Sunday, April 12, 2015

Jeju Island Adventures

This week I took two days off in order to explore the beautiful island of Jeju in South Korea. 
I had heard and seen much of this island on Korean dramas, and everyone from Korea told me I need to go there. It was worth it :)
The first place I went to was Yongduam Rock ( Or dragon head rock) when I arrived in the afternoon. It was a scenic walk along the coast, near a touristy part of the city of Jeju. 

The walk itself was beautiful, and many Cherry Blossom trees were stil in tact. There was a bridge on the way to Yongduam with a trail around it, so I decided to walk around there and take a lot of pictures. The water is so blue!
Yongduam Rock was not as crowded as I had expected, and there were little snack stands selling Jeju oranges and Hallabong. These fruits were delicious, and they were very cheap. 
The rocky coast was a sight to see, and many people were fishing, selling things and walking around. 
After Yongduam I still had time to sightsee, so I decided to go to one of the many museums they had. I had wanted to go to the Psyche Musuem, but it was closed. I found out about a Greek Mythology musuem near it, and decided to take the bus there. 
Jeju is a big island, bigger than you would expect. They have cross country buses that take you around the island for a metro ticket price. I took one of those buses to the Greek Mythology Museum, which was close to a horse park, and a golf course. 

The museum itself was deserted, but it was a very nice and detailed attraction. There were statues everywhere, and the information was in Korean and English. 
They had a cool room dedicated to the Zodiac. 
And some of the areas were Optical luusions, like this room with Medusa. 
My favorite part was the garden where they explained the Greek love stories, including my favorite story, and the orgin of Beauty ad the Beast, Eros and Psyche.
After the tour, they had a gift shop with some cool merchandise.

It was getting late, so I headed back to the hostel, and prepared for my first full day at Jeju. 
But, the next day did not go as planned. 

My goal was to go to the Teddy Bear Musuem, another famous area that is featured in Korean dramas. I did get there and I met three girls from China, who were just as excited as I was. 
We took so many pictures, and it was a really fun museum. 

They also had famous works of art recreated in bear form: 

You could take pictures with really big bears.
I also found the Goong display, which brought back so many memories :) This was my first Korean Drama, and it is still well known in South Korea. 

After the Teddy Bear Musuem, I headed out to see the waterfalls around the area. And I went to visit the Tourist Center for information. Everything was fine until I used the sliding glass door, and dislocated a joint. Naturally, I panicked, and they drove me to an urgent care, where a doctor popped by joint back in place, and the manager of the tour center insisted on paying for the bill. I felt bad, but he would not back down. In the end, he payed for the bill, and he even drove me to the water fall I wanted to see. 
The Cheonjeyeon falls were beautiful, and they carry a legend. According to the mythology of the island, this is where the gods would bathe, and the waters had special healing powers. Seven celestial maidens  came here and they granted the waterfall this power. 
The cloud bridge was built in honor of the celestial maidens, and people come here for well wishes and prayers for good health. (the perfect place to go after my finger broke!)
The hike was lovely. 
Afterword, I wasn't ready to go back just yet, so I decided to go to the Yeomiji Botanical Garden. It had many different types of gardens, and in the center was a glass building where you could buy snacks and souvenirs. it was the perfect way to end the day.  

 By that time, my finger needed ice, so I headed back to the hostel, and literally chilled for awhile. 
As the sun set, I decided to walk around the coast. 
 The next day, I was invited to go with my new friend Eun Yong as she spent her last day on the island. She had a car, so we drove around, to places you can't see by the tour bus. 

Our first stop was the flower road, where the Cherry Blossom trees and canola flowers were in full bloom. Along the way, you could see horses, the training center for Korean Air and giant windmills! 
We stopped at a bright pink coffee truck on the side of the road, and got some iced coffee, before we headed off to our next stop. 
Sunrise peak is a very famous site, and so many Korean Dramas have filmed here that I've lost count. The coast was beautiful, and we walked along the coast for a while, admiring the scenery. 
We also walked to a famous church, featured in Korean dramas, but it is now some weird gingerbread house looking building. The Koreans are not happy about this, and neither am I. 
It used to look like this. 
Now it looks like this :(
As we were walking, we saw a cute Chinese couple taking wedding photos among the flowers near the seaside. 
They were so cute :) 
Our last stop was Sunrise peak itself where you could see the Haenyo or Mermaids of Jeju diving for pearls. It was a nice walk, and such a beautiful day. 

After that, my friend and I had to head back to the airport so she wouldn't miss her flight. 
On the way back from the airport, I made another friend who showed me around the Arario musuem. It was a gloomy looking buliding, but the art inside was very interesting. 
It was still daylight, so I explored more around the hostel and walked along the coast one more time. I actually caught the sunset. 
Jeju was amazing, and I'm definitely going back to see more of it once I can ^_^


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