Also known as the ‘Land of Morning Calm’ due to its mesmerising natural beauty comprising scenic high mountains and spectacular ocean views that welcome sunrise from the Pacific Ocean, South Korea is the quite literally the lamp of the east, as mentioned by the great Indian poet and Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore. With the explosion of K-Pop and various successful global Korean brands such as Samsung and Hyundai, Korea definitely brings more light to the East in terms of global soft power and technological leadership.
Adding further to that light is the new architectural icon, Jeju Shinhwa World, a new urban integrated resort on Jeju island launched in April 2018. This resort – built in collaboration with TUBAn, Korea’s hugely influential animation studio that has produced critically acclaimed cartoons such as Larva, Wingcle Bear, Buck, and Oscar – brings new excitement to Jeju island, famous for its atmospheric volcanic lava tubes (conduits formed by flowing lava that moves beneath the hardened surface of lava flow). Set amidst Jeju’s rugged beauty, this contemporary integrated resort offers simple but essential escapade yearned by weary urbanites.
“Jeju Shinhwa World is an integrated resort enveloped by pristine beaches and centred by Mount Halla, containing a theme park catering for the young and thrill seekers, an array of shopping outlets, streets of great food wonders and married with excellent hotels designed for rest and relaxation,” shares Senior Vice President of Landing International Mr David Hoon. This integrated resort offers an impressively diverse selection of accommodations consisting of Landing Resort for convention attendees, Marriott Resort World for business travellers, Somerset Serviced Residence for family vacationers and Four Seasons Resort & Spa for well-heeled holiday-makers. Travellers are bound to find the choice of accommodation that is right for them when they come to Jeju and stay at Jeju Shinhwa World.
Embracing cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art architecture, Jeju Shinhwa World co-exists in perfect harmony with the island’s natural wonders through the balance of modern day construction with the preservation of local culture and heritage. Surrounded by culture, heritage, and natural wonders, Jeju Shinhwa World’s presence complements Jeju island’s tourism offerings.
Travellers to Jeju now have a wider option in terms of accommodation and activities, especially with the opening of the exciting Jeju Shinhwa World Theme Park, which is the icing on the cake.
A Unique Space That Incorporates YG and GD’s Styles
Featuring G-Dragon’s café ‘Untitled, 2017’ and a lounge pub bowling club “AC.III.T” where G-Dragon was involved in planning and designing via his brand ‘Peaceminusone’, YG Republique offers the latest K-fashion to its fans. This complex also contains three restaurants: a meat place called ‘Three-Way Butcher’ that specialises in grilled Jeju black pork, the ‘3 Fisherman’s Wharf’ serving Jeju’s freshest seafood, and ‘3 Birds’, a café popular for its delicious desserts and European-style brunch menus. On top of that, a souvenir store called ‘All That YG’ retails various merchandise related to YG artists catered for K-pop fans worldwide (YG is a famous South Korean record label, by the way).
Jeju Shinhwa World Theme Park
An Endlessly Captivating World of Attractions
Comprising 15 rides and attractions, themed exhibits and spectacular live performances make Jeju Shinhwa World Theme Park a huge highlight when visiting Jeju. To top it off, it will also be launching the Shinhwa Water Park soon, which will be the largest water park in Jeju, equipped with an infinity pool, a wave pool, water slides and kids pool.
This park also has plans to include the Lionsgate Movie World – the world’s first Lionsgate outdoor theme park – scheduled for 2020, consisting of 30 exciting rides and attractions in six immersive sections where one get to experience Lionsgate’s blockbuster movies that includes The Hunger Games, The Twilight Saga, Now You See Me, The Divergent Series, Cabin In The Woods, and Saw.
Luxurious Gaming Experience
Ensconced within Jeju Shinhwa World, Landing Casino offers a diverse selection of electronic table games and slots, besides the usual favourites such as roulette, blackjack, baccarat and tai sai. For the avid poker fan, a dedicated poker area is provided. At the same time, baccarat enthusiasts can revel in private rooms at the opulent and grandiose D’Solitaire Club that proves fitting for a king.
An Epicurean Paradise
Foodies will surely be delighted to know that Jeju Shinhwa World property is dotted with various food and beverage outlets. One place that they should head to is a restaurant that is simply called ‘The Place’, which serves Bomb Pizza and everything Italian, while another outlet called ‘Crab Tong’ prepares a variety of crab, lobster and seafood dishes sourced from the island for diners at affordable prices.
To sample local delicacies – including a selection of Asia’s most vibrant cuisines presented in a sumptuous spread to suit all palates – travellers should head to the Asian Food Street, where they will be able to experience food from Thailand such as tom yum goong to pho from Vietnam, nasi lemak from Malaysia and Hainan chicken rice from Singapore.
Yeomiji Botanical Garden
The Beautiful Land
Yeomiji means ‘beautiful land’, and Yeomiji Botanical Garden, considered as the best botanical garden in Asia, is made up of approximately 2,000 rare tropical and subtropical plants with both indoor and outdoor attractions. The outdoor gardens are segmented into Jeju Native Garden; Korean Garden; Japanese Garden; Italian Garden and French Folk Garden where a tram service travels between Indoor and Outdoor Garden; Jungmun Tourist Complex; and Cheonjeyeon Falls.
As for the indoor gardens, they are divided into five sections. Some of them such as Cactus and Succulent Garden, including Flower Garden, are by far the most popular ones. There is also an Observation Platform located within the indoor complex affording wondrous views of the outdoor gardens, Mount Hallasan, and Marado Island.
O’sulloc Tea Museum
Where modernity and tradition coexist in harmony
O’sulloc Tea Museum was the first tea museum to open in Jeju island back in 2001 aimed at educating and preserving age-old Korean tea culture and tradition. Located at Seokwang tea fields – one of Korea’s largest growers of nokcha (green tea) – the museum’s Tea Stone Gallery demonstrates the art of Korean tea culture to travellers. Do not miss visiting the Tea Cups of the World gallery that showcases tea wares and utensils from the Three Kingdoms and the rest of the world, including history, culture, customs and traditions relating to tea-drinking. It also offers all sorts of green tea-infused desserts and drinks.
Innisfree Jeju House
Naturalism-oriented cosmetics brand from Jeju
Innisfree is South Korea’s first eco-friendly cosmetics brand created by Amorepacific using quality natural ingredients harvested in Jeju. What makes Innisfree Jeju House unique and is the fact that it organises interesting activities such as making paper and natural soap using Jeju tangerine peel, green tea and volcanic clay, including the chance for travellers to learn how to make their own masks that suit their own skin types from 12 different local ingredients. Besides, Organic Green at Café Innisfree serves scrumptious organic food and beverages made from fresh ingredients sourced from Jeju such as Jeju Pink Lemonade, Hallabong (Jeju tangerine) Blender, Green Tea Roll, Citrus Sudashi Cake and more.
When the falls meet the ocean
Jeongbang Falls is one of the top three waterfalls in Jeju and it is said that it is the only waterfall in Asia to fall directly into the ocean. Among the famous attractions here are the haenyeos or lady divers who do freediving to collect seaweed, sea cucumber and abalone. Due to their excellent freediving skills, haenyeos are recognised as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2016. These super ladies would then sell the fresh seafood collected to the members of the public for them to eat as snacks with garlic and gochu-jang (red chili paste) for dipping while lazing by the falls. The snacks are also typically washed down with bottles of cold soju.
The cultural monument of Jeju Island
Jusangjeolli Cliffs formed between 250,000 and 140,000 years ago when the lava from Mount Hallasan erupted into the sea of Jungmun. Referred to as ‘Jisatgae Rocks’ by the locals, these rock pillars shaped like cubes or hexagons of various sizes run for two kilometres along the coast of Daepo. Jusangjeolli Cliffs is a popular spot for sea angling.
The municipal council has erected a park parallel to the cliffs, allowing travellers to view the Jusangjeolli Cliffs from several angles. This same park is connected to Olle walking trail route 8, ideal for travellers who wish to explore Jeju’s natural wonder on foot.
Jeju’s X Factors
1. UNESCO sites
Mount Hallasan Natural Reserve, Geomunoreum Lava Tube System, Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone for its bio-reserve, basaltic lava that flows underneath the earth, underwater volcanoes and breathtaking beauty warrant recognition from UNESCO. Not forgetting Jeju’s haenyeo (lady divers), which fall under Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity category.
2. Pride of Jeju
AmorePacific preserves Jeju’s heritage and knowledge on beauty through two of its products: O’sulloc Tea for cultural preservation; and Innisfree, a popular Jeju cosmetics brand that is now available in Hong Kong, China, Japan, Taiwan, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
3. Balance between Tradition and Modernity
Jeju Shinhwa World complements Jeju island’s tourism offerings by balancing nature and heritage with modern day conveniences via a contemporary integrated resort as the means for travellers to enjoy Jeju’s rugged beauty in contemporary comfort.
Gaya Travel Magazine thanks the developer of Jeju Shinhwa World, Landing International Development Limited, for making the writer’s trip to Jeju possible. Read more about destinations in South Korea here.