Budget Travel Korea | Jeju | Kim's Cabin Guesthouse

Believe it or not we booked this guesthouse the night before we left for Jeju from Seoul; I was actually so overwhelmed by all the info I gathered from my researches for this whole backpacking trip that I just thought 'Oh, we'll choose the right one once we're there' - I was too tired to care :P

This was my second time in Jeju after 14 years, I basically knew nothing about South Korea then despite being 21 and that trip didn't leave a good impression on me either; but now I have restored faith and new-found love about this country ^^

Anywho, Kim's Cabin was one of my research's results and after staying there for 2 nights, I gave this place a 3/5 for us but it could be a 5/5 for travelers who want tranquility, on a budget, have a rented transport and more than 2 nights to spend and more than 1 area to see in Jeju. This is because this part of Jeju is practically a kampung (suburb) with no night scene, at least not that I know of that is within walking distance =D

We did regret it at first but all in all, it was pretty OK.

We reached Jeju Airport on a Thursday morning around 12.30 pm, took a city bus to meet up with a Prof. Kim Daeyong of the Jeju Islamic Center in Jeju City (without prior appointment he he) just to have a chat with him about Islam in Jeju and get some insights of the halal food tips there; he wasn't around though but it was my bad for not calling in earlier on :P I went anyway just coz Said, my host in Seoul highly recommended that we meet him.

It was already 1pm and we were famished. Luckily there was that Korean 7-11 chain, CU convenient store right next to the office building so we went in and got ourselves a couple bowls of instant rice and ate it at the table outside the store with none other than my sambal ikan bilis from home. Saad from Eid Guesthouse back in Seoul has also packed for us some  sandwiches and rice crackers as we didn't have breakfast that morning.

Our lunch picnic outside a CU store in Jeju City

After lunch, we hopped on a bus to Jeju City bus station to get on another bus bound for Seongsan Ilchulbong, the famous inactive parasitic volcano situated on the very eastern tip of Jejudo. The bus number was 702;

I sat in the front seat in the bus ..

Selfie with the locals, what up yo!

Managed to capture a few photos of the Jeju burbs from the bus .. it's a farm country out here.

Kim's Cabin is about 3-4km from Seongsan Ilchulbong and Mr. Kim, the owner of the guesthouse himself left us a message after we made the booking and asked us to get down at Siheung-ri bus stop where he would then fetch us. Well, we missed that stop and got down at Seongsan Ilchulbong instead ha ha.  

We waited for him outside a nearby police station; he came with a blue mini van and took us to the guesthouse. We passed by the Siheung-ri bus stop again in a residential area before he took a turn into about 200m of dirt road lined with farming lands and a hill as a backdrop;

The farm lands located along the dirt road heading to Kim's Cabin

and our first impression was like 'oh no ... ' and then we came to this .. 

a secluded quiet place, totally a 180-degree turn from the busy and crowded Seoul, which we immediately missed T_T

We reached the guesthouse at 5pm, the bus ride took about 2 hours as it stopped in many places so we were bummed that there was nothing we could do/see at that hour in that area with no transport. 'Arrrgghhh I miss the Seoul Metro!' so I shouted in my head.

The building has 2 floors - guests only use the ground floor; there is a dorm for male and female each and a common area at the reception for dining, chilling and watching TV. Wifi is available too, of course ^^

Sorry I forgot to capture the bedroom photo but it was a cozy space for 6 guests with a relatively big bathroom, bunk beds, sophisticated toilet and fairly comfortable mattresses and duvet. For an online offer of KRW50,000 a night for 2 people I thought it was quite a bargain. You can access booking.com to secure your stay.

Nothing much happened that evening other than a very long walk in the darkness to a CU store and a dinner of instant rice and sambal accompanied by complimentary dried seaweed and a sweet sour  kimchi that I didn't recognize from the guesthouse which lifted our spirits a little bit. We also chatted with Mr. Kim and that was nice too.

Mr. Kim told us 40% of his guests are from Malaysia, that's cool to know and it's Muslim friendly too. I really appreciate his awareness about halal food requirements for Muslim; not that he has to meet the requirements though but it's a plus point for his business as many Muslims from South East Asia flock to South Korea these days. The man recycles too ^^

The next day, which is the only day we had to explore Jeju, Mr. Kim called in a cab for us during our breakfast. On his advise, we only went around the east side of the island and made it to four locations starting with Seopjikoji.

Checkout the map below; the dropped pin is where Kim's Cabin is, and the places marked with yellow stars are the places that we visited. Starting from the most-south spot, they were Seopjikoji, Hanhwa Aqua Planet Jeju, Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak and Manjanggul Lava Tube.

Map of Jeju island

Took some photos of the guesthouse's common area while having breakkie .. 

The house is  actually facing Seongsan Ilchulbong in the distance

A flat-screen TV tucked in a corner of the dining area

They only serve seafood porridge for breakfast, but it was good and very filling

Gosh, I think we felt so at home in Seoul that we were oblivious (at first) to how beautiful and serene this place was. 

After a full day tour of east Jejudo, we left Kim's Cabin at about 6.45 am after breakfast the next morning. Mr. Kim sent us off to Siheung-ri bus stop to catch the 7am bus bound for Jeju City bus station again; from there we took a cab to the airport to depart for Busan on a 9am flight with Jeju Air.

Bye-bye Kim's Cabin

Btw, it only took an hour by bus to get back to Jeju City maybe because it was still early on a Saturday morning.

From my almost-3d2n stay in  Jeju, I concluded that  you'll need to rent some kind of transport if you want to cover the whole island conveniently and stay for at least 5 days. Bus rides are cheap but will cost you time and relying on taxi alone could cost you a fortune. We used T-money for all our bus rides here including in Busan.


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