Cheju - as the leaves turn

The women of Jeju have a reputation for strength. The island is famous for its haenyeo, female divers who gather abalone and other seafood for up to five hours a day in the cold sea — without scuba gear. The diver figurines for sale in the haenyeo museum on Jeju look like Snow White with goggles. But the real haenyeo are squat, powerful women, many of them still working in this dying profession into their 60s and 70s.

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Although tourism is one of the main industries on the island, many of the hotels and other tourist areas are run by mainland companies, so much of the income never gets put back into the local economy. Also, since the attractions are geared towards tourists, many of the entrance fees can be hefty (although the locally owned and operated ones tend to be cheaper). Similar to Gyeongju and some other areas, local residents can enter most places for free or for a steeply discounted price.

CHEJU - As The Leaves TurnCHEJU - As The Leaves TurnCHEJU - As The Leaves TurnCHEJU - As The Leaves Turn