Its common for domestic holiday destinations to be different from international holiday destinations in the same country. In Australia, Australians go camping on the Murray or in the Grampians, while international tourists in Australia want to visit Ayer's Rock and Sydney. In South Korea, most international tourists want to visit the capital, Seoul. While Koreans want to visit the stunning volcanic island of Jeju. Also, while on Jeju you can try some of the very best of Korea's seafood cuisines! Jeju is one of the great weekend trips you can do from Seoul.

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About Jeju Island

Jeju is South Korea's (and all of Korea's) largest island. It lies off the south coast in Korea Straight.

Jeju: The Facts

  • Population: 670,000
  • Size: 1,826 Sq km or 705 Sq Miles
  • Status: Autonomous (The Only Autonomous Province In Korea)
  • Highest Point: 1,950 meters or 6,400 feet (Highest In Korea)

By far the largest settlement on Jeju island is Jeju City with a population of around 485,000 and so has almost three-quarters of the island's population. Jeju is the point of entry and has most of the nightlife and urban attractions on the island. The city is known for its great hotels and fantastic casinos.

When To Go And What To See And Do

What Hawaii is to America is kinda what Jeju is to Korea. While most Westerners may never have heard of Jeju, it is actually a very popular tourist destination in Asia. Despite being only home to less than 700,000 people, the island receives around 15,000,000 tourists annually.

In summer the weather is going to be warm but humid and great for swimming and relaxing. In the winter, it will be cooler but not too cold. Also, it's a stunning experience to climb the mountain with it caked in snow (from ocean effect snow). Many Asian tourists come here in the winter, drawn by its relatively warm weather and its picturesque beaches. The climate on Jeju is classified as humid subtropical.

Related: 10 Of The Best Things To Do In South Korea

  • Visa Policy: South Korea Is Visa-Free For 90 Days (180 Days For Canadians)

Some of the activities on the island are climbing the imposing volcano in the center of the country, visiting museums, horse riding, relaxing on its stunning beaches, touring lava tube caves, and enjoying fresh seafood. The island has a reputation as being one of the favorite surfing destinations in Korea.

  • Fun Fact: Jeju-Seoul Air Route Is The Busiest In The World

The volcano and its lava tube caves are also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The volcano is called Hallasan and it's the tallest mountain in South Korea. Clustered around the main volcano are some 360 satellite volcanoes. Jeju has been volcanic for a very long time from the Cretaceous period and the most recent eruption is believed to have been around 5,000 years ago. The island is famous for its extensive lava tube caves and these are some of the largest in the world.

Related: 10 Etiquette Tips To Know Before Traveling To South Korea

The island has a very busy airport mostly servicing the many tourists flocking to the island. You can fly into Jeju from a few Asian countries but by far and away the busiest route is from Jeju to Seoul. There are also other flights to other South Korean cities. As another option, there are also ferries running to the island. The air route from Jeju to Seoul is the busiest in the world servicing around 14 million passengers in 2018. That compares to 3.6 million between Los Angeles and San Fransico or 4 million between Los Angeles and New York (JFK). Even Jeju to Gimhae (the airport for Busan - another Korean city) ranks in the top 50 busiest air routes.

  • Manjanggul Cave: A 9 km or 6 Mile Long Lava Tube Cave
  • Cheonjiyeon Waterfall: A Stunning Waterfall Some 22 Meters High (Literally Meaning Sky Connected With Land)
  • Jeju Loveland: 140 Naked Sculptures Focused On Sex Themes And Sexual Positions
  • Hamdeok Beach: Picturesque White Sand Beach
  • Dongmun Traditional Market: Large Indoor Traditional Market
  • Hallasan: The Volcano That Dominates The Island
  • Aqua Planet: Large Aquariums With Many Kinds Of Marine Life
  • Jeju Stone Park: A Park With Easter Island-Like Volcanic Stone Sculptures

These are only a few of the island's many attractions. Jeju is jam-packed full of things to see and experience on this stunning island. There are a number of tours to choose from. As the island is only small (it's about 45 miles long and 20 miles wild), most tours are just day tours and any point on the island can be easily accessed from wherever you are staying.

Jeju is one of the main reasons why you should visit South Korea. While Jeju may not be the main destination for you crossing the Pacific, if you are planning on visiting the many wonders of South Korea, be sure to visit Jeju Island. Jeju is counted by Koreans as one of the most stunning tourists locations and no visit to South Korea is complete without a visit to this volcanic island.

Next: 10 Unique Attractions You Can Only Experience In Korea