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Guest post: Scuba diving in Korea

May 4, 2012 - Chris Backe

Author’s note: this guest post comes to you from Rutger Thole at bookyourdive.com. Guest posts are written with you, the reader, in mind. Chris in South Korea does not receive or pay any compensation for them.

JEJU Island is generally considered to be the best sites for scuba diving in Korea. Whilst the area is known to those who live and work in this part of the world, Jeju Island has not been visited by many of the mainstream tour operators that specialise in diving holidays due to the lack of available information about the region.  However the dive sites around the island are regarded as a veritable paradise of soft corals and one of the most beautiful places to dive in the world.

Relaxed Diving

Jeju Island is geared up to cater for specialised diving holidays and weekend dives, and you will find that there are not many non Asian divers that have actually been here, apart from some enthusiastic expats.  International divers are still a rarity here so you can be sure that if you do choose to visit you will be diving somewhere your friends and associates have probably never been, or even heard of.

The underwater environment of Jeju Island has been described as being like a meeting of the undersea landscapes of the Red Sea and Norway, in the respect of the marine life having the colour and diversity of that living in the Red Sea and the Black volcanic rocks covered with kelp, reminiscent of Norway’s underwater landscape.  This is a wonderful undersea world for the underwater photographer to capture as the colour contrasts can be quite spectacular.

Location

Jeju Island is located of the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula, approximately eighty kilometres off the coastline.  An hour’s flight from Seoul will get you to this once volcanic island.  The island was formed as a result of an ancient volcanic eruption – Halla Mountain in the centre of the island is a now inactive volcano, but evidence of its once violent activity can be seen all over the island as the surface is marked with large craters.

For those in need of a break from diving the area is great for hiking and trekking.  This oval shaped island only measures seventy kilometres in length and thirty kilometres across, but with its rugged volcanic coastline it provides an interesting underwater environment of volcanic tunnels and caves.

Environment

The climate on the island is mainly sub tropical, being warmed by the currents from the East China Sea, the best time to visit for a scuba diving holiday would be between April and November as this is when the temperatures are warmest.

The island itself has many features worthy of exploration both on land and below the waves, lava caves and craters, waterfalls and lagoons all offer plenty to see and explore. The island infrastructure is geared up to support divers who travel to the island, and the abundance of fabulous fresh seafood will ensure that you are never left hungry.

The airport on the island is in the northern town region of Jeju City, the islands capital; this is also where the ferry port is located that can transport you to some of the other sixty two islands in the region.  The best dive sites are to be found on the southern side of the island, which would make Seogwipo City the place to head for your accommodation as from here all of the best dive sites in Korea are right on your doorstep.

Author’s note: For a couple of other scuba options around Korea, check out deepbluequest.com and scubainkorea.com.

Would you like to write a guest post for Chris in South Korea? Please read the guest posting guidelines  first, then e-mail me at chrisinsouthkorea AT gmail DOT com.

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