One of the places in Jeju I think everyone should visit is Udo Island. Its located on the eastern part of Jeju island and the ferry terminal to get there is near to Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak. It is beautiful!
To get to Udo Island, you will have to take a ferry over from Seongsan Harbor. It is about 10 to 15 minutes drive away from Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak. You can also bring your car over to the island on the ferry with extra charges. I decided not to drive the car over since I don’t have the confidence to park my car on the ferry. Ya, I’m bad at parking, I admit. There are a lot of other modes of transportation there anyway.
The number that I keyed into the GPS brought me to part of the Seongsan Harbor for transportation of containers and things. Opps!! To get to the passenger terminal for the ferry, you can see the sign for it as you are driving there and just follow that. (I had to make a u-turn back to the main road and that’s when I saw the sign for the passenger terminal and followed it.)
Once inside the ferry terminal, you will need to fill up a small form that can be found at a table in the center of the terminal before you can buy your ferry tickets at one of the counters. So get one and fill up your name, age and phone number (it only requires these) before you queue to buy your tickets. The return tickets and entrance fee to the island costs 5500 Won. Keep it with you and don’t lose it since you need to show it to them before you get onboard the ferry both ways. The ferry leaves every hour. We were so lucky that we reached there just 10 minutes before the next ferry departs. Phew! Else we would have to wait for another hour.
It takes about 15 minutes on the ferry to get to Udo Island. You will see a lot of birds flying around. I decided to stay outside enjoying the views rather than sit inside the seating area. It is cold though. My friend went inside where its heated. You will have to take off your shoes to sit. There is a space inside where you are to leave your shoes before you sit. That is another reason why I decided not to. Its just too troublesome for me to take off my hiking shoes and re-tie it later. Ya, I’m lazy that way.
Upon reaching the island, there is a reclining cow statue that you will walk pass on your way to explore the island. Udo literally means “Cow”, hence the cow statue. This island looks like a cow lying down and that is how it got its name. There is a stamping station beside the cow statue too. Udo Island is Olle trail 1-1. So for those who like to collect stamps, bring a blank notebook with you. There are stamping stations all around Jeju for the different Olle trails.
Olle trail are hiking routes that can be found on Jeju Island. There are many Olle trails that can be found on Jeju Island. For those who like to hike, these hiking routes that will bring you to various landscapes, villages, beaches, farms and forests.
You can take the tour bus or rent a bike, different kinds of scooters or ATV to go around Udo Island on your own. There are a few shops that rents them out just a few minutes walk from the arrival port of the ferry. An international driving license is needed though.
We decided to take the tour bus since it is the cheapest other than walking. I am on a budget for this trip, so I had to be more conscious of my spending. I really want to ride the cool motorbike though. Anyway, I read that there is a tour bus that can bring you to four of the island’s tourist spots, so I looked out for buses. I saw them on my right and some men shouting “Tour Bus”,so I guess there it is. This tour bus is a hop-on hop-off kind of bus. You can get on and off at any of the four stops. The bus comes every 30 minutes to each location and you can only do one loop of it. At the last stop, the bus driver will take the ticket from you. So make sure you get down on the stop that you want, you can’t go back to the same place again once you miss that stop. It only cost 5000 Won.
The four stops are:-
- Udobong Peak
- Geommeolle Beach and Dongangyeonggul Cave
- Hagosudong Beach and
- Seobinbaeksa Beach.
Get on the bus and the driver will move off to the first stop. The bus driver is also the tour guide and he’ll be speaking in Korean about the areas he’ll drive by. He’s a funny guy I guess since he had the passengers laughing quite a few times. How I wish I knew what he was talking about. Once you get down at the first stop, there is a ticket booth to pay for your bus ticket there. Buy a ticket and make sure you keep it with you. You will have to show the bus driver the ticket every time you get on the bus.
There are some shops you will see first once you get down on the first bus stop. Walk pass these shops and you will reach Udobong Peak.
You can also do horse riding here and buy some souvenirs to take home. You will see a lot of peanut products since Udo Island is known for them.
We climbed up along the side of the peak overlooking the sea and made it down from the center. The views are awesome. The winds were really strong here and its cold for us.
The landscape here is really beautiful.
We got down from the peak and went over to the bus stop already exhausted. I guess my fitness level is not what it used to be. We wanted to get back on the bus but wasn’t sure which bus it was as there were a few buses there. I went over to ask the people at the ticket counter. Apparently, the bus we were to take was just leaving. One of the staff in the ticket booth called the driver via the walkie talkie and another staff member ran out to stop the bus for me. I saw another man shouting and running after the bus too and he happened to be someone my friend asked at the carpark. People here are really helpful. It was quite chaotic for awhile..hahhahaha…. The bus driver stopped to let us on. We’re lucky he heard the shouts for him to stop for awhile. We would have to wait for another 30 minutes if we had missed this one. Another lucky break!
Off we went then to the next stop. This time I took note of where to take the bus (wouldn’t want another repeat of running after the bus again). This is my favorite stop out of the four places. Here is Geommeolle Beach and Dongangyeonggul Cave. I did not go to these two places though. There were more steps to climb down and my legs were already like jelly. This was due to the morning climb at Seongsan Ilchulbong peak and also Udobong peak. I just don’t think I have the energy to go down more steps.
We did walk along the coast to see the amazing cliff at Geommeolle Beach. This is really beautiful.
There is a speedboat ride that you can take here. My companions were not keen to take a ride on it, so we skipped it. I would definitely come back here again for this.
Now, that is Geommeolle Beach and Dongangyeonggul Cave at the end.
We went for a break at the café for some peanut ice-cream and tea here.
We weren’t so lucky this time and missed the bus. Sigh. So we had to wait awhile for the next bus to our next stop. It was fine as the views are beautiful and I don’t mind being here longer.
Our third stop, Hagosudong Beach. This is a beautiful beach. Its quite windy here. The bus stops just before the carpark and we’ll have to walk a bit to get there. Isn’t the sea water color beautiful?
Then its off to the last location, Seobinbaeksa Beach. The bus driver stopped us at the carpark. I just love the color of the waters here too. There are more shops and restaurants around here compared to the beach before.
We stayed for awhile to enjoy the view and the sea breeze before getting on the bus back to the ferry port. This time we were lucky as we only had to wait less than 5 minutes for the next ferry.
I would really recommend coming to this place. It is BEAUTIFUL! There are more places to see here too. I think spending a full day here would be better if I were to explore the whole place and take my time with it. Renting one of their ATV or bikes would be a better way to explore this island too. That way, I don’t have to worry about missing the bus or have to follow the bus schedule. This is a really great place to visit. Make sure you are prepared to climb and walk a lot. It will be worth it. As for me, I’ll have to make it back here for the things I missed.
Udo Island (우도)
Address: Gosumul-gil, Udo-myeon, Jeju-do
제주 제주시 우도면 고수물길
Take a ferry from Seongsanhang Port Passenger Ferry Terminal at Seongsan Harbor (성산항)
No. to input in GPS for the harbor: 782 5671
Operating Hours: Open all year round, Ferry Schedule – 8.00am to 6.00pm and a ferry departs every hour
Admission Fees: Return ferry and entrance tickets is 5,500 Won
Parking Fee: Paid parking – The price depends on how long you park there.
Up next, The Haenyeo Museum. More about that in the next blog entry. Come back, ya.