls and volcanic mountains creating an almost-perfect atmosphere for nature viewing. Hiking and bicycling are as popular among Jeju’s visitors as beach-going and theme-park visiting.
To East Asian tourists, Jeju is probably best known for its whimsical (sometimes bizarre) themed attractions. These sites range from Jeju Loveland, a sex-themed garden with explicit statues and phallic sculptures, to the Teddy Bear Museum, which includes a wide array of indoor and outdoor exhibits featuring the globally popular stuffed animals. Jeju’s other buzzed-about attraction is its annual fire festival, which draws curious tourists and culture aficionados from around Asia and the world.
With locally sourced food widely available and public buses and bicycles the most convenient forms of transport, this Korean paradise would be an interesting and exotic addition to anyone’s East Asian eco-tourism itinerary. Despite its exotic aura, the island is quite accessible to Western tourists. There is even an English language magazine called Jeju Life that gives would-be visitors the lowdown on goings-on on the island.
Jeju is one of the easiest places to pedal a bicycle in all of South Korea. Wide roads and light traffic in most areas make biking a breeze, provided the weather co-operates (rain showers are a frequent occurrence, and it does get chilly, if not freezing, in wintertime). One of the main thoroughfares on the island, Highway 12, boasts a bike lane, as do some of Jeju’s shoreline roads. Rentals are easy to find at guesthouses and local shops. Traveling light is also possible on a motorbike. These two-wheelers are likewise widely rented in the island’s population centers. However, with Jeju’s bike-friendly features, going gas-powered is not a necessity.
Jeju has a reliable bus-based transportation system. Most buses start in Jeju City or Seogwipo and subsequently travel to other parts of the island multiple times per day. Some attractions require an additional hike after the bus ride. Between buses and bicycles, getting around with an acceptable level of environmental-friendliness is a breeze.
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