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Runaway Photo of the week: New born profile photo of Runaway Juno
August 2, 2010

Island Guesthouse, in the real Jeju.

 

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Okay, at this point I have to mention the guesthouse I stayed at. Many of great moments are because of I was staying at Island Guesthouse, so it’s time to explore the guesthouse.

I found it just surfing on the web. I didn’t know which part of Jeju is located, just booked it because it’s a nice looking hostel.

My whole trip to Jeju was like that. No plan, spontaneous, and natural.

So in the airport, I finally looked at the instruction. I have to say this is the moment I plan the whole trip. I’ve decided to do this trip in analog way. Apparently the location is not close to the airport and no way to get there just one bus. Have to take two buses, or taxi which costs over 30,000 won. Well I have a big back pack so I could take a taxi but I want to explore, so don’t mess with the plan to interact with people, right?

You can count on the instructions. If you are not sure, just ask the people at the station, they will know where you are heading.

It takes about 50 mins from the airport.

For 5 days I spend there, let me say something about this place. What’s good and what’s not.

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<What’s good>

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1. Location

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Frankly speaking, the location in transportation-way is not the best part. However I think as a traveler ourselves, we can handle just two buses and accurate timetable from bus terminal.

What I mean by location is neighborhood. When you landed on airport you might be disappointed with the city look of Jeju. Jeju supposed to be really exotic, and country side of Korea.

Jeju international airport is in Jeju city, so it doesn’t look so much different than Seoul or other big cities but less fancy. Your real experience about Jeju is starting as soon as you get on the second bus.

Island guesthouse is near west-south coast. When you look at the map of Jeju island, you can find there are no famous places around the area.

Black basalt rock walls, quiet neighborhood, few grocery stores which is really necessary, and the view! Yes I landed in Jeju, finally.

The way to island guesthouse from the bus station is not difficult, you can find the instructions on the wall real easy because red signs on the black wall!

The small allies and little houses with perfect green color garden, view of mountains, and light breeze. I finally feel I’m on vacation at that moment.

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View from top of the mountain just behind the hostel.

 

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Just look around the neighborhood of the guesthouse takes one day. There are few small mountains I can hike, not crowd beach is just 20 mins away, walk between allies, take pictures of houses, street, wall, view.

Transportation is great. As long as you are with timetable of buses, you can go anywhere in the island with no problem. My beautiful, perfect beach is 40 mins away from hostel, Olleh start point is in 10 mins, airport is an hour away, and to the Mt.Halla is available. I didn’t rent a car because of the analog way of travel, and I had no problem without it.

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2. People

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The owner of island guesthouse, Ailing, opened this a year ago, but it is already consider as the best hostel in Jeju. Among all the good things about this guesthouse, I think the biggest reason this is such a huge success is because of her. She is such a people person. She talks with every guest, share stories with them, and she can speak English, Korean, Chinese and French. Oh did I tell you? Ailing is Malaysian. She fell in love with Jeju island and decided to open a guesthouse. Before I go I emailed her few times and she answers me in Korean so I had no idea she’s not Korean. And her Korean is perfect.

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Besides of her, the guests were great too. I know there’s no way just good people are gathering in one place. However somehow, universe can do that. Too idealistic? Oh well.

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I feel this when I stayed at Eight Elephant hostel in Taipei, that what makes the accommodation great is their vibe. There’s a reason to people choose a place to stay and stays longer.

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We had little party every night, nothing crazy just with few beers. Sit around, talk, and share our love toward to travel. I love during the conversation with Clare, she said “Oh, I just love travel.” and I couldn’t agree more.

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3. Backpacker friendly

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Ailing is a traveler herself. She’s been all over the world through years, and getting ready to next trip to Mongolia at the moment. Every decoration around the guesthouse is from her travel. Sand from Sahara desert, lonely planets, shells around the world, all the money from different country, etc.

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Just from the interior you can see how much she loves travel. Because of that she knows good and bad for travelers in the accommodation. For example, a sink in the toilet is brilliant. Jeju is not somewhere like hardcore backpacking place, but still some private sink you can use is always helpful.

Just being there, you feel like you are on travel, really. I love this part of Island Guesthouse.

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4. Breakfast, free!

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Bed price includes breakfast. Bread, egg, jam and milk the basic stuff. But the surprice is this bread is homemade! They make it everyday for everyone. Basically we can have bread, egg, jam, coffee and milk as much as we want, any time. How fresh is this?

All of guests gather around the table or living room, share breakfast, and sometimes cook for eachother. Such a  nice way to start day.

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5. The dog.

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How can’t I leave out this dog, Tamra, when I’m talking about island guesthouse? Tamra is a part of family. She is cute,  extremely well trained, and very friendly dog. She brighten up the hostel. True.

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<What’s not>

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Besides all the good sides of this place, there are some downsides like everything else. We are not live in paradise, right?

 

 

1. You don’t get to stay late.

Because of the neighborhood and bedrooms are right there besides of living room, we are recommended to go to sleep around midnight. Well I know we’d better don’t bother other guests but sometimes want to stay up late. I don’t like all night partying hostel, but not too punctual either. Well, at least I’m well rested so it counts.

 

 

2. No A/C system.

It was not bad to me actually, but I’ve heard it was a problem for some guests. I guess it could. I used to being hot and being cold because I grow up in 4 season country, but not all of them are. So thought I should mention it. Not that you can’t stay here because there are no AC system just be parepared. However there are plenty of fans all night.

They installed A/C system now! 🙂

 

3. Not relax at day time

Hostel is really clean and nice. Probably the cleanest hostel I’ve ever been. There is a reason why. Every crew is working really hard to stay that way. So they work during the day. It could be not so relaxing for people who decided to stay in for the day.I love hangout in hostel sometime during travel, so it could be problem.

Well, do you enjoy being in clean hostel? Then this is the thing you have to deal with.

 

 

4. If you are not a dog person..

Like I said, Tamra, the dog is a part of family. However no matter how cute and well trained Tamra is, if you are not a dog person it could be a problem. Well but she’s not around the house, just stays in the front yard, and not really walk around so it’s really safe.  But I met few friends who are afraid of dog just looking at them. So if you are afraid of dog, then you sould re-consider.

 

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<So, What do I think?>

 

With all the good and bad stories about this accomodation, Island Guesthouse is definately one of the nicest place I’ve ever stayed. I absolutely loved it there.

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Travel, it’s all about people. I met pretty great friends from all over the world, share interesting stories of each other, and about this world.

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This short getaway to Jeju was really memorable for me. This guesthouse is on a part of it, oh sure.

If you want to explore Jeju, and see ‘real’ Jeju is, I strongly recommend stay at Island Guesthouse.

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#Reservation: Island Guesthouse Website

 

 

#Disclosure: The review of Island Guesthouse is written by me to share the information, not due to the partnership. 

 

 

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .

22 Comments

  1. Ted Nelson says:

    Great review giving the good and bad. No hostel is perfect, so it is helpful to know the downside too so other travelers will have an idea what to expect. Even with the negatives, I would like to visit.

    • Juno says:

      @Ted

      Thanks! 🙂 I’ve learn this about fellow traveler I met in Jeju. Few points were from hers. As a blogger and a traveler I should point out good and bad parts, I think that’s a right move. 🙂 However definately, this is one of the greatest accomodation I’ve ever stayed for sure.

  2. Erica says:

    That hostel looks so cute!

  3. ciki says:

    looks like excellent fun.. i love the vibe! Oi.. how many outfits did u bring for ur trip?! LOL – love all the shots and the cool clothes & accessories u wear. Very hip girl 😛

    • Juno says:

      @Ciki

      hahaha!!! funny gal! Um.. Cozy jean I brought was useless for three days cause it doesn’t dry after laundry, and I got really wet one day. haha! So had to wear training shorts and skirts.. 🙂
      Oh yes, and I have a thing for big & Hippy accessories…. :)))

  4. ayngelina says:

    Great review, even the downside aside, it looks like a great place to stay.

  5. Wow, Ailing is so cool. You know, I know many Malaysians and there are so many awesome people who really surprise me. Sadly, their country and the politics are not the best, so many travel abroad and find a new life elsewhere. But I think most foreign friends I have are from Malaysia. Hope I meet Ailing one day 🙂

    • Juno says:

      @Nino

      Oh I don’t know that many Malaysians, good your friends are cool! 🙂 when you visit Jeju, you can meet her! She’s gonna be there for a long time 🙂

  6. Albert says:

    Beautiful pictures and great review! I was just reading your blog and I had no idea you stayed at Island. I am heading to Jeju next Friday and I booked Island Guesthouse as well. The only thing I am worried about is the lack of air conditioning but I guess I will have to deal with it.

    P.S. I am looking forward to more posts!

    • Juno says:

      @Albert

      Oh are you? That’s so excited! Ailing knows me. She remember me as Jiyeon of Juno, travel writer. 🙂
      Jeju is beautiful. Do Olleh walk. It’s so beautiful oh and don’t forget to visit numerous beach!!! 🙂
      Can’t wait to hear your stories!!

  7. LeslieTravel says:

    Thanks for this helpful review. Looks like a cool hostel! I personally like the big, fluffy dog. How cute!

  8. Angeline says:

    Your blog is great! I just came back from Korea trip to Seoul, Soraksan and Jeju weeks ago, but regretted not reading your blog before hand. Your blog is really inspiring and I must say all your photos are well-taken. I am inspired to travel Korea once more…

    • Juno says:

      @Angeline

      Thanks 🙂 That is the best compliment travel blogger could get! Do come! There are plenty of amazing places in Korea. I can assure that 🙂
      Soraksan was pretty amazing right? IT’s super beautiful in Fall. 🙂

  9. Angeline says:

    You are welcome… Do continue to share your travel photos, you will be sure that I will be your No.1 loyal fan to visit your blog 🙂 And yes, Soraksan was unbelievably beautiful! The only regret is our tour group wasn’t given much time to tour Soraksan. But I’ll be back to visit the place again and shoot nice photos — it’s life enjoyment looking at great scenery and taking photos that will bring smile to you even when you look back and revisit these photos again.. Yongpyong was great too, we went up to the Balwang peak, and the first thought that came to my mind was, Heaven must have looked this pretty too (for it was drizzling, and the drizzle combined with strong winds, hazy background forms a scene so beautiful that I can never forget.)

  10. That’s a heavy weight of pros and cons. To have a curfew is rough- I’m not a party person either but sometimes walking around at night is a way to see the night culture and the city is beautiful lit at night. The guesthouse decor looks fabulous though as well as the view. I just got back from Jeju during Chuseok! I stayed in Seongwipo and enjoyed the location. This would’ve been a good place to stay too– it looks very chill.

  11. Lslyn says:

    After reading your review, makes me want to stay in this guesthouse. May I have the email please? Thanks in advance.

  12. abbycelestino says:

    Hi, do you have the contact details of the guetshouse like email address or mobile number? Or do you happen to know if they allow one extra mattress in the double private bed and how much would it be?

    Thank you very much! :):):)

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