Dokdo & Ulleungdo [Day 2]

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Woke up the next day around 7am, realized I slept close to 12 hours, and was a little bit horrified that I wasted my time on this island that I might probably never come back to again in my entire life. Anyway, washed up and went downstairs for breakfast, and to my utter surprise, it was almost like nasi lemak... Egg, peanuts, ikan bilis, seaweed and some tofu. It was simply delishhhhh, and to top it off, it was somewhat like a buffet, and you know the problem with people who love food is that even if you're full, you still think you can eat.

First off, the place we went to was the Bongrae Waterfall that was steeped deep into the island. I think we took a bus trip of around 30-45 minutes just to get there, coupled with another 20 minutes of hiking uphill to get there. Oh my gosh, the weather was hot, and the distance was long, and I was perspiring profusely as I struggled uphill. Though my legs hurt like a bitch after I arrived at the top, the view was breathtaking and the air was so fresh. 

Oh but before I get ahead of myself, we saw this cave around the start of the trail, and apparently it's "natural airconditioning". Though the entire structure was man-made, when you went inside, the cold air blowing out of the rocks was completely natural. The air, apparently, is coming from the mountain top, and since the rocks were seemingly cold from water, the air that ran through it turned cold, and when it blew out from that hole, it is trapped inside this rock-like miniature that kept the cold air in.

Beautiful nature

Foot path in between the trees

Bongrae Waterfall

When I arrived there were already many people taking photographs of the place, with the place, and just spamming the buttons even if there weren't any background in it. Well, who am I to not participate? I went around taking photos of people, and appearing (or rather photobombing) their photos. The sun was beating down upon our backs, and it was mindbogglingly hot. Though of course, it is still way better than Singapore counting on the fact we had a lot of wind blowing.

After which, it was time for us to move on to our next location. Might I mention, that even though it was way easier to walk downwards than upwards, the steepness of certain parts of the trail made me question the reliability of my shoes because I swear a few times I actually felt like I was going to slip and tumble all the way down. Apart from all the scary stuff, I was able to capture some beautiful photographs of the nature that looked so peaceful and so untouched in its place.

Good looking Harsh always photo-ready


식혜 (shikgye) is a type of sweet rice-drink that Koreans love on a hot sunny day, but what was special about this was that it was made by what is unique to this island: Pumpkins! I thought it was pretty okay but Harsh wanted to vomit as it probably didn't suit his taste buds.

After we got back onto the bus, it was finally time for us to head back to the pier, where we would be going to the place of interest: DOKDO!! So if you haven't heard of Dokdo Islands, it's actually an island that Japan and Korea are still fighting right now for its custody. In my head, I expected a really beautiful island, full of lush greenery, maybe even some people living there, tending the gardens and things like that, but none of what I thought was actually what I saw in the end.

Took another ferry for roughly 2 hours? I can't really remember the time because I got really lethargic from all the traveling and didn't really keep count. Though I remember talking a lot since I sat next to my seniors from Yonsei, and in front of the Sunmoon crowd, and you know what they say, time flies when you are having fun. Spent a lot of time talking nonsense, discussing about Sunmoon and talking to the guy who is 1 year my junior in Sunmoon currently learning Intermediate 1.

On the ferry, we watched videos on how Dokdo is Korean's land, where Korea actually started from Dokdo, and that the people who are watching over Dokdo are the military provided by Korea. It was so patriotic that it made me a little bit guilty about the fact that I close to no patriotism at all for my own country. Sure I love Singapore, but not to the point where I'd go all bat-shit crazy for her.

Since traveling to Dokdo was even more expensive than a vacation in Jeju, people who come to visit Dokdo actually want to get to know this island, meet the soldiers, and to pay a little bit of respect to what the country is fighting for. Everyone was buying little Korean flags, bringing them onto the island and taking photos with Dokdo and the Korean flags. It was pretty sweet to be seeing how people love their country so much.

Had a group photo taken

Our group leaders

What a cute couple

Girls going gaga over the soldiers? Haha

So if you can see from the photos, Dokdo doesn't really have much, maybe because it's in the middle of a tug-and-war. We were given around 20-30 minutes to walk around, take photos, talk to the soldiers, even give gifts to them, and basically that was all. We weren't even allowed to go up to the summit which I expected would give a splendid view. Not to mention the amount of seagulls flying around. I was even a little fearful that there'd be tons of birdshit falling everywhere. Which brings me to an even deeper point, where a barren island such as this, could bring out such patriotism from Koreans, what more does it say about the way people treat their country, complaining all the time etc (me included of course).

독도는 한국의 땅
Dokdo is Korea's land

The crane they use to send food up to their headquarters

After our short time on Dokdo was over, we were called back into the ferry, where we sat for another 2 hours or so back towards Ulleungdo. We were told there was going to be a 장기자랑 (talent show) right after we got back, before dinner so we were to prepare for it. Well, before everything started, we had a special guest (한지윤) who is from Yonsei, studying music, performing a song for us on the Viola. I actually have great respect and admiration for people who actually play and have passion in a certain instrument that isn't just a guitar or a piano. Well of course those are good skills to have as well, but when you play instruments like a violin, trumpet, saxophone etc... you seem to look a lot more professional, not to mention pride in what you do when you're doing it.

So after her performance, people were asked to go up and do certain performances or things to show off their talent. As usual, nobody dared to go up until one guy from our team (Jordan) volunteered to go up but he had to do some stretches before heading up. While waiting for his stretches, another person volunteered to play some songs on his harmonica. Thereafter, Jordan went up and did "tumbles" but I think I'd call them flips? It was pretty cool.

After that, some more people went up and did the macarena, then another group went up and did a Bhangra song (?) I think. After that I went up and did a music-less version of 이노래 and everyone who went up received a little something from the organizers (aww) which was Pumpkin Candy. Which I brought back to give to Nicole and Keila muahahaha. 

Anyway, after the talent show and dinner, we made some plans to go to a Noraebang to sing, since it was technically the last night here in Ulleungdo. We gathered around 8:30pm after dinner, and headed off to find a nice place to sing. Well the first one wasn't too good because the owner was being a rather rude douchebag, and the second place wasn't that good since it didn't have new songs so we went back to the rude one anyway. So around 20 of us got a huuuuuuge room and just started singing out hearts out for 2 hours (where we were given an extra 20 minutes) but everyone was pretty puckered out.

Happily dancing

 What's left of us after we finally ended

Headed back to our room, took a nice hot shower, lay in bed, played some Summoners War... and then drifted off to sleep where we were to get up at 4:30am to catch the morning sunrise. Put it this way, we were probably never going to come back to Ulleungdo ever again after this, especially since it's expensive and there's nothing more to see since we've already seen them... it's time to sleep a little less, and experience as much as possible, right?

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