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January in Jeju: Ever-beautiful island

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It’s a day like any day, but still, New Year’s is special. How about spending the dawn of a new year in Jeju? The island is a place where you can heal your mind and body and prepare for the year ahead — so here are 10 spots we recommend in January.

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    Recommended sightseeing spots for January

    Ever-beautiful Jeju <Hot spots to visit in January>​​​​​​​

    It’s a day like any day, but still, New Year’s is special. How about spending the dawn of a new year in Jeju? The island is a place where you can heal your mind and body and prepare for the year ahead — so here are 10 spots we recommend in January.


    Let's make a New Year's wish at Baengnokdam

    1. Seongpanak Course


    It’s not everyday that there are clear skies at Baengnokdam, the 1,950-meter-tall peak of Hallasan Mountain. Still, that doesn’t dissuade many people from making the difficult hike there to catch a glimpse of the sunrise. To get to the top, you can choose the Seongpanak Course from the Seongpanak Rest Area. The trip is about 9.6 kilometers and normally takes four and a half hours. The going is tough, but worth it at the top. The sunrise from top is considered to be a memory of a lifetime. 




    New Year in Jeju on a volcanic cone

    2. Baekyaki Volcanic Cone


    If Hallasan Mountain seems a bit too much for a hike, there is a great alternative. Of the 360 or so volcanic cones, or oreum, to choose from, one by the name of Baekyaki volcanic cone affords visitors will a magnificent view of the sunrise. It’s an easy 30-minute ascent, with views of Seopjikoji, Ojo Village, Udo Island and Seongsan Sunrise Peak, all at a glance. It’s always best, though, to come prepared with proper hiking boots or comfortable sneakers.




    A winter Gotjawal forest path of healing

    3. Jeoji Volcanic Cone


    There’s a special feeling of freedom you get when walking through a cold, green forest in winter. At the end of Olle course 13, the Gotjawal forest embraces trekkers. Starting the New Year, or just a new day, in the forest is good for your mind and body. The area around Jeoji Oreum was designated a “Forest for Life” in 2005 by an environmental organization. It takes about 45 minutes to cover the 1.9 kilometers to the top of this oreum. Once there, you can see Hallasan Mountain, Songaksan Mountain, Geumak Oreum, Dangsanbong and other volcanic cones.






    A charming village of ‘red snow’

    4. Sinheung Camellia Village


    ‘Red snow’ is piled up on the road at Sinheung-ri, a beautiful village with many camellia trees located in Namwon-eup, Seogwipo. In the otherwise brown foliage of the winter months, the red camellia petals emit an air of joy and excitement. The camellia tree orchards, which are about 300 years old, were designated local monument No. 27 in 1973. 




    Winter festivals in Jeju: Eorimok and Wondosim

    5. Jeju Winter Festival


    To get the most out of winter on Jeju, you can attend the annual Jeju Winter Festival. From December to January are a variety of events held at Hallasan National Park’s Eorimok area, Baojian Street in Jeju City and Chilseong-ro Shopping Street, among other spots. Up at Eorimok, it’s like a large natural snow park, where there are mission trekking events, a place to build your own snowman, wide vistas of snow-covered trees, and much more. At the shopping area in Jeju City, there’s a photo zone and other winter-themed sights. And at the Play K-pop museum in Jungmun is an evening LED snow festival show titled “Snow Flower Village”.




    New Year’s resolutions and the morning sunrise

    6. Olle Course 1


    How about watching the sun rise over Seongsan Sunrise Peak from nearby Gwangchigi Beach? Of all the Olle walking trails, course No. 6 is called the “Oreum (volcanic cone)-Ocean Olle” and as such is very popular. Starting from Siheung Elementary School, you can explore the area as you walk past farmers’ fields and the nearby sea at Seongsan Sunrise Peak, Udo Island and onward for a total of 11.5 kilometers. It’s not a short course, but it is certainly worth it! 



    Yellowish orange peels, blue winter seas

    7. Sincheon Ranch


    Sincheon Ranch is popular for its amazing views, but keep in mind that this is private property. As such, visitors who are a bit too cavalier in their photography interfere with the day-to-day operations of the ranch and its drying of mandarin peels. Please take care when in the area. 




    Busiest in winter, Moseulpo Port and the Yellowtail

    8. Moseulpo Port


    This harbor is always crowded with sailors and fishermen, but in winter, the port of Moseulpo is even more crowded with enthusiastic crowds for the annual Yellowtail Festival. This event is held around the time of the Yellowtail season — October to February — when the quality of this fish is thought to be optimal. The port is located along Olle walking course 10.




    Winter sea, seagulls and the Jeju 5-day Market

    9. Sehwa 5-Day Market


    A market spread out along the beach is something urbanites find particularly charming. City dwellers generally shop for their daily necessities at large supermarkets and department stores. But here on Jeju, you can shop at a market with fresh, local ingredients sold under the open sky and stars, with seagulls flying here and there. Another element to this unique experience is the fact that travelers can interact and observe locals as they go about their daily routines. Fish, fruit, vegetables, even snacks, are all snapped up by market goers of all ages.




    Winter delicacies: fish and fowl

    10. Pheasant and Yellowtail Cuisine


    In Jeju, with its abundance of pheasants, there are correspondingly as many kinds of pheasant dishes. Pheasant shabu-shabu is a dish that boils thinly sliced pheasant breast in broth. Pheasant buckwheat noodles are more digestible than those made with flour, and can be enjoyed easily and without hesitation. Pheasant mandu is loved by diners for its lean taste. Pheasant is a winter food that warms your bones on a cold day. Yellowtail is also a winter fish, which is caught and served primarily from October through February. The larger the fish, the more delicious, so anything over 5 kilograms is especially prized. 



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※ The above information was written on 2017-01-02. Please confirm the information prior to your trip.
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