Over the course of five days, I took over 700 photos, ate some of the most delicious barbecue and received stares from my fellow passengers as I slept on the floor of the train to go back home! I narrowed it all down to the best 65 photos that I think best capture my experience on Korea’s islands.
So, without further ado, I will first present to you Nami Island!
This island is roughly two and a half hours away from Seoul and attracts tons of tourists, families and couples for its picturesque nature and wide variety of recreational activities.
To get to the actual island, you have a choice of boarding a ferry or you can zip-line over.
And, of course, I chose to zip-line over! It was my first time zip-lining and, I’ve got to say, I was a bit afraid because I am scared of heights. But, once I was zipping away at 50 miles per hour and enjoying the view, it’s easy to forget your fears.
The island itself is just one gigantic tourist attraction. It’s small enough so that you can explore the entire island within two hours on foot.
The main attraction was the Ginkgo Tree Lane. It was the most packed part of the island – and rightfully so. The place was beautiful and I think I spent 30 minutes just soaking in the beauty and taking pictures.
Once it got dark, the island lit up and the P.A. speakers were alerting the remaining tourists about when the last ferry would depart from the island.
Jeju Island is located southwest of the Korean Peninsula and is known for its sweet tangerines, stone statues, fresh seafood, black pigs and natural beauty. An incredibly popular Korean skincare company called Innisfree even bases all of its products off of Jeju Island. Our first stop was O’sulloc’s Green Tea Museum and Plantation.
I think we spent around four hours just having fun drinking tea and taking photos at the green tea plantation. The Tea Museum had over 30 different tea products and offered award-winning green tea that retailed for 150,000 won (roughly $128 US dollars) for a pack of 60 grams.
I absolutely love green tea, so coming here was definitely one of the biggest highlights!
We also stopped by Innisfree’s store and café. This was the only store where you could make and design your own soap! It was such an incredibly relaxing place to sit and relax, I wish I could have stayed a bit longer.
The island is filled with all sorts of museums. There is a Hello Kitty museum, a teddy bear museum and a chocolate museum, just to name a few.
The pictures below feature Jeju-only alcohol, the hostel where I stayed, a green tea parfait and random nature shots that I found just by walking around.
The next day, we went to the Cheonjiyeon Waterfall! It was pouring rain when we got there and getting dark fast, but it was definitely worth the trip.
Now, it’s time for the long-awaited food pictures. We couldn’t leave without trying some of Jeju’s seafood and famous black pork.
I must say, even though we paid about $7 US dollars per 100 grams of pork, it was hands-down the most delicious barbecued pork I’ve ever had. 10/10 – I would recommend people to go eat some if they go to Jeju.
We also tried some orange pastry that was shaped like the stone statues that dot the island. It was pretty darn good and cost only a couple dollars for an entire bag of them.
Last but not least, we went to the infamous Loveland.
It’s an attraction park that features, um, artistic statues dedicated to the beauty of the naked human body (to see exactly what I mean, I recommend you google image “Loveland Jeju Island” in the comfort of your own home). Oddly enough, you can find anyone from grandparents to little kids enjoying what the park has to offer.
Out of the 100-plus photos I took of this park, I could only find a couple photos suitable for publishing. Sorry!
I also brought back a little part of Jeju with me in the form of green tea and oranges!
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for sticking with me! I hope you enjoyed this post and got a taste of what Korea’s islands have to offer!
Jerry Cheng is earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting at San Diego State University. He is photo blogging from Seoul, Korea for the 2015-2016 academic year.