Friday, October 25, 2013

Korea Trip Day 7: Jeju Island: Glass Castle, O'Sulloc Tea Museum, Songaksan, Teddy Bear Museum, Jusangjeolli, Yakcheon-sa, Jongbang Pokpo, Cheonjiyeon Pokpo, Saesom Saeyongyo Bridge, Hanok House Stay


How To Get to Jeju Island
We took Jeju Air from Busan to Jeju, but the flight booking process wasn't very smooth for us. First of all, the website requires us to use Internet Explorer! And I use MacBook both at work and in the office so there's no way for me to book the flights. We also tried using Windows PC to book the flight but it requires some certificates for payment system... arrgghhh... At the end, we asked someone in Korea office to book the flights for us. Note that you can also take a boat but it takes 13 hours :D

Which Area To Stay in Jeju
We planned 3 days 2 nights in Jeju but we technically only have 2 full days in Jeju because our flight back to Seoul is quite early so for the first day in Jeju, we basically explore the west half of Jeju starting from airport all the way to around Jungmun area. For the first night, our hotel is just at the end of first day itinerary near Jungmun area but it's counted as Seugwipo area and for 2nd night, the hotel is just near the airport (Jeju-si or Jeju city) so that we can save time the next morning. Jungmun area is also a popular place for tourists but I find that the price there is more expensive and since we're not going to spend much time in the hotel, we skipped that.

Below are the places that we visited on the first day in Jeju island. You can click on the map to get more detailed view :)


View Jeju Day 1 in a larger map

For the attractions below, I didn't include any entrance fees because they might change. But I've included links to the relevant websites and they should have that information there.

We arrived there around lunch time and I wanted to eat at Harubang pizza but it was closed on that day :(

Harubang Pizza.. next time! Check out the dolhareubang (grandfather stone) carrying a slice of pizza :D
안돼!!! :(

So Uncle suggested this black bean paste noodle nearby, which turned out to be quite yummy. My first authentic jajangmyeon! Well, at least authentic in the sense that it's not from instant noodle package :p

Sluurrrppppppsss...

And then just around the corner like 5 minutes drive, there are Jeju Glass Castle and O'Sulloc Tea Museum quite near each other.

Huge diamond ring

Outdoor section of the glass castle

It doesn't look like it but this bear is also made of glass

There's even a pond there..

And a pumpkin carriage!
We left after taking some photos and then Uncle drove us to O'Sulloc Tea Museum. I bought some tea powder and tea leafs from there and also tried their green tea ice cream. Yumz!

Tea cups and their evolutions...
Tea cups and pot

Next stop is Songaksan (Songak mountain) but we also passed by another mountain called Sanbangsan mountain.
Passed by Mt. Sanbangsan

Songaksan

The view from up here is so nice :)

Jeju.. prettiest place in Korea? :)

Extra service from Uncle lol.. he even taught us how to pose.. :D
+Cherry Ann Basinang 

You can also take the staircase down to the beach, but we didn't do it.. CONSERVE ENERGY! :)
Pretending like as if we like outdoors :D

Next stop is Teddy Bear Museum.. I'm not sure if they have renovated it or if there's more than one Teddy Bear Museum in Jeju. It looked very different than the one I went in 2011..

Entrance of Teddy Bear Museum

Astronaut Bears

Stall Owner Bear

Traditional Wedding Ceremony

Close-up of the bride and groom

Bear PSY! Oppa Gangnam Style!

Next stop is Jusangjeolli which is actually a cliff. Beautiful! :)

Jusangjeolli

More Jusangjeolli

A quick stroll at a park nearby Jusangjeolli

We also saw this dol hareubang.. basically they are almost everywhere in Korea. I vaguely remember our tour guide (from trip in 2011) that we should touch the nose of the dol hareubang but I cannot remember why. From the Wikipedia page, it looks like for fertility and some other source says if you want a boy, touch the nose... so, will I be getting one soon? :D

Cannot remember where we saw this.. probably at the garden at Jusangjeolli area..

Next stop is Yakcheonsa temple. We didn't plan to go there but Uncle suggested that we visit the temple because it's nice and it's also on the way. I think that's one of the benefits of renting a car with driver. He knows where the good places are and he also knows the way so we saved a lot of time by not getting lost :D

Yakcheonsa Temple

Another grand view of Yakcheonsa Temple

Next up... Jeongbang Pokpo! I can't believe we visited so many places in one day! I'm actually having a difficulty remembering the names of the places from just looking at the photos. I have to keep on referring back to my notes and to the maps, etc... I wonder how those travel bloggers do this!

Jongbang Pokpo / Waterfall

They have a legend that around 219 BC, Chinese sorcerer Xu Fu (or Seo Bok in Korean) passed by this rock and made an encryption on the rock near the falls that says "Xu Fu passed here". IS HE A VANDAL??? :D

It took some effort to get to this rock!

And even more to get on this one!

The water was freezing cold!!
What's that guy at the back trying to do??

Jongbang Pokpo is said to be the only waterfalls in Asia to flow directly into the sea. Korea oh Korea, why do you have so many interesting things? :)

Next is Cheonjiyeon Pokpo or Cheonjiyeon Waterfall  which literally means pond of Gods. I think Korean spent a lot of effort (and money) to beauty-up their tourist place, for e.g. before we reach the waterfall, we can actually walkthrough this beautiful garden.

Small bridge at Cheonjiyeon Pokpo

Woman statue made of stone.. perhaps symbolises the woman diver in Jeju?

The light illuminating at the waterfall is so nice!
Next, Uncle brought us to this bridge which looks really nice at night. I tried searching online for bridges (exact search term was jeju bridge at night.. haha) and finally found out that this bridge actually connects Saesom island to Jeju island, and it's called Saeseom Island Saeyeongyo Bridge (새섬 새연교).

Saeseom Island Saeyongyo Bridge at night

After this bridge, we called it a day and asked Uncle to send us to Kasan Tobang Hanok Hotel where we stayed for one night. It turned out that the hotel also has a restaurant so we can simply walk towards the back of the hotel to eat our dinner. The restaurant is quite big and they have BBQ meat!

Dinner at Kasan Tobang BBQ restaurant (part of the hotel)
With +Iris Cheng when she was still sober :D

Our room... before we mess it up :D

Breakfast area at Kasan Tobang

Decoration outside of our room

The listing for the hotel mentions shared bathroom and I thought it means it's a bathroom where people have to queue for their turn to shower. It turned out that it's a big shower place where everybody just shower at the same time! *SHY!!* At the end I waited until past 10 PM and showered really fast after everyone turned in.. fastest shower ever!

Transportation in Jeju
  • We also rented a car (private taxi) with English speaking driver (called him Uncle for 2 days even though our parents are not related to him... :D) for both days. It costs KRW130,000 for 8 hours and extra KRW20,000 if exceeds. At the end, we just gave him KRW300,000 for both days. I'm still not exactly sure if we're supposed to tip the driver or not because there are conflicting information in the internet about this. He provided us with Jeju map so that we could pick the places where we wanted to go.
  • I also checked out self-driven car rental at Jeju island from a few car rental companies but they cost about the same if you add on GPS, etc. So just hire driver lah :)
  • There are also normal taxis which cost much less than private taxis but you might not have a driver who can speak English or give you suggestion on which places to go etc.
  • Lastly, Jeju island also has their own bus system. Website: http://bus.jeju.go.kr/internet_eng/


For summary of the whole trip, check out my previous blog post South Korea Trip Sept 2013 11D10N Itinerary (Seoul, Busan, Jeju)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Korea Trip Day 6: Busan Haeundae Tour, Taejongdae Recreational Park, Jagalchi Fish Market, Centum City Spa Land, Gwangan Bridge

Previous: Korea Trip Day 5: Google Korea office and shopping at Gangnam

From Seoul station, we took the KTX train to Busan station. The journey took about 3 hours but it was fine because the train is comfortable and clean. There are many people selling bentos but it was too early for lunch so we skipped the KTX bento.

KTX tickets for 3 :)
However, when we reached Busan station, we were so hungry and we went to Lotteria burger (inside the station complex as well). I think the food is quite similar to Mac or Burger King.

Yummy burger. had to pay KRW 500 for chilli sauce!

From outside the station, we crossed the road towards the direction of Arirang hotel and there's bus stop for 2 buses there: Haeundae Tour direction or Taejongdae Tour direction. You can buy the ticket from the driver directly for KRW10,000 per adult and you can join both tour routes, just make sure to hop on the bus before the last bus leave the bus stop.

More details about the tour can be found in the Visit Korea website. These are basically hop-on hop-off bus so you can get on and off as many times as you like.

Busan City tour bus
Valid for both routes.. just buy once!

The stop nearest to our hotel.. that turned out to be a motel!

This is basically my impressions of Busan... rainy, cloudy and gloomy...
When the rain stopped a little bit, we also made a visit to Jagalchi fish market because +Iris Cheng wanted to have some. But +Cherry Ann Basinang and I don't eat raw fish so we just tagged along. It turned out that most of these sellers do not want to cook for just one person so at the end, she didn't try anything here.

Lots of this kind of stalls along the road

First and last time in a fish market!

The tour buses are supposed to be equipped with electronic guide but I simply couldn't get them to work. Nothing happens when I pressed any of these buttons on the screen... maybe broken :(

The supposedly electronic guide in the bus..
After one round of Haeundae bus tour, we went back to Busan station where we can now switch to the Taejongdae tour. We visited the Taejongdae recreational park. We didn't walk that much though ..because we're lazy.. but this place is really pretty :)

Rocky beach below.. you can take the stairs to go down to the beach but we didn't because it probably look nicer from the top anyways :)
After that, we went back to the Jagalchi fish market stop and walked around Busan International Film (BIFC) area. There are lots of street food there, but at the end we went to this restaurant that sells only chicken and ordered this plate of fried chicken wings and drumlets. These are really tasty :)

Yummy fried chicken

After dinner, we took a taxi to Centum City Shinsegae to use the spa there. It's really relaxing and they have sooooo many sauna rooms, from hot to cold, and they also have outdoor area for soaking feet. We ate patbingsu again!

Outdoor sauna... the water was very hot!! Feet soup anyone? :D
Photo credit to +Cherry Ann Basinang 

Just a small section of the huge spa area!
Photo credit to +Cherry Ann Basinang 

After this, we took another cab to Gwangan beach to view Gwangan bridge at night.

Gwangan bridge at night
After Gwangan beach, we took a cab back to the Haeundae beach station where our hotel is located. However, it turned out that even when they advertised the room as hotel, most of the "hotels" here are actually "motels". They don't have any service or facility, for e.g. they only provide small towels and not the big bath towels.

Directions:

Busan Station: book ticket from Korail website: http://www.korail.com/en/ or if you're not the super planning type, just appear in Seoul station and buy the ticket from there. I prefer booking first to avoid surprises. Cost varies depending on the class of cabin that you book and also the timing (similar to airplane)

Haeundae & Taejongdae tour: Buses depart from Busan station, opposite Arirang hotel. Cost KRW10,000.

Spa Land: Shinsegae Dept Store Centum City by taxi or Centum City station (Busan subway line 2). Cost KRW 12,000 for 4 hours. Pay more if exceed the time limit. Shinsegae website: http://english.shinsegae.com

Next: Korea Trip Day 7: Jeju Island: Glass Castle, O'Sulloc Tea Museum, Songaksan, Teddy Bear Museum, Jusangjeolli, Yakcheon-sa, Jongbang Pokpo, Cheonjiyeon Pokpo, Saesom Saeyongyo Bridge, Hanok House Stay

For summary of the whole trip, check out my previous blog post South Korea Trip Sept 2013 11D10N Itinerary (Seoul, Busan, Jeju)

Related posts:

Related Posts with Thumbnails