Apart from climbing Hallasan and playing my bagpipes at the summit, I’d say the highlight of our Jeju trip was visiting Udo (Cow island). Don’t let the name fool you, we did not see any cows, nor did we manage to see how the shape of the island could be viewed as a cow… but this island is stunning!
From Jeju to Udo
We took the short 20 minute ferry from Jeju after climbing up Sunrise Rock (I was hanging like a dog and thought I might be in for a heart-attack after that climb!). What started as quite a dreary, overcast day opened up to glorious sunshine and sparkling turquoise water. Monique and I rented two bicycles and set off on our own to explore the island.
Within 5 minutes of the start of our cycle we came across our first coffee stop and went in to see what we could acquire. This is where we learnt that Udo is well known for its nuts. Peanuts to be exact. So we ordered a peanut ice-cream and peanut lattes. Being indecisive we also ordered a Hallabong ice-cream. Udo is also well known for its hallabong fruit; for the South Africans, it is like a little naartjie, for the rest, it is like a tangerine. Whatever you call it, it is delicious and makes a fantastic ice-cream.
What we did
So while we nursed our hangovers (read ‘Jeju Island pt 1 – Best damn burger ever!’ for more about that) with ice-cream and lattes, we could enjoy the the sun and watch the constant stream of tourists shooting past on scooters or electric bicycles or in buses. After sufficient recovery we pedaled onward to see what sights the island had for us.
It took about 3 hours to cycle around the whole island at a comfortable pace with frequent stops. There was a point where we thought we were going to be late for our ferry but we made it just in time! We took time to dip our toes in the ocean; perfect temperature. If we’d had more time I would have loved to take a swim!
There were also numerous photo opportunities around the island and each spot seemed more scenic than the last. A common feature are the statues of the woman divers of Jeju; Haenyeo. On Udo and Jeju it was these women who went out to fish for the food in what became a female dominated industry and represented a semi-matriarchal family structure. You can go to see them dive or even get a chance to learn how to dive with them but we didn’t have the time unfortunately!
Make sure you visit Udo!
A defining feature of Udo, and Jeju, is the colour of the water. It is such a stunning blue-turquoise that shimmers in the sunlight. No photoshop is needed to make any photos you take look like they belong in a travel magazine!
Despite the large number of people it was wonderfully calming to be on the island. We would go back there in a heartbeat if we could. We were so lucky with the weather and despite struggling through the morning, the effort was worth it! If you’re around Jeju I’d recommend visiting Udo, you won’t regret it!
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