Jeju Island is an oval-shape volcanic island located at the southern tip of South Korea. The island is 73km from the east to the west, and 31km from north to south. It is approximately double the size of Singapore. The island itself is a favourite vacation spot for many Koreans themselves. Tourism is one of the key businesses in Jeju. In 2010, domestic tourists accounted for almost 90% of the total tourist count of 7.5 million. This figures is rather significant considering that the total population on the island was less than 600,000.
On the island, there are many mind-blowing ocean, mountain and natural scenic spots and that was why Jeju was selected to be 1 of the world's New 7 wonders of Nature. There are 368 small mountains within Jeju and 90 islands off Jeju, which is why Jeju is the ideal place for hiking and island hopping.
In terms of accommodation, the key consideration would be whether to stay at the northern Jeju in Jeju-si (Jeju City), where the airport is about 10 mins drive away, or to stay at southern Jeju in Seogwipo, where you will be nearer to ferry terminals making it more accessible if you plan to island-hop.
For myself, I stayed at 2 guesthouses during my recent trip to Jeju. The name of the first guesthouse is Minjunggak and it is located at Seogwipo city. It is 5-min walk from the Seogwipo intercity bus terminal and eateries such as Paris Baguette, Dunkin Donut. It is also a stone-throw away from 2 food streets! There are also several convenient stalls such as GS25, Familymart, 7-eleven.
Those of us who had stayed in guesthouse in Korea would know that the rooms are general quite small, and expect to lug your luggages up the stairs - don't expect any lift in the guesthouse. If you are lucky, the friendly host may help you with the luggages but they aren't obliged to do that.
Minjunggak's room is very spacious and clean. The room came with 2 single beds complete with quilt and blanket. There is enough luggage packing space for both occupants, which is almost rare compared to guesthouses in Seoul. On the floor that we stayed, there were about 5 units in total. What I like is also the big LCD TV in the room... wow! There are 2 sections within the room, one of the main bedroom while the smaller section is the toilet cum shower room. In the shower room, there is a bath-tub and a rain-shower facility. The only downside is that there isn't any wardrobe and as such clothes would have to be hung on the door or on the wall.
The guesthouse hosts were very kind. It happened that I was on vegetarian diet on one of the days. I bought some vege-dumplings from a nearby restaurant which turned out that there was meat in it. The hosts helped me called up the restaurant to check if they had mistaken my order and they even accompanied me back to the restaurant, hoping to get an exchange. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get an exchange. The lesson learnt here was that vegetable dumplings in Korea typically would be made with some meat. This was the box of dumplings which I did not get to eat =(
When we returned to the guesthouse, the kind lady host offered to cooked me some vegetable pancakes. She prepared a mugwort pancake, kimchi pancake and even gave me mugwort rice cakes (wrapped in cling wrap). It was my lucky day ^^
I have not heard of or tasted mugwort before this. Pronounced as ssuk (쑥) in Korean, it is a seasonal vegetable and it is harvested typically in the spring season. It is a common ingredient used for Korean rice cake, tea, soup and pancake. Known to be a blood cleanser, the vegetable contains medicinal properties. In Chinese, it is known as ai cao (艾草). It is served as a form of cold dish or stir-fried with meat. It is also used in the Chinese Acupuncture process.
(Fresh mugwort sold at traditional market in Jeju)
The overall experience with the guesthouse has been great, in terms of its location, its service and its facility. The price is almost very reasonable!
For the guesthouse address, map and rates, you can refer to this link (http://univird.tistory.com/109) or book via BnBHero.
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