Getting there & away
Taxis charge W2000 for the first 2km or so, while a 15km journey costs around W10, 000. You can hire a taxi driver for around W100, 000 a day (plus meals and lodging), but the price goes up to W150, 000 for an English-speaking driver. Agree on the route and negotiate a price beforehand.
If you’re a dedicated and fit cyclist, you can hire a bicycle and pedal yourself around the island (250km) in four or five days. Some coastal and city roads have cycleways alongside. Don’t forget rain gear.
Buses radiate from the terminals in Jeju-si and Seogwipo, covering most of the island with services running round the coast road every 20 minutes. Some cross-island buses also run every 20 minutes. Carry an ample supply of W1000 notes as changing a higher note can cause difficulties. One problem is that buses don’t always go all the way to the beach or tourist site, so that some legwork is necessary. Also you must always check with the driver where the bus is going as not all the buses to some destinations follow the same route. Ask for a copy of the current bus timetable from a tourist information centre.
Since the sights and activities are scattered all over the island, it almost makes sense to rent a car. Many road signs are in English and the hire cost is reasonable. The problem is that, despite speed traps and road humps, driving techniques on the island are only slightly less mad than on the mainland. Still if you’re brave enough to give it a go, there are four car-hire companies with desks at Jeju-si airport. Don’t pay the official rates as they are invariably discounted 60% or more, except during the real summer peak from mid-July to mid-August. Expect to pay around W46, 000 a day for a modest car plus around W12, 000 a day for insurance, although the exact amount depends on the excess (the amount a hirer must pay in case of an accident).
To rent a car in Korea, government regulations insist hirers must have an international drivers licence and be 21 years old. Car-rental agencies include the following:
Avis (1544 1600; www.avis.co.kr)
Jeju Rent (747 3301; email@example.com)
Kumho/Hertz (751 8000; www.kumhorent.com)
Ferries sail between Jeju-si and four cities on the peninsula, but flying is usually a better option. Ask about student and pensionerdiscounts on the boats.
Jeju Air (1599 1500; www.jejuair.net) is a new no-frills airline – with staff outfitted in orange T-shirts – which started up in June 2006 with flights between Jejudo and Gimpo airports priced at W55, 000 – W20, 000 lower than its two giant rivals. The company operates a new, quiet 70-seat propeller plane.