Sunday, May 12, 2019

Jeju, South Korea Itinerary: O'sulloc Tea Museum and Innisfree Jeju House

       I initially plan to take a taxi from my accommodation, which is less than 5 minutes away, but my host insisted on sending me and my brother there. So a big thank you to her and Jeju hospitality!
Pro tip: Come on a weekday because the place will get really crowded from 10 am onwards, especially if you bang into tourist groups on weekends!
O'sulloc and Innisfree Jeju

For those who are wondering why these 2 attractions are located side by side: 
       Both Innisfree and O'sulloc are owned by Amore Pacific Corp., so this is definitely not a coincidence, they are sisters! Hope that explains (if you happen to care)!
       So on a traveler’s point of view, that means you don’t have to worry about transportation if you are interested in both attractions!

O’Sulloc Tea Museum (오설록티뮤지엄.)

O'sulloc Tea Museum

A little back history about O'sulloc Tea Museum: 
The tea brand was launched by the founder, the late Jangwon Seo Seong-wan, in an attempt to reinvigorate the Korea’s traditional tea culture, as he found out that the old tradition was vanishing at that period of time. His determination and effort was fruitful as in 1979, the reclamation project was started to turn Jeju's volcanic rocky field into a tea field, the Dolsongi Tea field. The tea Museum (opened on September 2001) is in fact, the first tea museum in Korea with a mission to introduce the Korean Tea history and tradition. And the rest, is history.
O'sulloc Tea Museum

       We arrived at O'sulloc Tea Museum first thing in the morning. There is a "Brand story" wall stating the history of O'Sulloc and description on Korean tea culture and also, a displays of Korean traditional ceramic cups. Since I am born and raised in Asia and had frequent trips to Japan and China, I’ve been taught the tea ceremony and rituals, which is not too different with the Korean’s (but each culture are still fascinating in its own way!). So if you ask me, it’s not much of a museum and I feel that it just acts as a hallway to the real attraction: The retail area and the cafe. However, if you are not from Asia, you'll be fascinated.
O'sulloc Tea Museum
       Not to forget, there is also a wall displaying tea cups from all over the world, good for your Instagram feed.
O'sulloc Tea Museum
       After visiting the “museum”, we ascended straight onto the observation deck. This is a cool place for photography if you come at the right time (anytime earlier than 10 pm before the tour groups run in). From the top, you could see the Sanbangsan mountain 산방산 and even the sea at the very far end! There are 2 observatory decks, the one below is encased with glass panels, and the other on top is open air. Both decks have the same view but I enjoy the natural breeze at the top deck more. Just so you know, we took the stairs because we failed to realize there is actually a lift to the decks. Take the lift unless you missed your gym session before coming to Jeju.
O'sulloc Tea Museum
O'sulloc Tea Museum observation deck

       Next, we head over to their retail area, where you can find a great diversity of tea for souvenir hunting. We were offered some small tasting cups (happens at regular intervals), so even if you have no intention of buying anything, come and have a taste, they are really unique. Who knows you might change your mind after that?
Personal recommendation: 
Jeju Camellia Flower Tea – Remember we talked about Camellia Flowers in Camellia Hill in the last post? Well, not only the flower itself significant sweet and everlasting love, the tea brewed from it is fragrant and refreshing, definitely on my top 3 favorite tea. (For now, no one can beat Dombay’s wildflower tea, I am still searching. )  
       If you are lucky, you may be able to catch a tea-leaves roasting session happening at the Tea-sampling section. They also have a simple tea preparation demonstration.
       If you are a huge fan of green tea, there are plenty of Green tea desserts you can try in O'sulloc Cafe. But if you want to have a substantial lunch or brunch, keep walking. A lot of visitors tend to eat here because it is the first cafe they see and thought that is the only cafe in the premise. If you insist, their signature dessert is the green tea swiss roll (5000 Won), green tea soft serve (4500 Won) and green tea O-Fredo which is a green tea shake top with premium green tea ice cream (7600 won) but save your stomach for Innisfree cafe, the best is yet to come. You’ll see why as you scroll down the page.
O'sulloc Tea Museum
O'sulloc Tea Museum

       But anyhow, I have to say, most green tea or matcha food in the stores are pretty heavy, mostly it's because well, since the customers love matcha seller will pack a whole bunch of it into your food and drinks. But it shouldn’t be that way. Here in Osulloc they’ve found a balance and maintained that standard. Hence, the green tea dessert here is truly enjoyable.
O'sulloc Tea Museum

       Just swirl into the forest path, you will reach the Innisfree Jeju House in no time. In the middle of the tiny forest, stood a glass house where they’ll have various tea culture classes available, unfortunately not during my visit.
O'sulloc Tea Museum

       Also, there are signs warning visitors of snakes, so refrain yourself from stepping into the bush (well you shouldn’t do it in the first place. )
O'sulloc Tea Museum

Innisfree Jeju House (이니스프리 제주 하우스)

       One of the dragon head of the cosmetic industry, Innisfree is a native in Jeju island. Being a natural brand that embodies the natural beauty of Jeju Island, Innisfree Jeju House was built to preserve the natural environment of the area.
       The first thing I noticed here is in love I am with the Minimalist Zen design of this place! The full-length windows all around maximize natural light to shine in and that is exactly what I had in mind for my dream kitchen!
       At the retail and testing section, visitors can try on all the cosmetics on display, which are made with quality ingredients harvested from Jeju Island. At the fresh topping pack zone, you can make your own mask pack suitable for your skin type. There are 12 ingredients to choose from, including 9 local ingredients like green barley, soybean, Jeju tangerine and more.
Innisfree Jeju House

       One of the best things to do here is participating in the Natural soap making workshop. This is a unique activity that you can not find in other Innisfree outlets. You don’t have to come at a definite time for that because, in front of every seat, there is an iPad that will show you all step-by-step instructions in various languages: English, Korean, Chinese Japanese…. There are wooden stamps at each seat for you to decorate your soap. There is also a mat in front of you which you can use to imprint your soap with an uneven surface finish but I think you can skip that part.
Innisfree Jeju House soap making

The Natural Soap Making Class
       First thing first, you need to buy a natural soap eco kit containing the materials you need. There is 3 scent to choose from: Green Tea, Jeju Tangerine, and Volcanic pore. I highly recommend Jeju Tangerine (Hallabong) because it is a local specialty and you couldn’t find it anywhere else. Plus, it is for skin brightening or whitening. Every asian are crazy about that, so there you go! Hallasan’s volcanic pore is also a great choice in my opinion especially if you are a Malaysian. Why? Because we don’t have active volcanos in our country so such products are rare in our midst. Hence, presumed as more precious, right?
       Each bag will cost you 15,000won and with the materials inside you can make 3 soaps out of it. A suggestion from me if you are traveling with your best friends, grab 3 friends to the workshop, each person choose a different material bag and exchange soups in the end, then Violllllaaa! You have one soup of each scent at the end of the experience!
Innisfree Jeju House soap making

The time needed for soap making: 20-40 minutes 
Step 1: kneading the soap base like play-doh
This step will take a bit of your arm strength at the beginning
Step 2: Mix in the scent (tangerine, green tea, volcanic ashes) powder bit by bit
for the color and scent. Tangerine will be orange and green tea green, Volcanic red.
Step 3: Knead it into an appropriate shape
You can do it round, square, irregular, up to your creativity. Just that if your soap couldn’t fit into the wrapping paper given, head it over to the shop assistant, they will have it wrapped up for you.
Step 4: Press it onto the silicon mat
To make the soup surface rough. You can skip this step if you prefer a soap with a smooth surface. Note that the rough surface is a signature look of Innisfree soap (it looks like a sponge).
Step 5: Decorate your soap.
In this final step, stamp your soap with the many stamps available. Many people choose to stamp their name, you may do that too, and that is call personalizing!
Pro tip: do not over-decorate your soap, it will look ugly as the surface will crack easily. Keep it simple, maybe just the words “Jeju” and your initial will do. Just my suggestion.

       If you don’t have the time nor energy to make your own soap but still want to bring home some, a ready-made present pack is available for 12000 won.
       At the other end of the workspace, there is a long table with various stamps of different colors and plain postcards for you to customize your own postcards. Don’t you just love all these hands-on activities?
Innisfree Jeju House

       After exiting Innisfree, we crossed the highway road to the O'sulloc green tea plantation. These giant teacups decorated with green plants at the entrance are really popular among tourists so I followed the flow and rewarded myself with a snap. This is where Amore pacific corp grow their signature O'sulloc green tea which will go into the soft serve, the tea, and the skin care products in Innisfree.
O'sulloc Tea plantation

       It wasn’t my first time in a green tea plantation but I was still pretty excited to pose and look at the green tea leaves up close. We took a stroll around the tea plantations and snapped tons of photos like I always do.
Jeju Tea plantation

       Finally, at the end of your visit, it should be around 11 am if you came as early as me. Now, head back to Innisfree cafe to replenish your energy before you head on to your next destination. Brunch Time!
       Why did I choose the Innisfree cafe instead of O'sulloc cafe, you may ask. Because food served in the O'sulloc cafe are mainly dessert, and not that attractive in my opinion. On the other hand, lunch set in Innisfree looks really appetizing both to the palate and eyes (and camera lens of course).
Innisfree cafe
       There is an individual cake (The Hallasan Cake) shaped as the Mountain Halla, the iconic symbol of Jeju island. All these are made from organic fresh local ingredients. I recommend the Jeju Lady Diver’s Brunch Basket, around 15000 Won. All prices are clearly stated on the menu, available in English and Korean, so there shouldn’t be any problem with ordering.
Innisfree cafe

       Oh, and it’s worth a mention that there is strong free wifi in Innisfree Jeju House, which allow me to video call to give my followers a visual tour of the place and ask my parents if there's anything they wanted me to buy!
Innisfree Jeju House

Operating Hours 

Summer 09:00-19:00

Winter 09:00-18:00

* Hours are subject to change at any time.

Admission Fees: 


How to get to O'sulloc Tea Museum and Innisfree Jeju House? 

If you are driving, the Contact Number to Key in GPS is 794-5312

Innisfree Jeju House: 425, Sinhwayeoksa-ro, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
제주특별자치도 서귀포시 안덕면 신화역사로 425
O’Sulloc Tea Museum:15, Sinhwayeoksa-ro, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
제주특별자치도 서귀포시 안덕면 신화역사로 15

By Bus: 
The bus to and from Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal is just across the road from O'sulloc entrance.
Bus No. 150-1, 250-3, 771-1, 771-2, 784-1, 820-2 

From the Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, it will take about 50 minutes. So remember to plan ahead! If you plan to start your visit early, you have to be at the bus station at least at 8 am or risk your itinerary being delayed. But if you are a free and easy traveler, screw everything I said and go on your own timing, and enjoy!

Where to Stay? 

      I found only 1 established hotel in the radius of 1km, correct me if I am wrong. But if you are interested in staying as close to the attraction as possible, here is Aerospace Hotel (read the review from
Innisfree Jeju House
Innisfree Jeju House

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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