Wednesday, 29 June 2016

FOREVER JEJU - DAY THREE 03.06.2015

Day Three:





We got up very early at around 3.30am in the morning.  Outside our hotel, we saw a bus that probably belongs to a production house. Most probably, there was a drama or film shooting in Jeju. It is one of the most popular setting  and top honeymoon destination. Our goal for that day was to climb Seongsan Ilchubong to watch the sunrise  but seeing the endless steps that starts from the foothill to the peak, I made the decision to forgo climbing with the rest. Instead, I spent the time exploring the foothill and observing the Hanyeo ahjummas at  work.






By the time my friends and Zaza got down , the almost empty and serene hill was suddenly full of buses and chatty  tourists from coutries like China and Japan. We were glad that we came earlier and got the whole place to ourselves.



At the foothill, there are some shops catering to tourists. I bought a lot of souvenirs at one shop and some beauty products at a cosmetic shop. For breakfast, we had banana milk and shrimp burgers.
Then we made our way to Seopjikaji but along the way, we stopped by the Rapeseed field to take more selfies amidst a sea of flowers dancing and swaying in the breeze. I felt like I was in a scene of Little House on the Prairie....!







Our next destination is Seopjikaji in Seogwipo which is about an hour from Seongsan. It is the setting for several kdramas, including All In (Song Hye Kyo and Lee Byung Hyun). The coastline is beautiful, dotted with seaside resorts and hotels. There are a few stalls selling  seafood and ice cream. We tried the grilled octopus, dipped in chilli sauce. Yummy!














After taking hundreds of selfies and wefies along the hilly path, we left Seopjikaji to have lunch near Seongsan. As usual, we ate seafood again. after a scrumptious asam pedas and generous helping of delicious mini achovies, we went to take more pictures outside, with Seongsan Ilchubong in the background.






Next, we went to Kimnyong Maze Park in the north-eastern part of Jeju where the best thing there was the free wifi! The maze was not that hard since we could find our way out in about 15 minutes. The view from flyover bridge is awesome. The flowers are colourful and pretty. There are also several traditional games that you can try.












We stopped by the so-called Mysterious Road where a strange thing exists. The road is even but if you lay down a  pepsi can on the road, it will roll away by itself. When Wak switched off the engine, the car began to move by itself as if being pulled by a magnetic force or something. The stranger thing is, it only lasts for about 100 metres!  Mysterious, isn't it....? There is also another attraction there by the name of Love Land but for obvious reasons (ahem!), we decided to skip it.  ;)




We had dinner after we left the maze park. The star of the meal is fresh abalone that was still squirming in the hot stew. I would have tried it if I didn't see it alive just a minute before. In the end, the abalone went to our guide, Wak.






After three days of exploring the wonders of Jeju, it was time to pack our bags, check out from Hera Hotel the next morning, said goodbye to Wak and thanked him for being our guide before taking a flight to Busan. It would be our last stopover before we went back to Malaysia. Bye bye Jeju. I will definitely come again!




Next chapter - One Day adventure in Busan. Stay tune!


DAY TWO - FOREVER JEJU 02.06.2015

Day Two:




That morning, we checked out from The Greencastle Pension in Seogwipo (after another round of wefie) because that night we would move to another hotel near Seongsan Ilchubong. Wak drove us to our first destination - The O' Sulloc Tea Museum and the Innisfree Outlet beside it. There is an area of tea plantation right beside it which looked like a set for a Bollywood film where the lovebirds would sing and dance in between the tea plants!



The tea museum also has a shop and a cafe where you can buy 1001 types of tea or eat a matcha green tea ice cream. I had a hard time choosing the tea because of the various flavours and packaging. The ice cream is suitable for diabetics because it was not sweet at all... :P


Next to it is the Innisfree shop where you can buy beauty products that emphasizes on natural ingredients, including those found in Jeju. There is also a workshop and a cafe.



By the time we left the museum, the sky grew darker and the rain began to fall. We decided to take shelter at the Hello Kitty Outlet nearby. I bet children would go ga-ga over the place and the merchandise but the souvenirs were a bit pricey.


Next, we made our way to Jeongbang Waterfall in Seogwipo where it falls and flows into the sea.  The rain didn't stop us from going down to the rocks in front of the waterfall. We were determined to capture the scene as near as possible. We even bought some hallabongs oranges and chocolates from the shops there. They were sweet and succulent!




                                                     
By the time we left the waterfall, everyone was feeling hungry. We had lunch at a seafood restaurant nearby before we stopped by the Saeyeon (gyo) bridge nearby that connects to a little island called Saeseom Island.



                                   




I saw a Hanyeo diver going into the sea and emerging  a few times to catch her breath. She was awesome! Most Hanyeo divers are already well into their 50s and 60s....! These ahjummas catch seafood for their livelihood. Respect!

Our next stop was the Jusangjeolli Cliff in Jungmun, Seogwipo which is full of Harubangs or Grandfather's Statues. Thousands of years of crushing waves had formed hundreds of natural black geometric rocks along the cliff.  They looked simply magnificent.





"Dol hareubangs, also called tol harubangshareubangs, or harubangs, are large rock statues found on Jeju Island off the southern tip of South Korea. They are considered to be gods offering both protection and fertility and were placed outside of gates for protection against demons travelling between realities" (Wikipedia)




It was still drizzling when we left the Cliff to go to the Teddy Bear Museum, also in Jungmun, Seogwipo. There are many resorts and hotels here and other tourist attractions like Yeomiji Botanical Garden,  Pacific Land, Chocolate Land, Jeju International Peace Center, Cheonjeyeon Falls, Jusangjeolli Cliff, etc.

I am not a bear enthusiast but I did fell in love with the cute teddy bears in the museum. You can find 1001 characters there, including the compulsory Michael Jackson, the Beatles and even Gandhi! Afterwards, we had tea and shrimp burgers at the Lotteria there.







We were actually running out of time when we decided to go to the Alive Museum in Jungmun. We only had 30 minutes to spare so we had to rush through all the 3D paintings there, There are many themes for you to pose to, inside and outside the Museum. So we went a little crazy in there.  :P





We were  all tired but happy after all the adventures we had that day. It was already late into the evening and we were hungry. Our dinner was seafood hotpot at a restaurant that was empty of people. It was nearly closing time. We were probably the last customers. 





Our accommodation was at Hera Hotel in Seongsan, just a few minutes away from Seongsan Ilchubong but quite far from Seogwipo. We were going to climb the majestic-looking Seongsan Ilchubong very early in the morning so that we could see the sunrise from the peak of the hill. But for now, it was time to take a break and recharge!  Zzzzzzzz.......

Stay tune for Jeju : Day Three.

















Sunday, 19 June 2016

FOREVER JEJU - DAY ONE 01.06.2015

My sister, Mariza and myself went to Jeju Island, South Korea via Busan Gimhae International Airport. We flew on Air Asia X from KLIA at 1.00am on the 1st of June 2015 and reached Busan at 6.00am. From there we took a connecting flight to Jeju, Jeju Air, and reached the island around noon. Our three friends, Siti Robani, Mastura and Sabrina, were already waiting for us there. They had flown from Seoul after a short break there.





Our guide for the trip is Wak @ Ghani Salleh, a Malaysian who used to study in Korea and now works as a tourist guide for Malaysian tourists. He ferried us around the island in a rented SUV, which could fit 6 people nicely. Wak speaks Korean fluently so he had arranged everything for us, from accommodation, food and the domestic flight to Jeju. He is on Instagram : JejuTnT. Our trip was organized by Luvkites, a group of Malaysians.


DAY ONE:

On this first day, he drove us to Gimnyeong Beach and we had our first seafood lunch at a local restaurant there. The scenery to and around the beach is just serene. The Clear blue sky, punctuated with huge white wind turbines became the background of the sandy beach and greenish-blue sea. The wind was pleasant enough and not too cold as it was already June, the end of Spring and the beginning of Summer. We took a lot of selfies and wefies...!



Our lunch spread was delicious. The star dish could be mistaken for Asam Pedas in look and taste. The mackerel stew was large in portion and could feed 6 people. The side dishes were plenty and refillable. I loved the little crispy anchovies and kept asking for refills. Kekekekeke.....



Next, we went to explore a natural wonder of Jeju, the Manjanggul Lava Tube Cave which was pretty mysterious and kinda spooky. The Lava Tube was naturally formed over thousand of years by volcanic molten lava and it created an underground tunnel which you can explore for about 1 km in length. The temperature inside is between 11C - 21C....

(The Manjanggul Lava Tube is located in Gimnyeong-ri, Gujwaeup, Jeju City and is 23 m in breadth and 30 m in height. As the lava tube stretches for as far as an approximate 8,928 m, its length ranks amongst the top 10 in the world. Wikipedia)

The cave is definitely much, much bigger and longer than Gua Kelam in Perlis. The interior is dark and wet and damp but there are ample and strategic lightings throughout the tunnel. Every significant formation in the cave is accompanied with an information board in English and Korean. The bridges inside are safe and strong to walk on. We were just in awe of this God's Creation.



We also took a picture with a group of boys on a schoold field trip. They were friendly and asked us a lot of questions. :)



After soaking in the beauty of Jeju's natural wonders, we made our way to Greencastle Pension in Jungmun, Seogwipo to check in. The place is clean, nice and comfortable. There is a small orange orchard beside the pension. I wish they were  the sweet Hallabongs... We took this opportunity to rest for a while before we continued our exploration of Jeju.




Jeju island  is actually very big. I hear it is three times bigger than Seoul. It may take up to an hour to go from one end to the other end. Furthermore, the tourist attractions are scattered all over the island. From our pension, we made our way to Jeju City. We were looking for a place to pray when I thought of a famous Korean Muslim in Jeju whom I have befriended on Facebook, Sheikh Kim Daeyoung who is a university lecturer and is also in charge of Jeju Muslim Centre. Even though we did not make any appointment to go there, Prof. Kim was kind enough to receive us at the centre. This place is well known as a stopover for many Muslims from all over the world. Prof Kim chatted with us and told us about the centre and his Muslim background. It seems that he is the only well-known local Korean Muslim in Jeju.... There are very few Korean Muslims here. Recently, he met up with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his wife who were visiting Jeju for a few days. Daebak!


After we said our thanks  and bid farewell to the Sheikh, we left the centre to search for a seafood restaurant, to have dinner. We finally found one that is quite near to our pension. As usual, we ate fish (grilled mackerel), seafood stew, sweet potato fritters and a lot of banchan. At night, the temperature dropped and it was quite cold. Luckily the restaurant was warm and cosy. After dinner, we went back to the pension. We were tired from all the travelings but happy to be together in Jeju. I could't wait to do more exploring the next day!


Stay tune for Day 2 of Forever Jeju......!




Pesantren - Pondok Madani - a religious school with a difference.

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