Eco-Travel Tips Korea

5 Reasons to Explore Jeju by Bike

5 Reasons to Explore Jeju Island by Bike

With its beautiful beaches, amazing volcanic landscape and endless rows of tangerine fields, Jeju Island is a place that I think everyone should explore during their time in Korea. What a lot of people don’t know about Jeju Island is that it’s actually a prime cycling destination, too. Cyclists in Korea have been flocking here for years to take advantage of its wide coastal roads and tropical scenery. If you follow me on social media, you probably noticed (Insta overload) that Veeran and I spent a week cycling around the island during our summer holidays. We both agree that exploring Jeju by bike is the best way to do it! Here’s why,

You’ll Experience Every Corner

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Exploring Jeju by bike, you’ll really see every corner of the island. Most people who go to Jeju either hire a car or use public transport. They focus on the highlights and miss all the bits in between. When you cycle around the whole island, you go slowly enough to appreciate every single spot of coastline and to really experience the changing landscape. We discovered so many unknown places that we probably would never have found if we hadn’t cycled past them.

It’s Budget Friendly

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If you take the ferry to Jeju, like we did, you can take your bike on for free! Having our own bikes in Korea has been a great investment for us. It’s opened up so many free weekend activities and allows us to spend a lot less on public transport. Cycling is good for you, fun and 100% free! For the Jeju Fantasy Bike Path all you need to do is buy a passport (4,000 KRW – only if you want to collect stamps) and you’re on your way!

What if you don’t have a bike and don’t want to invest in one? There are various rental shops around the island hiring bikes for around 25,000 KRW per day. This might seem like a lot but, when you compare it to the absolutely extortionate price of hiring a car or scooter, it’s an okay deal. Plus, unlike cars and scooters, you don’t need to worry about the bureaucratic headache of obtaining an international driver’s license. Personally, I would just buy a bike and sell it on after the trip, or at the end of my contract.

Click here for my tips on how to save money travelling in Korea!

It’s Environmentally Friendly

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Serious kudos to Vee who took this pic with his phone! #skills #photographygoals

Going to Jeju towards the end of the high season really opened our eyes to the amount of damage that mass tourism is doing to the island. We were shocked to see so much rubbish in the ocean, on the beaches and around most of the main tourist sites. One of the things that Jeju is renowned for is its clean fresh air which, sadly, isn’t as clean as it used to be. Taking a car to Jeju when there are other options just contributes to this problem. Take a bike and leave nothing but tire marks instead.

It’s an Amazing Achievement

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Jeju Island is the largest island off the mainland of Korea. The cycle path that runs around it is 244km long. Personally, I think it’s an amazing achievement to be able to say that you’ve done that! Lying by the beach is all fun and well, but exploring an island by bike is even better!

One of the nicest things about cycling in Korea is the little bike passport that you get- I love being able to collect stamps for all the paths that I’ve done. It’s great for us to look back on and see just how many kilometres of Korea we have cycled!

It’s not as Difficult as you Think it is

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You might be thinking that 244km sounds like a lot, and it is. But, if you break it down overall several days, it’s totally manageable. We spent 5 days cycling with plenty of breaks to explore so no day was too difficult. Plus, as it’s a coastal route, it’s fairly flat. (I say fairly because, well, it wasn’t quite as flat as we thought it would be. There were a  few climbs but nothing mental!) Seriously, YOU CAN DO IT!

Honestly guys, exploring Jeju by bike is the absolute best way to do it! Save money and help the environment while seeing every spot of Korea’s volcanic paradise! Plus, you can achieve something at the same time! Sound like a no brainer to me- if you can find the time while you’re here you will not regret it!

Interested in checking out more of Korea’s bike paths? Don’t miss Yeongsangang and Seomjingang!

5 Reasons to Explore Jeju by Bike

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26 Comments

  • Reply
    Nikola
    29th August 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Hey,

    great article! I cycling around the island as well a couple of years ago. It was a great experience for me, too.

    I enjoyed your observations of mass tourism and pollution on this beautiful island. Jeju-do wants to become a carbon-free island by 2030. It means no more polluting cars, more renewable energy and (hopefully) less trash.

    Happy cycling around Korea!
    Nikola recently posted…Premium Express Bus Services Delayed, Not Operating Over ChuseokMy Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      29th August 2016 at 2:01 pm

      Hey Nikola, thanks so much!

      Wow, I did not know that, but I’m really pleased to hear it about Jeju-do wanting to become carbon free. There was honestly rubbish EVERYWHERE which really sucked. That’s definitely a step in the right direction for them.

      Happy cycles to you, too! 🙂

  • Reply
    Cate
    29th August 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Is am learning so much about South Korea from reading your blog! Would love to bike around
    Cate recently posted…Summer 2016 Travel Roundup!My Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      30th August 2016 at 9:10 am

      Aw that’s great, I’m glad to hear it! Biking in Korea is my favourite way to see the country 🙂

  • Reply
    Matt Collamer
    30th August 2016 at 9:23 am

    Awesome post! I really want to get down to Jeju before it gets cold…I think I’m running out of time. I love biking, so I this really does seem like the best way to see the island. I heard about the rubbish problems there, and I hope something can be done about that. Really enjoyed the read!

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      30th August 2016 at 9:55 am

      I’m pretty sure there should be (fairly) nice days up until the end of October! Hope you get the chance to visit one day- thanks for reading! 🙂

  • Reply
    Shirgie Scf
    31st August 2016 at 12:48 pm

    I don’t bike a lot but I love biking and I love the idea of biking throughout the island of Jeju. This coming Chuseok, I will be visiting (hopefully) Jeju Island. Its a group tour, so obviously I can’t do biking the whole 5 days that we’re on tour because we have itinerary, but there’s one free day for us, so I guess its the right time to bike. Do you know where we can actually rent a bike?

  • Reply
    The Toronto Seoulcialite
    31st August 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Awesome! That’s a lot of clicks to have counted. I’m super, super impressed! I like the idea of doing something like that, but laying on the beach sound pretty fab on this gray day in Seoul…

  • Reply
    Kristine Li
    1st September 2016 at 12:27 pm

    244km indeed sounds like a lot! May I ask, when you visit public places and had to go far away from your bike, were there areas to lock it up?

  • Reply
    Hanani
    1st September 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Ooohhh this is amazing! I would love to do a bike tour of this island. Love the idea of the passport.
    And the photos you uploaded are so so gorgeous!!

  • Reply
    Des
    2nd September 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Great post! I’ve been wanting to go to Jeju, but everyone seems to tell you it’s absolutely necessary to rent a car, which I don’t want to do (I’ve been putting off getting my international license anyway). This gives me hope.

  • Reply
    Samantha | There She Goes Again
    2nd September 2016 at 10:48 pm

    I honestly didn’t even know this was an option! (totally was planning on figuring out public transport or getting a license). I love this so much more, and being there in October– it’ll be such a nice temperature for it! Did you guys camp in between or find different places to stay at night?
    Samantha | There She Goes Again recently posted…The Chillhouse in Bali: A True RetreatMy Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      3rd September 2016 at 7:34 am

      Yeah the weather in October will be perfect for cycling! We planned our route before we left and pre-booked our accommodation. I’m actually in the process of writing an itinerary that I’ll probs post next week. August was far too hot for camping but we camped on our big bike trip in May and it was lovely!

  • Reply
    Alla Ponomareva
    3rd September 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Agreed! But what about those sweltering summer days when biking in the sun is killer…I’ve only visited Jeju while traveling by a rented car and while we were able to see most sights in just 3 days, I agree that taking it easy by bike will feel very relaxing, while getting a nice workout. How did you find the traffic? Were they courteous to you bikers?

  • Reply
    Emre
    4th September 2016 at 6:06 pm

    I would love to do this some time because I love cycling, but with a little kid and a wife who doesn’t cycle very often it is not very feasible at the moment. When we went to Jeju we rented a car and that was convenient too because not everything is located on the coast and the inland can be quite steep. For photography cycling is the way to go because as you said you’ll notice much more of the scenery.
    Emre recently posted…Kangfull Comics StreetMy Profile

  • Reply
    Wendy
    4th September 2016 at 7:27 pm

    That must have been one amazing experience. My son got turned with the beach we visited in Jeju (forgot rhe name but its a tourist attraction and has a high end hotel beside it) because of the dirt and smell the management was cleaning that time. Well… so Jeju isn’t as attractivr form us after that experience.
    Wendy recently posted…Of Laces and Pearls and Dainty Blooms @ 40My Profile

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      7th September 2016 at 10:10 pm

      Aw no, what a shame. I also found a lot of the touristy areas to be really dirty which is such a shame! They need to sort out the trash problem there 🙁

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    5th September 2016 at 9:53 am

    Thanks for sharing this post! I’ve daydreamed about going to Jeju and tried to wrap my head around how I’d get around. I appreciate that you were open and honest about the difficulty level – I haven’t been on a bike in 13 years, but you make me think I could do it! Gorgeous pics!! Gotta get my arse out there ^^

  • Reply
    Don
    5th September 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Sounds awesome. It would be harder for us to cycle around the island, my wife is not really good a riding Aa bike, as strange as that sounds, and with a toddler it would be quite a challenge.
    Surely something to keep in mind though.
    Ps your images are all not showing up for me

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      7th September 2016 at 10:08 pm

      That would definitely be challenging- hmmm not sure what the problem is with the images. Everything looks fine on my end!

  • Reply
    star lengas
    6th September 2016 at 11:28 am

    Jeju is on my list to visit before we leave Korea… I might not bike for 5 days but I wouldn’t mind a scenic ride, just to explore those hidden treasures and be more eco-friendly!

    • Reply
      Nicole Louise
      7th September 2016 at 10:08 pm

      Yay! Hope you have an amazing time when you visit 🙂

  • Reply
    CyclistPro
    10th September 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Wow! This is amazing place. I would definitely visit it one day by bike. 🙂
    CyclistPro recently posted…How To Choose The Best Cycling ComputerMy Profile

  • Reply
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