Sunday, 14 September 2014

#01 (Guide) to Jeju Island 제주도

Domestic Flights
Gimpo Domestic Airport → Jeju International Airport

We took T'way airline to Jeju, because it was the cheapest option among all the other budget carriers. Many would recommend Jeju Air because they are reputable for having the cheapest airfares and a user friendly English website to book your flights, however I think it is best to keep options open, to source for not only the cheapest airfare but also the best timing to match your itinerary. 

Nowadays, most Korea budget airlines have their websites in English so everything is more convenient. During our trip from 23rd-26th June, Jeju Air would have cost us SGD$170/pax but I scored a cheap SGD$100/pax by flying with T'way. 

Tip | Sign up an account with the airlines and you might get a "member" discount for the flights.

Airlines to Jeju: Korean Air / Asiana Airlines / Jeju Air / Jin Air / T'way Airline / Air Busan / Eastarjet goes

Getting around Jeju Island
Initially, I thought getting around would be pretty easy and convenient because how big can an Island be? However, Jeju Island isn't as small as you think. At least twice the size of Singapore, travelling around requires a fair bit of time.

Hire a taxi driver - approx. ₩120,000-₩150,000 for 8 hours. The advantage is that you can cover many attractions in a day.The taxi driver also doubles up as a tour guide BUT usually you pay around approx. ₩180,000 for a English speaking driver. So if you have a group of 4 travelling together and you're comfortable with a Native speaking driver, this is a cheap and fuss free option.

Public bus/ City tour bus - (Info-here & here). Definitely the cheapest mode of transport if you're on a budget holiday. Buses are extremely time consuming so if you have a couple more days to spare, you can take your time to move around via a bus. I find it very inconvenient in my opinion, because buses usually take you close to where you want to head to, but not close enough. Your accomodation's vicinity might not have a bus stop either, so you gotta figure. There's also a language barrier that makes it very challenging to ask or navigate around. (Bus route map-Here)

Hostel tours - Not too sure about these tours but I've heard that usually hostels do provide day tours to different attractions depending on where you'd prefer to go. I'm guessing that it shouldn't be too costly but also because you get around in a bus, time constraint is still the issue. 

Rent a car - which we did! It is much more convenient and affordable to rent. Also because I usually do my own itinerary, self-driving would be the best option to compliment our planned route. Y'know times when you look out of the window and pass by really breathtaking views. You wish you could stopover to embrace the beauty of this new country you are exploring, or more often you would want to take a picture for memory's sake but couldn't because you are on a public transport? This is exactly what I love about the Self driving experience, I can stop wherever I want to.

Guide to renting a car in Jeju Island
We rented a cute little KIA morning for our 4 days in Jeju Island. Perfect size for couple travellers like us! It is relatively cheap for the rental fees but you gotta make sure your petrol is full tank when you return the car. Couldn't really remember how much was the car petrol but it was a rough ₩70,000 gauge? 

Total rental fees: 96,000(4 days) + ₩25,000(Insurance) + Car petrol 

Some Car rental companies with a English website: KT Kumho / Avis / AJ Rent-a-car / Jeju Rent-a-car
We rented from KT Kumho so I'd do the guide based on that company.

① Apply for International Driving License (here*Fees-SGD$25
② Sign up an account on their website, you'd get a huge discount on your rental fees.
③ Decide on the car you want to rent and make an online reservation
*You are not required to pay when making the reservation, but you do need to fill up credit card details. 
④ Remember to request for a English GPS for navigation, it is free of charge. 
⑤ When doing the itinerary, take down ALL the phone numbers of places you want to visit. 
*You can key in phone numbers in the GPS to route your destination.

Upon arrival, look for the KT Kumho counter (picture above). You'd need to show them your reservation slip AND International driving license. After verification, you'd then be directed to wait for the shuttle bus to their company (5-10 minutes away). Everything would be taken care of from there. Go to their counter to do the necessary paperwork, make payment and you'd be shown to your car immediately after!

Tip | Payment must be made via credit card, cash payment is not allowed.
*Do opt for the insurance with an additional SGD$30 so you'd have a piece of mind driving around. 

WIFI Egg rental
The Olleh wifi egg became very popular recently for tourists to rent when they are on a holiday in Korea. I didn't rent any when I was in Seoul because I didn't see the need of the unnecessary splurge. 

However it was an impromptu decision to rent the wifi egg in Jeju Island. KT Kumho conveniently had a wifi egg rental counter just behind their counters. Rental at only ₩8,000/day, it was much cheaper compared to the rental rates in Seoul. Lucky me, I managed to score a 25% discount off my 4 days rental so I only paid ₩24,000!

For self driving, It is really important to have internet connection. When my itinerary's information was insufficient, Google definitely came in handy!

love, bella