문화연수: 제주도 Jeju Island Day 1

Monday, 20 October 2014


So over 3 days and 2 nights we took a trip to Jeju Island, as a means of a culture trip for our batch of scholarship students. Since this was sponsored by the government, we didn't need to pay anything, but had a chance to learn new things about this island that many in Korea called the "Hawaii of Korea"

We were told to meet at 7:00 in the morning in front of our school building where we would take a bus to Gimpo airport for the flight to Jeju Island. It's funny, how even though everyone's always told the timing and how they should not be late, people ALWAYS find it in themselves to come late. The best part is knowing that, because it's a flight, there's a dictated timing, thus, planning would be evident, which means the 7:00 meeting timing was obviously there to cater to the late-comers, ergo making the ones who come on time idiots to wait. But that aside...

Since we were early, decided to take a few shots because the streets were empty and the air was cool, the background was serene and the colors just matched well. Then some people came along and asked for their photos to be taken too so....



 



Alas, we were on the way via a bus to Gimpo Airport. It's funny how we don't appreciate what we had till we don't have it; being which the convenience in Singapore, where even from the East to the West, it doesn't even take 2 hours. We took a total of 2 hours from the school to the airport, where I took a glorious nap in the comfortable seats of the chartered bus.

Checked in, got our tickets, laughed at each others' passport photos, sat down and waited for the boarding time to come. We were separated into 2 teams, where we had to take different flights 30 minutes apart. Thereafter, a 1 hour journey to the island most Koreans do their honeymoon vacation at. The island best known for 3 things: Women, Stones and Wind.

Jeju is an Island at the bottom of Korea, thus is very windy, and has a lot of beautifully and uniquely shaped stones because of the wind and waves. Lastly, women, because in the past the men used to go out to sea to fish as a means of bringing back food or business for others, and as such many die at sea because of the harsh conditions, thus leaving the women alone back in their home.


Managed to catch a sweet moment too~

First thing after touch-down was waiting for the next batch to arrive, then meeting up with the tour guide, who brought us to the bus that would be bringing us around in. Everyone just sat around, playing with their phones, talking and basically just killing time. After which, the thing we were all waiting for: LUNCH!


 Went to a certain restaurant 10 minutes away from the airport and settled in for our lunch there. It's a huge restaurant where tables were joined together and it seemed like it served huge accommodations. There was a LOT of food, including the side dishes which Korea is so famous for. Apart from that, Jeju had something that I have not eaten in a long time, being in Korea: FISH~

Being an island, fresh fish is something that Jeju has probably plenty of, and it was at a pretty reasonable price too, compared to Seoul, and cheap as hell (compared to Singapore). On top of that, we were allowed to keep ordering and asking for more every time a dish finished, or if we needed more rice, there was no lack at all.


Fish in Red Pepper Paste

Pork in Red Pepper Paste

보쌈 (It's pork belly but I don't know how it's cooked, but it's DELICIOUS)

Deep fried fish

After our generous lunch affair, we headed to one of the most famous mountains in Jeju: 성산일출봉. I'm not much of a know-it-all when it comes to Jeju, but it's one of the hot tourist attractions because when I was here, it's as packed as it was when I went there 3 years ago. We were given time to be at each area before we had to get back on the bus to the next destination.

Seongsan is a really nice mountain, that when you reach the top, you can see a huge magnificent crater and then the vast sea behind it. I didn't go up because I went up 3 years ago and it was pretty tiring, not to mention packed with tourists. Then, I took the chance to go downward instead, to the beach with black sand.




Soooo many people






There were many areas that we went to, but I didn't really listen much to the tour guide because I was so sleepy everytime we got back on the bus that I just drifted off into a daze till we arrived at the next pit stop. After the mountain, we went to another hill near the sea which had really abstract-shaped cliffs with an amazing view.




A fake man-made "candy" house too







Fanta advertistment?


Ta-dah! A Korean couple having their photoshoot here. It's extremely beautiful and it was pretty heartwarming to see a lot of tourists stopping to take shots of the couple doing their photoshoot. I mean, you don't just have your own photoshoot, but people around the world would have photos of you too.

After that, the 3rd and final stop was a folk village where we only stopped by for around 10 minutes? Then we had to leave for dinner. Seemingly, people who are usually late don't learn their lesson. We were all told to be at the bus by a certain timing, but end up waiting for others, and as such things are pushed back and delayed, leaving us with lesser time at certain places because of the timings we have to meet.


Dinner was a little less extravagant than lunch, we had pork with a lot of side dishes. It was really nice, well-cooked, soft and very succulent. On top of that, we can still ask for more if we were hungry, which I thought was a big plus point, as all that walking made us really hungry.



Finally, we headed back to our lodging, where we would be calling home for the next 2 nights, and proceeded to retire for the night, except... we didn't really retire hahaha. The suite we were living in was for 6 people, in 2 rooms (so 3 per room) and it was fine for us guys, since we were all friends and chose to live together. The place was amazing, coupled with a kitchen, fridge, microwave oven.

Apart from that, the 2 bedrooms were huge, had humungous televisions and also private toilets! The toilets were so big, that they looked like the same size as my dormitory room back in Cheonan.


First bedroom with the bigger television

Dudes will be dudes: television first

The toilets were clean and were really big

Cute ornaments hanging on the walls too

As I mentioned, we didn't retire for the night, but chose to go out and explore the place. We were actually planning to go to Jeju's downtown area, but didn't know where to take the bus, nor did we know how to walk. We just knew that it was in a certain direction, but didn't know how to go. Finally, we decided to just pick a direction and walk... At the end of the day, we turned back and forth 4 times before deciding to go to a Noraebang (Karaoke room) where we could sing our hearts out before going to bed.


Walked at least 45 minutes to find the nearest noraebang we could find, after which we paid 5,000W (?) per person for the room. We had a lot of fun within that 1 hour, and the owner didn't seem too keen to give us service (extra time) and thus we left after 1 hour 10 minutes. (We even had to ask about the extra 10 minutes and it seemed like she was gonna charge us another hour if we didn't leave)

PS: In Korea, usually when you go to a noraebang and start singing, even if you pay for 1 hour, they usually give you something called "service" which usually starts off by extending your session by 30 minutes when you're down to 5 minutes, and then finally again by 20 minutes or 10 minutes, depending on the mood of the operator.

We had a lot of fun singing our hearts out, screaming certain songs, dancing and letting our hair down (not literally) during the first night here. After which, to end off the crazy night, we decided to buy more snacks, head back to the room and then eat/talk/play games.



 

Went back, showered, then finally we played a charades-like game on the iPhone till we were all tuckered out. Said goodnight and then finally hit the sack, knowing that there was less than 5 hours of rest before the next day of walking begins.

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