[Jeju Travel] So Ji-sub’s famous tree at Jeju Island’s Samdasoo Ranch along with glimpses of Africa’s Serengeti

An important note on Jeju’s updated bus system and this blog post

From August 2017, Jeju Island implemented a new city and intercity bus system. It increased the number of buses in service, while simplifying the routes, fees and numbering system.

Consequently, the contents of this previously published blog post may have changed. We therefore would kindly request that you consult this page for new bus maps in English on VisitJeju.net,  and this page on our blog for a chart of the old and new bus route numbers.

If you read Korean, then the province’s official bus system website is a useful and up-to-date resource. We hope you’ll enjoy your travels on Jeju Island!


If you are driving on the Bijarim-ro towards the 5.16 road and Saryeoni Forest Trail from the direction of the Gyorae-ri intersection then you’ll pass the Samdasoo Ranch on your right-hand side.

Trees obscure the view, so be careful. There are no signs denoting this famous site.

Yet there is a tree and it is a famous tree with a famous name.

The So Ji-sub tree.

Here in 2009 the actor did a commercial for the Sony A550.


The commercial starts off at the Kim Young-gap gallery, passing a few oreums, before reaching the Samdasoo Ranch.

Birds fly away.

I also heard the ranch has hints of Africa’s Serengeti so that’s another reason why I stopped by.

The real Serengeti stretches 30,000 square kilometers from western Tanzania to south-west Kenya.

“Ah, that’s why people calls this place the Serengeti,” is something you’ll exclaim upon entering this Jeju field.


Even if you have never been to the real Serengeti it matches your romantic notion of the place as seen on TV and in photographs.

Cows, horses, and the horns sported by roe deer could be mistaken for wild buffaloes in the moment.

Many visitors confuse this ranch with being owned by the same business that produces Jeju’s bottled water, Samdasoo. In fact this ranch is privately owned.

You are not meant to go over the fence into the field. Yet there is no owner around so many do.

Jeju’s Serengeti is the size of a baseball field.

About 20 trees are growing in the area. Some alone. Some together.

If you love to take photographs you shouldn’t miss this place. Though be wary about coming during bad weather.

I’m sharing my summer and winter photographs with you here.



Sunset and sunrise do offer good times to capture images. Mist hugs the ground. It is like art. I haven’t been enough diligent to be up at sunrise yet though.



The surrounding area also offers a sprinkling of good tourist attractions to incorporate into the trip.

Mini Mini Land and Sangumburi Crater lie near Gyorae-ri intersection. To the north is Ecoland and the Jeju Stone Park. Towards the 5.16 is access to Jeolmul Recreational Forest. A southern Namwon direction offers the Samdasoo Factory and Samdasoo Forest Trail.

Most of the restaurants near by specialize in cooking Jeju native raised chickens.

Before finishing up this post I must bring you back to So Ji-sub. There is one more tree famous for his presence on the island. It is out on the Pyeongwha-ro near the Castlex golf course. In front of Nuun Oreum it grows alone. I’ve not been there yet, but plan to go there soon.


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