Cheju Island

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Cheju Island Travel Guide

One of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, is Cheju-do ( Jeju) an island with an amazingly wide range of tourist attractions- golden beaches, densely forested mountains and a semi-tropical climate and topographically very different from the rest of South Korea. One of the most outstanding features of the island is a regular maze of tunnels, caves and pillars formed by the cooling of lava flows from ancient volcanoes. Cheju-do is basically an island composed of extinct volcanoes formed by volcanic matter such as basalt and trachyte and layered with sedimentary rock. It still has a volcano- an extinct one, called Mt Hallasan, which, at 1950 m also doubles up as the island’s main mountain. The main city on the island is Cheju City, the main base for trekking, sightseeing and exploring the rest of the island.

Cheju-do lying off the south coast of Korea is the warmest and wettest place in the entire country. The island is at its most beautiful in spring when the azalea blooms in a riot of delicate colours and the wooded areas display the most fascinating shades of green. In Cheju the seasons determine the changing hues of colour through the island. In the autumn the colour that dominates is brown and orange due to the falling leaves, in summer the aqua blue waters of the sea and golden beaches take over as in spring the brilliant yellow flowers cover the landscape. So come to Cheju!

The island has more than 60 lava caves discovered till date making Cheju-do the best place in the world to visit these natural wonders.

Locally known as the Island of the Gods, Cheju island is a very popular honeymoon destination for Koreans and Japanese. Very often you will see couples wearing identical tee shirts – stop them and congratulate them and see the beam on their faces!

Look out for the women divers (Haenyo divers as they are called) in Cheju – traditionally these women dive in search seashells, abalone and other marine life. These women are pretty amazing as they are trained to dive from a very early age and they do so without any diving apparatus staying underwater for three to four minutes!

Take along cash with you as ATMs maybe hard to find and not every establishment accepts credit cards.

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