South Korean islands: Half the price, double the fun for young travelers
BETWEEN the months of June and September, both domestic and international travelers aged 28 and under can enjoy special discounts of up to 50 percent when heading to South Korea’s many islands.
The initiative to boost youth sea trips by South Korea’s Oceans and Fisheries Ministry will involve 77 sea routes operated by 51 firms and plied by some 121 ships. Those who qualify can expect weekend discounts of 20 percent and 50 percent on weekdays.
To enjoy these discounts, the under 28-year-olds will first have to purchase a discount coupon for around US$5 (KRW4,900), which will then be applied to ferry tickets.
If you’re heading to South Korea and plan on doing a tour of its stunning islands, the discount coupon is a must.
You can also purchase an annual discount pass for a slashed cost of around US$19 (KRW19,900). Check out all the promotions at island.haewoon.co.kr.
Where are the best islands?
According to CNN, if you attempted to travel one South Korean island every day, it would take more than nine years to cover all 3,358 islands.
And while we’re sure South Korea will uphold its ferry discount promo for a while, you may not have nine years spare, so get inspired and get planning.
Here are some of the most culturally immersive and beautiful islands off the coast of the Korean peninsula.
Jeju Island is the biggest island of the Korean Peninsula. The moderate temperatures lure in tourists all year round.
Visitors can climb the active Hallasan volcano which dominates most of the island, explore the Seongeup Folk Village and wander around Jeju Loveland, an adult-themed sculpture park.
You can fly straight to Jeju from Seoul via Gimpo airport which lays on frequent direct flights to the island.
Seonjaedo means “an island where a divine fairy came down and danced”. Magical, right?
At low tide, the ocean reveals a sandbar connecting to the island of Mok. There’s not a whole lot to do on Mok, but the walk is worth the experience.
Seonjaedo also has two bridges connecting it to Daebudo and Yeongheungdo islands, so it’s essentially a portal to an island-hopping adventure.
The island is located off the western coast of South Korea in Incheon, making it easy to reach. Either take a bus and taxi, subway and taxi or hire a car for a road trip. Whichever you choose, you’ll be on the island within two hours.
The largest island within Wando County, famous for its Gim, the moreish edible seaweed, and for producing golf champion K.J Choi.
Wando is a real explorers paradise, whether it’s summiting the 644-meter Sangwang Peak, fishing or building sandcastles on the beach.
Wando is off the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula, so quite a distance from Seoul but there are plenty of ways to get there.
Take a bus, train, car, plane or ferry. Check out your options at Rome2Rio.com.
Gegeodo is around the same distance as Jeju from the mainland, just a lot smaller.
The island is known for its rugged coastline, jagged cliffs and nature trails. Perhaps most well-known and traveled to for its exceptional fishing.
From Seoul, take a bus, train or car down to the coastal city of Mokpo and then jump on the Namhae Star ferry to reach the island.
Boasting South Korea’s only coral beach, towering black lava cliffs and enchanting lighthouse surrounded by exotic flora, Udo Island is truly unique.
Often described as a hidden gem, the island offers tranquility and a snapshot of rural Korean life.
It is also famous for the haenyeo or “sea women” who free dive in the open ocean for abalone and shellfish.
The easiest way to get to Udo is from Jeju island by ferry. Get timetables and fares here.