Being constantly horned at (we drove), climbing hills, seeking out waterfalls, peddling rail bikes around a cemetary and disturbing the diving ahjummas can work up an appetite! If in Jeju, do not pass up the chance to drop by the markets, eat abalone and down some beer with your fried chicken!
Munching in Markets:-
Korean markets are so amazing! The sea creatures on display are as fascinating as they are in any aquarium. Best of all, you can eat them (unlike in an aquarium)! Plus, there’s always stalls frying, steaming or boiling up tasty stuff that you can munch on as you explore. In Jeju, we visited the Dongmun Market, north side of the island and the Seokwipo Market in the south.
Photo highlights here:-
Address: Ildo 1(il)-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea
Phone GPS: 7523001 (input phone no for driving directions using GPS in car)
Address: 22, Jungjeong-ro73beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Phone GPS: 762-2925
Of course after eating in markets, one has to find proper meals! Here are some noteworthy places we ate at:-
Myeongjin Jeonbok Abalone Restaurant
Address: 1282 Haemajihaean-ro, Gujwa-eup, Cheju, Jeju-do
GPS Phone: 7829944
Seongsun Ilchubong Diving Women’s Hut
Address: 284-12, Ilchul-ro, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Phone GPS: 7830959
So besides the Seongsun Ilchubong peak to be scaled, the place is also famous for diving women (Haenyo) who apparently will put on some diving performance twice a day. When we were there around noon, all the Haenyo were bundled up in sweaters and huddled in a circle downing soju. Definitely a better idea than heading into the cold, raging waves crashing against the black volcanic sand beach. With no upcoming performance, the alternative was to stumble into their “hut” and partake of some of the sea creatures they had netted.
Chimaek (Fried Chicken & Beer)Address: Almost everywhere …I would fly to Korea just to partake of Chimaek since it is the land of the ubiquitous double-fried chicken. In Jeju, the very friendly receptionist at Hotel Leo where we stayed (highly recommended for service excellence!) told us that BHC Chicken was the place to go to for our Chimaek fix. I would think that it is actually one of the best Korean fried chicken that I have ever ingested. Do not fret that it is only available in Jeju. We have since discovered that there are more than 1,000 stores across Korea so yes, buy a ticket to Seoul and make BHC your Better, Happier Choice (that’s what it stands for!).
We also stumbled upon this Chimaek store while wandering around the shopping street near our hotel at 10.30pm. It was packed with people having supper. Of course, we had to go in then. Going by an un-pronounceable name of ChiMcZip, not sure if there are any other branches outside this one in Jeju.
Besides sussing out local eats and fried chicken, we also spent our Korean Won in the GS25 convenience stores, Paris Baguette bakeries and my favourite hang-out for breakfast Angel-in-us cafe.