Jeju IslandOctober 14, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C
Next stop was a quick 55 minute flight with Tway Air to Jeju Island off the south coast, where we had a long awaited reunion with Amy and Chris. We stayed in a lovely Airbnb apartment and to top it off we had lovely sunshine for the weekend. For the first afternoon we went to the Samseonghyeal Shrine (W2,500/€1.90), where we learnt about the history of the island and the legend of the three demigods emerging from a hole in the ground becoming the founding fathers of the island and its people. We then went to Folklore and Natural History Museum (W2,000/€1.50) where we saw exhibitions from the various ages of the island.
That evening we treated ourselves to another Korean BBQ. As in most restaurants in South Korea, they only have chopsticks on the table. I have been finding them quite difficult to use but have been trying them all the same. Here, the waiter’s mother saw my struggle and came over to showed me how to use them. She then proceeded to make the meat parcels as I clearly was doing it wrong. She obviously thought I was a lost cause!
Next morning we decided it was time to explore the island. We had read that the public transport on the island was unreliable and infrequent so we hired a car for the two days. All the car hire companies in Jeju City were based at the airport so we hopped into a taxi for the 10 minute journey. When we arrived the first two companies said they had nothing available and were unable to check if there was anything available for the next day. At the far end of the counter, the lady at ‘Rent a Car’ was jumping and waving at us to come over to her. She said that she had a car available and in what must have been one of the quickest transactions, we had ourselves a car.
First stop was Bijarim Forest (W3,000/€2.30) which has over 2,800 nutmeg trees, including the New Millennium Nutmeg tree which is the oldest tree in Jeju. We walked the lovely trails through the forest and got a break from the hot sun. To finish off the day, I drove to Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak (W5,000/€3.80) where we climbed to the top and got amazing views of the crater and eastern coast of the island.
Next morning we got up and went to the south of the island where we climbed Sanbangsan Mountain to the beautiful Sanbanggulsa Cave Temple with amazing views across the sea. The temple had a large gold Buddha which was surrounded with over 500 different stone Buddhas. We then walked down to the coast and visited the free exhibition on the Hamel Memorial ship. This replica ship remember one of the survivors Hendrick Hamel, of a Dutch shipwreck in 1653 and had to stay in Korea for 13 years before escaping to Japan.
Next I drove to the beautiful Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls (W2,500/€1.90) which consisted of three different falls of various size and scale. We then walked over the steep Seonimgyo bridge, high above the valley of the waterfalls. Final stop in Jeju was Jungmum Saekdal beach where we got to dip our feet in the warm Pacific Ocean.
That evening we decided we wanted to have some Western style food so Chris found a pizza restaurant called UPS. This restaurant was in the basement and when we walked in it had the music playing really loud and the heat on full blast! After asking for the air con to be turned on and ordering our pizza, we enjoyed a lovely feast to finish our time on the island!Read more