This island, located off the southern tip of the Korean pensiula, is a famous vacation spot (and honeymoon spot) for South Koreans. It’s a volcanic island and home to the tallest mountain in the Republic of Korea–Hallasan (or Halla Mountain).
Of course, I haven’t been to Jeju; again it’s on my “to do” list for Korea. But I’ve enjoyed learning more about it while researching this post.
Because of its isolation from mainland Korea, Jeju has developed some distinctive characteristics. It has its own culture and language that are different from South Korean. One aspect of the culture is that while Korea generally has a patriarchal family system, Jeju has a matriarchal family structure.
The most famous example of this matriarchal system are the 해녀 (haenyeo, or “sea women”). These women earned their living by free diving (without scuba gear) to harvest marine life. They would dive year-round, even when the water was cold. Modernization has meant there are fewer divers. But you can still see a demonstration if you go the Haenyeo Museum, located on Jeju. You can learn more at the Korean Tourism site: www.visitkorea.or.kr/ena/SI/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=309618
Jeju also has: beautiful waterfalls, Seongeup Folk Village, incredible beaches, Hallasan National Park, caves, and more.
You can learn more by checking out the official Jeju Tourism site at: http://english.tour2jeju.net/main/
And the Jeju pages on the Korea tourism site at: http://asiaenglish.visitkorea.or.kr/ena/SI/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=309385
I’d suggested just checking out the above links to view the beautiful photos of the island and all it has to offer.