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Jeju Folklore & Natural History Museum: What makes Jeju unique

Lean about the island’s nature, geography and way of life.

Culture | Jeju City | Museum

Jeju Folklore and Natural History Museum

Jeju Folklore and Natural History Museum is a museum that details culture and nature. It contains plenty of fun exhibits that highlight all the things that give Jeju Island its special characteristics.

The museum is mid-sized, making it a good way to spend an hour or two, and a trip can be combined with visits to other attractions in Jeju City. Read on to see what I learned about the museum on my most recent trip.

Getting to Jeju Folklore and Natural History Museum

The museum is situated in the center of Jeju City, making it an easy place to visit for people staying in the area. It’s a short taxi ride from the coastal hotels in Tapdong, and 20 minutes from Jeju Dream Tower in Shin Jeju.

The location is near to Jeju Black Pork Noodles culture street, making it easy to combine a visit with a taste of one of Jeju’s most famous meals. It also borders Sinsan Gongwon Park, one of the city’s largest green areas.

If you choose to drive, the museum has a car park. When we visited, we no problem getting a spot, although it was early in the day.

The museum contains 5 main areas

When you enter the museum’s grounds, there’s a short walk to the building entrance. This is a pleasant area lined with trees.

It also has plenty of stone statues, including a fountain highlighting the island’s famous haenyeo divers and a couple of dolharubang stone grandfather statues.

Jeju Folklore and Natural History Museum Admission

Upon entering the museum, you can see the desk to buy tickets on your left. Prices when I visited in March 2024 were:

  • Age over 25: KRW 2,000
  • Age 13-24: KRW 1,000
  • Under 13: Free

Prices were halved for residents who can show a valid resident ID. There were also 20% discounts for groups of over 10 people.

The museum is open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. It closes on Monday as well as New Year’s day and the Korean holiday’s Chuseok and Seollal plus the day after each of these holidays.

Admission prices

In the entrance lobby you’ll also see a giant screen showing videos of Jeju, and a whale carcass. This is a real, restored whale carcass that washed up near to the Biyang-do island off the west coast of Jeju. Check out the size of its jaw!

Whale carcass

Jeju Folklore and Natural History Museum contains 5 main areas. These are focused on the island’s nature and geography, historic way of life, folklore, modern way of life, and the sea. Each one offers a different view into part of the island.

First up is the nature and geography section. Here you can learn about how the island was formed by volcano and how that impacts it’s current composition.

This section then moves onto exhibits highlighting the different types of animals found in each part of the island, such as the different types of forest.

We visited the island with our young toddlers and they loved seeing full-size versions of the animals they see in their books.

It’s worth highlighting that all the exhibits have English translations of decent quality, so it’s easy to follow along with what is being shown in the museum.

The next section is the historic way of life section. This part explains various details around how people on Jeju used to live, from birth to marriage and ultimately passing.

You’ll see examples of the clothes people wore and explanations of the important ceremonies, as well as a large recreation of a Jeju house and a traditional boat used for fishing.

The folklore section then provides an overview of the island’s most important folklore. It’s structured around the changing of the seasons and it highlights what each one meant to people on Jeju.

I found the modern way of life section the most interesting. Starting from the early 1900’s it shows the island’s rapid transformation. There are even photos from this early period that show how the island would have looked.

This section then moves on to the rapid modernization Korean and Jeju experienced from the 60s onwards.

The final part of the museum focus on sealife. It’s quite small and easy to miss as it’s in a separate building.

It contains an explanation of all the different kinds of sea life found on the island, and there’s another whale carcass as well as a video showing the restoration process the carcass went through to be shown in the museum.

Where to go next?

The museum is next to Sinsol Gongwon park and Jeju Black Pork Noodle Culture Street. The former is one of the largest green spaces in the city. It’s a nice place to walk around, and we went as the island’s cherry blossom’s were just starting to bloom.

The latter is simply a street with many restaurants selling gogi guksu, a type of noodle soup made with Jeju’s black pork.

After visiting the museum, we took the opportunity to visit one of the restaurants. We choose one called Guksu Madang which is around two hundred meters from the entrance of the museum.

It’s the one we’ve been to plenty of times before and while I don’t know how it compares to the others in the area, it tastes great and is always busy when we go, which is a good sign!

The soup itself is a very smooth meaty broth with flour noodles, chopped carrot and green onion, and steamed pork. The pork is steamed and as it’s quite a fatty cut it’s really tender and goes great with the broth and noodles. It’s not spicy, although you can add in some of the red chilli flakes at the table if you prefer.

Gogi guksu

The restaurant has a few other items on the menu, including anchovy guksu, which is the same as gogi guksu except with an anchovy stock broth; dumplings, which we got on the side; momguk, another Jeju classic soup made with seaweed; and kongguksu, which is a cold noodle soup with a bean broth.

The was more than enough to fill us up for the next part of our trip and the restaurant had high chairs so the little ones were happy too!

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Photo of author

Duncan Elder

Duncan first came to Jeju in 2011. The plan was to stay for six months. 11 years later, he's still here and enjoys sharing his knowledge of the island on Inside Jeju.