Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Korea: Day 6 (Jeju Island)

Rise and shine! Good morning, Jeju!

We had a fun time yesterday. Today we will embark on a rapid tour around Jeju. We will start off with the sunrise peak then the filming spot of All In drama then cultural village, mysterious road and end with dragon head rock. But there was a surprise for us at night courtesy of the tour company!

We woke up around 6am in the morning. Here's the view of the town outside our window. The buildings were so low that we could see the ocean.

We were taken to a cafe outside our hotel for breakfast. I wonder why we did not have breakfast inside.

We are now heading to Seongsan Ilchulbong also known as the sunrise peak which is an inactive volcano crater by the sea.
Whoa! The carpark looked like they were having KIA wholesale.

This was outside of the ticket counter and entrance. Looks empty right? Wait till you see next. Opening hours during winter is 1 hour before sunrise until 8pm while summer is 1 hour before sunrise till 9pm. Entrance fee is 2,000won per adult. You can bring your pets too.

I was squating between two grandfather stones or I call them the Tikiman, one of the most famous landmark of this island. The 3 logged gate next to me is also a famous landmark. Jeju Tikiman is believed to be guardians of a house. You will be granted a girl if touch ear and mouth, boy if touch hat and nose. But if you look from behind the shape is like a penis. My theory is they are actually guardians of a house where the man has died. I will tell you more about the log gates at the next destination which is their aboriginal village.

It was so windy here! The wind speed was about 60-70km/h no kidding! Walking up the not so sloppy road was tough and it felt like we were blown backwards and sideways depending on the wind direction.

It's one of the new 7 wonders of the world as stated here but I don't quite agree. Anyway, look at the right side of this picture...hell loads of tourist! With colourful jackets some more. Must be a school trip.

We did not climb up to the crater as it will take hours so we got this side view instead. The scarf shows how strong the wind was.

We then walked down the steps hoping to see "mermaids" if we were lucky. They are called haenyo meaning sea women and they are actually diving women of Jeju which the generation is about to extinct. Haenyo are skilled divers who are known to be able to hold their breath for almost two minutes and dive to depths of 20 meters. Around 19th century, women overtook the job of men to dive and eventually they became the main breadwinner and head of the family. Although they are 60 - 80 plus years old, they are still very fit and strong enough to dive into the ocean to catch seafood.
Beautifully formed lava wall.

What were those people behind doing?

I wanna pick clams like an ahjuma too.
Last photo of this place, let's move on!

We reached our 2nd destination within about 10 minutes. This is Seopjikoji, one of the shooting scene of All In drama starring Song Hye Kyo. No entrance fee, no closing hours so you are free to walk around anytime.

Outside a lizard gift shop. I guess chorokbaem means lizard. Correct me, I'm not sure.

Here's the famous church built just for the drama. Too bad it wasn't open. Maybe they were renovating.

Strong winds again. This time, I protected my eyes with sunglasses.

I think they were selling ice-cream. The tall cute oppa photobombed lol!

 What a magnificent background.

 Hubby and the dick stone. It's just a name I call due to the shape.

Another common thing you will see in Jeju are horses. I mean like many many horses seemingly everyone here owns at least a horse.
A turtle shaped rock somewhere near the carpark.

Beside the carpark are ultra modern mini bungalows. Must have cost a fortune for such strategic location by the sea but unfortunately the tenants might not be able to open their window often. Ocean winds can make your furniture rust quickly.

At 12:30pm, we had lunch at a nearby restaurant just next to our 3rd destination of the day, Jeju aboriginal village.

Spicy BBQ chicken but unlike us, they poured gravy instead of butter. Healthy but not as tasty as with butter. They do have dry BBQ with soju where you usually see in Korean dramas but we did not get to experience in our trip which is disappointing.

Lettuce and side dishes for you to wrap.

Don't forget to wrap your crispy salad with meat and side dish!

Next, we came to a cultural village located just next to the restaurant we had lunch. At first I thought it was an interesting place to explore but it turned out to be an unoccupied village meant for tourists. The "houses" were halls for them to market their products. However, the head villager still lives inside.

Here's the logged gate called jeongnan. All three logs removed means, Welcome. One log in place means, Returning soon. Two logs in place means, Gone for a while. All three logs in place means, Gone all day. There are also 4 logged gate. If all 4 are in place means husband died.

 Hubby with pots used to store kimchi I guess. I must tell you Koreans aren't really tourist-friendly. They won't allow you to take pictures when they are explaining or taking you around and when the time they had finished, you will have no time but to leave. Sad case...

This was taken after our toilet break. It's the 2nd time we got disappointed with a Korean representative after the ice carving session yesterday. We were brought into one of the houses thinking it's a museum but turned out that they were explaining about their honey and other products. So we tested the honey and pills and walked out to explore the village.

The pot was damn heavy!

This is where the villagers did their "business" long ago.

Their shit will eventually be eaten by the black boar.

These logs were damn heavy! I'm leaving so I placed all of them back.

So our 4th destination...was it 4th? Yeah, 4th...was the Glass Castle museum. Entrance fees at 9,000won per adult and opening hours from 9am to 6pm.

Potato and her beanstalk.

A glass tunnel made from bits of colourful glass.

There were lots of glass figures and structures in the indoor museum but we only took picture of this prominent display.

There was a blue room filled with blue mirrors but we preferred this one because it felt galaxy-ish.

Prince Potato and her Princess Fatty.

Awww those glass slippers were so pretty!

Lazy to insert caption for the pictures above. This was a half glass half steel bridge behind the cafe.
This bridge is 100% glass. We were very cautious when walking across this short bridge. Hubby held onto the edge tightly lol.

❤ A glass heart ❤

Glass tree and the beautiful glass museum. We did not climb upstairs because it was just souvenir shop.

Next stop which was our 5th destination was my most anticipating museum of all, Teddy Bear museum or Teseum for short. There's a teddy museum at Seoul Tower too so you can go to that one if you aren't flying to Jeju. Admission fees at 7,000won for adult and opening hours from 9am to 8pm.

Safari teddies.

Behind us were toilets and this explained our uncomfortable faces. Toilets smells the worst when surrounding temperature is cold. You can't imagine how horrible it was especially in Seoul!

Concert teddies.

Omo! This teddy house is so lovely!

Yay! I am the same size as the teddies.

Giant teddy family.

With Chef Teddy.

 No! Because I'm already married to you.

 There's a whole row of miniature teddies.

 Wanna jump up? It's very hard yu know. I've seen many kids and adults slipped.

Inside this gallery you will find Michelangelo Teddy, Monalisa Teddy and lots more.

An almost real life size BMW.

I assume this must be Prince William and Duchess Kate teddy.

Our bus then took us to Dokkaebi Road also known as Mysterious Road. It is said that "ghosts" will push your vehicle up the hill when you turn off your engine but that's just a myth. The fact is the road does look like going upwards but it is actually going downhill. The surrounding trees add more effect to the optical illusion. So our bus driver turned off the engine and we experienced the bus being pushed from behind towards the top.

I actually brought something spherical with me like a tennis or a ping pong ball but too bad the bus did not stop for us to get down like those tourists behind us. If you manage to walk on this road, you can also pour water and see it going upwards.

Our last stop of the day is the Yongduam rock. No entrance fees and open all the time. The dragon head rock was created by strong winds and waves over thousands of years. A legend has it that a dragon stealing precious jade from Mt. Halla was shot down by an arrow from the mountain deity. When he fell down on this spot with his body immediately sank into the ocean and his head rapidly froze looking at the sky. Another legend has it that a white horse, who dreamed of being a dragon and ascending to the sky, came to be caught by a soldier and froze into the rock. So much for legends lol!

The sun was setting behind and added more drama to the scene.

We got hungry and bought some snack from stalls outside of this tourist trap. This place is also famous for its Gamgyul tangerine or I call them orange with belly button or nipple. Looks more like nipple lah!

The sausage is so yummy!

We had a quick seafood steamboat at this restaurant because our tour arranged something for us at 8pm.

This is what I call real scallops.

Yummy! How many times must I repeat we had similar dishes everyday but they were so tasty.

Here we are at Halla Art Hall. I have no idea what we were about to watch. This show is called HERO Action Drawing. Now I felt it was the best live show I have ever watched. I have watched live performances and sketches at our own Dewan Sri Pinang but nothing compares to this. However some of you might find this similar to Nanta. Let me remind you that tickets have to be booked at least 2 months in advance to secure your seat. There are 2 shows daily 5pm and 8pm. Running time 80minutes and reserved seats priced at 50,000won. Take note of their location because the troupe does not perform at Jeju permanently. I heard it has moved to Seoul. It's highly recommended!
I was reluctant to take pictures with the poster because I did not know anything about the show and was getting ready to sleep in the hall but instead it kept me awake every second. It was mind opening! Below are images from this website an some from Google. They don't belong to me and this is only to show my readers. You will see the same thing when you watch the show.

This was the scene where they were half kungfu-ing and half drawing the warriors. I can't imaging how they could draw so many complicated pictures and dance and joke within such short time. You won't have an idea of the piece when they were drawing but after they combined or flipped or do an action with just 1 step, a magnificent picture is created.
This was taken by my cellphone after the show ended. Just look at the audience in front of me. Once photo taking allowed, all cameras (including mine) were brought up. LMAO!

Before the 4 talented artists concluded the show, they painted an awesome underwater view along with this song. Both of us immediately fell in love with this song called Stargazer by Paloma Faith. She reminded me of Lana Del Rey. This type of song genre is not easily accepted by all generations. You have to appreciate the melody to like it. Live version is not that smooth so you may opt to listen audio here.
Most people were shy to come up to stage to take pictures but I put on my thick buffalo skin and rushed to the stage. It's an opportunity not to be missed and hey, how often do I get to come here?

The more handsome ones especially there's one without any mustache I had crush on were taken by other ladies so I took picture with this one. Better than nothing lah. Tomorrow we will be flying back to Seoul to see cherry blossoms. Goodnight!

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