After a night of partying, I needed some fresh ocean air to cleanse the senses. Tapdong Promenade is on the oceanfront, but there is no beach. That was a misconception when I decided to visit; I assumed there was going to be a beach. However, it still had a great walking path with stairs that descend into the ocean for a little toe wiggling. There are also bikes available, some 3-on-3 basketball courts and a retro communist inspired amusement park.
LP’s Description: The guidebook mentions that there isn’t a beach, clearly a detail I missed when reading up on Jeju-si. They also mention the basketball courts, amusement park and band shell for outdoor concerts.
How to get there: By bus take the number 92 bus to Tapdong and walk towards the ocean. You really can’t miss it, because you know, it’s the Pacific fucking Ocean. The bus will cost you 1000KRW. The other option and easier is to jump into a taxi and say, “Tapdong”. It that doesn’t work show him or her this: 제주시해안 (Jeju Si Hae An). According to Google translate this means Jeju Coast. Or finally, if you are really getting frustrated just say “Ramada Hotel”. The Promenade is right across the street from the hotel.
Somewhere Beyond The Sea: If Frank Sinatra saw the beautiful coastline of Jeju, he would have been inspired to remake his classic song. The walk along the promenade is both relaxing and refreshing. Although Jeju City is very much a metropolis, the ancestral ghosts of the fishermen and haenyo (Korean female divers) are still strong. Old men throw their line into the ocean waiting for a bite, a couple of old ladies selling fresh seafood from small, seaside shops reflects Jeju’s traditional roots. A simpler time before the age of globalization and urbanization. While walking the whole seafront took a couple of hours, sitting on the edge, looking out into the ocean with a beer is a necessary part of the journey to fully appreciate the serenity of the promenade.
Basketball Courts and Amusement Park: Interested in taking on some middle school kids in a little 3 on 3? The public courts might be the place for you. A Jeju version of White Men Can’t Jump, the courts were full of teams playing competitively and a few playing for fun at night. During the day, the courts were empty, so if you shoot more air balls than swishes, you might want to practice your game in the afternoon. You can also rent bikes and tour the promenade on two wheels. Finally, if the kids aren’t the athletic type, kill about an hour at the Soviet-era amusement park. If you have visions of grandeur for this park, sadly, you will be disappointed. There are only a handful of rides and attractions. The kids can ride a rusted Merry-Go-Round and throw up their lunch on the viking ship.
Food and Drinks: Seafood lovers rejoice! There were dozens of seafood chains near the promenade! If fish isn’t your thing, the famous Black Pork Heuk Dweji Street (흑돼지 거리) is only a few meters away. Also there are plenty of Western variety found throughout the hotels in the area. There is definitely something to satisfy your tastebuds.
Who Should Visit Tapdong Promenade: At night, this place really came alive. I personally just loved walking up and down the seafront with a beer and munching on some snacks, looking out into the abyss of the Pacific Ocean. If you are the same way, I would highly recommend this place. The kids might be amused by the Stalinesque amusement park, so kill an hour and head to it.
Who Should Avoid Tapdong Promenade: I didn’t see much of a single scene here. City hall region is definitely a place for an active nightlife.