Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids

A double bed and a twin bed is just not enough for a family of six. The twins took the floor mat, I took the double with the squirmy baby discovering her fine motor skills and Daddy shared with Eclair. I was up all night. Every time I heard a grunt, or a deep breath, or heard the bed sheets rustle, terrified that Molasses was going to roll off the bed onto the hardwood floor. She is all over the place and defining her fine motor skills everyday. I am exhausted, but today we will be exploring waterfalls on Jeju Island with kids!

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Hold up your sign if you are Mommy’s favorite!

Day 21 South Korea Family Travel Journal
Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Trees produce oxytocin

Jeju Island is a remarkable sub tropical forest filled with hidden treasures worth exploring. and Hotel Fine is a mere 10 minute walk from two distinct waterfalls in opposite directions; both well known for their beauty. Jeongbang Waterfall is one of just a few waterfalls that cascade directly into the ocean; in fact, it is the only one in Asia to do so. Cheonjiyeon Waterfall is translated to mean connected to the sky as it said that seven fairies from heaven bathed here. Both offer great worldschooling opportunities for exploring waterfalls on Jeju Island with kids.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Just watch Eclair’s face as these photos progress throughout the day

We couldn’t waiting to start exploring waterfalls on Jeju Island with kids so we decided to head up towards Jeongbang Waterfall. The harbor in Seongwipo is truly stunning, and the southern coast of Jeju Island is dotted with islands that you can see from the mainland. From our hotel we crossed the street and followed the coastal path that winds through the forested trees and provides majestic views of the earth.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Perfect views

The kids explored rocks, insects, ponds, leaves, flowers and all other manner of wildlife and growing flora and fauna.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Did you see that?

We took our time and enjoyed the warm sun and cool breeze. Embracing the Korean culture, we also stopped at all the exercise machines along the walking trail.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Pit stop

Ranking: #cleadiaper

정방폭포
Jeongbang Waterfall
37 Chilsimni-ro214beon-gil, Donghong-dong
Seogwipo, Jeju-do
Phone: 064-733-1530
Hours: Sunday thru Saturday 8:00am – 6:00pm
Price: Children 6-12 ₩1,000 | Adults ₩2,000 | Children under 6 and Adults over 65 Free

We reached Jeongbang Waterfall after passing through the massive gates that mark the way. After greeting a handful of vendors peddling famous Jeju hallabong treats, we paid our admission and took the short flight of stairs down to the base of the waterfall.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
We’re here!

The waterfall is remarkable. It empties into a small pond that leaks directly into the ocean. To get the best view of the waterfall and be sprayed with its mist, you have to crawl across giant rocks that sit directly in the ocean. It’s a gorgeous sight.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Jeongbang Waterfall

Our family purchased some freshly squeezed Hallabong juice and spent an hour or so enjoying this waterfall on Jeju Island with kids. Though swimming isn’t allowed, Eclair somehow found a way to get herself completely submerged in the water. We also met two Americans at the falls that were both from Utah!

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Her happiest moment of the day

Our next plan for the day was to hike Hallasan as a family. Hallasan is the volcanic mountain that created Jeju-do Island herself! We’d briefly read that there were several hikes on Hallasan, with the shortest being 10 minutes and the longest being five hours. We weren’t about to take the longest hike, but thought we could find a happy medium. From our location the drive was about 40 minute so while Gabriel hailed a taxi with Kakao, I read up a little bit on which trail to start our journey.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Coy Ponds at Cheonjiyeon Falls

There are indeed multiple hikes, but the only hikes that offer you a view of the caldera are both five hours long. Five hours one way. With a baby and three other kids, five hours for our family meant much longer. We weren’t equipped, prepared or eager to spend an entire day hiking up Mt. Hallasan as breathtaking and exciting and rewarding as it sounded. We’ve hiked up to Mt. Vesuvius, we’re good.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Cheonjiyeon Waterfall

Instead, we continued on to Cheonjiyeon Falls. These falls are located in the opposite direction of the Jeongbang Waterfall, also near the harbor. Time for round two exploring waterfalls on Jeju Island with kids!

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Follow directions

Ranking: #cleandiaper

천지연폭포
Cheonjiyeon Falls
Cheonji-dong, Seogwipo
Hours: Sunday thru Saturday 8:00am – 6:00pm
Price: Children 6-12 ₩1,000 | Adults ₩2,000 | Children under 6 and Adults over 65 Free

This is a larger site, and constructed along a marina. There are shops, restaurants, bathrooms and showers all located here. There are also local vendors, one even pedaling famous silky worm pupae. I cannot believe I’m saying this, but this soupy mixture looked more appetizing than the one at Namdaemun Market.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Yummy?

Admission is the same, but this site offered free strollers and wheelchairs. It’s not like us to pass on anything free, so we took two.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Second happiest moment of the day

The path to exploring the Cheonjiyeon Waterfall on Jeju Island with kids is well paved and well marked. It was a leisurely short walk covered in towering trees and foliage. The falls empty into a large pond that is connected to a river that the path winds its way parallel to.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Hug time

At these falls we met a couple from Tazmania and chatted for quite a while sharing little snippets of our travels in Korea. We got quite a few pointers from them and enjoyed hearing about their travels! After 21 days we’ll take any chance we can get to understand a full conversation with another person.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Cutest baby in the world

The girls sat on the edge of the stairs and dipped their toes in the water. Eclair promised me she wouldn’t jump in.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Do you think Mom will notice if we go swimming?

Widmore explored the rocks and found a trail of ants covered quite a distance and followed them until they found where their colony was hiding and what they were on the hunt for.

 

Since our family opted out of the hike to Mt. Hallasan, we decided to end our day by diving 40m underwater inside a submarine along the coral reef of the largest island off the coast of Jeju.

Ranking: #wetdiaper

서귀포잠수함
Seogwipo Submarine
40 Namseongjung-ro, Cheonji-dong, Seogwipo, Jeju-do
Phone: 064-732-6060
Hours: Sunday thru Saturday 9:30am – 4:30pm
Price: Children 3-12 ₩36,000 | Adults 12+ ₩56,000

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Jeju Harbor

This unique experience had the potential to be exceptional. The endeavor takes you on a five minute ferry ride out to the island where you board the submarine from a docking boat. After boarding, the submarine is sealed and you are guided by the captain of the boat and submerged underwater inside the vessel.

Exploring Submarines on Jeju Island with Kids
Enter sesame

A diver stood on top of the sub as we dove underwater and came with us. We could see him on the exterior camera. Once we were down about 25m he swam outside the windows and fed the fish, enticing them to gather outside our windows. We got the opportunity to see multiple species and colors of fish as well as coral. There is also a sunken rusted boat that is now become a part of the ocean habitat that we got to see as well.

Exploring Submarines on Jeju Island with Kids
Can you hear me?

Our children loved the experience and thought it was really exciting to both ride in a submarine and see the fish at this depth. I think riding in the submarine, and witnessing how it operated was definitely the highlight.

 

The reason we gave this experience a #wetdiaper is that we were totally cheated out of experiencing the reef! Our entire family of six were made to share just one viewing porthole. Others were grouped in parties of two, or at most three. Our three children had to compete over one window, and Gabriel and I were left to peek through the slits that they left open. The size of the windows did not allow for more than two people maximum to view the ocean surroundings.

Exploring Submarines on Jeju Island with Kids
Claustrophobia be gone

We had this really neat opportunity, that we paid a lot of money for, but none of us really got to enjoy it fully. We had a better time exploring the waterfalls on Jeju Island with kids than taking the submarine.

Exploring Submarines on Jeju Island with Kids
She’s getting a makeover

When we got off the submarine we discovered we were at the entrance to Saeyeongyo Bridge. This bridge leads to yet another island off the coast of Jeju, Saeseom Island. So we squeezed in one more thing into our already extensive day.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Fishy Bridge

Ranking: #cleandiaper

Saeseom Island
40 Namseongjung-ro, Seogwi-dong
Seogwipo, Jeju-do
Phone: 064-760-3471

This is a quaint little island where you can go and bird watch, view the harbor while obtaining a closer view of the outlying islands and take scenic photos. Koreans love to take photos. All generations of Koreans love to take photos.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
I love to take photos too!

Saeseom Island doesn’t have any waterfalls to explore with kids, but it is a short jaunt around the island and we are glad we did it. It was a beautiful end to the day and enabled us to see how many islands are within a stone’s throw of the coast.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
For the beauty of the earth

Eclair was in a sour mood all day, and she and Pie were fighting. We didn’t bring the stroller to the island, so I’d been carrying the baby all afternoon and rarely would she let me baby wear her without screaming. My feet were aching, and of course we were hungry. We are always hungry and we never have enough snacks.

Exploring Submarines on Jeju Island with Kids
But it’s hard not to smile around this baby

Tonight we wanted to try and find some of Jeju’s famous Black Pork Belly but our efforts were in vain. Our kids begged to eat at the Chinese Restaurant again, and we relented. We were all too exhausted to search for any place else.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Cheonjiyeon Waterfall

After dinner, Widmore, Molasses and I headed back to the hotel but Gabriel was intent on finding another place to eat for tomorrow. If we had taken just a few more steps up the street we would have found dozens and dozens and dozens of black pork belly restaurants. So it turns out, Chilshimni Food Street, is actually strictly seafood on one end and Black Pork Belly on the other. At least we know where we’ll eat tomorrow.

Exploring Waterfalls on Jeju Island with Kids
Practicing Crawling

Because we were out and about all day today, we used a lot of public restrooms. A little over a week ago, at Central Park, the kids found it interesting that the boys restroom was all black and white while the girls restroom was covered in pink and flowers. Widmore wanted to know why. So we gave them the task of reporting back how every public bathroom looked and comparing. We thought it would have died off, but now, still, every time they use a public restroom they compare each side and report. We’ll be compiling a worldschooling report to present at the end of the summer; hold your breath.

Exploring Nature on Jeju Island with Kids
Nature’s bathroom

We ended the day by watching some local Korean historical dramas on the hotel TV. We told the kids it was real life Mulan. They wanted us to translate and it turned into a silly game of coming up with the funniest thing the characters were saying. There was a lot of being overcharged for dumplings, spilling rice, and singing making a man out of you. (Yes, I know, wrong country again. Blame Disney for not making a Korean princess movie yet.)

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