Jeju Ice Land, year round iceskating, Jeju, South Korea
The new Jeju Ice Land | Credit: Jenie Hahn
Skate and tube to your heart’s content
Story and photos by Jenie Hahn
The hottest new attraction just opened in Jeju-si, and it’s cool. Really cool.
After months of legal wrangling, Jeju Ice Land finally opened to the public Feb. 3, with an indoor ice rink and tubing slope promising fun for kids of all ages.
Step inside the building and you will be greeted by a blast of cold air and warmly dressed staff members. On the left is the payment counter and snack bar. On the right is a gently sloped tubing run with red rubber tubes piled up waiting for riders. The slope is just steep enough to have fun – even more so for the kids. Also to this side is an area for ice skate collection, helmets (a must wear) and coin-operated lockers (500 won non-refundable, so be sure you’ve prepared everything before you lock it).
On the second floor is an ice rink that is shaped sort of like a kidney with angular sides – and padded pillars. There is a walkway surrounding most of it and a portion of the walls are large windows, letting in plenty of natural light.
|A leisurely skate | Photo: Jenie Hahn|
While I was there, Mr. Pyun Hae-kang, Ice Land staff member, was coaching a few beginners. When asked if Ice Land offered lessons he said, “We will cater to beginners who have no ice skating experience. They are welcome to ask for lessons or a few pointers.” And of lesson done in English, he laughed and said, “I can give simple instructions like ‘stop’ or ‘bend your knees’ but that’s about it.”
One of the drawbacks to the rink’s location is it’s difficult to get to without a car. On a newly built road linking Sinjeju and Gujeju above City Hall, there is no direct public transportation. However, it’s an inexpensive taxi ride from City Hall, around 3000 won, and about the same from Lotte Mart. That’s pretty reasonable with a few skating mates along. Mr. Kim Jeon-sik, a managing director of Jeju Ice Land, said, “We are aware of the difficulties in transportation and we are considering running shuttle buses from well-known locations but that’s for the future. We apologize for any transportation difficulties for now.”
You can try your luck hailing a taxi on the road outside or opt for the call taxi number available at the front desk. Ask the staff to arrange one to take you back to the city. For the nearest bus services, see map below.
Ice skating might not be the first activity you associate with “The Hawaii of Korea,” but it’s a nice change from Jeju’s many outdoor pursuits.
Jeju Ice Land pricing and practical information:
– Open 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., seven days a week (last entry 9 p.m.)
– 10,000 won (one adult). (7,000 for rink access and 3,000 won for skate rental, though you can bring your own to negate this additional fee.)
– 4,000 won per person for tubing.
– Helmet rental is included in the price of admission and is collected when picking up your skates. A helmet must be worn at all times on the ice.
– Gloves must also be worn and are available from the ground floor, at the desk next to the payment counter (500 won).
– Skate sizes range up to 290.
– No smoking or drinking is allowed within the ice rink.
– Skating is conducted in an anti-clockwise direction.
Location: 277, Donamdong, Jeju City (On Yeonbuk-ro which is a new road that connects Gujeju and Sinjeju).
The building in which the rink is housed | Credit: Jenie Hahn
Other (seasonal) Ice skating on the island:
Lotte Hotel in Jungmun creates an outdoor rink every winter for a limited time.