Category Archives: Jeju

Earphone, Patch & Jjigae

November 8th 2013

I woke up at 6 AM. The room was empty when I went to sleep at 9 PM but sometimes during the night the other girls came. All of the beds were occupied.

I left the hostel at 7 AM and took a cab to airport. It was only 10 min drive. On the way, the taxi driver asked something in Korean. I told him that I’m going to Busan from the airport, hoping that he’d dropped me off at the domestic terminal. kekeke.

When we arrived at the domestic terminal, the meter showed KRW 4100. I gave KRW 5000 bill and the ahjussi gave me KRW 1000 so I gave him KRW 300 as tips.

I went to check-in. The boarding time was 8.45 AM. I still had 1.5 hours. So I went upstairs to the 4th floor, to restaurants area. I made a stop at the pharmacy and bought a motion sickness patch for my friend. That patch was called Kimite. We saw Korean celebrities used this patch behind their ears to prevent motion sickness.20131108_072649 20131108_072710After that, I found a food hall at the end of the hall. It has kimchi jjige with pork. yummy.

I ordered that at the cashier. It was 7000 won, I gave a 10k bill. The cashier gave me a digital numbering device showing my queuing number and the food stall name but she didn’t gave me the KRW 3k. I thought, maybe the money would be given with the food.20131108_072835 20131108_072828I sat near the food stall and waited for the device to beep. About 5 min later, the food was ready. I gave the device to the lady at the food stall and then I took the tray with food but there’s no money. Anyway, I enjoyed the food. It’s spicy. My tears came out while I was eating…kekeke.20131108_073007I  looked around and saw the water dispenser with glasses. Next to it was a rack for dirty dishes. People put away their dirty dishes to the rack after eating. There’s a stall with return sign. Oh, maybe I would get the money there. I couldn’t finish the jjige. it was too spicy.

Then, I put away the dirty dishes on the rack and refilled my water bottle from the dispenser. After that, I walked to the return stall but it was for returning the dirty dishes. So I finally went to the cashier again, asking about the return money and she apologize for forgetting to return it. kekeke…it’s ok eonni.

It was 8.05 AM. I went downstairs to 3rd floor to the departure area.

There were two queuing lines. one for Korean citizens, the other for foreigners. It’s because foreigners could come to Jeju without visa. So they had to obtain a permit to travel to other places in Korea.

The officer checked my passport and visa there. After that, the security check. It took a while because a girl was wearing money belt and forgot to take it off before passing the security gate. Then a boy after her, had some coins in his pockets. jeez.

After that, I went to the gate area. The gate no 1 was at the end of the hallway. I went to sit near the toilet entrance. When I sat, I saw a green teddy bear was left on the chair. The chain on the teddy was broken. Poor it for losing its owner, so I took it with me after seeing that no one was looking for it the boarding was on time.

When I put the teddy inside my bag, I realized that something was missing. It was my earphone. I used it when I watched a video from my phone the night before and I put it on a box near the bed. It was dark when I left the room and I didn’t check the box again.

Hu….hu…hu….I left Jeju with a bad taste for losing things there…..maybe next time I’ll be luckier…..maybe…..bye-bye Jeju.

The Jeju Chocolate Deals

Nov 7th, 2013

It was around 12.30 PM when I finally said goodbye to the peak. I stopped by at the rest room and then looked around the souvenirs shops around the area. I finally decided to buy chocolates with Jeju Oranges filling for my friends back at home. Jeju Oranges was one of the delicacies in Korean. Back in the old days, only King or high ranking officials could have a taste of them.

I bought the chocolate with the price of KRW 10k per box. I bought 4 boxes and got a box of blueberry chocolate for free. Each box had 30 pieces of chocolate.

Then, I went to another souvenir store. In that store, you could get 4 boxes of chocolate @ 15 pieces with the price of KRW 10k. Hem….I felt….darn….hahahaha…..anyway….it was for souvenirs.

Then, I went looking for abalone porridge (Jeonbokjuk – 전복죽). People said that the yummiest one was sold at Sehwa-ri, the one that was eaten by the female divers in that village.  But I was hungry and it took time to go back to Sehwa-ri. So I walked around and finally found a restaurant. The restaurant looked famous because it displayed the name of one of the national TV stations and lots of famous peoples’ signatures on its premise.20131107_133116I went inside and ordered the porridge. It was KRW 15k, more than my meal budget but hey….when you’re on holiday, it’s time to relax and enjoy it. 20131107_125715The porridge portion was big. I made a conclusion that when you’re eating in a restaurant in Korea, it’s expected that you’re eating out with other people. They don’t design a meal to be eaten alone.

The taste was fabulous.

I took time to finished it and looked around the restaurant. Next to my table, there was a grandpa, also eating alone. He had a portion of seafood soup that looked so red and spicy but he ate it with gusto making it looked yummy. Another table across from mine, there was a family of 5 or 6 adults. They ordered lots of food such as grilled fish, the porridge, seafood pancake (Haemul Pajeon) and soju. Whoa…what a feast!

After I succeed in finishing the porridge, I took a walk around the area to get a full shot of the peak. It wasn’t the ideal time to take the shot but I only had 1 day to spend there. So, here’s the best one:IMG_7985After that, I wanted to take a walk on Olle route 2. There were signs along the beach but the path suddenly disappeared and it was led to a wide road. I decided to go back to the bus stop near the harbor where I got off this morning.

There were interesting sights on the way back to the harbor. Birds that reminded me of the cheeky thieves in Australia. Horses and a group of old men watching them.IMG_7986 IMG_7987 IMG_7988 IMG_7989 IMG_7990 IMG_7992 IMG_7993 IMG_7994 IMG_7995 IMG_7996 IMG_7997 IMG_7998At a bus stop near the Seongsan Ilchulbong, I saw a girl asking several grandmothers there in English while none of them understood her. I asked her, what did she want to know. She asked me how to get back to Jungmun resort. As I remembered, the place was on the other side of the island. So I told her that she could take a bus to Seogwipo-si and then from there, she should asked around on how to get the the resort.

Then she asked me from which bus station that she should take the bus and I told her to cross the street. I completely forgot that the vehicles here ran on the other side of the road from the ones in my country. At the bus stop across the street, she asked another people and they told her to cross the street again. As she was crossing the street, the bus to Seogwipo-ri arrived and she got on that bus. Phew. I wished she arrived at the resort safely.

I was amazed to see a solo female traveler like her. One that could go to a country without having enough information and had the courage to ask around when she couldn’t speak the local language.

Then, I went to cross the street and waiting for the bus to Jeju city. Unlike the bus stop across the street that had a roof and glass walls, this one, there was only a sign post saying bus stop. The sun was shining happily that afternoon while I was dying to rest my feet from the long walk I had that day. And the bus didn’t came sooner. I waited there for almost 1 hour. T_T

At first, I wanted to stop by at the Sehwa-ri museum but it was already 3 PM. So, when the bus finally came, I decided to go back to the hostel. I paid the fee, KRW 3,000 to the bus driver and sat down and fell asleep almost right away.

At 4.20 PM, the bus arrived at the Jeju Intercity terminal. I went back to the hostel and rest.

Btw, when I was resting and writing, I noticed that the hostel sold the chocolate too. With the price KRW 10k for 4 boxes. Kekekekeke…..what a deal for the Jeju Chocolates!

 

Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak

7 Nov 2013

7.45 AM on the bus to Seongsan Ilchulbong.

I woke up at 6.30 AM and then prepared my self for today’s journey to Seongsan Ilchulbong. The hostel was still quiet that morning and I skipped breakfast again because the breakfast was not served until 8 AM. I guessed, most of the people who went for holiday woke up around that time.20131107_072532From the hostel, I crossed the street and entered the Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal building. I went to the ticket locket and bought a ticket for bus no 700 (KRW 3000). You can also buy the ticket directly from the bus driver.

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Inside the bus, there were 4 seats on a row. There weren’t seat-belts for the passengers. The announcement inside the bus were in 4 languages (Korean, English, Japan and Mandarin).

7.58 AM – at one of the bus stop, an Ahjumma told the bus driver to wait because there’s an elderly who wanted to take the bus but couldn’t walk fast. They paid the bus fare with a card like t-money. Before taping the card to the device, they told the driver their destination and then the driver selected a menu to cut the balance appropriately. The bus fare calculation was not automatic yet.

8.40 AM – the bus passed the Manjanggul Cave. There were taxis at the bus stop to the cave because the cave entrance was about 2.5 KM from there.

Along the way, there were lots of wind turbines for generating electricity.CIMG1861

After passing the Sehwa-ri bus stop, I noticed that the announcement in 4 languages were only for bus stop at tourist attractions.  Sehwa-ri is famous for the women-divers (haenyeo). There’s a museum of Sehwa-ri female divers there.

Around 9 AM –  arrived at Seongsan area.

I got off the bus at the wrong bus stop. T_T. It’s because I saw the road sign saying Seongsan Ilchulbong. I got off once I saw it, but it’s the bus stop to Seongsan Harbor. There were 2 bus stops from there to the Sunrise Peak.IMG_7852It’s a sunny day so I won’t mind walking. There were a lot of interesting things to see on my way there:IMG_7851 IMG_7853And I could see this sneak peek of the peak (whoaaaa…..what a mouthful words….kekeke)IMG_7854

There’s a short cut to the parking lot of the park area, but my instinct to get lost made me choose the longest route to get there ( I was foolishly following the road sign for cars).IMG_7855

When I finally arrived, the first thing that I was looking for was not the entry ticket but food. Kekekeke….

This is the map of the area:IMG_7856 If you’re using smart phone with NFC chip, you can get the guide (but I think it’s only in Korean – I didn’t try it):IMG_7857 IMG_7858 IMG_7859

Seongsan Ilchulbong is one of Unesco’s World Heritage sites.IMG_7861There were a lot of food vendors near the park entrance. Mostly sold street-food snacks. I chose the rice cake (Tteokbokki) sold by this Ahjumma (KRW 3000). It was chewy, spicy but sweet.IMG_786220131107_095226After that, I went inside the exhibition hall.IMG_7860There were beautiful photos of the Seongsan Ilchulbong area. These were my favorites:CIMG1862 CIMG1863Then, I went to the ticketing office. The entrance ticket was only KRW 2000 – cheaper than the Teokkbokki. There were a lot of tourists, mostly were school children.IMG_7864 IMG_7863IMG_7865I think this was some kind of sun dial – but I’m not so sure:IMG_7866And I’m not sure either about this spot, perhaps an area where you could ride a horse:IMG_7867From the ticketing office, it was an uphill climb to the top of the peak. Normally, people need only 50 minutes for round trip from bottom to the top. IMG_7878 IMG_7879

Photographers usually go to this place to catch the sunrise….well….I wasn’t that dedicated to catch the sunrise….it was around 10.30 AM when I started the climb.IMG_7880 IMG_7884This terrace was the first rest area on the way to the peak:IMG_7888 IMG_7887 IMG_7886 IMG_7885

There were several sacred rocks and they even have names. There’s a notice sign warning people to behave appropriately  around these sacred rocks.

IMG_7890 IMG_7891IMG_7889IMG_7892 IMG_7895 IMG_7917IMG_7897IMG_7901 IMG_7900Here and there there were hidden places where you could take a peek of the beautiful scenery of the island:IMG_7894 IMG_7893IMG_7899 IMG_7903 IMG_7905  IMG_7910 IMG_7911 IMG_7913 IMG_7914 IMG_7918  IMG_7919IMG_7921 IMG_7920I was amazed to see this grandma climbing the steps with the aid of her walking sticks. Fighting!

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This was the highest viewing deck to view the island:20131107_110839IMG_7922

There was a terrace with long benches where you could rest while enjoying the view. It was windy up there. I sat for a while, drinking and eating chocolate to replenish my energy.

A little climb up from the deck and I finally arrive at the peak. It took me 1 hour to reach the peak.

IMG_7923 IMG_7924 IMG_7925 IMG_7930IMG_7926There were benches where people can sit while listening to a guide explaining them how the peak was formed. Too bad, the explanation was in Korean but the tour guide was eye-catching:

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The peak was formed from a volcanic eruption. The eruption created a crater with stones around it that looks like a crown.IMG_7927 IMG_7928 IMG_7929IMG_7939 IMG_7944  IMG_7946 IMG_7945 IMG_7948IMG_7949IMG_7943IMG_7931 IMG_7932 IMG_7933 IMG_7935 IMG_7934People usually stayed only for a while at the peak. They only stayed to take pictures of themselves with the great background view of the crated and the island and then went down.

As a tourist, I admired how the Korean government manages this complex. It was clean and the infrastructure was great. They made 2 sets of sturdy stairs, one to climb uphill and the other to went down. Each route showing the beautiful views of the island to the max.

IMG_7950 IMG_7951 IMG_7952 IMG_7953 IMG_7954 IMG_7956IMG_7955  There were several viewing decks on the way down to the entrance where people could rest and took pictures.IMG_7957 IMG_7958 IMG_7959IMG_7960

It took me another hour to went down from the peak. It was a good sport and I couldn’t stop clicking my camera. Even on my way to the exit, I still stopped here and there to take pictures.

IMG_7961 IMG_7962  IMG_7964 IMG_7963IMG_7965IMG_7973IMG_7974 IMG_7977 IMG_7969There was a female-divers-show but looking at the stairs to go down to the pier, I decided to pass. IMG_7967IMG_7966  IMG_7968 IMG_7970IMG_7971 IMG_7972I glanced again at the peak. I wanted to spend more time there but my stomach protested loudly. I finally said goodbye to Seongsan Ilchulbong and went to find a delicious lunch. IMG_7979IMG_7980

Extra 50k Won Trip from Sokcho to Jeju

6 Nov 2013

I woke up at 6.30 AM. I had another dream with ghosts in it. Yesterday I had that kind of dream too. Was it because I was too tired?

I left the Casa Seorak around 7.50 AM. I took picture of the mountain. It was cloudy.20131106_075136RWhen I reached the main street, the bus to Sokcho city came but it left before I crossed the street. I waited for the next bus for 15 minutes.20131106_075902When the next bus came, I got on the bus and paid 1100 won. I listened carefully to hear the information of the bus stop for the express terminal. After passing the Sunrise Park Entrance, the announcement finally said gosok terminal, gosok (고속) means express. The bus stop was about 50 m after the terminal building. When I got off, I opened the KTO’s Visit Korea Mobile App to check my location and my guess was right. The small building at the intersection is the terminal building. It looks more like a bank than a bus terminal.20131106_084301I bought the ticket – KRW 18,100. The bus departure time was 9 AM. I went to the toilet and when I came back, the bus was ready. It was 8.43 AM. I took several pictures of the building and then got on the bus.20131106_083634 20131106_084209 20131106_084213 20131106_084418I got a window seat this time. Yeay! The bus was more luxurious. It had a TV and the seats were slightly bigger than the intercity bus.20131106_084557The bus left on time at 9 AM. We passed several tunnels on the toll road to Seoul.

At 10.02 AM, the bus stopped for 15 minutes at a rest area. Before reaching the rest stop, the tv showed announcement in english and korean. I went to toilet and bought a pack of hodugwaja (호두과자) .Myungje told me that it’s the favorite food at rest area in Korea. It’s a small cake with red bean filling and shaped like a walnut. I ate a few before the bus ran again. It’s not allowed to eat and drink on the bus.20131106_100754 20131106_100832 20131106_101307 20131106_101440 20131106_101454

Arrived at Seoul express bus terminal in Gangnam at 11.45 AM. I followed the sign to subway – about 225 m from the bus terminal. There were 2 subway entrances. The first one only has stairs. Not far in front of it there’s another entrance, a bigger one with escalators. I used elevator to the ticketing level. There’s a shopping mall inside the subway station.

When the lift came, there was a man with bulky plastic bags containing clothes inside. When the elevator door opened, he threw the bags one by one. I couldn’t get my baggage to pass the door because his bulky bags were in the way. An ajumma got through but she didn’t hold the doors. She waved at me when the elevator went down. kekeke. The man took several bags with him and left some of the bulky bags in front of the elevator. Then he came back to carry the rest of them. After that, the elevator came up again and I could finally had a ride down to the ticketing level.

I bought ticket from machine but it only accept 1000 won bill. I only had 10000 won bill. When I was looking around, I noticed a bill changer machine next to the ticket machine. Nice!20131106_115754When I arrived at the train platform, I noticed that it’s a different kind. Instead of facing each other, the door to each lane were on the other side. You have to go up and down the escalator if you chose the wrong lane and it showed only the next station name. I memorized the station number while I was on the bus but it was useless.20131106_120606I had to check on the map to make sure that I was on the right lane. It turned out that I was on the right lane but the information on the door, there were 2 lanes, general and express. Then, a train came but the announcement was in Korean only. The girl in front of me didn’t get on the train so I decided to wait just in case I was on the wrong lane again. But after rechecking the map, I was sure it’s the right lane. Another train came and the announcement said that it was the express train to Gimpo airport. Wow. I was lucky to wait because the express train skips several stations and it took shorter time to get to the airport.

When I arrived at subway station in Gimpo airport, after exiting the subway, I returned the ticked to this Refund machine to get the deposit money back.20131106_115806The walk from platform to domestic check-in area was quite far, about 500 m. It took at least 10 min to walk there. I saw a girl and a boy running all the way to the airport, while I was walking. The girl dropped something and then the boy took the girl’s backpack and they ran again together. It’s so sweet of him. I hoped they didn’t miss their flight. The check-in was on the 2nd floor of the airport. Jeju Air booths were almost at the end of the check-in area, just walked straight line from the escalator. The check-in process took quite a while because they were changing working shift. I was told to wait about 5 min to make sure that my bag went to the right direction.

It was 1.10 PM when the check-in process was finally done and the boarding gate closed on 1.35 PM. The boarding area was on the 3rd floor. I only had 10 minutes to eat lunch so I went to the Lotteria on the 3rd floor before entering the boarding area. I ate Lotz burger with coke and fries in less than 10 minutes then I went inside the boarding area. The boarding gate no 17 was on the right side from the security area, it’s on the end of the alley. The plane was a bit delayed and some passengers were late. The flight to Jeju took around 55 minutes.

I arrived in Jeju airport at around 3 PM. I went outside the terminal through exit 2 and found the bus stop. I checked at the information display and found that bus no 100 next stop was the intercity bus terminal.20131106_153105I got on the bus, paid 1000 won. About 5 min on the bus, I heard announcement for intercity bus terminal. A girl with a baggage pressed the stop button. The bus stopped in front of a bus stop that said intercity bus. I followed the girl to get off the bus but couldn’t see the terminal. I checked the maps-with-me app and the KTO apps. The apps showed that the terminal was 5 min away in car. I didn’t know why I was persistently trying to find my way with the map, while I could easily wait for the next bus no 100. I spent several minutes at the intersection to find out the correct direction to the bus terminal. I was silly and walked all the way to the terminal. I saw the 100 bus passed me on my long – sweaty – walk to the terminal. jeez.Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal - the backyard

Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal – the backyard

When I arrived at the terminal, I circled it while looking for the hostel sign. The hostel direction in the confirmation email said that I should be able to see it from in front of the terminal. I walked around the terminal and didn’t found it. I finally make a call and a man answered and he told me to wait there, he would come and get me. He came and we laughed at the experience. It turned out, what I was supposed to be able to see was the sign board, located across the street from the terminal. jeez.Can you see the hostel sign from here?

Can you see the hostel sign from here?

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The hostel was on a small street behind a bank building. I paid KRW 36k for 2 nights and then I just realized that I lost a KRW 50k bill that I had prepared for paying the hostel. I must have dropped it off when I took out the paper with hostel phone number in it. Huhuhuhu… T_T . 50k won was a large sum of money. I could eat a portion of Jeju black pig with that amount of money. Hiks…bye bye Jeju black pig…..you’re lucky….this time.

The hostel employee then showed me the room and the door password. It was a cute and girly room.20131106_16482220131106_164832 20131106_180006I took a shower and then went down and asked about how to buy Osulloc tea. My friend gave me the money to buy the tea for her. Her brother bought it for her when he was on honeymoon. The hostel employee helped me checked the tea website, it was only available in Korean. He said that it seemed, the tea was only available at the plantation store. It was quite far from the hostel and I had to take taxi because there wasn’t any public bus to that area. He helped me wrote a note to the taxi driver to wait for me while I bought the tea.

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It was nice of him, but I only had 1 full day in Jeju and I didn’t want to spend it on tea hunting. So, I told him that going to the tea plantation was not an option. Then he checked the website again, and found a link to its online store. So he helped me placed my order to be delivered to the hostel that I was going to stay in Busan, my next destination. It took two of the hostel employees to complete the transaction because there was some problem with the credit card. At last, I gave the cash to the employee and he borrowed his friend’s credit card to complete the order. Phew.

Then, I asked him about the places in Jeju that would be possible to visit in 1 day by bus. FYI, if you want to visit Jeju, it’s easier and cheaper if you go with 2 or 3 friends because you can rent a car with a driver and you can visit several places in a day. There were several options that I wanted to see but all of them were located at the other side of the island from the hostel, so it wasn’t possible to visit them all in one day by public bus. The hostel employee helped me by asking, what kind of nature wonder that I won’t be able to see in my country. So, finally, I chose the Seongsan Ilchulbong.

After that, I went around the hostel area, looking for something to eat. The hostel employee said that there’s nothing special around the area. So I just walked, circling several blocks. I passed several restaurants but I found them not interesting. I finally stopped by at a small supermarket and bought an instant noodle with cheese and a bottle of makgeolli () – a local alcoholic beverages made from fermented rice and wheat.

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Back at the hostel, I cooked the noodle and ate it while drinking makgeolli. I felt that my face turned red only after 1 glass.

After finishing the noodle (but not the makgeolli!) and reading about Jeju attractions from one of the guide book at the hostel common area, I went to the bedroom. It was already 10.34 PM. What a long day! I hoped the 50K won bill that I lost brought good luck for those who found it.

Autumn in Korea – A Scrapbook

I made this scrapbook for my aunt, as a souvenir of my trip.

It took me 2 months to make it. I hope she will enjoy this ^_^

I hope you will enjoy this too…click on the picture to view in bigger size.

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