I'd been to Jeju a couple of times when I was younger but hadn't been since the island kind of transformed into an artists' heaven so took the time to visit. We stayed at the Shilla Hotel and I'd recommend the hotel purely for its gardens. Jeju island has these walking trails called "Jeju Olle" where you can experience different parts of the island. They have 26 routes in total and one of them goes past the Shilla Hotel by the beach. Every morning my mum and I would walk down the steps from our hotel to the beach and enjoy the view there. That was definitely one of my favourite parts of the day because we got to experience the beautiful scenery and exercise at the same time (230 steps to climb back up!)
Below are some places that I'd recommend you see and first up is the Jusangjeolli Cliff (주상절리)! I think I would've better explained it if I still studied geography but it's basically a volcanic rock formation with hexagonal columns.
We also visited the Bonte Museum mainly to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibition. I was so excited that this exhibition was on because I had missed it in New York and in Seoul. I know in New York people had to queue for a very long time to spend around a minute or less in the Infinity Mirrored Room but there wasn't even a queue at Bonte so we got to spend as much time as we liked. You've probably seen this magical installation a million times on Instagram but for me, the installation was something much more than a "pretty sight" which touches on Kusama's personal life and on mental illness. A lot of people know that Kusama experienced hallucinations as a child and uses that as inspiration in her work but I think once they step inside the room, they forget about how that relates to her work. The museum itself was beautiful and not surprisingly because it was built by Ando Tadao. I loved how the concrete harmonised with the the greens and the pond around the museum as well as the natural light that shined through.
Another sight to see for its architecture (of course as well as for its content) is the Church of Sky (방주교회). This was designed by Itami Jun who drew inspiration Noah's Ark. The building is surrounded by a pool of water with stone steps and it's just so beautiful to look at. I really felt at peace when I visited.
The below cafe was the cutest cafe I'd visited in a while! The view from the cafe is unparalleled and especially with the flowers blooming in this weather it was even more beautiful. Most of the menu from the cafes we visited in Jeju incorporated Hallabong (seedless orange? I don't know how to describe this better) and this cafe was no exception with it's Hallabong juice and the orange-chocolate pie. The cafe also had a section where they sold hand made items made in Jeju and I especially loved the candles in sea shells.
Anthracite was also very impressive. Finding it was a bit difficult as it kind of looked like a derelict building but I think that was the point because it's essentially a coffee house in an old converted warehouse. Similarly with the cafe above, Anthracite also sold some pieces made by local artists and it felt great to support them while having some amazing cake!