Taking a day trip to an outlying island lets you explore the beauty of the southern seas around Jeju-do and experience life in a remote fishing village. There are hundreds of tiny little islands off the coast, but most of them are uninhabitable or too small to even dock on. I've provided ferry information for each island from various ports on Jeju-do.
Located off the eastern end of Jeju-do, the largest of Jeju-do's surrounding islands is shaped like a cow -- Udo translates to "Cow Island." But don't be fooled by the unglamorous name; Udo (also known as Udo Maritime Park) has a stunning natural landscape and is home to South Korea's only coral-sand beach. The island's 1,800 inhabitants make their living by farming and fishing. From the top you can get a view of the entire island of Jeju. And much like its larger neighbor, which can be seen from the top of Udobong (Udo Peak, Udo's version of Hallasan), the island has volcanic rock formations, stone statues, excellent fishing, and a famous, though sadly shrinking, group of women divers. If you rent a bike, it will take 2 to 3 hours to circle the island, making Udo an excellent day trip from Jeju-do.
The ferry to Udo costs W4,000 round-trip for ages 13 and up, W1,400 for kids. It departs hourly, on the hour, from Seongsan harbor and takes about 15 minutes. Once there, you must also pay a W1,000 admission fee (W500 for ages 12 and under) to enter the Udo Maritime park. Car ferries start at W8,800 for a compact.
Buses are waiting at the harbor to take passengers around the island. Local bus fare is W800 for ages 13 and up, W400 for kids 12 and under.
A tiny island off the southern tip of South Korea, Marado (also known as Marado Maritime Park) is a mere 4.2km (2 2/3 miles) long and 39m (128 ft.) across at its widest point (Koreans say it's shaped like a sweet potato). The first inhabitants came here in 1883 and lived off food they could forage. When food became scarce, they burned the thick forests to create farmland. Locals say that all the snakes and frogs died in that fire and there are no frogs or snakes on Marado to this day.
Present-day inhabitants make a living by fishing and offering minbak stays to visitors. You can take the Samyeongho Ferry (tel. 064/794-3500) from Moseulpo Harbor daily at 10am or 2pm. The 45-minute ride costs W3,000 for adults, W1,600 for children. Alternatively, you can take the Songak Ferry, managed by Yuyang Maritime Tourism (tel. 064/794-9079), from Sanisudong Dock at Songaksan. The daily ferry leaves about every hour starting from 10am to 2:30pm and costs W15,000 adults, W9,800 teens, W7,800 children.
You can also enjoy a bowl of jjajangmyeon (Chinese-style black bean noodles) or jjamppong (Chinese-style noodles in a spicy seafood broth) at Wonjo Marado Jjajangmyeon Jip (tel. 064/792-8506; www.maradopia.co.kr), located down the street from Marado Church. Their bowls of noodles come chock-full of fresh seafood.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.