What to see in South Korea
Tourist attractions Jeju Island
90 kilometers off the coast of South Korea, in the Korea Strait, lies the idyllic island of Jeju. This World Heritage-listed volcanic island is the country's most popular tourist destination and is famous for its lava tubes, volcanoes, pristine beaches and wonderful landscapes, earning the island the title "Hawaii of Korea." Jeju is dominated by the country's highest mountain, the massive 1,950-meter-high Hallasan volcano, which last erupted 5,000 years ago.It receives a large number of tourists, who travel here for its intact natural landscapes, white sand beaches and wildlife. This makes its airport one of the busiest in the world.Getting in touch with nature and hiking are the main leisure activities on the island, and visitors can do so by leisurely strolling along its coastal paths and the Jeju Olle Trail or watching the sunrise from Seongsan Crater.Other highlights of a trip to Jeju Island are its huge lava tubes, such as the Manjanggul Lava Tube, which is large enough for visitors to walk inside its dark caverns and admire the stalactites and stalagmites formed from the lava.Evidence of volcanic activity on Jeju Island is everywhere and perhaps its most striking manifestation can be seen in the impressive rock pillars of the Jusangjeolli cliff, formed by lava falling into the sea, creating seemingly arched columns of hardened lava.Other attractions worth visiting on Jeju Island are the beautiful Jeongbang Waterfalls and the numerous museums dedicated to a wide variety of topics, such as the Teddy Bear Museum and the Trick Eye Illusion Museum.The islanders have had quite a tumultuous history and, in the late 1940s, the island was the scene of an anti-communist campaign by the South Korean government, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 10% of the population of the island. The island has a number of unique traditions that still endure today, such as free diving for oysters, a job done by many local women on the island, who dive without oxygen tanks to reach the best oysters and shellfish on the island.Jeju Island is also famous for its mandarin orange production. Islanders are conscious of preserving the island's rich habitats and biodiversity and there are goals to make Jeju carbon-free in the coming decades in order to continue to accommodate the growing number of visitors while preserving the precious natural environment. A holiday to Jeju Island provides the opportunity to explore a rich and unique environment within South Korea.