Hi guys, long time no see. How's life? How's imaan? Hope they are fine <3
So new entry today is about my experience of backpacking to Jeju Island, South Korea, for 6 days and 5 nights with my mum. I will also provide some tricks and tips, so be sure to take notes, okay.
How It Started...
Well, at first I was planning to go to Seoul with my cousins as some sort of stress-relief and also because I am going to be married soon, it will be more of a bachelorette trip, as funny as it sounds. lol. Being BFF since birth, but never travel together, this is a big thing for us. Unfortunately, the plan have to be cancelled. But anyway, since my heart still burning from excitement (must be from the coffee earlier) I want to go. No, I HAVE to go!
One day, I came across my friend's post on Facebook. She got cheap tickets to Jeju using her Air Asia Big Points. Her fb is Faridah Ainuddin, a friend from Foundation years at SIIUC. By that time, the ticket from KL-Jeju-KL is just RM700 per person. Daym deals, amirite?
So without further ado, through her, I booked the flights for me and my mum. We were so excited to enjoy Spring there. With all the cherry blossoms, Canola and Tulips. Paradiseeee!! Starting from there, I jot down interesting places of Jeju and make the itineraries.
The place to stay is also important. At first, we want to stay at Seogwipo area, which has more attractions than Jeju City. But, change it at last, as Jeju City is nearer to the airport. So the tips here, if you want to experience many attractions and if you stay not for long like 3-4 days, I recommend you to stay at Seogwipo area, especially in West or South of Jeju. Staying at Jeju City is also fine :)
So, to book a hotel, first of all, you have to survey for the price. Hotel? Trivago.. Yes, the tagline is not just for fun. I use Trivago to compare prices of the hotels and apparently found a good hotel in Jeju City. So we ended up booking a Deluxe Double Room with Ocean View at Ocean Suites Jeju Hotel. Very recommended for newlyweds. The hotel is quiet, there is a convenience store at ground floor of the hotel and a bakery just behind it. And for Muslims, be sure to check if the toilet has bidet or not. The most easy way to check is by googling the hotel's name + bathroom. ex: Ocean Suites Jeju Hotel Bathroom and look at the toilet pictures (looking at toilets..wow..) OR you can just email the hotel to ask. Easy!
At first, we want to use taxis as the main transportation there. But after considering how the price can be a little too much for our budget, I decided to rent a car. No driver, just the car. If you know me, I'm up for a challenge. Driving a foreign car with the driver and passengers seats all at the different positions, what could go wrong? 😅 So here are the steps to do if you want to drive abroad (esp for Malaysians)
Firstly, you must have International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Korea. You can do so by applying at any JPJ counters or Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM). Documents to have:
- RTD L1 Form (download at JPJ website or fill at counter)
- Original domestic driving license that is still valid for one year.
- * Original Identity Card.
- * Original passport and copies (for non-citizens).
- Two passport size colour photos. (the background must be WHITE)
and the fee is RM150/year.
For the rental car, I choose Kereta Sewa Jeju as credit card is not needed. teheee~ Turns out it is the best choice I've ever made. The processes are smooth, convenient and we received the car in good condition. The car that I rent is Kia Ray. Compact and suitable for two. The total is RM900 for 6 days including advance of summon fees which will be returned to you if you don't break the law. lol
Driving In Jeju
If you have doubts to drive in Jeju, let me tell you this. I'm a sloppy driver, but as sloppy as I am, I gotta tell you Jeju is a good place to drive. Why? They have speed traps everywhere. Just follow the speed limits and stay on the right lane most of the time (except when you wanna turn left of course). The result, I get my advance summon fees back. All is well. At first, it will be hard to adjust your eye-hand coordination since you'll be driving on the right side of the road and it might get awkward, but by the second day I realize its much more easier than I thought. The lane is slightly smaller than in Malaysia, so be careful not to take up space from another lane. (like I did.lol)
Tips: If you want to explore Jeju City or find places to eat there, I highly recommend you to take taxi or just walk instead. Because Jeju City is so packed, it is very highly unlikely for you to find an empty parking spot.
I know you've been waiting for this. How do we survived living in Jeju which is famous for its black pork meals? Just so you know, this won't be exciting for you food lovers. We packed instant noodles, and Brahim's ready to eat packed meals. As for on-the-go food, we bought snacks from convenience stores. Refer here for Halal snacks and here for Halal Restaurants in Jeju. You can also try restaurants that only serves Seafood.
Be sure to check beforehand the weather forecast of the place you want to visit. Prepare for the worse case scenario, which is for us, Mr. Heavy Snow. Just download AccuWeather app and stay ahead of any news of snow storms or some sort. For us, praise be to Him, the weather is so nice, and we happened to experience snow on our first four days, since it was snowing heavily two days before we get there and slightly warm Spring on our last two days. Eastern part of Jeju still have some snow including Mount Halla, but in the southern part, it is already Spring. I mean, how lucky is that 😊 So I recommend you to come to Jeju in the middle to end of March to experience both of the seasons.
Prayer Time, Prayer Rooms & Qiblas
For Prayer time, use Muslim Pro Apps, which not only provides you with the time but also the qibla. To pray, you can also pray behind your car or anywhere you want, as long as it is convenient. Always bring the prayer mat. Needless to say, everytime you drive, or when you wanna eat or every steps you take, just say the prayers. Even "bismillah" is enough. You're in foreign country, but no matter how foreign, it is still His land. For prayer rooms in jeju, use this link.
South Korea has one of the fastest internet in the world and there are many public wifi for you to use. However, I use Samurai Wifi to travel. The process is easy, just state on the website where your destination is and for how long you'll be using the pocket wifi. Then it is ready to be picked up at the airport or any of its locations near you. From my experience, the internet is faster than the ones at my home 😂
The Money & ATMs
For your own convenience, apply for international withdrawal online. For Maybank refer this link. You can also use their ATM. Visit this link for further info of how to use their ATM machine. It is very easy actually. Always check for the exchange money rate online. I use XE Currency app for that.
So the first thing that I do is go to TripAdvisor to search for tourist attractions. There are many to choose from, so you have to select which of those appeal to you the most. While browsing, I came across a post by Yeha Bus Tour. They provide group tours and have 3 courses to choose from, which are East Course, West Course and South Course Tour.
Link: Yeha Bus Tour
As for me and my mum, we took West Course and South Course Tour. Which costs 304,000 won for two people.
Tips: Go To Their Website For Cheaper Price. And If You Stay At Yeha Guesthouse, You Will Get More Discounts!
No credit cards is one of the major problem when you want to plan your travel ahead, since credit card is essential in the process of bookings and payments. Fret not, my fellow readers, as I confidently stated my debit card info in Yeha website even though they asked for credit card info (because I'm a noob who doesn't know that debit and credit cards are different), a representative from Yeha Tour e-mailed me stating that my credit card got rejected 😭. Of course I was sad at first, but they are very trusting, so they allow me to pay full payment on the day of the tour. Alhamdulillah, how convenient!
This is the itinerary:
5.00 am: Flight to Jeju
12.00 pm: Arrive and take shuttle bus to Robot Rental Car
2.00 pm: Check-in Ocean Suites Hotel
5.00 pm: Take a stroll in front of hotel and nearby shops
8.00 am: Ecoland Theme Park
12.00 pm: Aqua Planet and take pictures of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak
3.00 pm: Seogwipo Submarine
6.00 pm: Back to hotel
9.00 am: Take Yeha Bus West Course Tour
-Hyupjae & Gumneung Beach
-O'sulloc Green Tea
-Teddy Bear Museum
9.00 am: Yongyeon Pond & Yongduam Rock
11.00 pm: Gimnyeong Maze Park
3.00 pm: Jungang Underground Shopping Center, Dongmun Market & Chilsung Street
9.00 am: Yeha Bus South Course Tour
10.00 am: Return the car
2.50 pm: Depart to Malaysia
I will share my full experience in the next blog. Annyeong~ 👸
I will share my full experience in the next blog. Annyeong~ 👸