As many of you know, I lived and taught English in South Korea for 2 years. It’s where I got started with travel blogging as a career, which has led me into social media and making travel videos. Living in Korea opened my mind to the wonderful world of Asia, where I have now been living for almost 5 years.
South Korea holds a very deep place in my heart; it’s one of the few places I can call home… And believe it or not, I just took my first trip to Jeju Island – so called “Hawaii of Korea!”
Jeju is a volcanic island, formed about 2 million years ago, that lies just south of the mainland. The island is quite small, just 274 km around the perimeter, but its incredible nature and unique landscapes has awarded it 3 UNESCO sites and one of the 7 new wonders of nature!
I spent 3 days going all over Jeju island with a tour guide- North to South to East and West. All I can say is that Jeju lives up to all the hype!!!
Before I tell you 8 Things I Love about Jeju, please watch these two videos I made while there — the first one is a general information video about Jeju, and the second one shows off all my best drone shots of the stunning nature! Enjoy 🙂
안녕하세요! I’m back in South Korea!! The country I moved to immediately after graduating college to teach English for 2 years. The country that kicked off my travel career when I started my first blog. The country that made me fall in love with Asia, and the country that has changed my life forever.
But I’m not on the mainland Korea — I am on the volcanic island called Jeju. The nature here is so impressive that it’s listed as one of the 7 New Wonders of Nature and a UNESCO site. Waterfalls, cliffs, mountains, jungles, wildlife, valleys — it’s all here in Jeju.
I am telling you that this island might be the most beautiful island in the world. I am completely STUNNED by the natural beauty! The entire island of Jeju was formed by lava about 2 million years ago, and even today, there are 350+ volcanoes surrounding the land. It’s been really interesting to observe the culture here as well, which I find to be quite different from the mainland.
Have you ever heard of Jeju before? If not, I hope this video has sparked your interest!
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Thanks for the invite here Korea Tourism Organization, New York and Korea Tourism Organization – VisitKorea. #visitkorea
Music: Kevin MacLeod
Posted by Drew Binsky on Monday, November 20, 2017
New favorite island: Jeju, South Korea. The nature here will blow you away.
This video is a compilation of my favorite drone shots that I took over the last 3 days exploring every part of this island. It’s my first attempt at a slow-paced “mood video,” — a different feel than my normal fast-paced ones. I’d love to get your feedback!
Out of curiosity – which island do you think is most beautiful in the world? My second choice is Siquijor, Philippines!
‘LIKE’ Drew Binsky on Facebook for more fun travel videos, and join me on Insta/Snap @drewbinsky 🙂
Music by Kevin MacLeod
Posted by Drew Binsky on Tuesday, November 21, 2017
8 Things I Loved about Jeju Island
These are in no particular order – just my favorite things about the island!
1. It’s Laid Back
Jeju island has only 600,000 residents – which is roughly 3% of Seoul on an area 3X the size of Seoul’s metropolitan area. Everywhere you go on this island is relaxing. There is no hustle and bustle. Nobody is in a hurry. It’s a really nice change of pace from bustling Seoul. I could have easily spent 3 more weeks in Jeju (and I just might on my next trip to Korea!)
2. There Are Volcanoes Everywhere
Jeju island has 350+ volcanoes, however none of them are currently active. You cannot walk 2 steps on Jeju without seeing remnants of a volcano. 95% of all rocks and stones on land are made from lava, as you can see from the dark color and natural holes and erosion on the surface of the rocks. Also, many of the craters are within hiking range, so you have the freedom to hike up to the top and take in the stunning views!
3. Amazingly Fresh Seafood
Given that Jeju is surrounded by the sea, there is an abundance of fresh seafood all over the island. I tried squid, clams and a long white fish and all were incredible! It was my first time trying the long white fish (I forgot both the Korean and English names of this fish, but it was certainly tasty!) The seafood is also good on the mainland.. but not nearly as tasty as in Jeju.
4. Great Hiking & Trekking
Jeju’s natural landscape, from its volcanos, to mountains and valleys, make it a hiking paradise. I discovered that exploring this island by foot is the best way to fully take in the surroundings and appreciate the beauty of the island. On our tour, we would often just park the car and get out to walk for miles and miles and miles. I recommend you to do that as well when you go to Jeju.
5. It’s a Romantic Getaway
It’s no surprise that Jeju is a popular honeymoon destination for both Koreans and foreigners. The island is built for romance. Cute coffee shops, restaurants, stores and even a theme park called Love Land! Jeju island is in such high demand that there are more daily flights from Seoul to Jeju than any 2 destinations in the world – can you imagine that?!
6. Very Unique Culture
I love how Jeju retains its unique culture, that has gone back centuries and centuries. The symbol of Jeju, as it’s seen EVERYWHERE, is the stone-carved grandfather statue. They were originally made in 1774, after the Korean leader demanded Jeju islanders to make 48 of them , and ever since, they are the face of the island. Jeju also has about 6,000 lady divers, whose average age is 70, and they go out in the sea bare-handed to catch fish. This something very unique to Jeju island!
7. Fun Museums
Jeju should also be referred to as “the island of Museums,” as we came across dozens of them scattered around the island. My favorite museum was PLAY KPOP, which was all about the history and culture of Korean K Pop. I found this museum interesting because I actually enjoy some K Pop (when I lived in Korea), and it’s cool to see how the genre has evolved over the last few decades.
8. Horses & Beaches
Lastly, I love the fact that Jeju has thousands of wild horses roaming around the land, as well as the best beaches I’ve seen in Korea. On mainland Korea, it’s very rare to see horses walking around and the only good beach that I know of is in Busan (but that doesn’t even compare to the ones in Jeju!) You really can never get bored here on Jeju island!!!
It’s hard to cut this list short , as there are dozens of more reasons to fall in love with Jeju Island. But I hope this sparks your interest to go, and see why it’s like for yourself!!
Disclaimer: This trip was sponsored by the Korea Tourism Organization and I received financial compensation from them. As always, all thoughts and opinions in this article are from my own personal experiences, and I always maintain 100% creative control of my videos.