Where to eat, drink and be merry on Jeju Island, South Korea.
This is the first of our posts in the where to wear them series, we will focus on places that are dear to our hearts and let you know the best place to see and be seen in your Ed & Sarna Vintage eyewear.
It might seem odd to those who don't know us to start with a honeymoon island in South Korea as our first destination but actually, I (Ed) lived here for the last 3 years as we built up edandsarna.com into the premier destination in the world for finding vintage frames. So this guide is full of tips from a local.
Jeju can lay claim to a number of natural wonders and the tourist PR team for the island really pushes these hard! If you are a nature lover and enjoy a bit of the outdoors then you will love Jeju. Whilst it may not be the Hawaii of Asia as they claim (it gets super windy and cold over Winter), it remains one of my favourite places on the planet. Spend a few days here immersing yourself in the forests, bizarre museums and beaches and it might just become one of yours too.
Where To Eat And Drink Korean Food?
Korean cuisine is starting to make big waves now in London, but to get the best stuff you still need to make that 12 hours plus flight! Trust me, it's worth it.
Pork BBQ - 알동네집 - Jeju is famous for its pork BBQ across the whole of Korea, and I think this place is the best of all. In all my time on Jeju island, I must have eaten here almost 100 times, make sure you get an order of Kimchi Jigae in with stone pot rice alongside your pork BBQ. The spicy mackerel stone pot dip they bring over just before you have finished BBQing all your pork is what makes this place stand out from the hundreds of others on the island. Their banchan are some of my favourites too, basically, if you are on Jeju go here.
Korean Fried Chicken - A hangover food of choice for me, the spicy macho king tender from BHC chicken is my personal fave. Try them all get your own. Be warned portions are not small!
Hallabang - This sweet hybrid of an orange and a grapefruit is native to the island and a must-try before you depart, pick them up by the kilo at almost any of the island's markets.
Dak galbi - I don't have a favourite place for this dish after trying loads they all hit the spot, the spicy chicken and kimchi dish that you start with is great but when they mix in the rice at the end that's when you fall into the dak galbi coma!
Seafood - Head down to Moseulpo port for the freshest seafood you will find anywhere in the world. If you are feeling adventurous go for the abalone sashimi, a Jeju delicacy.
Grilled Mackerel - This place is a super ordinary-looking spot a bit off the normal tourist trail, situated by the road on the drive down towards Sangbansan, get the grilled mackerel and enjoy. All the other fish here is also great, but you might need a group of 4 or more to finish it all.
Soju and Makgeolli - These two Korean specialities have been gaining a pretty hardcore following internationally over the last few years. Personally, I am not too much of a fan of the soju as the hangovers are known to be pretty epic. However, the makgeolli's sweet and slightly sour taste does go down well with a pork BBQ.
Where To Eat And Drink Non-Korean Food?
GlaGla Hawaii - This spot is perfect for a Summer evening try their delicious freshly caught and fried fish and chips. Team it with a tasty craft beer and say hi to Ray for me (he's the smiley dude in the Hawaiian shirt.)
Donatos - The only place to get a good pizza on the island, the owner used to study fashion in London, but found his passion for pizza when on holidays in Italy. This guy cares about his ingredients and flavours and the stone-baked pizzas are top-notch.
Magpie Brewery - The craft beer trend is everywhere now and magpie does it best on Jeju island they have a couple of locations now but I like the one up in Jeju Si.
Jeju Smokehouse - Craving for a heart attack inducing juicy burger? Look no further.
Japanese Ramen - This place is full of Japanese models of some anime characters (free pair of frames if you go and let me know what manga they are from). The tonkatsu ramen is on point, also gyoza dumplings are great here too, plus Sapporo on draft, what's not to love.
Bangin Taco - Connie and David became some of my best buddies whilst on the island, this place has the best Mexican food on the island but go enough and it will start to feel like home. They are cordon-bleu trained chefs and everything coming out the kitchen is great but stay around until closing time for some of the best nights on Jeju. Tell them Ed says hi and they probably will ask which one these guys are so friendly.
Coffee Shops - Jeju island is exploding with coffee shops opening all the time in beautiful locations. You will rarely go wrong, also the cakes are usually great too.
What To See and Do?
Nature lover, photography addict or Korean history buff, Jeju has plenty of choices, but they are generally more weird than wonderful but that made them all the better in my opinion.
Jeju Museum of Sex and Health - This place is pure comedy, be warned it takes a lot longer to look around than you initially think it will, so bring your camera and enjoy the snaps. I think it's more fun than Loveland but I will let you be the judge.
Jeju Loveland - The focus of this short Vice documentary, when I first moved to Jeju google images only served up pictures of this so-called theme park.
Alive Trick Art Museum - If you find yourself in Jeju on a rainy day then you could do worse than to head here and get yourself a new profile pic.
Jeju United - They play their games in a stadium that is arguably far better than the team themselves, grab a bunch of Cass and some snacks from the Supermarket next door and join the Hallabang Ultras for a bizarre sporting experience.
Beaches - Jeju is famous across Korea and North-East Asia for their beaches, soft sand and cool turquoise water they are a must in the Summer. My personal favourites are Hyeopjae, Jungmun and Hamdeok.
Swim At Doneako Falls - If the humidity is at its max then there is only one place to head. The icy pools at the bottom of the trail to the falls will chill you right to your core.
Go Hiking - Get some hiking gear from the local markets and join the hordes of retired Koreans marching around the olle trails. My personal favourite was olle 14 but it was just the closest to my house!
What Frames To Wear
Jeju island has all kinds of weather from snowy winters to super hot and humid Summertime so for eyewear selection, you need a real mix if you are spending any long period of time here. I have picked four of our vintage shades one for each of the seasons.
Vuarnet Ref 401 - Go for some darker tints to deal with the blazing Jeju sun.
Algha Octagon 12KT Rolled Gold - These funky shades will do you well when the season shifts and you start to want a bit more light in your life.