2016-09-30 (Friday) Jeju Olle Trail News and Updates

Today’s Akajabong Volunteer Guide

Hong Dal-hyeon is with 16 registered walkers on Route 14-1 today. This route spend most of the time in Jeju Island’s Gotjawal Forest.

Only 9 walkers were on the Route 17 Airport Olle yesterday with Chae Su-gyeong.

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Jeju Walking Weather Report

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High of 24 with rain and cloud due throughout the day. Gentle to moderate breeze from the east again.  Check air quality map. Please take a light rain jacket and maybe a warmer layer underneath.

Jeju Olle Trail News

I saw a good introductory story about the Jeju Olle Tourist Center and Olle Stay a few days ago. I’ve roughly translated it from Korean and included the images from the Hanguk Ilbo Newspaper.

Olle Stay, your Olle walking base-camp and tourist center, opened in downtown Segwipo in July 2016.

The 3 floor building is also home to the Olle office, a restaurant, a cafe, and meeting spaces.

It is on the third floor walkers can find the clean and tidy accommodation with 14 rooms and 14 doors. On each door an artist was commissioned to produced a piece of art.

Each room is a different size ranging from 1 to 2 people rooms up to dorms.

Lockers are in the hallway for large pieces of luggage.

Dorm rooms have curtains on the beds for individual privacy.

Back on the first floor, the restaurant menu contains items with a Jeju Island twist and ingredients.

Walkers can also get a glass of Jespi beer made with the island’s water and barley.

There is an ice-cream machine from Kakaobom mixed with Jeju milk.

Jeju Olle’s new headquarters building was originally a hospital, but after being abandoned for a number of years it is once again healing those who walk through the doors.

Opinions are being gathered and special programs are continually being planned for the meeting spaces.

It is a must visit place for walkers on Route 6 and a central place for staying and exploring the Seogwipo section of the trail.

 

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Jeju Olle’s ‘Grandmother Homestay Bed and Breakfast’ accommodation option on the trail

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What are Olle Grandma Homestays?

The Olle Grandma’s Homestays are a chance for Olle walkers to stay in a VERY local way with a Jeju grandmother in her home. It is also an opportunity for elderly grandmothers of Jeju to make some extra pocket money as well as keeping themselves busy into old age.

The homestay program began as far back as 2007 with Jeju Olle Trail before accommodation options became widely available on each route.

Where are the Olle Grandma’s Homestay Located?

 

The vast majority of the homestays are located on Route 1 and Route 2 with one on Route 3 and another on Route 12.

A stay will require some forward and active planning for international walkers. Most of the homestays are not directly on a route either. They are almost all not near a start or end point. Walkers will have to go on or go back to their homestay after finishing for the day.

Facilities and Amenities

Walkers should expect a clean, but simple stay. Walkers usually have a room to themselves in a single storey house and will use shared bathroom and kitchen facilities. Bathrooms are usually Korean style with a wet room.

Some places do not have WiFi, so if you are a walker who needs to be connected for one night then you might need to look elsewhere.

Keep in Mind

Remember this is not a hotel or even guesthouse. Olle walkers will be staying in close proximity with the grandmother. It’s almost like staying with an elderly relative. Be mindful of this.

How to make a reservation

Unfortunately this is where it gets even more difficult for international walkers on Jeju Olle Trail. None of the grandmothers offer online reservation options and none of the grandmothers speak enough English to make a reservation over the phone. Therefore walkers who do not speak Korean should have a Korean speaker call on their behalf.

The office plans on registering the places with popular English language accommodation reservation web sites.

There is the possibility of just arriving at the home stay and taking your chances, but this is recommended as a last resort.

Please pay in cash to the grandmother upon arriving.

If you cannot stay at the accommodation after making a reservation please, please, make contact so the reservation can be canceled.

We cannot stress that enough and really hope for your understanding and etiquette on this point.

Recommended: Route 1 Kang Tae-yeo Grandmother (Route 1 Start Point)

Of all the home stays on the trail Kang Tae-yeo might be the easiest and best option for international walkers wanting this accommodation experience.

The grandma is located a one minute walk from the Route 1 start point.

Even though she speaks no English, she can call upon a neighbor on the phone or in person to help with translation difficulties.

Kang Tae-yeo has had many foreign guests over the years she has been open.

[Jeju Olle Trail Accommodation] BnBHero offers the most comprehensive English language Jeju Olle Trail accommodation listing so far specific to each trail

This is a post I put on the Olle Walkers Facebook group earlier today:

Even though many people in this group live on Jeju I still wanted to share this link with you. It might be useful for those who fancy spending a few days on the routes without coming back home. It might also be useful to pass on to friends coming to visit, mainlanders, couchsurfers, and those from further afield. BnBHero has a special page dedicated to local accommodation for almost each and every Olle route. This is the first time I’ve seen something so specific in English. I know finding accommodation after a day of walking has been an issue for some walkers (especially if they are not familiar with Korea) so this should help with planning. Anyway have a look around the site and see what you think. Pass on to others as needed: http://www.bnbhero.com/picks/jejuolle?item_type=R