Jeju Island – Korea


Jeju is an island off the south coast of the Korean peninsula that TIME Magazine has judged one of 2023’s World’s Greatest Places. Well known in Asia and domestically, it’s often referred to as the Hawaii of Korea. Its popularity isn’t waning with the air route between Seoul and Jeju the world’s busiest, and international cruises returning from this March.

Here’s a roundup of what draws tourists to Jeju:


Jeju is known for its volcanic formations, the centre of the island being Hallasan, a dormant volcano and South Korea’s highest point. The island also features lava tubes and volcanic tuff cones such as Seongsan Ilchulbong, a perfect spot for enjoying the sunrise and stopping point on the Jeju Olle Trail that circles the entire island.



Regional areas in Korea boast their own speciality foods and interpretations of common dishes, and Jeju is no exception. Famed for its pure environment, Jeju’s mandarin-orange fruit “hallabong” is ubiquitous and can be picked fresh from orchards around the island. As is Jeju’s tender black pork which is often barbecued in thicker chunks with black hairs occasionally intact as a mark of authenticity.


As South Korea’s most popular domestic leisure tourism destination, Koreans flock here to unwind. Unlike the “bali bali” (hurry hurry) lifestyles of Seoulites, Jeju people live on island time. That’s not to say Jeju residents don’t work hard – testament to this is Jeju’s UNESCO listed Haenyeo divers who freedive for abalone and sea urchins amongst the black volcanic rock. Some Haenyeo are well into their 80’s yet still doing the physically demanding and at times dangerous work that has been passed down from generations.



Away from the bustling metropolises of the mainland, Jeju is clean and quiet, and Jeju’s local government is eager to keep it that way with an initiative to become carbon neutral by 2030. Along with renewables including massive offshore wind farms, Jeju has the highest proportion of electric cars and charging stations in Korea. EVs are available for rental and are the ideal mode of transport for exploring the attractions and scenic areas scattered across the island.



A string of new luxury hotels have opened in Jeju over the past three years including Grand Hyatt Jeju in 2020 and Parnas Hotel Jeju in 2022. The latest luxury offering is Marriott Jeju Resort & Spa which opened this March in Seogwipo City on the less populated southern side of the island. The hotel overlooks the ocean with views of nearby Beomseom Island and Seogwipo’s columnar joint cliffs – one of Jeju’s designated natural monuments.


For more information on travel to South Korea and Jeju Island, go to



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