Jeju Island

As I said in my last post, last weekend was our 2nd anniversary and as a surprise Jason organised a weekend away for us. I had no idea where we were going, I was just told to meet him at the lightrail station after work and that I had to be on time.

So after work, I went straight to the station and we were on our way. Stop after stop passed and we were still on the lightrail. Next, we stopped at the airport stop, we sat while the doors opened and at the last second Jason jumped up and said “this is our stop”. It was so exciting, from that point I knew that we were on our way to Jeju.

Jeju is a volcanic island just south of Korea, it is also known as “honeymoon island” as this is where most Koreans go on their honeymoon. It is supposedly not like any other part of Korea. Many Koreans compare it to Hawaii…we didn’t get to see Hawaii that weekend but it was still fun!

Our flight arrived at about 6pm and the directions for our hostel told us to get a bus there. We found the right bus number and asked the driver if it was going to the μ‹œ μ²­. He said no, but we just presumed he misunderstood us and got on anyway (this happens a lot in Korea), the directions DID say this was the bus afterall. The bus driver was right…we went in the complete opposite direction, a journey that took us 10 minutes on the way back on Sunday took us an hour and half that evening!! We had to get the bus to the furthest point possible, just to turn around get it back to the airport and THEN get it to our hostel area. As you can imagine we weren’t the happiest of people that evening!

But things turned around when we arrived at our hostel. We stayed at a nice little hostel called Jeju backpackers in Jeju. It cost about 100,000w for a private room for 2 nights between us and we had a private bathroom. The best part of this hostel was that it had breakfast included, the owners made homemade bread, yoghurt and jam. It was delicious! And things got even better when we realised there was a mexican restaurant just around the corner from us!

The next day we rented a taxi for the day. It was expensive (130,000w) but neither of us had an international drivers licence and we couldn’t rent any cars/bikes without it, so if we wanted to see any bit of the island this was our only option. Our taxi driver was great, we gave him a list of all of the places we wanted to see and for the next 8 hours he would drive us to each place and tell us a bit about it. He also brought us to this amazing seafood restaurant for lunch, we had the nicest seafood stew. It had crab, squid, abalone and lots of other shellfish in it. It was probably the best seafood I’ve had in Korea so far.

Anyway, back to our day in Jeju (food seems to sidetrack my thoughts quite often), we started the day with a trip to loveland. Loveland really needs to be seen to be believed. It is basically an indoor and outdoor “museum” all about sex, it has graphic sculptures all along the walkway and then once you get into the museum it has every type of sextoy imaginable. To say that we were shocked is an understatement, as Koreans are normally very reserved this is the last place you could imagine seeing here! But it was a lot of fun and we knew we would probably never see anything like this again! We got our friends back in Gimhae some lovely ,ahem, memoribila. My favourite part of the place was at the entrance, there were some toilets and to get into these toilets you had to pull a very questionable handle (I’ll leave it to your imagination…this is a family blog afterall) Once inside the toilet, the first cubicle had a peephole to look through to which you see some cartoon images.
(the photo’s below are a bit crude so if you don’t want to look just skip ahead!)

So after leaving Loveland our next destination was the Manjanggul cave. This is a cave that was formed from lava, it’s really cool to walk through and see all of the dried lava that is still there and at the end of the cave is the largest lava stalactite in the world. We went for lunch after this and as I said above it was an amazing seafood stew. The next stop on our list was Sunrise peak. This is a volcanic crater and got it’s name because it’s the first place in Jeju where the sun rises each morning, it was a steep climb to the top but not as bad as we first imagined, before the climb we went down to a beach to see the “famed” female divers of Jeju. It was a massive tourist trap with tons of Koreans taking millions of photos so we didn’t stay there too long. The top of the peak was nice, but I think you really do have to see it from the air to get the full effect, it just turns into a flat area that is covered in grass. It started raining a little on our way down from the hike and to our surprise we met our driver on the way. He had hiked up just to bring us some umbrellas! It was such a nice gesture.

The many tourists trying to get photos of the divers.

On top of Sunrise peak

We spent the rest of the day going to a trick art museum and miniland which were both fun, but we were wrecked by the time 6:30 came. After such a long day we decided to go hunting for a black pig restaurant (another thing Jeju is famous for) We found a great little spot, and the pork was great!

Us getting our photo with the mini Trevi fountain

We probably picked the worst time to go to Jeju, as there was a huge typhoon on the way, which hit the Monday after we left. Because of this the weather was very overcast and we had torrential rain on Saturday night, which meant that we didn’t get to see theΒ  natural beauty of Jeju which everybody raves about (the beaches and waterfalls are supposed to be beautiful). But we still had a great time, and came home to 2 dogs instead of 1…but that’s for the next blog πŸ˜‰

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