If you love anything and everything Korean, you've definitely fantasised about going on that perfect Hallyu wave themed holiday
You probably think that going to Seoul is the only way that you'll be able to make all your dreams come true but we're here to tell you that that's so not the case!
Here's how going to Jeju Island can make sure you check off every single element on your ideal Hallyu-cation wishlist:
P.S: If you're not one of us and have never heard of the term 'Hallyu wave' before, it refers to how Korean entertainment and culture has become increasingly popular all over the world.
1. "OMG maybe I'll bump into my bias hehe!" ;)
You know what? You just might! Many of your favourite K-pop stars actually hail from Jeju Island and try to make trips there as often as they can. Including but not limited to:
We're in no way condoning or suggesting that you should stalk them and make a nuisance of yourself (don't be a sasaeng fan lah okay?). But if luck is on your side, you may very well just get to meet some of them IRL. And if not, hey at least you'll be able to say that you've been to their hometown.
2. "I must see where (insert your favourite K-drama or K-pop MV here) was filmed with my own eyes."
With its picturesque and breath-taking natural beauty, it's no wonder that Jeju Island has played host to many a on-location shoot for world famous K-dramas and K-pop music videos.
'Secret Garden', 'Boys Over Flowers' and 'Princess Hours' are just some of the top-rated K-dramas that have been filmed at The Seaes Hotel & Resort.
It has become such a popular stop for K-drama fans that they've put up dedication photo collages of each drama in the lobby. There are also screenshots of specific scenes at the exact place they were shot so you'll be left with no doubt of its authenticity.
Location: 2563-1 Jungmun-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do.
Dae Jang Geum/Jewel In The Palace is the OG crazy popular K-drama that only true fans have fond memories of watching way back in the day when no one really bothered about Asian TV shows. The torture of not having anyone to share the obsession with was too real!
You can relive all your feels on Jeju Island where some pretty significant scenes were filmed such as at Seongeup Folk Village where Jang-Geum studied and honed her skills in the field of medicine. Other filming locations that double up as popular tourist haunts include Oedolgae Rock, Jinjigul Cave, Hyeopjae Beach and Seongeup-ri Ranch.
So what do Big Bang's 'We Like 2 Party', f(x)'s '4 Walls' and Zico ft. Babylon's 'Boys and Girls' have in common? Yep, you guessed it, they were all filmed at various locations around Jeju Island.
Imagine how cool it would be to listen to the songs while you're physically standing in the very places they took place! Time to re-watch those MVs like crazy and see if you can figure out where they are. #challengeaccepted
3. "Haiyo there's so much I wanna do, not enough time la..."
You can kill a few birds with one stone by spending the day at the internationally renowned KCON convention. For the first time ever last year, it was held in Korea and Jeju Island was chosen as the host region. Though most know it as an annual K-pop convention, in reality it's more than just that.
Besides live performances from popular K-pop groups (Block B, SHINHWA and MAMAMOO just to name a few!), the convention also features cultural activities such as K-dance classes, K-food tasting, K-beauty tutorial sessions, and special Jeju cultural experiences. It's like a one stop shop for everything Korean! If you weren't already a Korean expert, you'll totally leave as one.
Does "so much food, so little time" sound like a familiar dilemma? Especially in Korea where all the food is just so yums! Well then, keep your fingers crossed that the KOREAT Food Festival will be held again this year because that's where you'll be able to eat all kinds of different types of Korean food.
The 'Top 50' ranked restaurants of the year all operated their own food trucks where some of the best chefs in the country cooked their highly acclaimed dishes, leaving the public in awe at just how amazing Korean food can be.
4. "Jeju really has the best K-BBQ of all time meh?"
You know that one place you always go to for K-BBQ because it's the best you've ever had? You're gonna forget all about it once you get a taste of Heukdwaeji (Jeju black pork BBQ). When even Koreans tout it as the best K-BBQ in the world and are willing to travel for it, you know it's serious business.
Apparently it's the particular breed of pig used that makes it so good because its meat is more juicy and tender plus its skin has a rich, non-oily taste. It's so flavorful that it's usually cooked and served without any prior marinating, just some light seasoning and the usual K-BBQ style dipping sauces.
5. "EAT. ALL. THE. SEAFOOOOOODD!"
If you're a seafood fan then Jeju Island will be your ultimate paradise with its bountiful supply of fresh seafood courtesy of the haenyeos (female diver). A profession unique to Jeju, these women who average at around 60 years old, dive up to 20m below sea level without any breathing equipment to catch various types of seafood.
These are loads of ways to enjoy these gems of the sea:
Jeonbok-dolsotbap (abalone hot stone pot rice): Abalone innards are fried together with rice inside a hot stone pot before being topped with sweet pumpkin, jujube and thick slices of abalone. To properly enjoy it in all its glory, you should first scoop the rice out of the pot to eat separately. Then, pour some hot water into the bowl and cover it. Let the leftover rice stuck at the bottom infuse into the water and form nurungji (scorched rice) to be eaten at the end of your meal.
Seafood ramen: A particular roadside stall is the only place you'll be able to grab a bowl of this particular type of seafood ramen. What sets it apart from regular old instant ramen is its rich, milky seafood broth. The people who run the stall actually fish for the seafood themselves so you'll get different varieties of seafood in your ramen depending on their catch-of-the-day.
Location: 2530 Aewol-ri, Aewol-eup (24 Aewollo 1-gil).
But the best way to truly enjoy just how scrumptious Jeju Island's freshly caught seafood can be, eat it raw! Nothing even comes close to how sweet and succulent they can be.
6. "How come Koreans always go to Jeju for their wedding photoshoot/honeymoon ah?"
Because it's pretttyyyy! Here are some ways you can fully appreciate how gorgeous Jeju Island can be, especially in autumn:
Hop on the Forest Train at Ecoland Theme Park that will take you on a journey through Gotjawal forest. You'll set off from the Main Station and make stops at Eco Bridge Station, Lake Side Station, Picnic Garden Station, and Lavender, Green Tea & Rose Garden Station. There are trains every 8 to 12 minutes so feel free to hop on and off as you wish so that you can take your time enjoying what each station has to offer.
Location: 1278-169, Beonyeong-ro, Jocheon-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do.
Every autumn, Jeju Island is transformed into a glittering, silvery wonderland when the grass changes colour with the new season. The sight of them swaying in Jeju's famed strong winds is said to be the trademark image of autumn in Jeju.
Find out more about this phenomenon and where the best places to view it are here.
7. "Ish, why all the concert tickets so expensive one?" :(
If going to a real concert is a little out of your budget, how about a virtual one instead? Just look at how into it that crowd is! Clearly, it's just as good as the real thing. With state of the art holographic technology, the PLAY K-POP Museum really takes things to a whole other level and makes you feel like you're actually at a live performance. :O
Besides hologram concerts, you'll also be able to "time travel" to meet the K-pop stars from the 70s, 80s and 90s, go on a dreamy virtual date with a K-pop star, realise your secret fantasies of becoming a K-pop idol yourself, and SO much more! #OMGMINDBLOWN
Location: 15, Jungmungwangwang-ro 110 Beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do.
8. "Time to stock up on all my fav Korean beauty products YAAASS can save on shipping fee!"
Confirm Innisfree is at the top of your list kan? Their all-organic cosmetic products are definitely part of your everyday beauty routine. You'll be happy to know that their flagship store, Innisfree Jeju House, not only has all their usual products that you'll be buying in bulk but also some exclusive only-available-there stuff.
There's also a cool little DIY station where you'll be able to make your own organic green tea, tangerine or volcanic pore soap. Check out this video to see how simple and fun the process is:
Location: 425, Sinhwayeoksa-ro, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do.
K, jom let's all go to Jeju Island together!
Luckily for us all, we don't have to resort to such drastic measures thanks to Air Asia's currently ongoing promotion.
Booking period: 20 June 2016 - 26 June 2016
Travel period: Now - 3 January 2017
Fare: All-in one way from RM429
You only have a week to take advantage of this deal so don't miss out and BOOK NOW!