People come to Jeju for its clean, beautiful environment. As it turns out, so do animals in nature.
The island, for one, is home to many wild bird species which inhabit its relatively undisturbed estuaries and forests.
And you may be surprised to learn that the common bottlenose dolphin and the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin also inhabit Jeju waters.
Though there are dolphins kept in captivity and which perform for the public here, the fact is if you love these beautiful creatures then seeing them in the wild is the only responsible way to go.
We were lucky to see a group of bottlenose dolphins recently off the southwest coast. We were on a so-called “dolphin tour,” one that puts the safety and wellbeing of the animals first.
There were about a dozen or so dolphins swimming a few hundred meters from shore. Some of the fully-grown adults measured about two and half meters in length and weighed about 200 kilograms or more.
The small fishing vessel we were on ran a very quiet outboard engine and we maintained a safe, respectful distance – which didn’t detrimentally affect our experience in the slightest. It was magic to see the dolphins interact with each other and occasionally launch themselves in the air – seemingly to give us a better look!
Please note: The tour operator (discover-jeju.com) does not guarantee dolphin sightings. An outing ranges from 30 to 50 minutes in length and costs 38,000 won per person.
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