Jeju Travel! Folk Village Fun

I finally set foot on Jeju island, known as “The Hawaii of Asia.” I had wanted to visit the island when I was here 10 years ago but never got the chance. I often lamented that missed opportunity and swore if I returned I wouldn’t leave the country without spending time on Jeju. Mission complete! I can go home now :)

The ticket lady gave this ridiculous hat that was too big for my head but I had to take a picture!

The ticket lady gave this ridiculous hat that was too big for my head but I had to take a picture!

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One of the first things on my list of things to do on the island was to visit the Jeju Folk Village in the southern region of Pyoseon. Yes, there are plenty of folk villages to see on the mainland but this one is special because it’s also the shooting location for parts of one of my favourite Korean dramas, called Daejanggeum (대장금), also known as Jewel in the Palace or the Great Jang Geum.

The main character, Jang Geum.

The main character, Jang Geum.

A billboard showcasing some other period dramas that filmed at the village as well.

A billboard showcasing some other period dramas that filmed at the village as well.

DJG is based on a true story of the first female doctor during the Chosun Dynasty over 500 years ago. She began her career as a cook in the palace of the king and worked her way up to becoming a royal cook to a royal physician, then to the personal physician of the king himself. This historical drama ran for a whopping 54 episodes, (most K-dramas run for 20 episodes or so) and had the biggest international following of any K-drama to date during its airtime 12 years ago.

A replica of a village doctor's quarters.

A replica of a village doctor’s quarters.

A traditional pharmacist's shop with herbs and plants being prepared for use.

A traditional pharmacist’s shop with herbs and plants being prepared for use.

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I had wanted to watch this drama for ages but due to the garbage internet packages in Canada (I’m looking at you, Rogers), I could never afford to stream the episodes online without paying through the teeth for the data usage. So when I came back to Korea, the land of unlimited internet data (you pay one flat fee for home internet here), I set my sights on Daejanggeum right away. Now here I am. Full circle, on vacation and in the hotspot of where DJG was filmed. I had to control myself not to run up to the ticket booth like a spastic child.

A mill stone, used to grind grains using a horse or ox to pull the wheel around.

A mill stone, used to grind grains using a horse or ox to pull the wheel.

An old kitchen hut.

An old kitchen hut.

Clay pots, used for storage of fermented dishes like pickled cabbage and turnips.

Clay pots, used for storage of fermented dishes like pickled cabbage and turnips.

A scene from DJG from her time in prison.

A scene from DJG from her time in prison.

A reconstruction of what prison cells were like on the island. Many royal and political criminals were sent to Jeju to live in exile back in the day.

A reconstruction of what prison cells were like on the island. Many royal and political criminals were sent to Jeju to live in exile back in the day.

Artifacts used on the set.

Artifacts used on the set.

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Herbs used to hone DJG's medicinal skills during her time in exile on Jeju island.

Herbs used to hone DJG’s medicinal skills during her time in exile on Jeju island.

I also made a short video of some highlights of my village exploration. To check it out, press play below:

A bus from the intercity bus terminal in Jeju city took about an hour and 20 minutes and I was at the door of the traditional village. If you’re staying in Seogwipo city in the south, it will take less time to get there. Entrance fee is 10,000 won (approx. $11 CAD) and audio guides are available in English, Chinese and Japanese for an additional 2,000 won (you can hear my audio guide in the video above). For more information on the Jeju Folk Village click here.

4 thoughts on “Jeju Travel! Folk Village Fun

  1. Good job on the video, dude! I’d love to go there someday…. maybe this year.
    Ps; I really enjoyed the image of you running up to the ticket booth like a spastic child. I wish you hadn’t resisted the urge.

  2. Hey Karluchi!
    Another dream, another adventure in your so interesting life abroad. When you get home to Canada, I will have to take you on the Polar Bear Express from Cochrane to Moosonee (near where Boo taught her first year) on the tip of James Bay. This way, you can from one extreme to the other. Even the Polar Bears wear parkas! No bikinis up there, I’ll tell you.
    Anyhoo, you are sure enjoying life and that’s great.
    So—-remember about them wooden nickels–don’t take none!
    love you three tons and a half ounce.
    Nana and gramp xxxxoooooooo

  3. Nice job! Well done – even a video this time – WOW. <3
    Lots of love! xoxoxo

  4. Nice job Karli, makes me feel like I’m there with you! love you tons, xoxox

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