According to Jung, there are very few places in the world where commercial submarine rides are available! Lucky for us, one of them is in South Korea, on Jeju Island. There are actually two sites in Jeju, Seogwipo Cruise & Submarine Tour and Jeju Submarine Tour. Since Seogwipo Submarine was supposedly less touristy and much nearer to our accommodation (Tae Gong Gak), it was where we headed to for our very first submarine ride!
The kind owner of Tae Gong Gak actually made a reservation for us before we went down, and our group of four enjoyed a 10% discount because of that. The original cost was KRW 50,000 per person. Quite pricey for a tourist attraction in Jeju, but for such a once in a lifetime experience it’s worth every penny!
Woohoo, finally arrived at Seogwipo Submarine, and parking is freeeeee!
The ticketing counter.
Our tickets (which we didn’t get to keep) and the brochure.
Anyway here’s a summary (from the brochure) of what you can expected to see on board:
At 10m underwater, you will watch various seaweeds, such as sea mustards, green lavers, Ecklonia cava, gulfweeds, agar-agars and etc., shellfishes such as trumpet snails, conches, abalones and etc., jelly fishes, and schools of anchovies.
At 20m underwater, you will meet various underwater creatures such as sea cucumbers, octopuss, starfishes, and also watch diver show swimming with countless fishes such as Suzumedai (jaridom), half-lined cardinal, stripy, pudding wife, thread-tail filefish, flag fish, rock sea-bream, etc.
At 30m underwater, you will watch the world’s largest soft coral reef covered with back coral, fan coral, red soft coral, Plexauroidea reticulate, Putter’s giant sea anemones, stony corals, and much more.
At 40m underwater, you will visit mysterious wrecked ship site, which is the only place you can see the wrecked ship in Jeju.
The waiting area for everyone to rest at before the fun begins!
Photos and description of what to expect, too bad we didn’t understand Korean.
The journey to the bottom of the sea began with a short cruise to where the submarine was situated. Just to make sure us hapless tourists weren’t overly confused, there were several reminders that the boat we were on was NOT the submarine…haha!
*Quick tip: Sit near the end of the boat so that you can get off earlier for choice seats on the submarine.
Many locals on board.
Before we got down the submarine, everyone had to chance to have pictures taken by the staff! We initially thought they would attempt to sell us the photos for exorbitant prices at the end of the trip (tourist trap!) but it turns out they were given to us free at the end.
Actual submarine entrance and the staff to assist you with boarding!
It was just surreal. There was an electronic board with a real time update of the depth we were at. And above every window there was a live feed of the view from the deck of the submarine. Plus white Ziploc bags were provided in case anyone felt seasick. A diver even went around the submarine tempting the fishes with food so that they would come nearer. Although there weren’t many varieties of fishes but it was really cool seeing them up close, I even bumped my head a few times trying to get even closer. *Whoops*
Live feed of the diver on top of the submarine.
Electronic board displaying the depth!
The diver preparing to feed the fishes, look at the greedy ones just waiting. ;)
Fishes trailing after the diver, we didn’t manage to get many clear photos in the submarine. :(
Trying to get a picture with the beautiful seawall.
At the deepest point, there was a shipwreck but too bad the waters were murky on that day so we didn’t get a good view of it. Only a faint outline in the distance. The trip down seemed really short, maybe slightly more than half an hour but on the boat ride back they cruised around and introduced some nearby attractions, which made for a really nice ending!
Saeseom Island Saeyeongyo Bridge.
Probably some famous rockface.
Random scenic corner nearby.
When we got off the boat, Jung and I collected our “certificates” off the makeshift shelves at the docking area ^^, we had one each! Woohooooo! There probably isn’t enough reason for anyone to go back a second time but it’s really something you have to do once you know, just for the experience. Many kids also really seemed to enjoy the ride so I would say it’s a fun family friendly activity!
The photo was placed in the “Certificate of Sea-bed Exploration”, a totally awesome souvenir!
Photo opportunity with a fake diver!
Jung and I were really satisfied with the submarine ride, so if you happen to pop by, just go for it! Click on this link www.submarine.co.kr for a very helpful guide on what to expect under “Boarding Instruction”.
Tel: 064 732 6060*
Open from 7.20 am to 6.40pm
*Advanced reservations are strongly advised. As with most places in Jeju Island, simply key the telephone number into the GPS system for directions. :)