Itinerary: O’Sulloc Green Tea Museum, Glass Castle, Hello Kitty Island, Jeju Orange Chocolate Factory, Seongeup Folk Village, Seongsan Sunrise Peak, Dragon Head Rock
This was one of my favourite days in the entire tour. I’ve heard so much about Jeju. People say it’s the best part of Korea. Even the locals love the island so much. No wonder it’s also called “Korean Hawaii” – it’s a popular spot for lovers and romantics.
When I reached Jeju, I was totally convinced that this island is indeed very special and beautiful. Jeju boasts “triple abundance” – wind, rocks and women. It’s well-known for being very windy, and I love the crisp fresh air. There is no heavy industry in the island, thus it’s regarded as one of the cleanest areas in South Korea, with low emissions of air pollutants.
Due to past volcanic activities, there are black rocks all over the island. Its reputation of having an abundance of women dated way back to the time when fishing was the primary source of income, and a large number of fishermen lost at sea. Therefore, there were more women than men in the island.
You might have heard of the mermaids of Jeju. Known as ‘haenyeo’, they were actually Korean female divers who made their living by harvesting seafood by hand from the ocean floor. Because of their grueling daily life, they had a saying: “Better to be born a cow than a woman.” The life of a haenyeo was extremely tough and unhappy, though.
Our tour guide recommended Haenyeo Museum – an informative and beautiful museum that showcases the history, lifestyle and traditions of traditional female divers. She commented that most of her female tourists who watched the documentary in the museum were soaked in tears, seeing how hard the life of these divers were. Unfortunately, this museum wasn’t in our itinerary. If I’ve a chance to visit Jeju again, I will certainly visit this museum.
Address: 26 Haenyeobangmulgwan-gil, Gujwa-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju
Having talked so much about Jeju, our first destination on Day 3 was O’Sulloc Green Tea Museum. Unfortunately, it was drizzling in the morning. Thus, we couldn’t get a chance to go out to the green tea plantation.
This museum is widely known in Korea. The entire building takes the shape of a green tea cup. Visitors can enjoy unique o’sulloc teas and yummy snacks made with green tea. The second floor of the building has an observatory where visitors can enjoy the views of the nearby green tea fields and the surrounding landscape. There are also various green tea products sold here, from food items to skin care and hair care products.
The O’Sulloc café was quite crowded, I had to queue for 10 mins to get this cup of green tea ice-cream that was highly recommended by our tour guide. Didn’t try out the green tea rolls and tea shake because we had a huge breakfast at the hotel.
O’Sulloc Green Tea Museum
425, Sinhwayeoksa-ro, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Admission is free
To Go: Yes! You must try the green tea ice-cream too.
After O’Sulloc Museum, we went to the Glass Castle. In this castle, visitors get to see world’s largest glass ball and largest glass diamond, a glass stonewall, a mirror lake, a glass bridge, and many models all made entirely out of glass. It also has a forest trek that brings visitors through various glass-themed installations, like flower fields and a family of deers, made entirely out of glass of course!
Address: 462, Nokchabunjae-ro, Hangyeong-myeon, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
To Go: Yes!
Next, we went to the happiest place in Jeju – Hello Kitty Island. Yay! There are lots to see in this pinky island with many special Hello Kitty themed exhibition halls – Kitty History Hall, Art Education Hall, Music Education Hall, Art Gallery, World Gallery Hall, Trip around the World Gallery Hall, Constellation Education Hall, Planned Gallery, Hello Kitty Café, 3D Theater, Outdoor Modeling Gallery and more. If you’re a huge fan of Hello Kitty – you must not miss out Jeju Hello Kitty Island.
The Hello Kitty Café is packed with awesome cuteness. The entire café has a lovely pink interior, even the tables and chairs have Hello Kitty pictures on them. We didn’t try out the food as we were running out of time. There are many kiddie rides and indoor play area, but they are more suitable for young children.
Hello Kitty Island
Address: No. 340 Hanchang-ro Andeok-myeon Seoguipo city Jeju
To Go: Certainly YES!
To be continued in Part 2…