August 13, 2012

For my first round of summer vacation days, I decided to head to Jeju, Korea's largest island. Jeju is a volcanic island, commonly referred to as the 'Hawaii of Korea', and is home to South Korea's tallest mountain, Hallasan.

We got up bright and early to board the ferry which conveniently left from the port in Mokpo.

Goodbye, Mokpo!

For the 5 hour ferry trip we were assigned a room with maybe 10 other people... lots of lounging and ajummas playing games.

Wandering around the deck...

We docked in Jeju city so we figured we should spend the afternoon there. We went to this bizarre place, "Mini Land" that just had mini replicas of things. This was our awesome cab driver. He sang Big Bang for us and we bonded over our kpop bias.

Real life or mini !?

To represent Canada: Toronto's City Hall. Okay.

After Mini Land, we decided to head to our hotel. We stayed at a cute place in Seogwipo (the second largest city in Jeju) called Goodinn.

For our first morning in Jeju, naturally, it was typhooning. We tried to wait it out in a cafe, but after a while we decided to venture out.

Oedolgae (Lonely Rock)

Jusangjeolli cliffs (주상절리)

The weather decided to clear up so we headed for Jungmun beach, the resort area of Jeju.

Golden sands... We wandered the beach a while... almost getting swept away in the waves... watched some surfers...

Day two was a MUCH more beautiful day!

We stumbled upon this somewhat hidden garden...

Jeongbang Falls (정방폭포) were a short walk from our hotel

The waterfall spilled into the ocean...

We sat on the coast to watch the sun go down!

On our third and final full day we hired a taxi to travel the east coast of the island.

First stop: Manjanggul lava cave. It took maybe 40 minutes to walk the length of the cave which was something like 10°C... Really cool (punny ^_^)

Second stop: U-do (Cow Island) which was a 10 minute ferry ride from the mainland.

Coral sands... the only coral beach in Korea!

We enjoyed the crystal clear water and amazing views...

Third stop: Back on the mainland, we stopped by Seongsan Ilchulbong/Sunrise Peak

Stop 4: Folk Village. Similar to the one in Suncheon I visited during my first week in Korea. 

Fifth stop: 쇠소깍 (Soesokkak) I fell in love with this place. The fresh water river ran into the
ocean. Clearest water I've ever seen.

To complete the sand collection, black sand! It was like walking in ashes...

Soon enough it was time to leave the island paradise and head back to the real world... before boarding the ferry, we decided to make a stop at a garden in Jeju city.

Ferry round two... For some reason on the way back we were crammed in a 'foreigner room' with  ~20 other people. Definitely felt like we were living in the bottom of the Titanic.

These are some girls from Beijing who taught us some games. There was also an attempt to teach us Mandarin, but that just wasn't going down.


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