Jeju Island in South Korea has been named as the most visited cruise destination according to reports after the NATAS Travel Expo.
Asia’s largest cruise line, Royal Caribbean regularly visits the idyllic island, which is a popular resort venue, even for local South Koreans especially honeymooners.
Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas and Legend of the Seas make regular calls to Jeju Island, with cruises departing from Shanghai and Xiamen in China. There a number of activities you can do while you’re visiting the island. These are five things Cruise&Travel Asia has picked out for you to do when you visit!
Climb the highest mountain in South Korea
The dormant volcano Hallasan is a popular hiking venue for nature-lovers. It stands at 1,950 meters above sea level. While you might not have time to climb to the summit, you can still walk some of the trails. The UNESCO site is famous for its crater lake, alpine plants, woodpeckers, chipmunks, butterflies and beetles.
Visit Cheonjaeyeon Waterfall
Legend has it that this is where seven nymphs descended from heaven at midnight to bathe in the waterfall’s pool. The Cheonjaeyeon Waterfall is one of the most beautiful sites in all of Korea. Cruisers can explore the waterfall which cascades from a 22 metre cliff, and they are also able to walk across the arched bridge that feature carvings of the nymphs.
The deep-diving women
On Jeju Island, men would disappear for weeks on long fishing trips. The women, then learned how to dive for octopus, abalone, clams, squid and seaweed to feed their families. The sea-women, known as haenyeo, can dive up to 10-20 metres without any breathing apparatuses. The haenyeo’s average age is 65 with some women diving into their 80s. You can see them working in various locations around the island including Jungmun Beach.
If you’re honeymooning on Mariner or Legend of the Seas, you can visit Loveland which is a hilarious over-the-top adult theme park dedicated to sex. There are oversized casts of Western-looking nudes which are locked in embraces. The theme park was started by students and is not for the faint of heart. A special feature is the handle to the ladies door which is in a phallic shape.
The region is known for its food and cruisers can try whole grilled mackerel in sea salt, barbecued pork from Jeju’s black pigs. But for the true delicacies, try the seaweed and sea urchin soup. For the vegetarians, try the potato pancakes and a green tea and perilla-seed soup.