10 Recommended Spots for August
10 Great Spots for August 'Ah, the summer evening. Let’s enjoy Jeju nights!'
When the long summer days turn to night, Jeju’s evening activities seem to thrive on the energy of the day. Always new, always exotic, here are 10 cool things to do at night on Jeju Island.
Sunset, moonlight, starlight and a cool breeze while trekking
1. Gunsan, Jeongmul, Saebyeol, Yongnuni volcanic cones
As night falls on Jeju, the offshore winds change and the stars gradually come out, shining down on the grassy volcanic cones (oreum). At the same time, you can see small specks of light moving along these oreum trails, the headlamps of trekkers who are enjoying the evening exploring the island’s natural beauty. In the dark, a whole different side of Jeju can be seen. It’s one of silhouettes, faint starlight, and the bright lights of fishing boats far offshore.
From Gunsan Oreum you can see Sanbangsan Mountain and Seogwipo city in the distance, the still life-like nature of Jeongmul Oreum, the starry panorama at Saebyeol, the jagged, beautiful ridge at Yongnuni Oreum. All these spots are perfect for observing the late summer sun as it sets and the beautiful color of the sky as darkness encroaches. At night, though, hiking on the upper ridges of volcanic cones can be dangerous, so please walk in groups of two or more, wear good hiking boots and bring head lanterns.
Hip places for music and merriness
2. Djing cafe, jazz club, live bar
Night owls like to meet new people in new places and Jeju has just that. There’s even an expression for these “exciting nights” in the Jeju language — bamkonaeng.
The indie bands and singers who perform live do so at the Bellon in Gujwa-eup, Take Five at Geumneung, and Matilda in Aewol — all these places are great for music lovers. If dancing is more your thing, then enjoy the DJing club Ho Bar on Monday nights.
Illuminating the calm evening
3. Forest Fantasia, Jeju Roses of Light Festival, Glass Castle, Glass Museum
In the deep midsummer night, these captivating illuminated works of art help you forget the heat. The theme park Forest Fantasia presents a virtual reality space and holographic multimedia. Viewers are treated to images of whales swimming through a forest and the Baobab Tree of the Little Prince. This event is held evenings until midnight at the Jeju Art Park in Andeok-myeon.
Known as the “Roses of Light Festival,” the Jeju Garden of Light in Aewol-eup offers visitors a view of some 50,000 glass roses which are LED illuminated and make for some great photos. It is open until midnight all summer.
Meanwhile, the Jeju Glass Castle & Magic Forest has its own “Starlight Festival” every evening until 10 p.m. The theme as you walk through the site’s forest route is “A stroll through the fantastic melodies of a summer night.” Throughout the Glass Castle are many glittering, illuminated outdoor glass sculptures to discover.
Floating through the evening at the Jungmun Tourist Complex
4. Moonlight stroll at Jungmun, Monkey Beach Club, Vadada Outdoor Lounge, Duty Free Shops
If you’re in the Jungmun area of Seogwipo, on the south of Jeju Island, then you’re set because you can take a pleasant night stroll, do some shopping, enjoy a coffee or another kind of drink outdoors — all the while enjoying the moonlight and energy of the evening.
Starting about 30 minutes before sunset, there is a 90-minute, three-kilometer course which takes visitors through Jungmun Golf Course and features the most spectacular, natural exhibition of fireflies! Reservations for the first- and third-Fridays can be made by calling 1688-5404.
But if air conditioned comfort is more to your liking, then consider visiting the Jeju Duty Free Shop in the International Convention Center Jeju. Through Aug. 15 it will be open until 9 p.m. and various special events and 15 percent discounts will be offered on a number of items. Non-Koreans can purchase up to USD$600 worth of duty free items at a time.
Also in the area of the Jeju Duty Free Shop in Jungmun is the outdoor lounge Vadada. This spectacular outdoor space by the ocean has a secluded, exotic feel — much like a private club or your own beachfront property. With music, drinks and food, you can enjoy the cool ocean breeze and dance music until 1 a.m. If you’d like to keep the night going, though, Club Monkey Beach is a popular drinking spot for foreigners. Every Friday night they offer customers a number of interesting activities including basketball, skipping rope competitions, and a fire show.
A night view of Jeju as seen from the sea
5. Yongdam Coastal Road, Yongyeon Bridge, Sanrok Road, Jeju Port Western Breakwater, Saeyeon Bridge, Seogwipo Jaguri Park
Jeju’s night view is an exquisite combination of the natural and the artificial. The bright neon and hard edges of the city skyline might not be the essence of Jeju, but they envelop and frame the island in beautiful night views.
Yongyeon Bridge and the western breakwater at Jeju Port are famous for just this sort of beautiful night view. Yongdam Coastal Road bathes the waterfront in colorful lights from its many cafes, drawing a thin line in the inky blackness of the night sea and sky. Tapdong Plaza and the western breakwater of Jeju Port also have this feel, with the light of the buildings and lighthouses standing out from an island wrapped in darkness.
This is how the island looks to the fishermen as their vessels roll and wobble through the ocean waves, catching mitra squid kilometers offshore. It’s also how Jeju looks from land, for example from Jeju City’s Jeju Science High School on the side of Hallasan Mountain. Or in Seogwipo, from Jaguri Park or Saeyeon Bridge. Either way, the beautiful night view is sure to leave a lasting impression.
A summer night wearing hanbok in the city
6. ‘Mokgwana is Alive’ tourism program
In the old section of Jeju City, you can spend a pleasant evening outside its oldest building, wear traditional Korean garb, drink a homemade, chilled glass of Jeju orange juice and enjoy an evening performance. How? It’s all made possible by the summer tourism program titled “Mokgwana is Alive”, which brings the best of the nighttime experience to visitors and residents alike.
Of the performances and programs available during this Saturday evening event are traditional, classical and jazz music concerts, folk plays, Korean clothing and customs experience programs, photo zones and more. And this will all be held with the beautiful old Mokgwana government office and old Jeju City as a nighttime backdrop. This event is held every Saturday through Sept. 16 beginning at 6 p.m. For more information you can call 064-725-0905.
Family-friendly music concerts
7. Jeju Music Festival, Seogwipo Yahae Festival, Saeyeon Bridge Citizen Concert
The Jeju Music Festival (JMF), a picnic-like family music festival where artists from various genres come together in the beautiful scenery of Jeju, is a music festival run under the guidance of second-generation Jeju musician Yang Bang Ean. This year, the event will be held on August 25th and 26th at the Elysian Resort outdoor special stage. On the 25th, Guckkasten, Depapepe, and Ailee, among others, will perform. The following day, Yang Bang Ean, the Jung In-gwan Band, the Barberettes, and 10cm, among others, will take the stage. More information can be found at http://www.jejumusicfestival.com
The Seogwipo Yahae Festival, which is held at Pyoseon Beach, opens August 8th through the 13th for five days of music by the likes of South Carnival, C Jamm, various DJs and indie rock performers. Also in Seogwipo at Saeyeon Bridge is the summer concert series for locals and visitors. It is held at the bridge every first and third Saturday of the month from 7 p.m. under the theme “One Summer’s Night Dream.”
The stars of Jeju shine all the more brightly
8. Jeju Starlight World Park and Planetarium, Seogwipo Astronomical Science and Culture Center, Saebyeol Oreum
As a smaller, remote island, Jeju is fortunate to have little by way of light pollution problems and its air is cleaner and clearer than most big cities on the mainland. Thus it’s a great place to observe the stars! For example, Jeju Starlight World Park and Planetarium is near downtown and the airport but still affords visitors and excellent view of the heavens. The three-story building has a astronomical projection room, a stereoscopic image viewer, and other display areas where you can learn more about the stars. The planetarium operates from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. during the summer.
On the opposite side of the island at the Seogwipo Astronomical Science and Culture Center a 400-millimeter telescope and six other telescopes can be used to observe the stars in the night sky. The center operates from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
And finally, if you’d like to get as far away from the city as you can, Saebyeol volcanic cone is also a great place to observe the starry sky. Its name means the planet Venus and as that suggests, Saebyeol has a clear view of the morning and evening skies looking southwest away from the Jeju’s city center.
Have you tried recuperating by the sea or in the valley?
9. Yongdam Handugi, Iho Tewoo Beach, Donnaeko, Gangjeongcheon, Sokgol, Yongdam Leports Park
When you need to replenish your energy after sweating so much during the day, chicken dishes are a popular Korean meal. One example is Samgyetang, a simmered chicken soup that is rich in flavor, essential amino acids, vitamin C from the jujube, and infused with the antibacterial properties of garlic. It’s eaten during the dog days of summer, but on Jeju especially on June 20 of the lunar calendar (August 11 of this year’s solar calendar).
Yongdam-dong is a popular place for boiled chicken cuisine called baeksuk and most restaurants are open until 11 p.m. or 12 a.m. There are many such restaurants and food stalls in front of Iho Tewoo Beach. Donnaeko and Gangjeongcheon also have outdoorsy, cool spots where you can enjoy the dish with your feet dipped in a refreshing, natural stream. It doesn’t get much cooler than that!
Many Jeju residents also head out to Yongdam Lesports Park for their preferred summer night spot. Camping is allowed here, so if you want to barbeque, then this is the place. You can even rent little stoves on which to cook your meat. A nearby basketball court and playground for the kids means that everyone can relax and enjoy the cool night together.
Craft beer using clean Jeju spring water
10. Jespi, Magpie, Jejusien
A beer’s taste is greatly influenced by the water that is used. So starting with the famously clean Jeju springwater is a great idea! If you like craft beers, then you must try Jeju-made ones. Jespi is the representative handmade island beer using natural Jeju barley. There are five types, including lager. Jespi is located in the Yeon-dong neighborhood of Jeju City.
Magpie, meanwhile, originates from a small pub in Itaewon, Seoul. They opened a hot new Jeju brewery in Tapdong. Jespi, Magpie, Drunken Horse in Yeon-dong, Suje Beer in Jungmun, these pubs all have excellent craft beers. Jeju may be small, but it is well stocked with creative breweries. Jejusein Brewery in the Best Western Hotel even has a Jeju citrus beer!