Jeju-do (제주도), Korea’s largest island, is the most popular domestic holiday destination. It’s full of beautiful beaches, lush countrysides and forests along with amazing local cuisine. Taking a mere 1hr 10min to fly there from Seoul, it’s the perfect getaway for anyone who wants to vacation on a budget.
Flying with a Dog (Domestically)
Traveling is great, but for the boyfriend and I, it’s so hard to leave our little fur baby, 우유 (Uyu), behind. So, this time we decided to make a trip where we knew we could include him. Although we were super nervous, it was actually pretty easy. We flew Eastar Jet, so when we booked our tickets we just had to call in to reserve a spot in the cabin for 우유. Many airlines only allow 1~2 dogs as carry-on per flight, so it’s important you call in to reserve a space. For carry on, the dog in his carrier can’t exceed 5 kg and 25 cm in height, but the carrier can be soft or hard. If you use a soft carrier, it will give your pup a bit more space.
Renting a Car
We’ve been to Jeju before, and while public transportation is available, we wasted a lot of time waiting for buses and taxis that don’t come very often (depending on where you are). This time around we knew renting a car would be the best way to fully enjoy the island. Unfortunately, renting a car proved to be trickier than we anticipated.
Many car rental places will offer a shuttle service to take you from the airport to the dealership which is pretty awesome! Unfortunately, when we arrived at the dealership they refused to rent us a car because we had only had our Korean license for a few weeks (even though we had had our U.S. ones since we were teens). They then went on to tell us that no one else would rent us a car either. What’s frustrating is that we had already called to verify all of this information beforehand and they had told us it would be no problem. The dealership showed no remorse for what was clearly their mistake. They didn’t even offer to call us a taxi, as we were clearly stranded there… because of them. It was the worst customer service I’ve ever experienced in Korea.
We were about to give up when my boyfriend decided to start calling a bunch of dealerships to see what he could figure out. 30 min later and half way to our hotel (by taxi), we lucked out! AJ Rentacar is a branch of Avis, an American car rental company. We called in, explained our situation and they said it would be no problem. We were in and out in about 15 min! They were super nice and helpful and even had cheaper rental fees. They seriously saved our vacation. I highly recommend using them, especially if you’re a foreigner and want to save yourself a lot of grief. To rent a car with them, all you need is your foreign license (at least 1yr old) + Korean license OR your international license.
With our car rental situation all sorted out, we spent our first day in Jeju driving along the coast and through the country side. We pulled over occasionally to take photos and really take in the beauty of our surroundings. It might not sound all that exciting, but it’s totally worth it! The oceans shimmer in every shade of blue and the mountains are lush and green. It felt like we weren’t even in Korea anymore. Driving there is super relaxing and everyone takes it pretty easy.
Feeling a bit peckish we stopped by a cafe called 흑돼지 구워주는 남자 before heading to Jeju’s infamous Loveland. It had a pretty simple menu and also sold some lovely handmade goods, but what caught my eye was their “Cup Steak.” This concept is really blowing up in Seoul right now, so what set this place apart was the use of Jeju black pork. For ₩5,ooo you get a cup of french fries, grilled shrimp, pineapple, squash and Jeju black pork. It comes drizzled in a spicy or mild special sauce (your choice) and sprinkled with dried basil. What’s cool is that there is a separate compartment in the cup for your choice of either coke or cider (sprite). It was so flavourful I almost ordered another. If you happen to be in the area, you should definitely drop by. It isn’t always available, so be sure to check their Instagram for updates!
- 11:30am~7:30pm, Tuesday~Sunday`
- CLOSED on Monday
- 제주도 서귀포시 이중섭로 31
- 31 Ijungseom-ro Seogwipo, Jeju-do