Whenever foreigners try to explore Jeju, self-drive always come to their mind. Not saying that self-drive is a bad thing, but for people like me who can’t drive for nuts, self-drive is impossible! So like what I always do, I rely on the simple things like public transport or taxi guides to help me get around.
Guides are expensive, especially if I am travelling alone. So this trip, I set my mind to explore the bus system in Jeju, and I clearly am very satisfied with it!
Jeju has, I would say, I really good bus system that brings their residence around. This island isn’t small and travelling from one end to the other might take quite a while depending on the route, but it not just brings people around, but tourists to the attractions as well.
Here’s a map of how the bus system looks like in Jeju:
Starting from the airport, they have a few buses that brings you to Jeju’s City Centre. And if you happen to have a guesthouse at the other end of Jeju Island, Seogwipo, they have an airport limousine #600 which takes you there in about 1 hrs 30mins time.
One thing about the map is that it doesn’t shows every bus stops. But more like the area that the bus route covers.
I primarily took 3 bus services this time round when I was there, the east line (#701), west line (#702), and the one that runs through the middle of Jeju (#780). #701 and #702 each will take about 2hrs 30mins to get from 1 end to the other while #780 takes about 1hr 30mins. All three services runs from Jeju to Seogwipo and Seogwipo to Jeju.
The bus system in Jeju works just like the ones in Seoul or any other cities. If you have a T-money, tap your T-money when you get on. Bus drivers usually ask you where you are heading to and key in the correct fare to pay when you board the bus as the buses on Jeju mostly only have 1 door (which means there is no need to tap out unless you are transferring to another service).
While everyone thought that the waiting time for these buses could go up to 1 hour or 2 hours, I must say that it’s not true. The longest I have probably waited for 30mins (like how back home some bus services comes only after 30mins…) and most of them comes in interval of 15mins.
All buses have a screen and announcement system to let commuters know which bus stop are they at and what the next bus stop it. If the bus driver thinks that there isn’t any tourist on the bus, they usually leave the announcement off, so speak to the driver before that, this could save you time like missing stops (which happens to me lots of times).
One thing I found interesting was, the buses also help courier items. Dispatches will be placed in the compartment beneath the coach and upon reaching the designated bus stop, someone will collect the item and make the payment to the driver. (talking about saving resources!)
They also have an app for the buses on jeju, search “Jeju Bus Information” on either Play store or Apple store to download it free. It’s in Korean though, so it isn’t really user friendly for those who don’t understand Korean at all. But then again, in worse case scenario, check with the bus drivers. They can be the most ruthless drivers in the world but really helpful when asked for help!
Alternatively, both Jeju and Seogwipo bus terminals have tourist information centre where you can seek help from. Do check them out, get a map from them as well!