No trip in Korea would be completed without stepping foot on Jeju Island, the paradise of South Korea. Just an hour flight from Seoul, Jeju is filled with jaw-dropping landscapes, amazing greenery and welcoming fresh air. With so many awesome places, it would take at least 3 days to explore cover major attractions of the island. And the best way to explore Jeju is definitely doing self-drive. Here’s the Jeju Self Drive Itinerary to plan your perfect 3 days.
Jeju Self Drive Itinerary – Before the Trip
1. IDP (International Driving Permit)
An IDP (International Driving Permit) is mandatory to drive in South Korea as a foreigner. To get your IDP, all you need to do is to apply it online from the Automobile Association of Singapore (AAS) (if you hold a Singapore driving license).
Applying online may take a few days, if you are rushing for time, you can go to one of office directly and get it on the spot. Remember that even with the IDP, it is advisable to bring along your driving license along for your trip too, in case of any discrepancy.
2. Choose Car Rental Company
After spending quite some time comparing car rental prices and reading online reviews, I found out that the best rental company is AJ RENTACAR. It’s one of the largest car rental companies in Korea, so it’s credible and provides good customer service.
To enjoy a greater discount, sign up for a free member account on the website. The savings is really substantial compared to non-members.
Do note that Korean cars are left-hand driven. So you need to check the left side of for incoming traffic if you are used to right-hand drive road system.
3. Navigating Using the GPS
Believe it or not, Korea doesn’t support Google Map. Yeah, tell me about it. So forget about your useful Google Map and rent a GPS from the AJ RENTACAR instead. In fact, they will provide you a free GPS, you just need to request it during the online booking.
Navigating GPS in Korea can be a piece of cake if you know your destination’s telephone number. However, do not expect your car rental company to provide a list of numbers for you. You will have to do your homework and note down all the important numbers before your trip. Read on as I unveil to you the precious telephone list for all the major attractions…
4. Getting a Data Sim Card
Although you have a car GPS, it’s still important to get yourself a data Sim, should anything go wrong. Having data connection also means that you can check the mobile numbers of the attractions on the go.
We got ourselves an Unlimited Data 10-DAY SIM card from Link Korea at a cost of $35 USD. I got it as soon as I touched down in Seoul Incheon Airport. I find this SIM super useful as my fiancé and I got to surf unlimited Internet at 4G speed throughout our 10 days trip in Korea. If you are flying to Jeju directly, they also have a counter in the Jeju International Airport. You can pick up your SIM without hassle.
5. Choose the Right Hotel
It’s important to choose a hotel that has a strategic location for your trip. Why? Because Jeju is really big and it can actually take more than 2 hours to get to one destination.
We stayed at Check Inn Jeju Hotel for 3 nights. Only around 15 mins drive from the airport, the hotel is centrally located. So it serves as a great base to explore around Jeju during your trip.
On top of its location, I found the hotel really comfortable and clean. The room is spacious and it’s really near the sea, giving you an awesome view as you look out of the windows. What’s more, the price starts from only $55 USD per night for 2 people. It’s a great choice if you want to save money on accommodation while being able to enjoy modern luxury.
The hotel also has a bar on level 8 and it’s great to chill out there at night. So you won’t have to worry if you have nothing to do during nightfall. Guests are also given a mug of complimentary beer or soft drink of your choice.
Jeju Self Drive Itinerary – the Journey Begins
Check out the vlog I made NOW to discover the best of Jeju!
Korean GPS Phone No: 747-9950
Situated on the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula, Hallasan is 1,950m in height and is the highest mountain in South Korea. It is also the main reasons why people come to Jeju to admire its beauty.
There are 4 trails in the Hallasan National Park, Seongpanak, Gwaneumsa, Eorimok and Yeongsil. If you like long challenging trails and wish to hike to the summit, Seongpanak and Gwaneumsa would be the trail to take. The trails will take you around 8 hours but the view is the most rewarding.
However, we opted for a less tedious trail and we eventually chose Eoseungsaengak. It will take you less than 2 hours to complete and will bring you to an amazing elevation point, overlooking Jeju city and the surrounding mountains.
Seongsan Ilchungbong (Sunrise Peak)
Korean GPS Phone No: 7830959 or 7107923
No trip to Jeju island is complete without a hike up to the Sunrise Peak or as the Koreans call it – Seongsan Ilchulbong (성산일출봉). This Seongsan Ilchulbong crater was formed by hydrovolcanic eruptions about 5,000 years ago. This volcanic cone is 600-meters wide and 90 meters tall. Its crater is lined with 99 rocky spires that resemble a crown. It was also recently named in 2011 as one of the seven wonders of nature in the world.
As you hike up, you are going to see the most amazing view of Jeju.
Just look at the crater from the top, and you’ll be blown away…
Manjanggul Lava Cave
Korean GPS Phone No: 7834818
The Manjanggul Cave is a very interesting site. This 13 km-long multi-level lava tube is one of the largest lava tubes in the world with a width of up to 18 m and a height of up to 23 m. Formed more than thousands of years ago, it is very well preserved. Only about 1 kilometer of the Manjanggul cave is open to tourists.
Set aside about an hour to visit the Manjanggul Cave. You’ll be delighted to find out all the little wonders inside…
Gimnyeong Maze Park
Korean GPS Phone No: 7829266
Want to add some fun in your Jeju trip? Check out this Maze Park. Located just 5 mins away from Manjanggul Cave, the maze is in the shape of the Jeju Island.
If you use a map, it will take only 5 minutes. But without a map, it’s a bit more difficult and can take up to 20 minutes. Some visitors have been known to spend up to 50 minutes lost in the maze before giving up and calling for help!
O’Sulloc Green Tea Museum
Korean GPS Phone No: 794-5351
Jeju Island is the origin of O’Sulloc, and a visit to this flagship store is a must for all. Don’t’ be surprised by the crowd inside the café, because the dessert is really delicious.
The green tea ice cream is very rich and the green tea roll cake is so yummy. Although it’s rather expensive, it’s worth the money!
Nearby you can find a large green tea field, perfect for photo taking among the rows of tea leaves.
Korean GPS Phone No: I forgot about this one…
Oedolgae is the perfect spot for sunset. It’s also a filming location in the 2003 TV drama series, “Daejangguem”.
We flew our drone there to catch the most amazing sunset moment. Words can’t describe how beautiful it is. I will let the photos to do the talking…
Korean GPS Phone No: 7331528
Jeongbang waterfall is Asia’s only waterfall that falls into the sea – spectacular! Doesn’t it look like a heaven to you?
SEOGWIPO Submarine Tour
Last but not least, we went to try out the SEOGWIPO Submarine Tour. If you are asking me if it’s worth it or not, I feel that the experience is too expensive (52 USD per pax) and we didn’t see what we were expecting. The submarine merely went straight down gradually to 45 meters, but it didn’t move around at all. So it’s not the cool kind of experience you’ll see from the movies.
Also, you wouldn’t be able to see the amazing view of the underwater world, as the glass is just too small and the scenery is rather static.
So if you ask me if it’s a must go? I would say no. But if you want a different experience and don’t mind spending the money, you can still go ahead.
Korean GPS Phone No:
So here’s the Jeju Self Drive Itinerary. I hope you can explore this beautiful island soon and take loads of amazing pictures!