Jeju Island – The ‘Hawaii’ Of South Korea

While my husband and I were living in Seoul, we had the opportunity to spend our summer vacation on Jeju-do. Jeju is a subtropical island located off the southern coast of the Korean peninsula.  It’s known as the ‘Hawaii’ of South Korea because it’s a volcanic island, has swaying palm trees, a warm climate, and sunny beaches.

Hyeopjae Beach (another is Hamdeok Beach) is one of the best beaches on Jeju – located next to Halim Park in the southern part of Jeju Island. The sand is very white and deep blue and emerald waters are shallow, calm and perfect for swimming. Shower facilities, private lodging, restaurants and a campground, are located right on Hyeopjae for convenience. Don’t forget to bring your Suma beach towel! In the summertime, waters are crystal clear and there’s a view of Biyangdo Island in the distance.


In the adjacent Halim Park, you will find Hyeopjae and Ssangyon Caves. Ssangyon (means ‘double dragon’) and is the only two-dimensional cave in the world – a cave that has another cave inside.

How to get there: We flew Asiana Airlines (an excellent airline, would highly recommend) from Gimpo Airport. Then from Jeju International Airport → Take bus no. 100 or 200 from the airport (2,000 won) and go to Jeju Cross-Country Bus Terminal → Take a cross-country bus to Seohoeseon Ilju Road (passes every 20 minutes) → Get off at Hallim Park (45 minutes) and you will find Hyeopjae Beach directly adjacent.

Things to do: Manjanggul is one of the longest lava tubes in the world. Manjang, situated at Donggimnyeong-ri, 30 km east of Jeju City.  Hike Mt. Hallasan (UNESCO World Heritage Site), a shield volcano and the tallest mountain in South Korea. Visit the beautiful Cheonjiyeon Waterfall, see here.

Tip: For beach weather, the best times are July and August.  The rest of the year is a little too chilly to swim. However, watch out for the occasional torrential downpours during these hot and humid summer months!

About Taya


Life-long traveler and former expat, Taya has lived in Seoul and Brunei, and spent extensive time in the United Arab Emirates. As editor and co-founder of 9to5 Travel, she searches the globe for the world's best gourmet restaurants, tropical beaches, and luxury hotels.

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  • http://www.sumabeachtowels.com Elaine

    Looks so nice! I had never thought about there being beaches in South Korea before, but now will definitely include in a trip there!

    • http://www.vancouveryogareview.com/ Taya

      Jeju’s a good place to visit if you are living in Korea. I really enjoy Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand because the weather is fabulous all year round:) You guys are so lucky to be close to great beaches in Singapore!