Jeju (제주), formerly Cheju, is an island off the southern coast of South Korea.
Jeju Special Self-Governing Province is the premier tourist destination in Korea and has changed its name from Jeju island into Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. Scenic beaches, waterfalls, cliffs and caves lie in harmony, and the mild weather makes Jeju island an even more ideal tourist destination. Mt. Hallasan in Jeju island has flora and fauna of both temperate and tropical varieties, coexisting on the mountain. The Jungmun Tourist Complex is a comprehensive tourist resort and provides top-quality accommodations and tourist facilities.
Jeju-do lies in the Korea Strait, southwest of Jeollanam-do Province, of which it was a part before it became a separate province in 1946. Its capital is the city of Jeju.
As the tourist trade in Jeju has grown larger in recent years, it is increasingly common to find some taxi drivers who speak English, Japanese and even Chinese, especially in Jeju City itself. However, you shouldn't rely on this as a means of getting around, and it would be wise to learn some basic Korean phrases for travel purposes.
People who speak Korean fairly well should be forwarned that natives of Jeju island speak a dialect of Korean that is almost unintelligible from the standard dialect spoken in the Seoul area. While most Jeju natives can understand standard Korean, many cannot speak it. This means that if you ask for something in Korean, they will understand you but you may find it incredibly difficult to understand the reply. All staff in the tourist industry are required to speak standard Korean, so this will not be a problem in places such as bus terminals, the airport, and most districts in the city itself.
Jeju international airport has a total of 17 direct airlines(12 local, 6 international), which links major cities employing 130 aircraft. In a week they fly 6 times to Tokyo, 4 times to Osaka, 2 times to Beijing, and 3 times to Hong Kong. 94% of travelers use those air lines to visit Jeju.
They take off and land 143,000 times in a year including Boeing 747's using the 3km runway and jeju Airport can handle 7.64 million passengers, a year.
Based on mid & long term airport expansion plans, 375.5 Mil. USD will be invested to expand the air port till 2020. During the first phase of the project up to 2010, they are going to expand the capacity of the taking off and landing to 177,000 times and enlarge major facilities so that they could handle 18.64 million passengers, a year
Ferry services from the mainland are also available, but they are comparatively infrequent and slow. There are daily services from Busan (11 hours, from W32,000 in 3rd class), Mokpo (5.5 hours, from W19,950) and Incheon. (12 hours)
Jeju port has 6 direct sailing routes employing 12 ships weighting 600~5,600 tons. They operate ships 6 times a week between major local ports including Busan and Incheon with a capacity of carrying 2,401,000 passengers a year. 6% of total travelers are coming in and out of Jeju by sea.
They are going to expand the anchoring capacity from the current 17 ships weighting over 1,000 tons up to a maximum of 20,000 tons to 20 ships weighting over 1,000 tons and up to amaximum of 80,000 tons by the year of 2011.
Unlike the rest of Korea, there are no trains on Jeju island. Buses and Taxis are the main method of public transportation, although some locals prefer bicycles to cars, especially in areas outside of the Jeju-shi metropolitan area.
Jeju Fire Festival (Jeongwol Daeboreum)
This is Jeju's biggest tourist attraction.
The Jeongwol Daeboreum Fire Festival originates from the traditional harvesting of the grasses found in the local domestic farm animal pastures, which were annually set in fire each winter by the villagers as a way to exterminate harmful insects. This festival reveals Jeju Island 's unique traditions, while allowing for modern commercial sighting.
The Jeongwol Daeboreum Fire Festival has been held annually since 1997. With the 2007 11th annual Festival, the event promises to spread its wings to become the best representation festival of the international free city of Jeju.
The Jeongwol Daeboreum Fire Festival can best be symbolized by imagining spouting lava as it shoots over the crest of a volcano. Such characteristics associated with a volcano can be found in the 2007 festival, bringing together such traditional folk resources as fire, horses, the moon, and mountain peaks. Citizens of Laizhou City, in China, and the city of Santa Rosa, in the United States, will also hold special performances, further promoting the sister-city ties which they have with the Jejusi. A photography interchange exhibition will also be co-hosted by the Korean Photographer's Association, Jeju Branch, and the Chinese Photographer's Association, further boosting the mood of the festival.
During the period of the Jeongwol Daeboreum Fire Festival, every effort will be made to promote the Jejusi's image, through its tourism resources and native produce and products. The citizens of Jeju thus hope to spread their wish of an island of peace.
Aside from watching the Jeju Fire Festival, you can go mountain hiking, horse riding, and check out the fantastic waterfalls and ancient ruins of Jeju.
The people of Jeju have evolved various lifestyles, depending on whether they live in fishing villages, farm villages, or mountain villages. Life in the farm villages was centered on farming, as it did around fishing or diving fishery in fishing villages, and did around dry-field farming or mushroom/mountain-green gathering in the moutain areas. As for agriculture, the production of rice is little. Instead, beans, barley, millets, buckwheat, and dry-field(upland) rice are the major items.
The most well known fruit is the mandarin orange. It has been grown here as early as the era of the Three Kingdoms. Mandarin orange, were offered as presents to kings along with abalone as special products of Jeju.
Foods from Jeju mainly made with saltwater fish, vegetables, and seaweed, and are usually seasoned with soybean paste. Salt water fish is used to make soups and gruels, and pork and chicken are used to make pyeonyuk (sliced boiled meat). The number of dishes set on a table is small. And few seasoings are used. And usually, small numbers of ingredients are required to make dishes native to Jeju. The key to making Jeju-style foods is to keep the ingredient's natural flavor. The taste of the food is generally a bit salty, probably because foods are easily spoiled due to the warm temperature. In Jeju, there is no need to prepare Kimchi for the winter. It is quite warm during the winter and Chinese cabbages are left in the field. When they do prepare Kimchi for the winter, they tend to make few kinds and small amounts.
While South Korea in general is a remarkably safe country, the crime rate on Jeju is even lower. In fact, Jeju has the lowest crime rate in the whole country. Violent crime is almost non-existent, although just like in all tourist hubs, there are a number of pickpockets.