Driving Around Jeju Island by Scooter
Sometimes a place or scene will take me back to times almost forgotten. Every time I’m riding with the ocean at my side, there are memories of the first trip Christina and I took together. During our first job in Korea, we get a two-week vacation that gives us enough time to visit South Korea’s most famous destination and go driving around Jeju Island, by scooter.
Jeju at a Glance
Jeju is a beautiful place full of imaginative landscapes and heart-warming encounters. The island is known for many things and before the international travel boom took off, Koreans used to flock here as their ONE destination off the mainland. Newlyweds and tour groups would clog up the island during the peak season but today, foreign tourists and couples are catching on while Koreans are going elsewhere.
Peaks and Valleys
Our vacation comes just outside the summer peak season so aside from Jeju City, the roads are sparsely populated. Riding along the main highway, we find beautiful coastal views and glances at the nearly omnipresent Mt. Halla, home to South Korea’s highest peak.
I can name so many great things we do or encounter while riding around. After ferrying south from Wando on the mainland, we relax at the guesthouse near Hallim Park before seeing the lovely beach nearby. Anywhere people find themselves on Jeju, a nice place to swim and get some sun is always close.
Following a DIY breakfast and some coffee, we jump on the scooter and pick a spot on our map and go there. Among the greatest hits are waterfalls, cliffs, caves, and museums galore. I’m not entirely sure why but each museum on the island has a competitor. There seem to be two of each with the most memorable focusing on sex and chocolate to name a couple.
KDramas and Soju
At the end of each day, it’s back to the room where we sit on a mat and watch Korean dramas with the old lady who was either staff or the owner. She always seems to have an enjoyable evening with some sort of fruit to pass out. There are also innumerable empty bottles of soju resting on the ground nearby. Maybe that explains her kind demeanor?
That place always has a relaxed atmosphere and that feeling surrounds our entire visit to Jeju. Everywhere we go, there’s no hustle and bustle found on the mainland. For once, I can stretch out my arms without them getting hit by a car or old lady rushing through. Beaches are so empty that I feel like finding a flag to claim them as my own. Driving around Jeju Island by scooter is truly a dream for me.
Camp on the Beach
We check out of our guesthouse a day early by mistake and camp on the beach. It’s generally prohibited here. Sand makes for a nice bed and the crashing waves contribute a lovely soundtrack to sleep through the night. I wish that this vacation will never end. I hate to be completely and overly positive but seriously, I want to go back and go driving around Jeju Island!