10 Travel Hotspots for September: Explore the interior mountain areas of Jeju

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The emerald blue sea might be the first thing that attracts people to Jeju, but with a little time and effort there’s a whole mid-mountain area of the island to discover. Here we’re introducing 10 charming spots around Hallasan Mountain and its mid-range forests which are easily accessible by public transportation now that the new bus system (from end-August) is in place.

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    10 Travel Hotspots for September

    Explore the interior mountain areas of Jeju

    The emerald blue sea might be the first thing that attracts people to Jeju, but with a little time and effort there’s a whole mid-mountain area of the island to discover. Here we’re introducing 10 charming spots around Hallasan Mountain and its mid-range forests which are easily accessible by public transportation now that the new bus system (from end-August) is in place.

    Beautiful art-filled villages to the east 

    1. Jeoji Village

    This is an artist's village. It is small and beautiful, where the outdoors, artwork and artistic life coexist. There is art everywhere. Located 120 meters above sea level in Hangyeong-myeon, artists live and work here developing local cultural arts and cultural tourism content.

    The Jeju Museum of Contemporary Art, an outdoor exhibition hall, a gallery, etc., are located here and while strolling peacefully and slowly you can take in its works of art all over the town. Also, there are many unique and beautiful buildings that are newly built, which is especially pleasant if you’re an architecture buff.

    Jeju Museum of Contemporary Art

    Jeoji Oreum

    Beautiful Korean village paths to the west

    2. Gasi Village

    If the road to your destination is beautiful, even if you never get to where you’re going that disappointment is lessened somewhat. This is such a place. There are long stretches of yellow canola and pink cherry blossoms which grow along a road which was selected as one of the "100 Best Korean Routes." Gasi Village has a natural environment that includes a lot of plains, so this has been a traditional spot for farmers to raise Jeju ponies and cattle. Thus there is a pony theme park and museum, many riding experience programs on offer, and in terms of cuisine, you could try something like sundae (blood sausage) soup or duruchigi (spicy stir-fried pork belly). 

    Daeroksan and the mid-mountain area of Jeju

    Springtime canola flowers along Noksan-ro

    Jorang Horse Riding Park

    A microcosm of nature

    3. Hwansang Gotjawal Forest

    The thick, entwined vines hang from the trees and rocks as if they are jealously guarding them so closely that even streams of sunlight have a hard time shining through. Somewhat like the jungle in the movie “Avatar”, the Jeju Gotjawal Forest is a natural ecological treasure with a wide range of important plant and animal species which coexist together. You can view a part of this treasure in person on a forest commentary tour offered at Hwansang Forest. There is one every hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Spend a pleasant hour in the cool, intriguing forest and learn a lot more about Jeju’s natural heritage. It’s educational, interesting, and fun for everyone!

    An endless stretch of natural forest

    4. Dongbaekdongsan & Meonmulggak Ramsar Wetland

    The Dongbaek-dong mountain area, which preserves a 5-kilometer stretch of the Jeju Gotjawal Forest, was designated as Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Monument No. 10. It features some rare volcanic formations known here as “billet”, and has a large habitat for camellia trees and other rare plants. This makes it an area of great interest to academics and environmentalists.

    Starting from the Seonheul Dongbaek Dongsan Wetland Center, you can walk through the forest and marshland, a wetland protection area. This scenery is unique in the Republic of Korea, especially the Gotjawal wetland, which is rare even in Jeju. This creates a sense of mystery surrounding this magnificent area. If you would like to listen to a detailed commentary regarding the natural environment, there are organized tours which run every day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. It’s best to make a reservation in advance.

    Out-of-the-way wilderness of Jeju

    5. Western District Tourist Circulation Bus Route

    Although the west side of Jeju Island has a reputation for being difficult to access without your own means of transportation, it is now possible to travel by bus through the area using the Western District Tourist Circulation Bus route. Bus fare is 1,200 won and takes you through all the little villages and delivers you to the popular attractions of the area. For example, the Spirited Garden. Since 1968, it has cultivated a growing number of bonsai trees and added sonorous water features to its little little piece of Jeju paradise. Strolling through this nationally designated private garden is a must-do item for your bucket list.

    Also on the route is the World Automobile Museum, O’Sulloc tea fields and Olle trail, and beautiful views of the natural environment as found in the mid-mountainous area of the island. The nearby Seogwang tea fields, too, are an excellent example of the harmony of traditional and modern Jeju. Around the artificial lake at Norimae Park, September brings a riot of color from its mix of wild flowers and daisy-like gazanias.

    Spirited Garden

    Norimae Park
    Jeju Peace Museum

    O'sulloc tea fields

    Hello Kitty Island Museum

    Familiar, comfortable landscapes of Jeju

    6. Eastern District Tourist Circulation Bus Route

    The mid-mountainous area of Jeju is pleasant and comfortable. With access by public transportation, the region is easy to get to and enjoy. Buses operate in a clockwise and counterclockwise direction starting from the Daecheon-dong Transfer Center. There is plenty of travel and tourism information there to help you take the right bus and get to where you’re going. 

    In the area is the Bijarim nutmeg forest, with over 2,800 trees in the range of 500 to 800 years old. Mazeland, a theme park with some 5 kilometers of Jeju stone walls and thick cypress bushes along its maze course is a sure-fire way to entertain the kids. There’s also the Jeju Rail Bike with 4 kilometers of great biking with panoramic views of Hallasan Mountain.

    Bijarim forest

    Jeju Rail Bike
    Maze Land

    Yongnuni Oreum

    A mysterious western hill with a pond

    7. Geum Oreum

    Jeju’s porous geology means it has very little freestanding water features, like ponds or lakes. But occasionally a volcanic cone will hold rainwater in its concave form, at least for a while. Geum Oreum is just such a place, with a peaceful green field of grass covering its quiet slopes. Standing at 427.5 meters above sea level, it takes about an hour to walk around it. The small pond can be found only after a heavy rain. The singer Lee Hyo-ri recently filmed part of her music video “Seoul” there, as did the girl group Twice and their video “Signal”, making it an even more popular tourist destination that it already was before. 

    A small, solitary garden in the east

    8. Geoseunsemi Oreum & Songdang Ranch

    Geoseunsemi Oreum is located in Songdang-ri. It is a simple, 380-meter-tall volcanic cone with a beautiful view of the eastern side of Hallasan Mountain and scenery. Walking past Songdang Ranch opposite Geoseunsemi Oreum, it feels like you’re in your own personal garden or arboretum. However, this is a private ranch and as such you can only enjoy its old cedar trees and grounds between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from May to October. Commercial and wedding photography is also prohibited on the grounds.

    A mysterious forest and village south of Hallasan Mountain

    9. Meochewat Forest Path & Seojungcheon Stream

    The uncharted forest spreads out along an historic volcanic trail. It gives you the impression that you’re lost in a world of unfamiliar vegetation and geography. Meochewat, which means a field of stone, is magnificent and closer to a huge canyon than a field. The forest trail is divided into the Meochewat Forest Path and the Meochewat Sorongkot Path. Both courses pass through the mid-mountain range forest and offer hikers the chance to clear their muddled metropolitan minds. You’ll come out of the forest path refreshed and full of energy. It takes about two and a half hours to walk the 6.7 kilometer course.

    Delicious food enjoyed in the woods

    10. Horse meat, wild herb & vegetable bibimbap

    High in protein, low in fat, horse meat is a good option for people on a diet or looking for healthy options regarding their intake of meat. The meat is high in glycogen, making it extremely nutritious and popular with chefs preparing steak tartar and seasoned meat dishes. Jeju's horses are raised in the mid-mountain range on Hallasan Mountain, where the air is clean and the water fresh. Jeju’s horse meat delicacies include raw, cooked and shabu-shabu offerings. If you’d prefer a vegetarian option while in this part of the island, then look no further than mountain herb and vegetable bibimbap. Wild bracken, carrots from the Gujwa region of Jeju, and other local ingredients make up this extremely fresh, healthy and popular dish. A bowl of steaming white rice and mountain veggies savored in a mountain village is the very definition of an authentic Jeju culinary experience.

※ The above information was written on 2017-08-15. Please confirm the information prior to your trip.
※ Unauthorized use of the content above (text, photos and videos) is prohibited and subject to copyright by the Jeju Tourism Organization.