Jeju Island – A Cheaper Alternative to other cities in Korea

It’s about as cheap as it gets. 49,800 Korean Won or close to $45USD.  That’s all you pay when you book a round-trip ticket to Jeju Island from Seoul around this time of the year. That is way cheaper than taking a KTX Bullet Train going down to Busan just one way. Jeju is now a super cheap alternative when thinking about different places to travel in Korea. We are talking about getting on a plane for 1 hour on a Tuesday, enjoying the lovely island of Jeju for 3 nights and coming back on a Friday in time to party it back up in Seoul. Check out Jeju Air, Jin Air or Air Busan for discount airliners.

A view from Hyeobjae Beach during the wintertime.
A view from Hyeobjae Beach during the wintertime.

Granted it is still cold and the ticket is for the weekdays, but quite frankly, who cares cause we are going as tourists! Practically, everyday is a weekend for us! Plus if you were planning on vacationing at sunny beaches, you probably wouldn’t be in Korea in the first place.  We have that in the summertime, but Jeju is far more known for its beautiful scenic trails and natural formations. And it’s all even far more charming during the winter seasons here. Jeju is a small island, yet it’s home to Korea’s tallest peak. And seeing other oxymorons like snow on palm trees leave us with impressions that this is a place is not like too many places you’ll see. 

Sand and Snow
Sand and Snow

I love Jeju because it’s enough. You stay there a few days and it’s enough. You’re not overwhelmed or regretting when you leave because you didn’t make the most out of your time.

And its affordable to get around too. You can hire a driver to take you around parts of the island for the day for around $100 to $120. Granted they are not an English speaking guide like yours truly, but they know enough to understand what you mean. To be completely fair, they barely speak English and are better at pointing and using their hands. But they have the technical skill to do what you need. So like if you say, “Manjang Cave”, more likely than not, it means to him, “Please take me to Manjang Cave”. And if you point at your watch saying, “I’ll come back at 2PM”, then they will know that they will expect you around 2PM to take you somewhere else. And most of all, they are honest which helps because you won’t be preoccupied thinking he’s going to take off on you while you’re sightseeing. They appreciate the buck. You just need to be to-the-point and not talk in fanciful English.

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The blowing winds from the South Sea dry sea squid for a good snack with beers

Or even if that’s too expensive, you can rent a new Kia K5 for about $150 for 3 days including full insurance (If you can rent in advance, that’s $50 a day). They have English GPS so you can easily get around to major sightseeing spots. They can even save them on the GPS so that you can start your journey at any time. Make sure to to bring your international drivers license with you if you do.

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All over Jeju Island, you can meet the legendary Haenyeo ladies who free dive for all this stuff.

So if you are trying to travel to Korea on a dime, now is a great time to go to Jeju Island to see what it’s all about. It makes a great alternative to any other major city you want to see outside of Seoul and the travel time is not that long. If you need a Korean Tour Guide, you know where to find us. Safe travels!

Won't need an introduction to these guys if you every come to Jeju. These old geezers are everywhere here.
Won’t need an introduction to these guys if you every come to Jeju. These old geezers are everywhere here.

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