A paradise called ‘Jeju Island’

Jeju Island is one of the most captivating places in Korea. It is well-known for its scenic volcanic landscapes as well as beautiful beaches. A famous holiday destinations for travelers and honeymooners.

Over the years, i thought traveling to Jeju would cost a fortune. But then I realized that you can travel to Jeju on a budget.

There are over 200 flights to Jeju in a day. Most airlines fly like every 15mins to every 30mins to and from Jeju. I booked online at Korean Air when had their promo. It was around P1,600 for one way ticket from Gimpo Aiport. I know it was expensive compared to other airlines. But it’s Korean Air anyway, so fair enough. There are also guesthouses, pensions and hostels if you don’t want to stay in expensive hotels and resorts.

The most convenient way to explore Jeju is to rent a taxi for a day. It will cost more than traveling by bus but it will save time and you can visit more places. Jeju Island is said to be 3 or 4 times the size of Seoul. So if you cannot visit all places in Seoul in one day, how much more in Jeju, right?

If you’re wondering where to go in Jeju, check these places I visited for 2 days.

Day 1

1. Eco Land Theme Park

I think this is the only place where you can ride a train in Jeju. The train runs through Gotjawal forest. It will take around 1-2 hours to explore the place.

Admission Fee: ₩12,000


2. Jeju Stone Park

This is one of my favorite places in Jeju. Some people say ‘Those were just stones’. But for me they are more than stones. These stones came from Halla Mountain. In the museum, they play a 15-minute video about how Jeju Island was formed. It was an interesting story.

Admission Fee: ₩5,000




3. Jeju Mini Land

It’s like you’ve travelled around the world in Jeju. This park features miniature versions of all famous landmarks in the world.

Admission Fee: ₩9,000

4. Jusangjeolli Cliff

These are rock pillars formed from the lava of Halla Mountain

Admission Fee: ₩2,000



5. Jungmun Beach

This is one of the most famous beaches in Jeju. We just dropped by to take pictures.


6. Hello Kitty Island

There was a moment when I had to choose between the Teddy Bear Museum and Hello Kitty Island. I’m not a hello kitty fan but this one is on my bukcketlist.

Admission Fee: ₩12,000



7. Cafe Bomnal and Guesthouse

Calling all Korean Drama fans! This is the shooting location of Warm and Cozy. I’m glad I made it here. There’s also a coastal walk path nearby where you can feel the breeze and smell the ocean.



Day 2

1. Udo Island

Udo Island is what I call An Island in an Island. You will need atleast 4 hours to visit Udo.

Ferry cost: ₩5,500 per head; ₩21,600 for the car



2. Seongsan Ilchulbong

A visit to Jeju will never be complete without visiting the UNESCO World Heritage site, Sunrise Peak or the Seongsan Ilchulbong.

Admission Fee: ₩2,000


3. Seopjikoji

Seopjikoji is also another filming location of Korean Dramas.

Admission Fee: Free


4. Gimnyeong Maze Park

There are 2 maze parks in Jeju. Gimnyeong Maze park is the smaller one. It took us about an hour to find the way out. I’m not good at this. I almost want to give up. It was a dream come true to be lost in a maze.

Admission Fee: ₩3,300



I’d recommend our driver, Mr. Koh if you want to visit these places. He speaks English well, you won’t have problem communicating with him. He’s nice, good driver/tour guide and good photographer as well.

When you are in Jeju, never ever forget to try their abalone. Abalone porridge and abalone stew are my favorite.


Another famous thing in Jeju is the ‘Haenyeo’. They are the lady divers who dive into the ocean to gather different kinds of seafoods. Some of them aged over 80 years old. They are often called the Korean Mermaids. They dive even on a freezing winter.

There are other places I want to see in Jeju. I will surely find time to visit these island again some other season.

You might want to include Jeju in your itinerary on your Korea trip. It’s a place worth visiting. Happy travels!

Budget Travel Tips for your South Korea trip

Every time I go on a trip, I always get feedback from friends and family that I am rich and that I have a lot of money because I can afford to travel. I actually don’t like it because I am not rich, how I wish I am. Lol. Money is not everything you need when you travel. It also requires an open mind and a lot of courage. Well of course I need money to travel but I always travel on a budget. If Korea is your dream destination but there are things that are holding you back from traveling, these tips I will share might help you achieve your dream trip to the Land of the Morning Calm.

Be aware of the airline promos

It all starts with the promo fares. You can book a round trip ticket to Incheon or Busan for as low as P4,900. It does not include baggage allowance yet but you can just add later on. Cebu Pacific, Air Asia and Jeju Air have direct flights from Manila to Incheon. I follow their Facebook pages and I’m subscribed to newsletters for updates.

Find an affordable place to stay

So you already have a plane ticket. The next thing to do is to look for an affordable place to stay. There are a lot of guesthouses, pension houses and hostels in Korea which you can book from P800-P1,200 per night. If you don’t mind sharing a room with strangers, you may look for a dorm type room which is way cheaper. Plus you’ll get to meet new friends. I always book at Booking.com for rooms with free cancellations. What I like about it is that you’ll have to pay directly at the property upon check in. And by the way, I’m already a Genius member in Booking.com, which means I get additional discounts in some properties. I don’t know how I unlocked that stage but maybe because I booked 5 times in a year.  Well, loyalty really leads to discounts and perks.

Visa application

Applying for a visa can be very stressful especially for Filipinos, I understand it very well. You have to prepare all the documents, go to the bank and to your HR. Sometimes while your visa is on process, you can hardly sleep thinking what would be the result of the application. But Korea visa is probably one of easiest visa to apply for. It is free if you are applying for a tourist visa which is a maximum of 59 days of stay. You don’t have to pay thousands of pesos unlike other visas. But if you are going to apply through a travel agency, then you might have to pay for a service fee. No need to set appointments, just go to Korean Embassy to submit your papers. Easy, right? Just make sure all your documents are complete before going to the embassy.

One question I get a lot is about the how much show money do you need in your bank accounts. The Korean Embassy doesn’t really require an amount or a show money. You just have to have enough money to fund your whole trip. Check out their site for the requirements and updates.

Save up

How do I fund my trip? Months before I travel, I set aside a portion of my salary every payday and every day I put a small amount to my travel fund if I have a extra money. As little as P50-P100 per day.

Annyeong Korea!

Now you already have a plane ticket, booked a place to stay, you have your visa and your pocket money, it’s time now to fly to Korea. I always have a detailed itinerary every time I go to Korea. Shopping areas and amusement parks are not on my list. Those are the places where you’d most likely to spend huge amount of money. The fact that I’m not a shopaholic and I don’t enjoy those crazy rides,  I’d rather spend my money on food.

When it comes to food, it is usually expensive in popular areas such as Myeongdong, Gangnam and Dongdaemun. I always stay in Dongdaemun area, but I have found some affordable restaurants and cafe’s. You just have to explore the place. That’s what you are there for in the first place, to explore. You’ll find them in the not so crowded area and some narrow alleys. When I was in Myeongdong I had my favorite caramel macchiato in one of the cafe’s there which costs around₩5,000. But then, there’s this cafe near the places I stay in Dongdaemun, where I got the my caramel macchiato for only₩2,500. That’s exactly half the price. If you are really on a tight budget, there are what they call “lunch boxes” in convenience stores which cost around ₩2,500-₩5,000. It’s already a complete meal, including rice, meat, veggies and side dishes.

Going around Korea is very easy and convenient. You don’t have to take taxi all the time because their transportation system is very efficient. Most places can be reached by subway or bus. Use the T-money card instead of purchasing single journey tickets. You can save ₩100 each ride by using T-money.

Popular places in Korea, particularly in Seoul and Busan have no entrance fees. If there are, it’s only minimum amount usually from ₩1,000-₩5,000 except for theme parks which are more expensive.

Here are some popular places you can visit for free:



Gwanghwamun Square is just across the Gyeongbukgung. You can see the statues of King Sejong and Admiral Yi Sun Shin. You can also try wearing a Hanbok for free.


Ihwa Mural Village is in the area of Ihwa-dong. It is the most popular mural village in Seoul. You can find paintings on the walls of the houses and art installations.


Naksan Park is near the Ihwa Mural Village. You can see the Seoul Fortress Wall and a stunning view of the city.


Take a relaxing and romantic walk through the 10km long Cheonggyecheon Stream in downtown Seoul.


Bukchon Hanok Village is the most popular hanok village in Seoul. 


Namsangol Hanok Village is another hanok village in Seoul which you can visit for free. 


The Namsan mountain where the N Seoul tower is located is also entrance free unless you want to go to the observatory, you’ll have to pay for ₩10,000 admission fee. 


Yeouido Park and Yeouido Hangang Park is a recreational area near Han River. Don’t miss this place during spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.



Another place to catch the cherry blossoms on spring is on the 15km long Yangjae Stream. 


The Hall of Peace in Kyunghee University is an event’s place where a variety of events are being held regularly.


The K-star road in Gangnam is a must visit place for all K-pop fans out there. Most talent agencies of your favorite K-pop stars are located within the area. 



Haeundae Beach is the one of the most visited places in Busan. 


Gwangalli Beach is my favorite place in Busan especially at night. 


Gamcheon Culture Village is village of colorful houses and you’ll find painted murals all over the place. 


Unlike most temples in Korea which are located in the moutains, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is in northeastern coast part of Busan.


Dongbeak Island is an island in Busan where you can see both the Haeundae and Gwangalli beach. 


Nurimaru APEC House is situated in Dongbaek Island. You can go inside for free.


The Busan Tower is situated at Yongdusan Park. There are also more to see in the park such as the statue of Admiral Yi Sun Shin, a flower clock and stunning view of Busan.

Find out more about these places for you to be able to save more on your trip. Korea is not all about K-pop and K-drama, the country has a lot to offer.

Travelling to Korea doesn’t have to be that expensive.  But it still depends on how you travel. For me, travelling is about learning, not only about the places you see but also learning about yourself.

Check out https://maewanderer.com/2017/06/11/essential-tips-for-your-south-korea-trip/  for more travel tips. Enjoy exploring Korea as much as I do!


Places to visit in Gyeongju, South Korea

I always wanted to visit Gyeongju before but I couldn’t because of some reasons. One of them is that I’m not living in Korea. I just travel from time to time for a short vacation and I only have limited time to visit places. But now, on my 5th trip to Korea, I finally made it to the city of Gyeongju in North Gyeongsang Province. Thanks to our Korean friend who drove us all the way to the city. Upon entering the toll gate, I’ve noticed the traditional-styled buildings including the toll gate itself, gas stations, restaurants and others.

Gyeongju is the Silla Kingdom capital of Korea. One of the three Kingdoms of Korea. It is also a place where you  can find several UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Here’s the list of the places I visited in Gyeongju which you might want to check out if you are planning to visit the city anytime soon.

Daereungwon Tomb Complex


Daereungwon is where you’ll see the large royal tombs of the kings and nobles of the Silla Kingdom. They are large that they look like hills.


The park has a really peaceful ambiance plus they play soothing music which will make you feel relax while strolling around the area.


The photo above is the entrance to Cheonmachong. The crown and others relics can be found inside as shown in the photos below.


Cheomseongdae is said to be the oldest existing astronomical observatory in Asia. It is a star-gazing tower, unfortunately the place is closed at that time.



On our way to the Anapji Pond, we passed by Seokbinggo or the Stone Ice Storage.


Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond

The Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond, formerly known as Anapji pond was a part of the palace complex of the ancient Silla. The place is open until 10pm, so you might want to save the night for Anapji to get some night shots of the beautifully lit up pond.



Gyochon Traditional Village

Gyochon Traditional Village is small hanok village which allows you to look into the life of the famous Choi clan.


It was spring and I enjoyed walking around the village with beautifully bloomed flowers lined up in the streets.

All places above are close to each other. They can be reached by foot but I suggest to rent a bicycle because the place is huge. There’s a bicycle rental near the Daereungwon.

Bulguksa Temple

Lastly, the Bulguksa Temple, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a home to many cultural relics.



That’s it for my Gyeongju trip this year. I am still hoping to visit the city again because of two things, first, I was not able to see Cheomseongdae and the second one is I want to see the night view of Wolji pond.

Let me know you have questions or share your photos and stories if you’ve already been to Gyeongju.

[Jeonju] Time Travel to Joseon Dynasty


Jeonju is a city in South Korea and the capital of North Jeolla Province. It is famous for the Jeonju Hanok Village which is the largest hanok village in South Korea and they call it Slow City. Upon entering the village, you will really feel like you have been transported back to Joseon Dynasty.

Jeonju Hanok Village has over 800 traditional styled houses and buildings including hanok guesthouses, cafes, restaurants and shops.



You’ll find Hanbok rental shops everywhere. Prices ranging from ₩10,000-₩25000. You’ll get to choose the style and the color you want plus they will fix your hair and put on some accessories.


One of the places in Hanok Village is the Gyeonggijeon Shrine. It holds the portrait of founder of the Joseon Dynasty, King Tae-jo. Taking pictures is prohibited inside the museum so it’s best to go down to Jeonju to see it yourself.




I stayed in PinetreeView Hanok Guesthouse inside the hanok village. They offer free breakfast and free use of Hanok. Yes, it’s free. But the thing is, nobody will assist you in putting on the hanbok. I went out early the next morning to go to Jeonjuhyanggyo Confucian School. The advantage of having free hanbok in the guesthouse is that you can wear them anytime.




I was able to witness a ceremony in the Confucian School. I didn’t understand a thing but I am glad to I was there and it felt like I was part of Joseon Dynasty.




If you are thinking where to eat the best bibimbap in Korea, well, it’s in Jeonju. It has a unique taste that you cannot find in other bibimbaps. Though I don’t know what it is but it’s definitely the best bibimbap I’ve tasted. The food in Jeonju is quite affordable compared to other cities.


Too bad I stayed in Jeonju for only one night. I should have stayed longer. Looking forward to visiting this place again.

Thanks for dropping by.  If you’re interested in exploring Jeonju or if you need more details,  just let me know. I’d be more than willing to assist you. Annyeong!