Korea Travelogue: Day 2 – Seongsan Ilchulbong and Seopjikoji in Jeju

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Day 2 Itinerary (Part 1)

Hello! I finally finished editing my Jeju island pics. It was hell because of the constant picture spamming we took amongst us so…. be prepared for a ton of pictures over the next few entries :P

Anyway pictures are way better than words because they provide visuals to you so you’ll know what to expect when visiting these places. So let’s go go and continue with the day’s activities.

Driver

We hired a driver – Mr Won Man Soo – for 8 hours (KRW 200,000 in total for 7 persons, each additional hour at KRW20,000) to bring us to the places of interest because renting a car to self-drive was out of the option (too many people to fit into a sedan plus I was the only one with a driver’s license and wasn’t confident to drive on the left) and that these places are not very accessible via public transport. Then again there have been people who have successfully travelled via public transport all around Jeju island so I would say weigh your options. Definitely more cost efficient to hire a driver if you are travelling in groups of 3 or more.

I liaised with Mr Won via email on the itinerary for the day’s trip and while he didn’t give much feedback on my planned schedule in the emails, his response to my emails were very quick! Upon reaching Jeju, I sent him a Whatsapp message to remind him to pick us up at our guesthouse the next day and replies were very prompt and polite. He came to our guesthouse at 8am sharp and we rearranged the itinerary on the spot because he said that my list of places to visit would take 2 days *insert laughing face* so I said okay, we prioritised where we wanted to go and settled on 5 places in total for the day before setting off.

I really enjoyed his services because he was chatty and affable, spoke decent English and some Chinese (he worked in a hotel for several years before the career change to travel guide), very prompt replies during our correspondence prior to the trip, decent hiring rates, clean car (we had a mini van to seat all 7 of us comfortably) and he takes pictures of us with his mobile phone (and sends it to me via Whatsapp lol!) and also with our cameras so no worries on not being able to have someone take pictures for you :D So I highly recommend him if you are searching for a driver in Jeju, two thumbs up for his services!

Mr Won’s details below:

Mobile number: +82-10-3697-2303 (he is contactable via Whatsapp)

Email: wontour2303@gmail.com or wonmansoo@naver.com or maarooii@yahoo.co.kr

Website: www.jejuenglishtour.com

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Ok, so our first stop was to a place to order kimbaps because we were too early for breakfast at the guesthouse. Needed the morning fuel because our next stop was Seongsan Ilchulbong or Sunrise Peak as many would call it.

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Directions

284-12, Ilchul-ro, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
제주특별자치도 서귀포시 성산읍 일출로 284-12

Information below from KTO website:

At Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, take a Direct Bus (Dongilju bus bound for Seongsan) and get off at Seongsalliipgu bus stop. (Travel time : 2 hrs)

At Seogwipo Intercity Bus Terminal, take a Direct Bus (Dongilju bus bound for Seongsan) and get off at Seongsalliipgu bus stop (Travel time: 2 hr 30 min)

At Seongsalliipgu bus stop, you will see Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak. Walk to the peak (about 1km).

Entrance fees: KRW2000 for adults

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I recall climbing this mountain way back in 2005 after my O levels during my first trip to Korea. It was hell then. 9 years later in 2014, I attempted my second attempt up the peak and wanted to die halfway LOL!

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The magic selfie stick allowed this *points to pic above*

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Huffing and chuffing midway with my fellow unhealthy gizibes made us look away in shame at the fit as fiddle elderly from Jeju. Haix, just make sure you wear proper shoes to climb up the peak please hahaha. Jace gave up at the halfway point because her legs couldn’t take it. Wanjun zoomed all the way up with Hyunju and Sunmi while the remaining 3 of us kept cursing and swearing while slowly ascending to the peak. Mr Won was super energetic though lol! He was very far ahead from us HAHAHA!

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Halfway point. The scenery behind us was amazing! You could literally see Udo Island in the far distance.

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With Hyunju kekeke. Standard Korean poses: Twist/victory pose and covering of jaw with your palm to emulate a slimmer face.

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Finally reached the peak where you can have a view of the crater. Total relief and a sense of achievement *\O/*

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Mandatory group shot with the crater we climbed so high up to see lol.

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Going down was so much easier. We all took about 45mins to 1 hour to complete the entire hike up and down the mountain.

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I think this place would also be cold during the warmer seasons so please dress appropriately. In winter it is much worse as the winds were constantly blowing like mad, possibly also due to the location of the nearby sea. We all morphed into popsicles after the entire climb lol.

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I look like a freaking angbao lol. Oops xD

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The next destination was Seopjikoji which was about 10-15 mins drive away from Seongsan Ilchulbong. This place is famous for being the location of the ‘All In’ house and picturesque scenery. Perfect location to take all your OOTDs lol.

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There’s a lighthouse nearby but we didn’t walk all the way in, merely halfway in to take some pictures because everywhere looked the same to me really.

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The locals believe that by stacking of rocks and balancing them as high as possible, you can make a wish upon it and it will come true (I just saw the WGM episode where Taemin and Naeun were doing this in Jeju a few days back haha!). It is a common sight all around the island actually.

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Visitors can choose to pay a small fee (KRW 5000 if I’m not mistaken) and go for a short ride on horseback.

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And that was it. Left afterwards for lunch upon Mr Won’s recommendation. Wanted to try one of the local food – abalone porridge – so he asked if we were okay with it being slightly more expensive. We okayed it amongst us and went to this restaurant below.

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Address

돌하르방뚝배기식당

141 Seongsan-ri, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, South Korea

Tel: +82-64-784-6888

Alternatively, show it to your driver and ask him to Google it because I got the address above through Google.

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Seafood hotpot? I’m not too sure though. We left the ordering to the Koreans lol.

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Spicy fish/mackerel stew

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Abalone porridge – which was what we wanted to try.

It’s quite yummy! I think out of all the dishes we ordered, the yummiest was the abalone porridge. The spicy stew was a bit of a disappointment because the flavour was not as strong as expected. The seafood hotpot was alright, ingredients were very fresh. The total bill was not too bad either, we each paid below KRW 18,000 but it is still considered expensive among the locals.

Update: Day 2’s 2nd half of the itinerary is up here :)



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chit chat discussion

  • JFA

    I have seen Mr. Won’s name a couple of times on the internet while I was
    searching for a taxi/driver who can take us around Jeju (I also came across Mr.
    Kim’s name), but opted the first one as he responded quickly. So common sense will dictate that you choose
    the one who’s willing to do business with you, or so I thought. A week before the trip, I sent Mr. Won our
    itinerary, a well-thought-out one. It
    took a while for us to figure which places we wanted to visit with the limited
    time we had, so I figured I’ll send him our itinerary and see what he’s going
    to say and added ‘optional’ places to visit in case we had extra time (I even
    added on the list a place that was closed due Geothermal activity of some sort,
    but I kinda hoped that it’ll be open in time for our vacation); I sent him the
    itinerary and explained that those are the places we wanted to see (if
    possible), but again, we were expecting that he will share his input, but he
    only said “OK.” So I thought that because he is an ‘expert’ and he knows how to
    manage our time accordingly, then maybe it was really doable to cover all the
    places in 2 full days. As the trip was approaching, we had constant
    communication about the mode of payment, our ETA/ETD, etc; I even asked him the
    night before our flight about other activities to do in Jeju. Everything went
    well until the day of the trip; he never showed up. We tried contacting him (SMS/phone call), but
    we did not hear from him. We even gave
    him a 2-hour window to reply or at least have the decency to let us know
    whether he’s picking us up or not. Nada. Zero. Nothing. No word from him, so we
    were forced to ask our host to arrange a taxi service. It was waaaay cheaper
    than Mr. Won. We paid 100,000 won than
    originally agreed with Mr. Won which was 130,000. So, I’d suggest that you skip the thought of
    contacting Mr. Won (unless you are 100% sure of his services) and just find one
    once you get to Jeju. I’m sure your hotel staff will help you. J
    Good luck and enjoy your vacation!