'Winter in Jeju is romantic'
Although December is definitely chilly, there are many seasonal and romantic things to do. Many visitors from warmer parts of the world are choosing to come to Jeju to enjoy the winter season — many experiencing snow for the first time!
- 10 Recommended Things to Do in December'Winter in Jeju is romantic'
Although December is definitely a chilly time of year (even on subtropical Jeju Island) we find many seasonal and romantic things to do that can warm our hearts. The peak of Hallasan Mountain will soon be covered in a beautiful, fresh blanket of snow that will last until well into the New Year. Meanwhile, down in the towns and villages, businesses are putting up their glittering Christmas decorations and playing festive music. At home kids are looking forward to opening their gifts and enjoying the winter school break. And many visitors from warmer parts of the world are choosing to come to Jeju to enjoy the winter season — many experiencing snow for the first time!
- Romantic sunsets1. Songaksan Mountain, Sinchang Windmill Coastal Road, Sanji Lighthouse
With a romantic view of the sunset as it dips into the winter sea, the chill of the ocean breeze prompts couples to huddle closer together. A sunset is a marvelous sight, but on Jeju the natural island setting is especially memorable. Whether you’re along the coast or up on the mountain or one of Jeju’s many volcanic cones, looking to the west in the early evening will nearly always take your breath away. There are a number of spots on the island that are particularly noteworthy. If you are into walking, the coastal scenery at Songaksan Mountain is absolutely the best. A short drive from there is Sinchang, with its low lying volcanic plain and many wind turbines which take advantage of the windy conditions of the area to generate plenty of clean energy. Closer to Jeju City, Sanji Lighthouse on Sarabong Peak has a great view of the sea, Jeju City and its working harbor. Night views here are amazing, and the nearby park is perfect for a romantic late afternoon/early evening stroll.
- A sweet sip of hot chocolate by the campfire2. Camping & glamping
Outdoors, underneath the bright stars… sipping on hot chocolate, cozy under a thick blanket and a warm campfire nearby. What’s better than this? If we think of a romantic winter scene, then camping surely must be at the top of the list. Hotels, pensions, and other accommodations just can’t do justice to the season.
Jocheon’s Gyulbit Camping Site and the Jeju Dolhareubang Camping Site in Hangyeong-myeon are open and generally less crowded than during the summer season. If you don’t own a tent or camping equipment but want to stay outside and in comfort, then glamping (glamorous camping) is a good option. They’ll provide all the best gear and facilities to ensure you have a comfortable, enjoyable time outdoors. Spots like Aewol’s Ecohill Glamping, Jocheon’s Best Hill, and Jayeonin in Jeju City are all highly rated.
- Recall the meaning of Christmas3. Geumak Catholic Church, Marado Catholic Church, Bangju Church, Church of the Pilgrims
If you want to quietly contemplate the meaning of Christmas, perhaps a local church is a good choice for you. Jeju’s simple, beautiful churches offer parishioners and visitors a place to sit and take stock of their lives and blessings.
There are midnight masses held on Christmas Eve at churches around the island. Bangju Church, a beautiful building designed with Noah’s Ark in mind, has a service set for Monday the 25th. The southernmost Catholic church in Korea — on Marado Island — is also open, though it will not hold a midnight mass. And if you’d like to enjoy a short pilgrimage walk over the holidays, then the Church of the Pilgrims on the west of the island has some suggested routes in the area.
- December in romantic Jungmun4. Byeolnaerin Observatory, Lotte Hotel Windmill Lounge, Teddy Bear Museum, Jungmun Duty Free Shop
December in Jungmun is a romantic place filled with luxury hotels and shopping, lots of great museums and natural sites, all mixed in with clean air, water and pristine scenery. The local observatory has a small waterfall and great views, while photography from the vantage point of Seonim Bridge is top notch. Similar panoramas can be found in the sunny outdoor garden of the Lotte Hotel Windmill Lounge.
And if you have a hankering for some gift shopping while in Jungmun, nearby is the Teddy Bear Museum, a great spot to bring your beloved during the holiday season.
- Walking hand in hand with a loved one5. Hwasun Gotjawal Forest Eco-Trail
Walking hand in hand with a loved one warms your heart with each step. This is all the more true when you’re walking through the lush Gotjawal Forest, which is full of life all year round. The Hwasun Gotjawal in Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo, is equipped with a sturdy walkway so you can walk over the rugged terrain safely. It’s this rough, volcanic plain, one which is littered with large boulders and overgrown vegetation, which made it so inaccessible and thus untouched by humans. It’s a mysterious, natural paradise within sight of Hallasan and Sanbangsan mountains. The Hwasun trail is about 1.5 kilometers of beauty that you’ll want to share with a loved one.
- Enter a warm cave climate6. Hallim Park Ssangyonggul Cave, Manjanggul Cave, Ilchul Land Micheongul Cave, Daheeyeon Cave Cafe
Forests are fine if you want to avoid Jeju’s winter wind, but if you’re searching for an even warmer spot, then the island’s volcanic lava tubes and natural caves are a good option. The temperature there is constant, and the caves offer visitors a sense of adventure and the chance to explore. Some noteworthy examples on the west of the island are Hyeopjaegul Cave and Ssangyong Cave in Hallim Park, while to the east the 7.4-kilometer-long Manjanggul Cave, which is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site, maintains a temperature of between 11 and 15 degrees Celsius throughout the year. Further to the southeast at Ilchul Land is Micheongul Cave, which has a romantic atmosphere accentuated by colorful lighting, and Daheeyeon Cave Cafe has a cavernous, relaxed atmosphere where you can sit and admire the natural caves in comfort.
- Enjoy time to yourself 7. Jeju self-service (muin) cafe
2017 is almost over and many people take this opportunity to contemplate the year’s events and what the future holds. This is something best done alone, preferably with a beautiful view and delicious hot beverage at the ready. If you’d like to revel in this nostalgic and hopeful atmosphere — undisturbed — then a self-service, or “muin” cafe is a good option. Jeju has plenty of these establishments along its Olle walking trails. They rely on an honor system (for both payment and cleanup) but since they are unstaffed, the prices (cash only, please) tend to be relatively inexpensive. And you can stay as long as you want!
- A symbol of love, handmade8. Ring making experience cafe
What’s more symbolic of two people’s love that a set of “couple rings”? A token of love to share forever, it’s all the more meaningful when you make them yourselves (with the expert help of an artisan, of course.) In Jeju you can find shops and cafes where the owner/artist gives visitors the chance to make their own jewellery. It takes between one and two hours to make a ring out of silver, including basic engraving. A ring making experience program costs about 50,000 won per person, but you’ll find it to be a priceless gift.
- A winter celebration filled with love9. Jeju Winter Festival
The Jeju Winter Festival is the island’s representative celebration of the season. It’s arranged in three themes: Snow World, Snow City and Snow Flower Village. This year it will run from Dec. 16 to Jan. 21. The festival atmosphere is fun for the whole family, couples, or even on your own.
Outdoor activities include snow sledding, snow bumper cars, photo ops with snowmen, concerts, shopping and much more! The main sites are up on Hallasan Mountain at Eorimok and along Chilseong-ro Shopping Street in the old section of Jeju City. There will also be a winter-themed trick art installation at the International Convention Center Jeju in the Jungmun Tourist Complex and a winter photo zone at Lee Joong-seop Street in Seogwipo.
- Winter snacks to share with loved ones10. Spicy rice cakes, fried bread, sweet pancake
Modakchigi is a hearty Jeju snack that combines boiled egg, fried dumpling, squid, noodles, rice cakes and gimbap, all smothered in spicy red chili sauce. You can find it at the Seogwipo Maeil Olle Market, Dongmun Market and other markets around the island.
Pulbbang, meanwhile, is a hot fried bread of different shapes and fillings, mainly red beans and hallabong citrus. Some are shaped like fish or citrus fruit. It’s served fresh and piping hot, so it’s a perfect snack on a cold winter’s day. Similarly, hotteok is a fried Korean pancake filled with brown sugar served fresh off a hot skillet. You can find hotteok nearly anywhere, from street vendors to traditional markets.
- ※ The above information was written on 2017-11-20. Please confirm the information prior to your trip.
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