Jeju is visa free for Filipinos

How I made it to Jeju Island with no visa? Here’s a rundown of what you must expect when visiting the ‘Hawaii of South Korea!’


I was given a 200 page travel book about Jeju Island a year ago. Out of curiosity, I skimmed through some parts that caught my interest. A year after, I get to visit the places and tasted the same delicacies I saw in that guide book. Here are the highlights of my 3 Days and 2 Nights Jeju Island trip!

After travelling to South Korea’s famous Jeju Island, I got quite a number of inquiries on how I made it there without visa. In fact, currently in the Philippines, there’s no direct flight yet going to this island so it means you need to go to Busan or Seoul first before flying off once again to Jeju. Landing on any other part of South Korea also means needing a visa. Sounds quite a hassle right?

Here’s the thing! I made it through a chartered flight. Occasionally, some travel agencies provide chartered flights for selected vacation seasons. It means acquiring a travel tour package can easily bring you to this graciously nice destination. My friend and I got the ‘Mystical Jeju’ package. On the other hand, I get to meet other passengers who just came with us through this flight and got their own itineraries with them. Some are backpackers.

DEPARTURE 

We checked in about an hour and a half before the flight. Those taking this chartered flight are the only passengers at the airport during that time so there’s no hassle at all. Aside from that, we have a designated check-in counters exclusive for us so it didn’t take long for us to bring in our luggage. This is via Jeju Air!

The only hassle part is when I was in the immigration. The person-in-charge thinks that I am too young to travel alone. I am only twenty years old. She asked for my previous passport, travel package accommodation, work ID and even asked how much money I have with me for this tour. I spent about 10-15 mins which never happened with me before. Luckily, when it was declared as a ‘group tour,’ I get to pass this area! Just be confident to answer the questions.


Compared to my previous travels, traveling to Jeju might require you to answer numerous sheets of paper regarding taxes, diseases, contact persons etc. So it’s highly suggested that you hand carry your documents and prepare them ahead. You are required to answer them aboard so it will be easier if your papers are all accessible.


ARRIVAL

I’ve seen this tower quite a few times through variety shows but seeing this right in front of me somehow blows my mind away. It’s the real deal! Adding the cold that winter gives, I am really in Jeju Island! Convenience wise, if you have an international driver’s license, you can rent a car directly at the airport. Public transportation is also accessible in this island.


“혼저 옵서예” (Honjeo Obseoye) is a way of saying ‘Welcome’ in Jeju dialect. In South Korea, Jeju has a difficult form of dialect compared to other provinces. At first, I was really afraid that I will not be able to communicate with the locals properly. Luckily, they were already accustomed with the commonly used words from those in Seoul so I got to exchange a little conversation with the locals.


WHAT’S UP FOR ME TO SEE IN JEJU?

Your Jeju Island tour will never be complete without seeing Hareubang. It’s actually impossible not to see one. It literally means ‘Old Grandfather’ and plays a big role in the history of Jeju Island. Aside from their belief that it protects the island, there’s a folk story about him. It’s statue made of volcanic rock and it comes in different sizes. You can even see these statues outside of restaurants and shops.


Most of the time, Jeju has been showcased through dramas and films with how blessed their seas and beaches are. However, looking at the ‘urban’ side of it, it’s still comparable to the busy districts of Metro Manila. I am surprised with how progressive the city is and how peaceful the island houses are just a few minutes away from the main road. Aside from that, Koreans believe that this is the cleanest area in South Korea so the price of water here is higher, that’s according to our tour guide.


SHOPPING

My friends in Manila keeps scaring me that there aren’t that much finds in Jeju since it’s a province. Well, they’re all wrong! Good stuffs are just right in front of our hotel. Stores are all over the the place, it’s impossible not to find anything you need. Since I want to try the local stuffs, I often buy outside the stores, those that are sold by local vendors down the road are much cheaper and fresher.


Right in front of The Shilla Duty free is this cafe and I enjoyed the view beside the window! Somehow, it feels like I am from a Korean drama waiting for my ‘oppa’ to arrive. Kiddin.’ Coffee shops are the real deal after shopping, trust me on this.


 FOOD

This is something I am really excited to talk about. Have you seen a mussel in a size of a hand? In Jeju, there are lots and sometimes it’s in your buffet table waiting for you. Shrimps also come in that size! Not to mention, my favorite new favorite Korean dish, in fact a side dish named Ojingeot (fermented squid side dish), which I didn’t bother to take a photo because i am digging it to the brim. They also serve the freshest seafood which Jeju boasts about. For this season, you can also try dried seafood like fishes and squid.



Eating Samgyupsal traditionally in Manila is already my thing but trying Unlimited Bulgogi wraps is another experience I’ll always remember and talk about this when this island is the topic. They are not joking about their marinades and it’s hard to beat Koreans when it comes to barbecues and meat.

Jeju Island is also famous for the black pig but if you are on the ‘budgetarian’ side. It’s really expensive. We had no chance to try one as well since there were only a few restaurants with black pigs on their menu.



I am fan of this green siren brand and I love to try it when I’m abroad. Particularly on this trip, I learned that they have a special menu for Jeju Island exclusively. This Tangerine Cinnamon Omija Tea is a special for this season. They occasionally change the special menu so make sure to try it even once when you visit this place. We know how expensive this brand is and it’s about double the amount of other brands. The fact that omija (five flavored berry) is already a new taste for me, the addition of Tangerine and Cinnamon made it a totally new experience.


Of course, South Korea trip will never be complete without street food and banana milk. After our tour, my friend and I still go out to check on local shops. Despite all the buffets we had the whole day, we still managed to buy fish cakes down the road. I love the ‘Ajumma’ who sells there ’cause she tries to talk with us in Chinese as she mistaken us as Chinese nationals. We talked with her in Korean and so she gave us extra sticks of fish cakes for free! See what having basics of Korean can bring you? I am seriously proud of myself that time!


ADVENTURE

Got tricked? Nope. Trick them out! We visited the Sumukwon Theme Park which is made up of Trick Eye Museum, Ice Museum and VR Playbox.


To get the most of my ‘like a local’ feel, we had the chance to wear Hanbok and create our own Kim (the laver used when wrapping kimbap). We were introduced to Ginsaeng also, the ones used popularly for medicinal purpose. Lastly, the tour around Songeup Folk Village gave me the best introduction to Jeju’s rich history. It’s a preserved site where you can walk into the old times and see houses made of rock.


Nature wise, we run around Ecoland and this is where this photo was taken. It’s a huge nature park where you can see vast amount of flora. I got to take a lot of flowers as my background in Camellia Hill too! We also visited Mt. Halla, the highest peak of South Korea. The Eodolgae Rock, a well-known shooting location for Dae Jang Geum is the smallest island in Jeju having only 10 meters circumference. Lastly, we headed to the Seongsan Ilchulbong, a famous crater with a crown-like structure perfect for those who wishes to see the view of Jeju’s sea! It’s the cover photo of this blog!


To complete our experience, Jeju Island is well-known for tangerine and while on the road, it’s impossible not to sight houses with Tangerine bearing trees. It’s a must to try! If you aren’t coming on a winter. You can buy the ones that come in sealed and dried packages. There are tangerine vitamins as well! I had the chance to do the picking with my own hands! Yes, it’s as cold as ice and you can’t really pick it without removing your gloves because the branches are more solid than it seems.

We never visited any beach since it’s a winter but I had the best of what Jeju could offer to its tourists. Experience, shopping, food and hospitality. Name it, they have it. Since Jeju is visa free for Filipinos, take this chance and seize the moment. I am looking forward to read on your experiences about this island! No matter what the season is, I am sure that Jeju got something in store for you!

Our tour guide is not your ordinary type of just giving directions. We played during our road trip, she talks a lot about the place that we’ll be visiting, made us try new stuffs and even talked about she met her boyfriend! I can’t remember any dull moment with her! The whole of my tour is sponsored by Korea Tourism Organization Manila as one of the best Wow Korea Supporter.

You may visit Korea Tourism Organization Manila for their partnered travel agencies and promos. As well, I personally would like to thank Join en Joy Korea for their awesome tour guides and hassle free travel! 


23 Comments

  1. This is an amazing post! Thank you so mich ! A big help for first time traveler in Jeju!!!

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  2. Thanks for your informative story and tips! Me and Amore are planning to visit the island next summer and hope we can also collect many awesome stories along the way.

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    1. I heard they have the best beaches in Korea! I am excited to read about your experiences on this island! ♥

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  3. Anlaki ng tahong girl!
    Jeju Island - mahal kasi kasi ticket going there.

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  4. Unforgettable experience. Honestly, I was more interested with the food though, especially the seafood That mussel looked like it was on steroids! Yummy with butter and lots of garlic. I would like to try ganjang gejang, too.

    Happy traveling,
    Ivan
    https://www.ivankhristravels.com

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  5. Thanks for sharing this one! I really wanted to go to JEju someday. Hello Kitty museum is there!

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  6. Wow! I miss Korea, we haven't visited Jeju when we went to Seoul

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  7. I really want to visit Jeju someday!! Thanks for sharing this post! It's really helpful

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  8. This made me miss Korea! I lived there for two years yet I haven't visited Jeju. I need to visit soon.

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  9. It's pretty hard when you don't have your documents on hand, and sometimes snapshots of them on your camera is not entertained by the immigration officers when you are questioned. anyways, I am liking what Jeju has to offer, and that volcanic rock grandpa made me remember moana for some reason... I wanna go though cause of the food :D

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    1. I thought I'll be escorted out of the airport that night HAHAHA.

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  10. I want to visit Jeju someday with my family! Nice pictures.

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  11. Tnx Mikay! Looove Korean food and Jeju Is. is on my bucket list!

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    1. Korean food in Jeju is the best! Even the street food, it's really yummy!

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  12. Hi Mikhaela! That's so kind of you sharing your experience. However, gusto ko din sana malaman how much you spent..hihi..😊

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    1. Nung nagvisit ako sa jeju, winter so prices are cheaper then we had a travel agency to fix our flights. the tour package is $699 for 3 days and two nights inclusive of everything pero I spent additional 10k pesos for coffee (since sobrang ginaw that we need to drink coffee na every now and then haha). Hence, the pasalubongs ♥

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  13. Thank you for sharing! God bless!

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  14. wow! a really nice place to visit !

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  15. Will surely add this to my bucket list but first I have to renew my passport. Love to see Korea too!

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  16. It's amazing that Filipinos can now easily come to Jeju without going to Incheon and transferring again. This is a great feature!

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