Sunday, April 21, 2019

1 day in Jeju, South Korea itinerary? — Udo Island

         Thinking of visiting Jeju in a day is practically impossible. I've encountered some travelers making Jeju a 2 days trip/ side trip from the mainland south Korea and asking me for advice.
2 day in Jeju itinerary

          Well, if you are fast-paced and wish to cover only the most important attractions, only, then I would suggest
Day 1, 
7.00am hike Hallasan Yeong Sil trail (5 hours to and fro, covering 5.1 km), 
2.00pm Lunch at Jungmun area
3.30pm Pacific Land Dolphin Show (Discount ticket available now) 
5.00pm Some indoor museums: eg: Teddy Bear Museum Jeju (discount ticket available now)
6.30pm Some indoor museums: eg: Kpop Play (discount ticket available now)

Day 2, 
       Seongsan Ichulbong for the sunrise and the rest of the day in Udo Island. or Udo island first and then Seongsan Ichulbong for the sunset for those who like to sleep in. 
Although I myself did not manage to put both plans in a single day, I highly encourage you to do so, simply because of their proximity.

        Why do I speak so highly about this small island, even putting it as a must-visit in a short 2 days itinerary? This is why:

Udo Island – a Mini Jeju

        Jeju itself is an island, but do you know there are about 30 tiny islands surrounding it?  Udo island is one of them, located 3.5 kilometers off the eastern coast, conveniently accessible from the main island through Seongsan Port, a ferry terminal within walking distance from the Seongsan Ichulbong, the number one attraction in Jeju Island.
        The Udo island is considered a popular holiday location by the Koreans. If you say Jeju island is the Hawaii of South Korea, then Udo island is Hawaiian’s Oahu.
        Mini Jeju: In Udo Island, one can find a variety of instaworthy beaches (white sand, black sand, rock formations), some scenic climbs, romantic lighthouses, fields of flowers, pretty much everything you should be exploring in Jeju main Island itself if you have more days to spend of course. However, in Jeju islands, these places are often far from each other, so Udo will be a much convenient alternative.
2 day in Jeju itinerary
        The origin of its name “Udo” was inspired by the shape of the island, which is said to resemble a cow lying down. however, honestly speaking, I couldn’t see how it resembles a cow… Well, maybe the shape changes throughout the years.
        However, there is one downside for those who have already rent a car for their Jeju road trip: no rental cars are allowed to drive into Udo island. So your best bet, is to rent an ATV, bike or utilize the bus. Take note that if you are renting any motorized vehicle (ATV, scooter), an international driving permit is a must. The Koreans are quite strict about it.
2 day in Jeju itinerary

A day in Udo Island

7:30 AM 
       If you are not based in Seongsan, then plan an early start from Seogwipo.
       I’m assuming all travelers to come from Seongwipo since it is a more popular travel base on Jeju island. If so, do start your day early because it will be an hour ride from Seongwipo to Seongsan Ichulbong. GPS phone number for Seongsan Port is +64 782 5671.


  • Stay near the Seongsan Ilchulbong for an even earlier start or if you are a sunrise chaser. My recommendation is the humble Sunflower Minbak / Santiago for budget traveler or the luxurious Cloud (click to see on booking.com) for a memorable honeymoon trip.
  • For those who wish to spend a night in Udo Island, I highly recommend White Castle Pension (click here to read booking.com review) for its great location (Just across the street from the White sand beach) and pretty views from the rooms! Also, it is one of the cheapest accommodation on Udo island (From 50 USD per night for a spacious room for 2). 

2 day in Jeju itinerary

8:30 AM 
       The port frenzy kicks in.
       To get the ferry ticket, you will need to grab 2 copies of the declaration form from the long table in the main hall, complete it (the form is available in Chinese and English), prepare your passport and queue up at the ticket counter.
    •    The return ferry ticket costs 8,500KRW 
    •    Ferries leave every half an hour from 7.30am till 5 during winter or 6 pm in other seasons.
    •    I’ve seen people getting turned away at the counter for they forgot their passport. don’t make that mistake. After getting your ticket, go straight to the ferry terminal. Ferries leave the port on the dot and the journey will take 15 minutes.
1 day in Jeju
1 day in Jeju
1 day in Jeju
1 day in Jeju

9:15 AM
       Touchdown in Udo!
       The ferry will pull into Cheonjin Port in Udo Island. We went straight to the ATV, motor, bike rental first as we are planning to tour the island on a bike, well coz we figured that having the flexibility of stopping anywhere anytime is a great bonus.
1 day in Jeju
1 day in Jeju
       We rented a regular bike, 10000 KRW a day.
       However, I am going to be bloody honest here, this decision nearly cost my life! Although most of the coastal road looks flat, they are actually slight slopes, which means more exercises. If you are a tofu like me or you seldom work out, then this day will become your leg day and the seemingly harmless “flat ground” will rip your legs apart. So, be real to yourself, take an electric bike that will cost slightly more but you’ll get to keep your legs.
1 day in Jeju
       Alternatively, rent a scooter of a tuktuk, however, you’ll need an international driving license for that. Most countries in the world aren’t that fussy when it comes to international driving license, but not in Korea, where strict laws on road safety are enforced.
1 day in Jeju
       Remember to get your passport back at the end of the rental, coz most rental requires you to hand over your passport. Well, I know some of you don’t cycle nor drive. Don’t worry, you can still enjoy Udo via the Tourist Shuttle Bus!
      The full Udo Olle is 16.1 km, but you don’t have to do everything if you don’t feel like traveling the distance. Instead, you can focus on the highlights below:

9:40 AM 
       We took a left and ride about 5 minutes before reaching Bongkkeurang, a burger store famous for its specialty coffee and homemade rainbow bun black pork burgers. If you haven’t tried black pork in Jeju, here is a great chance as it is a staple food in Jeju and especially Udo. For Muslim travelers, keep calm and ride on as there are more halal local delicacies to savor along the road.
1 day in Jeju
       Along the road, we saw some Hanyeo carrying nets on their backs to set out for work. You can catch them in action at the nearby coasts. Hanyeo are sea-women who collects sea cucumber, shellfish, fishes, seaweed and abalone from the ocean floor with merely a pair of goggles and wet suits, without oxygen supply or any sophisticated diving equipment. Some of them are so well trained, they can stay underwater for 10 minutes straight, making them real mermaids. being a hanyeo is extremely hard work, but believe it or not, this profession is dominated by the older generations with the majority of them being older than 60, since the youngsters aren’t willing to take up this job…. haenyeos are getting extinct, it is a profession you can never find in other parts of the world. Do you love Sashimi? Stay back for a chance to savor the freshest sashimi prepared by these Hanyeo.
2 day in Jeju itinerary
       There were also several street art installations that made us spend longer than we should on this little stretch of road. Nevertheless, we enjoyed it.
2 day in Jeju itinerary
2 day in Jeju itinerary
1 day in Jeju
Udo island

10:40 AM
        Ride further north, after a couple instaworthy pit stop, you will arrive to Seobin Baeksa or as some likes to call it, Udo Sanho Beach (phone number for GPS: +64 728 3393).
Udo island
        Take a look at the turquoise and emerald hues of the sea along with the white sand. Now I know why Koreans seldom come to tropical countries for beaches… they have better ones! The coastal town is also a uptown-funk hipster type, with a lot of life-size action figures set up, neon lights and colorful furnitures.
Udo island
       People on Udo island really take pride in their main agricultural product — peanuts! There is even a saying that if you’ve never tasted Udo’s peanuts, you’ve never been to Udo. The most popular way to sample this local specialty is through Udo’s famous peanut-flavored desserts, especially peanut ice cream! Of course, there are also peanut bread and peanut lattes around but not as instaggramable as a creative peanut ice cream! If you would like to have an instaggramable giant cup or peanut ice cream, here is the place to get it. Coz unlike other places where creative ice creams are limited, this stall churns out fancy animal ice cream cups non stop.
Udo island

11.40 AM
       And it's almost lunch time!
       The golden rule in Jeju island (which also applies in Udo island), never allow yourself to eat too much. The reason is that you’ve got a lot more food to try! Next local delicacy in our must-eats list is Udo’s special cheesy fried rice called Hallasan rice.
       However, please note that customers cannot order halassan rice alone. You can either choose a BBQ hot pot or a seafood mix port to pair with your Hallasan rice order. We began by ordering a satisfying mix pot of seafood. Then once we finished, the brought the ingredients for the Hallasan fried rice, and cook it in front of us with our leftover seafood and sauces in the pan.

       Now, can you see why it is named the Hallasan Fried Rice? The rice resembles the mountain, and the egg represents the volcanic lava.
Udo island

1:10 PM 
       At about 12:40, we decided not to go further north but instead to turn back and head towards the east for Geommeolle Beach. ( Contact number for GPS is +64 728 3394).
Udo island
       Geommeolle is famous for its black-sand beach, although it is just a short stretch in a cave behind the big boulders. Here I tried the peanut ice cream again just because I would like a photo of the ice cream, me with Geommeolle Beach as the backdrop. Here’s the result!
View this post on Instagram
Famous #dessert! πŸ™†πŸ»‍♀️1st try on #Udo #Peanut #SoftServe! πŸ₯œ➕🍦 do you think it’s a #GoodCombination? πŸ™ŒπŸ» I myself love #Nuts. 🌰For me, #HazelNut is the best, perfect to go with #honey 🍯and a cup of #honeyMilk πŸ₯›as #breakfast.... ahhhh, nothing tops that. πŸ’†πŸ»‍♀️Especially when it’s enjoyed with your #lovedOnes πŸ‘¨‍πŸ‘©‍πŸ‘§‍πŸ‘¦ ... Well anyway, today is #Chor3 of #CNY2019. πŸŽ†πŸŽ‡Remember to go to bed πŸ› earlier so that the mice 🐁 🐭 in your house can get married 🎎in peace!✌🏻 ps: have you heard of this #custom? πŸ’πŸ»‍♀️ . . . . #peanuticecream #gelato #icecream #jeju #jejudo #jejuisland #jejufood #koreanfood #visitjeju #imagineyourkorea #specialty#mothernature #travelforfood #eatpraylove #foodtrip #koreatravel
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Udo island

1:40 PM
       Go southward and you will see the entrance to the Udobong Peak (GPS number: +64 728 2742). This is said to be the highest spot on the Udo island, offering an unobstructed vista of the island and Jeju on clear days.
       If you happen to visit from late March to April, you will be enveloped in a yellow field of dreamy Canola flowers. This scene is featured heavily in Korean dramas and have a romantic vibes around it. So why now come live your Korean drama daydream?


2:00 PM
       Now, if you make your way back to the port now, you will reach at about 2:30pm and catch the 3pm ferry back to Seongsan Port. Then you will have about 3 hours to explore in Seongsan Ichulbong before catching the sunset at 6pm (winter timing).
Udo island
       If you are there during summer, then congratulations, you have more day time to spare! Then maybe you can check out some other attractions I missed out in Udo Island! Maybe if you've always wondered how would it be like to ride a submarine, you can join a Unique Submarine Expedition back in Seongsan Port! The Submarine will bring you on a underwater adventure where amazing nature show unfold in front your eyes as the submarine changes depth.
Udo island
Udo island

3:00PM to sunset 
       Now, let's explore the most iconic geographical feature on the Eastern End of Jeju Island— Seongsan Ilchulbong (μ„±μ‚°μΌμΆœλ΄‰, 城山ζ—₯ε‡Ίε³°)
Read the article below to find out everything you need to know from hiking time to things to do or see! 
2 day in Jeju itinerary

The Verdict
Udo Island – Is it worth visiting at all?

       My answer: definitely a yes! When you are here, you are in for a treat— a real rest. What we call a holiday within a holiday. Udo island’s laid back vibe is everything you need to forget about your worries and Hakunamatata on, I definitely can see why from my own experience. As people say it, Udo is a mini-version of Jeju island which can be fully explored within a few hours rather than a few days.
2 day in Jeju itinerary

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Thank You for Reading! This post is based solely on my honest opinion or personal experience. If you have a different opinion, feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below!
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