Historical Jeju Haenyeo Museum

jeju-haenyeo-museumOne of the exhibits at the museum showing a haenyeo's life

Jeju Haenyeo Museum

Jeju Haenyeo Museum is a unique museum that exhibits a particular culture on Jeju Island not usually found in many parts of the world. The Museum displays women divers who earn living catching seafood without using oxygen.

You will discover various photos of Jeju female divers and their actions while catching all sorts of seafood. You'll see an exciting and accurate picture of what they do and what their lives look like.

The Museum is well-designed and structured so that visitors will get what they are coming for and enjoy the place.

At the Museum, you can go up to the observatory (viewing deck) where you have a fantastic and perfect sight of the Hado-ri area. The observatory has a garden area where you find sculptures and rest at its quiet corners.

Who Are the Haenyeos?

As mentioned above, a haenyeo (literally: 'hae' means 'sea' and 'nyeo' means 'female' in Korean) refers to a female diver who catches or collects seafood, including octopus, shellfish, seaweed, and other edible sea products.

Interestingly, a haenyeo is that she only wears a rubber suit, a pair of goggles, and a floating basket for her collections and catch. This culture, actually, can also be found in the neighboring countries, including Japan and Russia.

According to studies done about Jeju Haenyeos, these women divers' history goes back to hundreds of years ago.

It seems that these female divers were first called 'Jamnyeo (潛女)' as described in the 'Description of Jeju's Natural Features and Collected Works of Guchang' by Lee Geon in 1629. 

jeju-haenyeo-museumA display at Jeju Haenyeo Museum

The Jeju Haenyeo has been playing a significant role in the fishing industry and economy on Jeju Island.

Although this culture is changing and dwindling due to the rise of motorized boats and similar fishing industry, Jeju Haenyeo divers still do their traditional activities, and you can even see them working nearby the shores.

When you visit Jeju Haenyeo Museum, you will find out more about their traditional way of life. See below the structure of the Museum...

Exhibition Halls

Basically, Jeju Haenyeo Museum is structured into three exhibition halls.

Exhibition Hall 1
This hall is called "Haenyeo Diver's Life." You will see the traditional house structure of a haenyeo, including how she prepares her food and the setup of her kitchen.

You will see in a somewhat realistic view of her daily life at home after a day's work. For example, you'll find her kitchen's utensils and cooking pots, also on Jeju's folk customs, culture, and rituals before diving.

Exhibition Hall 2
At this hall, you will discover the haenyeo's goggles, fishing spears, and other gears being used underwater.

You will also see the traditional diving suit and other relevant records about the Jeju Haenyeos.

Exhibition Hall 3
This hall is called "The Sea," where you can find Jeju Island's fishing industry culture and practices. Videos about haenyeos are accessible to visitors as well.

You will learn about the traditional fishing nets, fishing equipment, and model fishing boat and salt farms set up as displays.

More Accessible Facilities

Aside from the main halls, you can find other educational and useful resources when at the Museum...

Basement First Floor
At B1F, you can research at its library. YOu can also attend a seminar at its seminar room. On this basement floor, you can find its storage room, machine room, and other facilities, some of which are restricted to staff only.

Haenyeo Culture Center
At this center, you can find the following facilities...

Parking Area
Children Haenyeo Hall, Office
A stage for cultural performances, events

Useful Information

See the following details that you need to know first before deciding to visit the place.

All adults are welcome.
Children at 12 and under maybe need guardians.
Adults are not allowed at the Experience Center except for the guardians.

Admission/Participation Fee Rates:
Individual: Adult: 1,100 KRW; Teen: 500 KRW
Group: Adult: 800 KRW; Teen: 300 KRW

Note: A group means they compose of 10 or more individuals; an adult is from 24 and over, and a teenager is 13 to 24 years old.

Contact Details
Website: www.haenyeo.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
1330 Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330
Phone: +82-64-782-9898, +82-710-7771, 7775

Operation Hours
For adults and Youth: 9 AM to 6 PM
For Children Haenyeo Museum: 9 AM to 5 PM
All guests can enter the latest one hour before closing.

The Museum is closed on January 1, Lunar New Year's Day (Seollal), and Chuseok Day (Thanksgiving Day), and the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month.

One can roughly enjoy the exhibitions within an hour. Please, don't rush if you want to learn and experience more about the Haenyeos.

Programs: Haenyeo Culture Experience Program
Language Interpretation Service

26, Haenyeobangmulgwan-gil, Jeju-si, Jeju-do

Getting to Jeju Haenyeo Museum

Coming out of Jeju International Airport, you can take either bus number 100 or 200 just outside the airport's bus stops (look for the numbers at the screens).

Then get off at Jeju Bus Terminal Bus Stop, where you need to transfer for Sehwa and Seongsan directions. Listen to the announcement on the bus (or use your smartphone's app) and get off at Jeju Haenyeo Japan Resistance Movement Memorial Park Bus Stop (a mouthful!).

Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the airport or anywhere on the island to the Museum. It should not take an hour to get there.

By the way, taking a taxi is inexpensive and practical in Korea, especially when traveling with a friend, partner, or family member.

Thanks for reading this far. I hope you have a pleasant journey if you do!

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