Marado 마라도

We decided that while we were on Jeju we wanted to visit at least one of the smaller islands and quickly decided upon Marado and to get there by taking the 755 bus to Moseulpo Harbor. However this also started the first of our problems with the buses on Jeju. First we were sold a ticket for a time that had already passed and then when we went to the correct bus gate the bus waiting was not the 755, confused we went and asked the driver and he told us to get on and that we were the last stop. So we boarded and went for our over 40 minute ride to the southern part of the island. The bus was supposed to drop us off at least at Moseulpo’s bus terminal but for some reason ended up kicking us off in town not near a bus stop.

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Statue of a Haenyeo, or sea woman/diver

Thankfully we had maps and made our way towards the harbor, where we then asked people for directions towards a ship to take us to Marado. Our first direction request was met with a confusing answer that everything was done for the day but that we could keep going off along the pier. We think they thought we meant the fishermen or possibly the diving women and not a tour boat because we then found ourselves in a parking lot filled with tour buses and families heading off somewhere. Some children stopped, excited to practice their English but then made an adult give us directions which led us towards a building the way we had come to wait in line for a ticket. It led people to Gapado and Marado.  The building is called 마라도정기 여객선 대합실 and is located at 제주특별자치도 서귀포시 대정읍 하모리 2132-1.  In order to get tickets (about every half hour or so the line opens up to purchase tickets) you need to fill out a form that’s in Korean with your name, gender and phone number. You will also need your visa (Alien Registration Card/ARC) or passport. You’ll be printed out round trip tickets and pointed in the direction of the pier. There’s a different pier for Marado and Gapado. We followed the other groups and families out of the building, through the parking lot towards the water and then when the police box popped up on our left we turned right. If you get lost there are people working in the parking lot. Show them your tickets, and they should point you in the direction of the correct pier.

At the pier you’ll need to show your ARC or passport again with your tickets. Then board and sit down on the ship and enjoy your ~30-40 minutes to Marado.

Since it was after lunch time when we arrived we went off in search of the speciality food of Marado, which essentially was popping into the first restaurant we saw, pointing to pictures and then digging in. 해물톳 짜장 (A seafood and seaweed jajangmyeon) and 원조 돌미역 짬뽕 (a spicy seafood noodle dish)

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My jajangmyeon was delicious. It wasn’t greasy like it some times gets and the seaweed and shrimp were delicious. Note: You’ll be given scissors use them to cut up the noodles to make it easier to eat. My friends spicy seafood medley was too spicy for me to enjoy beyond just a tiny noodle which sent me scurrying towards the water they gave us but my friend loved it, eating every last hiding seafood creature and filling the bowl she’d been brought with shells.

After lunch we went exploring the island. Passing by shops selling things procured by the Haenyeo (female divers found in Jeju), like a little shop selling seaweed. Some of the ingredients from our lunch were also procured by Haenyeo. We passed several other restaurants including raw fish ones, the school, police station and lots of beautiful cost line as we hurried around the path that leads you around the island.

Marado is a small island, 8km and it takes a little over an hour to walk the entirety of it. Which caused us a bit of stress since we wanted to see as much as possible but had learned that our return ticket had only given us little over an hour to see everything.

The island is also home to a chocolate museum whichwe mistook for the church since it’s in Renaissance style so we missed it. However we did make it in time to catch the next boat off the island, still unsure whether or not we would’ve had more time or if there would’ve been a problem if we hadn’t made it to the boat we had tickets for.

It was fun to check out and there are a couple of different places for guests to stay on the island.

Tickets to Marado are ~16,000 won round trip.

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