Jeju Island

Jeju was incredible and 2,5 days was far from enough to explore its dramatic, yet peaceful, volcanic landscape filled with craters, caves, waterfalls and lush forests.

A popular spot for couples and honeymoons – but just as well a target for an active holiday of hiking and exploring.


We arrived at the airport in the afternoon and went straight for a hike at Sunrise Peak,
just in time to catch the sunset.

An easy hike with well built stairs.

When you reach the top at Sunrise Peak aka Seongsan Ilchulbong 성산일출봉 this is what you see:

A huge green crater.


Here is one of the most beautiful calm sunsets I’ve seen.


We took the ferry to an even smaller (even more tranquil) island; Udo,
located a short ride from Seongsan on the east coast of Jeju.

When you arrive you’ll see plenty of scooters and bikes for rent. We went for this funny car – bright and sunny.

Driving around the whole island will take you about 1 hour but you’ll want to make many stops on the way!

Volcanic beaches were beautiful.

Resting with iced drinks at a café with view over Seobinbaeksa Beach 서빈백사;
a white sand beach, actually consisting of grains of red algae.

There are plenty of activities to do at Udo but we just went for a short trip
before heading back to Jeju for dinner. Next time I’d love to spend a full day.


Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls 천제연 폭포.

Our hotel was located in Seogwipo and was just a 5 minute ride away
from Cheonjeyeon, which falls 3 times – pictured is the second fall.
Incredible colors in the water.
Among the lushest of greens.

Then we went to Olle trail #8.

Olle trails are a huge attraction in Jeju being hiking trails that leads you to the most stunning views of nature.

Here we saw Jusangjeolli Cliff 대포동지삿개.
These perfectly hexagonal rocks have been shaped by lava when it cooled down when hitting the water.

After that we stopped by O’sulloc tea museum before relaxing at the hotel and heading out for dinner.

Jeju, I hope to see you again soon!

PS. If you’re going then also look up Hallasan Volcano, Manjang Cave and the other Olle trails :)



  • Reply thepetiteexplorer August 18, 2016 at 4:44 AM

    I think I’m going to Jeju next month! I’m super excited now!

    • Reply Maria Van Nguyen August 22, 2016 at 12:45 AM

      You’ll love it! Have a nice trip :)

  • Reply Liz Nguyen August 18, 2016 at 6:33 AM

    Jeju island is heaven!


  • Reply Vanessa August 18, 2016 at 7:30 AM

    Looks amazing! South Korea is definitely on my bucket list of places to go xo

    Vanessa /

  • Reply Audrey August 18, 2016 at 5:02 PM

    I’m definitely coming here next year, it looks like a dream. Those volcanic rocks are SO BEAUTIFUL.

  • Reply Maren August 24, 2016 at 3:23 PM

    Ah, savner Korea! Er du i landet fremdeles, eller har du allerede dratt videre?

    • Reply Maria Van Nguyen August 29, 2016 at 8:26 PM

      Maren! Jeg saa at du ikke var i Seoul naar jeg var der – det var dumt! Haapet paa at vi kunne sees etter alle disse aarene haha.

  • Reply Diane Mitchell August 25, 2016 at 5:06 PM

    Fabulous place – reminiscent of Hawaii, I thought. Lots of great museums and galleries, local culture and gorgeous scenery. Everyone should visit South Korea – and Jeju!

  • Reply Isabelle Widmark September 2, 2016 at 8:24 AM

    Absolutly amazaing! I love your pictures! How do you edit? They look.. very much unedited. Love it!

    • Reply Maria Van Nguyen September 3, 2016 at 9:05 PM

      Hi Isabelle! I don’t edit them at all – but if I do it’s usually just some brightness or contrast adjustments with lightroom :)

      • Reply Isabelle Widmark September 11, 2016 at 4:22 PM

        That’s great! Love it! Keep up the good work! :)

  • Reply Julia Fjelddalen October 5, 2016 at 11:54 AM

    Maria, this post makes my heart sing.

    I was on exchange at the Korea Uni. Of Arts five years ago and Jeju was where I went for inspiration for my photography.
    I’ve seen Jeju in each season and visited all the places you mention. Seogwipo was where I stayed each time and I loved how relaxed Jeju was compared to Seoul.
    If you ever go back I recommend seeing the lava tunnel. It almost a spiritual feeling when you are in a tube under ground that used to be filled with raw. Hiking up Mt. Halla is nice too, if you take one of the least popular routes as you’ll have the trail to yourself for hours, since everyone else takes the easy route. The route I am reffering to is the one with the tempel. There is a sub tropical jungle around the entrance of the Hallasan park and I just loved how mysterious the atmosphere was there.


    • Reply Maria Van Nguyen October 5, 2016 at 3:47 PM

      Hi Julia.
      I’m so glad to hear that!

      I took a look at your website and your journey is truly inspiring – so is your photos.

      Jeju is such a beautiful place (sigh) and I’m definitely urging to go back. You are lucky to have seen it during all seasons. I can’t even imagine the calm you’ve experienced and the beauty you’ve seen! Thank you for your recommendations, I will take a note as it’s always nice to discover the less popular routes. X

  • Reply Cynthia November 24, 2016 at 7:30 AM

    Hi Maria,

    I’m going to Seoul and Jeju Island in two months time, your posts have made me so excited – thank you!

    Which hotels did you stay in while you were in Seoul/Jeju Island? Would you recommend them?


    • Reply Maria Van Nguyen November 24, 2016 at 7:31 PM

      Hi Cynthia. Lucky you!
      We stayed at a friends house in Dangsan. I would recommend staying in Sinchon, Hapjeong or Hongdae! Sinsa is great too but the other two are more convenient.
      In Jeju we stayed at Benikea Jungmun Hotel. I didn’t include it in the post because it was good but not amazing :) Sorry for not being able to recommend something specific. Btw, Jeju is huge and attractions are spread all over the island so if you’re able to rent a car you should!

      Hope you have a great time! :)


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