how to get to jeju island

How to Take the Ferry to Jeju Island Korea- Mockpo to Jeju

Today our plan is simple, we are taking the ferry to Jeju island, off the southern tip of South Korea.

The Mokpu public bus system really is very cool. In order to get to the ferry building we need to take a bus which will take about 45 minutes. It’s a pretty roundabout route, but it would take perhaps 90 minutes to walk and if we transfer buses to make it quicker, then it costs more, so we’re sticking with the 112.

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Each bus has an ID, and each each bus stop has an ID, so I can check to see where my next bus is. It’s very cool. Of course you need ‘net access to be able to check, but luckily I can still access the wifi from the hotel when we’re stood at the bus stop.

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We’d attempted to buy our ferry tickets last night, arriving back from hiking Wolchulsan and the Cloud Bridge to a deserted ferry terminal, before being told just to turn up at 8am and buy our tickets then. Still at least we found out where it was, as there are two.  The other one was equally deserted and true to the form that we’re finding here in Korea, there’s a distinct lack of ANYTHING in English, so we were glad we’d checked it out.

Making sure we got the RIGHT ferry terminal
Making sure we got the RIGHT ferry terminal

There was a short line for us to buy the tickets – 30,000 KRW each for the 4 hour 30 minute ferry with seaferry.co.kr. but the line went quickly, we handed over our passports to get our tickets, and were asked “What is your name” and then “where are you from”, looks like if we’d left if up to the ticket seller, we might have not been called Sarah Louise and Nigel Mark on our tickets, but strangely both had the same “British Citizen” name.

Buying tickets
Buying tickets
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“I think we get a bit of floor space for our 30,000″, I said to Nige. There’s nothing obvious on the tickets that gives us a seat number or anything, so until we walk through the entrance gate, that’s what it seems like. We show our tickets and are told ” Room Number 423″

“Oh, we get a room”, says Nige. Yup. We get a big room, currently with 14 other dried fish eating folks. We are definitely in the cheap seats. Except there are no seats. We’re all on the floor, shoes are discarded at the entrance and we have an inner room. So we can see a window in another room on the other side of the aisle, but we’ve claimed a corner and we’re staying put, after all we’ve got 4 and a half hours to explore.

Yup, we have a roon..
Yup, we have a room..
No shoes in the room
No shoes in the room

After 15 minutes we’ve eaten our “acquired from the Lotte Mart at a discount last night” breakfast are propped against the wall and my backside is already numb. I refuse to look at my watch again.

There’s not a great deal to do on the ferry.  There’s a variety of seating areas in the cafe area, where you can buy small plates of kimchi for 200 KRW or more. Of course you can karaoke. You can also use the massage chairs. You can play in the arcade gaming room. You can sit up on deck and watch the various islands go b.  It’s actually quite chilly and pretty windy, as the skipper isn’t hanging around.

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Lunch is the packet soup I’ve been carrying since Russia. Mushroom. We eat out of our travel mugs, as there’s boiling water on tap.  Then we sit in the covered picnic area at the back of the boat being intensely entertained by the Korean tourists.

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The Koreans are known as the Irish of Asia. Even at 9am before we actually set off there were cans of beer being cracked open. To wash down the dried squid for breakfast. Now it appears to have turned to hard liqour.  I’m pretty sure that there are going to be a lot of folks with hangovers before we even get to Jeju.

Oh, now the singsongs have started. I think what looks like the group of middle-aged women on a weekend away are going to be the hardest hit, they’re really giving it their all.

Probably just like Luton Airport on a bank holiday Saturday really.

Righto. Looks like we’ve arrived. Now to see if the stories are true. This island (where the majority of Koreans spend their honeymoon) is likened to both Disneyland and Hawaii. We’re off to discover what Aloha is like in Korean.

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Resources

Travel Tips for Exploring South Korea

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