Escape the Ordinary: 11 Reasons Jeju Island Will Steal Your Heart

By Mardiana Lutfi

If you want to escape to a place where nature meets culture and adventure awaits at every turn, Jeju Island, known as the “Hawaii of South Korea,” is the place to go. This enchanting island paradise offers a memorable adventure for all types of travelers.

Jeju is a volcanic island paradise with breathtaking beaches, dramatic landscapes, and a unique culture waiting to be discovered. But, beyond the typical tourist attractions, there is a whole world of hidden gems ready to amaze you. Here are 11 reasons why Jeju should become your next vacation obsession:

Seopjikoji Hill | © u_ealylazd via Pixabay

  1. Lava Tubes and Caves

Did you know Jeju has some of the most extensive lava tube systems in the world? Explore these ancient underground wonders, including Manjanggul Cave, a UNESCO World Heritage Site created by volcanic explosions thousands of years ago. Marvel at the breathtaking rock formations and underground treasures that will leave you in awe.

Manjanggul Lava Tube, National Geopark | © visitkorea

  1. Mermaid Magic: Haenyeo – Women of the Sea

Seeing Haenyeo (sea women) at work is undoubtedly one of the best Jeju experiences, especially for divers. Prepare to be empowered by the Haenyeo, or “sea women” of Jeju. These incredible women, some in their 70s and 80s, free-dive for seafood using no equipment! Witnessing their way of life and resiliency is both humbling and inspiring. Witness their underwater prowess at the Hyeopjae Haenyeo Museum, or see a live performance on the southern coast.

The Community of the Haenyeo | ©

Sumbisori | ©

  1. Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak (Sunrise Peak)

Avoid overcrowded tourist destinations. Get up early and hike to the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak to experience an incredibly stunning sunrise. Witnessing the sunrise at this UNESCO World Heritage site will reveal its breathtaking beauty and you’ll understand why this UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-visit.

Seongsan Ilchulbong

Seongsan Ilchulbong | © corejeju

Seongsan Ilchulbong (UNESCO World Heritage) | © visitkorea

  1. Jeju’s Black Sand Beaches

Escape the crowds and enjoy the beauty of Jeju’s black sand beaches, like Jungmun, Samyang, and Hyeopjae. Feel the soft black sand between your toes as you soak up the sun and see the spectacular coastal beauty that distinguishes this volcanic island.

Samyang Black Sand Beach | ©  koreattrack

Jungmun Saekdalhaebyeon Beach | © koreattrack

Hyeopjae Beach | © travelin.koreabyme

The picturesque Hyeopjae Beach is one of the island’s great beauties, with a breathtaking 9-kilometer coastline that will take your breath away. The crystal-clear emerald waves lap softly against the black sand here, framed by verdant pine forests, providing a beautiful natural landscape.

As the sun sets below the horizon, Hyeopjae Beach changes into one of Jeju’s most beautiful sunset sites, painting the sky in a kaleidoscope of colors that will leave a lasting impact. This tranquil, family-friendly beach is the perfect place to immerse yourself in Jeju’s natural splendor, away from the masses, and truly experience the island’s fascinating charm.

  1. Hallasan National Park

Explore the heart of Jeju in Hallasan National Park, home to South Korea’s highest peak, Mount Halla. Hike through lush forests, past pristine waterfalls, and up to the summit for panoramic views that will take your breath away.

Hallasan National Park | © koreatour

Hallasan National Park (UNESCO World Heritage) | © koreatour

  1. Jeju’s Dol Hareubang (Stone sculptures)

Keep an eye out for Jeju’s iconic Dol Hareubang statues scattered throughout the island. These ancient stone guardians, with their distinguishing features and mysterious faces, are thought to bring protection and fertility to the land.

Dol Hareubang statues on Jeju Island, South Korea | © Charity Davenport via Flickr

  1. Jeju’s Unique Cuisine

Indulge your taste buds in Jeju’s unique culinary delights, where each mouthful reveals the distinct flavors that have been meticulously developed over generations. Begin your gastronomic exploration with Jeju’s fresh seafood delicacies, such as the delicate hoe (sliced raw fish), a local specialty that highlights the island’s abundant marine resources. For a more powerful and spicy enjoyment, try the haemul jjim, a hearty seafood stew brimming with a harmonious blend of flavors. Pair it with a refreshing glass of Jeju’s famous mandarins, a citrus fruit that has become synonymous with the island’s lush and bountiful orchards.

Hoe (sliced raw fish) | © KoreanFood via Reddit

As you savor each dish, allow the flavors to transport you through Jeju’s rich culinary heritage, where traditional techniques and locally sourced ingredients seamlessly converge to create a truly authentic and unforgettable dining experience.

Haemul Jjim (spicy seafood stew)

  1. Jeju Loveland

Prepare for some cheeky fun at Jeju Loveland, a one-of-a-kind outdoor sculpture park that honors the cheerful and diverse nature of human connections. As you walk through the park, you’ll be intrigued by the vivid and often funny artworks that explore the various aspects of love, intimacy, and the human experience. From playful and cheeky depictions to more poignant and introspective pieces, the sculptures at Jeju Loveland offer a refreshingly open and inclusive perspective on the timeless themes of romance, desire, and the complexities of interpersonal connections.

Whether you’re seeking a fun and playful experience or a thought-provoking exploration of the human condition, Jeju Loveland promises to leave a lasting impression, inviting you to embrace the joyous and vibrant celebration of love in all its forms.

Jeju Loveland

© Jeju Loveland

  1. Jeju’s Tangerine Orchards

Take a stroll through Jeju’s tangerine orchards, where the sweet aroma of ripe fruit fills the air. Pick your own luscious tangerines directly from the trees and savor the sunshine of Jeju in every bite. These tangerines, meticulously farmed by generations of local farmers, are a source of great pride for the island, known for their extraordinary quality and taste. This lovely experience allows you to connect with the island’s natural richness, providing you with a greater understanding for the abundance that Jeju’s fertile fields have to offer.

Noji Tangerines | © bluebasket

Jeju Tangerines | © bluebasket

Hueree Natural Park | ©

  1. Jeju’s Jeongbang Waterfall

The Jeongbang Waterfall is one of Jeju Island’s most beautiful natural beauties. This incredible natural wonder is one of the few waterfalls in the world that flows directly into the broad, open ocean, providing a really breathtaking scene.

Jeongbang Waterfall | © triptins

Surrounded by Jeju’s spectacular cliffs and abundant foliage, the Jeongbang Waterfall provides a totally unique and wonderful experience. It’s an opportunity to immerse oneself in the island’s raw, untamed beauty, to feel the unrestrained force of nature, and to be humbled by the towering majesty of this natural wonder, which has lured tourists to Jeju for generations.

Whether you’re looking for a moment of peace or a chance to reconnect with nature, the Jeongbang Waterfall is a must-see site that will make an indelible effect on those who witness its breathtaking beauty.

  1. Stargazing Paradise

Light pollution? Who needs it! 

Jeju’s recognition as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site for its remarkable geological formations also offers the benefit of outstanding astronomy opportunities. Visit Geomunoreum, a lava tube named the “Place of the Gods,” to enjoy stunning night skies filled with glittering stars away from city lights.

Let’s go see the star | © jejutourism

Georinsaseum Observatory | ©

With its stunning natural panoramas, rich cultural legacy, and boundless options for adventure, Jeju Island is a traveler’s paradise unlike any other. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape, a chance to immerse yourself in local culture, or an adrenaline-fueled adventure, Jeju Island has something to delight and fascinate every sort of traveler.

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your Jeju gateway today and get ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime. Click here for more information to help you plan your perfect Jeju escape.