Korea Part 1: Jeju Island – Land of Mountain and Sea
HAPPY 2012 EVERYONE!
I am back to the sunny island and down with 39-degrees high fever, sore throat, running and bleeding nose for the past 2 days. The cold winter in Korea is taking a toil in my body and even though I wear 4 layers of clothings everyday (i look like a ba zhuang), I still fell ill when I am back. It certainly feels shitty to take sick leave on the first day of work (sorry boss!) but I think I need some serious recuperation.
Anyway, my Korea trip ended with a blast! The food we had was mediocre, the hotels we stayed in are mostly very far away from the city, the tour guide’s english cannot be understood… but during this trip, we met many many new friends and our trip rocks because of them! This post, I will first share my Jeju travel photos with you, enjoy!
Yongduam Dragon Rock
Yongduam Dragon Rock is the famous tourist site in Jeju. There are many legends on how the dragon head came about. One of which is that a dragon stealing precious jade from Mt. Halla was shot down by an arrow from the mountain deity. When he fell down on Yongduam, his body immediately sank into the ocean and his head rapidly froze looking at the sky.
The tour guide said, Jeju men don’t work, they only sit around while their wife work and cook for them. How lucky! In Yongduam, there are Haeneo women divers working on catching seafood. There are many cafes and seafood restaurants.
Everywhere in Jeju, we will definitely see Dolhareubang, they are old grandfather stone statues which offers both protection and fertility. They are sometimes serious-looking and sometimes almost comical.
The Mysterious Road is an optical illusion. The countryside makes the road appear like it’s traveling uphill, but in reality the road is on a downward slope. Cars roll uphill with the engine turned off.
And guess what, this is the only place that snowed heavily during my trip! SNOW! SNOW! IT’S MY FIRST TIME SEEING REAL SNOW! The tour guide said, it hardly snow that heavily in Jeju and it’s also his first time seeing so many snow in the area. We are so lucky!
Such a pretty place, how can I miss this chance playing with snow and kissing my love? 😀
Teseum Safari is a teddy bear museum and it is one of the first museums in the world to exhibit all sorts of teddy bears and stitched dolls like wildlife animals, flowers, birds etc.
The museum has teddy bears shaped liked tigers, elephants, sharks, dolphins and even teddy bears based on characters from Greek mythology.
The very next day, we hop on a submarine, where we can see the interesting marine life in the ocean. It starts off with a boat ride out through the harbour to the submarine docking area.
For those of us who don’t scuba dive, this is a great way to see the beautiful underwater flora and fauna around the island. We even saw abandoned Christmas tree and some beautiful corals.
Jutting out of the eastern shore of Jeju Island is a tuff cone, a bowl-like crater, formed by hydrovolcanic eruptions thousands of years ago called Seongsan Ilchulbong, or Sunrise Peak in English. It is nicknamed so because the sunrise is such a spectacular sight to see from the top of the peak.
I came to the same place in 2005 but only spent time taking photos at the bottom of the peak. But this time, the boy literally dragged me up the peak and I was panting like mad. I guess I need more exercise.
The boy, on the other hand, climbed up as easy as ABC!
It is definitely worth the view, even if you do not make it in time for the sunrise.
On the way down, we can’t stop taking more photos.
At the Sunrise Peak, remember to grab some Jeju orange chocolates!
Jeju Folk Village
After the tedious climb, the BBQ lunch at Jeju Folk Village turns out to be super delicious.
With a total of 117 houses and facilities, Jeju Folk Village Museum has restored the scenes of the village to that of the 1890’s.
The village has no doors because Jeju is very safe. These wooden poles actually tell us if anyone is home. If all the three bars are all up in their holes and blocked the passage, it meant that the family is away from home for a long time. If only two poles are up and one poles down, it meant that the family are away for a moment and will be back in the evening. If one bar is up meant that the family is around and will be back soon. All three poles down meant ‘Come on in’.
This village has some of their own language, lets say a man, they call them “wang bali”, for women is “pi bali”, for little kids, “tong bali”, etc.
Trick Art Museum
The last place we visited in Jeju is the Trick Art Museum. Before we entered the place, we were wondering what boring things do they have?
As we enter, we realize it is an unusual collection of paintings, exhibits, and artworks that tricks the viewer into believing that you’re part of the painting.
It looks like a normal painting right?
Actually, it is a 3D painting! Can see?
The museum is sandwiched into different zones, each having its own unique theme such as the parody zone, aquarium zone, animal zone, Egypt zone, magic zone, Jurassic zone, and illusion zone.
Yes, the intention is to fool the naked eye. You can stand at designated spots, pose, and take pictures or videos.
This is just a flat floor!
I think this is the coolest. This is actually a landscape photo with the paintings placed sideways. I just have to lie on the floor, take the photo, tilt it to portrait and it looks like I am levitating!
Then, we headed to their cafe and they actually sell Lord Stow Bakery’s Egg Tarts!!
Hope you have enjoyed my Jeju post! Keep a lookout for Part 2!