Seogwipo, Jeju

25th April 2013, Thursday
Seogwipo, Jeju-do

We stayed in Tae Gong Gak Inn & Guesthouse at Seogwipo, Jeju. The hostess is really helpful, albeit a little on the OCD side. Haha. Sylvia is a an excellent hostess and made sure our stay is as comfortable as it can be.

What I really like about this guesthouse is the breakfast spread! We are in for a good treat! There are bagels, wheat bread, white bread, cup noodles, fruits, coffee machines, tea, home made tangerine jam, etc! We enjoyed the breakfast session very much. You may wear the sandals from your room to the pantry if you plan to go back to your room after breakfast to pack your things before going out. There’s a door towards the backyard, with a small wooden patio with chairs, overlooking a small orchard of tangerine trees. It’s really a quaint guesthouse.

From the guesthouse, you can actually walk to the nearest waterfall – I think some 20 minutes walk. I didn’t want to go because I was too tired the first night itself. Then we sort of procrastinated over going there during the 3 nights stay so we sort of miss it altogether. Haha.

I think Seogwipo is a rather nice town, with small cafe outlets sprouting sparsely, but there are plenty of restaurants surrounding the area. We were rather perplexed that the place is somewhat empty – most restaurants have only one table or perhaps, 2 tables filled with people the most. I wonder how these people stay afloat in their businesses with so few people around? Even the market – or perhaps, we went to the nearby market rather late, so there were fewer people around.

We didn’t try the black pork here Not sure why. Haha. During this trip, my brain sort of malfunctioned… perhaps of the too much walking. Haha. So here goes, some photos of Seogwipo. I love this place!

Tae Gong Gak Inn & Guesthouse

Many murals along the way as we walk about Seogwipo

Going to the market, a fruit stall

I simply love this shot!

Scooter.. is the way to go!

A Visit to Udo Island

25th April 2013, Thursday
Udo-myeon

We decided to visit Udo Island on the last full day while we were in Jeju. We opted out from visiting the teddy bear museum, or the west side of Jeju – oh well, I’ve seen so many photos of my friends going to teddy bear museum, I guess it’s enough lah.

Amy said this place is also known as land of the yellow flowers. After the episode of camwhoring along the road to Seongsan Ichulbong yesterday, I guess we can never get enough of the beautiful, petite flowers! Our guesthouse host wrote a note on a piece of paper for us to bring along to the bus station, located some 15 minutes walk away. We got to the station, showed the ticketing officer the piece of paper and paid our bus fare. We waited for the bus and was gestured to get into the bus intending to go towards the harbour, for us to board a ferry to Udo Island.

It was a really bright but chilly morning. I could hardly open my eyes. The journey took more than an hour to get to the harbour. I don’t really remember how to get about it so I googled how to get there here for you – for ease of reference if you want to go. Here’s also another link.

The walk from the bus station to the harbour took us another 15 minutes. It was really freaking far (for me at least!)! Once we got there, we got our ferry tickets and took the 10-15 mins ferry to Udo Island. I was told Udo in Korean means a lying cow – lying down.. not telling lies kua? Haha.

As we got onto the ferry, almost everybody got excited with the seagulls. Since it was such a windy morning, the seagulls sort of “float” effortlessly in the wind, just like kites. They were waiting for us to feed them. So many visitors were feeding the seagulls till they actually sell prawn crackers on board of the ferry for visitors to buy and feed them to the seagulls.. imagine the amount of MSG these seagulls are taking! No wonder, they looked not so pretty now. Haha. There’s also a black little puppy on the ferry, and became an instant star. Everybody wanted to pat and feed him!

When we got down to the port, we were greeted by a mural of peanuts and lighthouse, made out of mosaic. I guess this is how we found out, this island is famous for its peanuts. So we will be eating some peanuts later! We didn’t rent an ATV because only one of us brought our driving license. As long as you show them your driving license, you will get to rent the ATV. So, we follow the majority of people and took a bus ride. We didn’t really understand what was going on because most explanations are done in their native language. We could hear laughter from local visitors and couldn’t help smiling ourselves to see that the bus drivers here take their job, rather jovially. I think we should just follow the crowd, as the buses come every 30 minutes to take us around the entire island.

Well, these are some of the snapshots taken on Udo Island. I love the coral beach the most! Seobin Baeksa! In fact, I brought back some of the sand which looked like rice grains back, as remembrance.

Seagulls welcoming us onto the ferry towards Udo-Island

Udo Bong – the cliff overseeing the sea

Tucking in the basic bibimbap

Dongangyeonggul Cave – where you get to ride a speedboat to visit, we didn’t

Must eat ice cream with peanuts!

My favorite beach, Seobin Baksa

Try spending more time near Seobin Baksa and have a cup of coffee, while watching the day goes by. It was worth it. There’s a Latte King facing the beach, so you can plonk your ass there and relax!

We didn’t buy peanuts to go back though. For other photos, please have a look here – Jeju and Udo photos.

All Around Jeju-do

24th April 2013, Wednesday
Jeju-do

We were advised by the owner of our guesthouse to hire a driver to take us around, since it would save us more time and we would be able to go to more places. It wasn’t cheap to hire a bigger car for the 5 of us. It costs us around 170,000 won for 9 hours. That’s roughly RM500 for 9 hours. Anyway, we went ahead with it, since we only have two full days in Jeju-do, we might as well make the most of it. So these are the places that the driver will take you if you go to the “east” of Jeju. Jeju-do’s places of interests are divided into two – one is towards the east where the coastal roads are, which is more scenic or the west – where you go to places like museums, and also some sight seeing. I didn’t do much homework about Jeju, so I let the rest decide. We decided to go east – the coastal road area. It was indeed a good choice because the coastal area is simply so beautiful! Here are some pics for you guys. I think if you follow my instagram, you would have seen them!

Jeongbang Waterfall – it was said to be the only waterfall that falls direct to the sea

Fresh and juicy strawberries at 5-day interval market

Seopjikoji – Coastal view

On our way to Seongsan Ichulbong

Seongsan Ichulbong, where you get to see a volcano crater and also women divers, looking for oyster

Jeju Stone Park

Toppoki near Seogwipo, where we stayed

I can safely say, I think we covered most of the places. I think the place that I like most is probably Seopjikoji. It has a nice coastal line, kinda reminds me of Melbourne’s Great Ocean Road. The walk up the area is not so challenging, unlike Seongsan Ichulbong – well, we cheated. We didn’t go up the crater. See from pictures enough lah. LOL!

Also, remember to try the cuttle fishes there. They are very fresh, lightly smoked with salt. Most of the places we went were very well maintained and there’s hardly any rubbish around. The toilets are all so clean! Eventhough it’s spring and not supposed to be so cold, it’s best to bring along your jacket because the wind could be very chilly! I can’t imagine if it’s winter!

Try to plan your day by checking the weather forecast. Normally, it’s very accurate. Also, must try the strawberries there. They are sweet and juicy! I think you can ask them if you can pick the strawberries yourself because I think they put some not so fresh ones at the bottom of the box we bought. 😦

The locals back at Seogwipo are rather friendly lot. When we asked an elderly ajusi where can we find toppoki, he was talking rather loudly and gestured us to follow him. I think the entire market people knew we were going to have toppoki for dinner. LOL!

All in all, it was a really eventful day. We came back sharp at 6 pm and went out to have a walk around Seogwipo area where we stayed and had some street food.

Hmmm… do you notice most of the places name start with a “S”. I wonder why.

Thank God for Heated Floors!

Sorry for lack of updates. After spending 9 days in South Korea and almost didn’t want to come back.. I was back for work, then the much talked about mother of all election. Sigh. I guess my spirit is still dampened by the results. Also, being rather occupied at work and also at home, hence, the lack of update.

Well, am going to write about Seoul, I guess. I think I try my best to recall everything as the great trip was organized by our buddy, Lilian and I felt so comfortable and at ease that I left my planning brains at home. Haha!

23rd April 2013, Tuesday

Kuala Lumpur – Seoul – Jeju

We took the midnight flight to Seoul at 0105. It was a packed flight. I guess if I were to travel to some place more than 5 hours, I would go for other airline. The seats on AirAsia is really too tight. Anyway, I guess I couldn’t blame them if I can’t even control my own weight right??? Haha.

It was not-so-eventful flight. I was trying to catch up with some sleep since there’s nothing much to do.. unfortunately, the lady sitting next to me – so peacefully asleep and yet, don’t know why she kept kicking my leg and the best part was, she seemed to know her timing to kick whenever I was about to slip into sleeping realm… sigh. I have a massive heavy head when we reached Incheon International Airport, Seoul sharp on time. After sorting out with the tourist information centre, we took a bus to Gimpo Airport to catch the next flight to Jeju.

Better pay attention when you are on the bus to Gimpo airport from Incheon. I was the one with heavy head but the rest went down when we reach “International Gimpo airport”. I thought I heard wrongly so I went down with them as well. We should have gotten down at “Domestic Gimpo airport” instead. It was a lucky thing that there’s a free shuttle bus from international airport to the domestic airport! If not, it won’t be very nice to be paying another fee! Also, we almost attempted to walk there ourselves.. it’s actually quite a distance from the international airport to domestic!! Haha. As a note – well, the domestic airport is probably the last stop on the bus route from Incheon to Gimpo.

Since we have too much time to kill – we booked a later flight, in case there’s a delay in the flight earlier and also give some “time” for us to “get lost”, we had our early brunch at the airport.

We took JejuAir to Jeju. It’s a flight to furthest down south. The trip was filled with plenty of local people, students as well as ahjummas in their colorful attire.

The moment I got onto the plane for the flight, I fell into a deep sleep. I definitely hope I didn’t snore. Even if I did, I thank God nobody knew me on the plane.. but I hope I don’t appear anywhere on YouTube lah. God forbid! Tagline: Grotesque woman snoring her lungs out on public flight! It would be super embarrassing.

When we got to the Jeju airport, I was somehow disoriented. I got a little impatient and wanting to get out from the airport immediately. I asked the rest, “What are we waiting for? Let’s go!” then proceeded to walk towards the gate.

“Your luggage leh?” asked one of my friends.

“Aiyoh.. oh shit. I really forgotten about it!”

I was so tired and brain dead that I totally forgotten about the luggage. We got onto another bus to get to our guest house. It was somewhat more than an hour journey there. I tried not to sleep because of the earlier incident of getting onto the wrong station. At the same time, enjoying the scenery and smelling fresh Jeju air, which is sort of permeated with a tinge of citrus. Yes, Jeju is well known for its tangerines.

When we almost arrive at the station near our guesthouse, the drizzling rain suddenly became heavier. I shook my head in disbelief. I hope we are not that “bad luck” throughout the trip. I brought an umbrella but I kept it in the luggage stored in the bus compartment below. Just what I need! Pffffff!!!

So, the moment we got to our station, we ran down and trying to get our luggage out from the compartment. It was so damn cold, could feel the chill seeping into my bones! Luckily, the guys gestured me to run to the opposite of the road to get shelter from the fruit stall. Wah lao! It was an experience! Luckily my luggage was not that heavy! Pre-shopping! So people, please keep your shopping till the end of your trip!

Lilian asked around how to get to Tae Gong Gak Inn & Guesthouse from the station – which is just a 5 minute walk downhill from the station. Thank goodness, it’s downhill and we don’t have to suffer more than rain!

The moment we got into the guesthouse, I heaved a sigh of relief. I couldn’t wait to get to the room to change into slippers because I don’t want my walking shoes to be wet as I only brought a pair!

After getting some information on where to eat, we were led to a shop selling local Korean dishes. Since we were famished after the long travel, we quickly eat whatever that were served. It was still raining when we walked to the restaurant. I didn’t bring my jacket too as I only have ONE jacket, so I wrapped myself in a shawl. Luckily the weather was not too cold, otherwise, it’s not wise to catch a cold or falling sick on the first day of the trip!

IMG_0007aThe dinner spread!

We ended the day by having some coffee at this place, Take Out. Well, I think it’s a chain store of coffee but the sweet potato coffee was really nice. It was also very nice to drink something hot on a cold, rainy night. Ah, wishing such night would never end.

We got back to the hostel and I really thank God for the heated floor! We could actually dry our clothes and bags on the heated floor! My backpack is not even waterproof so most contents inside were all wet, so I laid everything on the floor, crank up the temperature and leave them till morning… but please remember if you have sweets or chocolates inside your bag.. please take them out… my Sneakers bar was reduced to a packet of hot cocoa.. so I had to put the Sneakers bar back into the fridge to harden it. Haha! Since it was such a long day… we decided to call it a night earlier and be prepared for the next day.

Anyeong Haseyo!

Am in Jeju island now.. After almost 20 hours of transit! Took a bus from Jalan Ipoh with a friend to LCCT to catch midnight flight to Seoul. Was too early so waited for almost 3 hours before boarding.

The flight was dramatic and filled with restlessness. One lady passenger gotten sick and the stewardesses paged for doctor or nurses or paramedics on board. I was too tired to be bothered. Tried to sleep but the old lady sitting next to me kept kicking my leg.. Sigh.

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At the bus station from Incheon to Gimpo

After a stiff neck and body aching all over, we reached Incheon, Seoul at 8.30 am. Took a bus to Gimpo to catch a domestic flight to Jeju. Was early again because we worried to schedule connecting flight too closely, just in case if there is a flight delay.

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I love Korean food!

Not sure why but the air in Jeju island sort of has a tinge of tangerine smell to it. Jeju today is foggy and raining throughout the evening. A little regret for not taking a cab. Anyway, dinner and coffee after were worth it. Its good to have something hot on a rainy, freezy night.

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Affogato before the night cap

Will write more when I am less tired.