Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2011 November: South Korea: Jeju: Gimnyeong Maze Park

Destination: Gimnyeong (Kimnyeong) Maze Park
Location: Jeju-si Gujwa-eup Donggimnyeong-ri

We arrived at the place together with busses of students touring around the area. What I remember about this place -- it was on a maze when "Edward" (Pattinson) was killed in one of the books of Harry Potter.

And yes, I did not bother to get into the maze -- for a definite reason that I'm afraid! And still my guide insist, "I will help you get out! Really, i will help you!"

If I'm with someone, maybe I have tried it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

2011 November: South Korea: Jeju: Haenyeo Museum

Destination: Haenyeo Museum
Location: Jeju-si Gujwa-eup Hado-ri 3204-1

Haenyeo refers to female divers who dive into the ocean water to gather various shellfish, seaweed, etc, without using any underwater diving equipment. [Reference]

I first knew about the Jeju Women Divers from an episode shown in Travel Living (TLC) and Arirang channels. It is their type of work to be able to send their children to school. They dive without gears and can stay for 1-2 minutes underwater.
Most Jeju haenyeo work under water to a depth of 10 meters without the aid of any modern breathing apparatus, although some are capable of diving to twice depth. They hold their breath for about one minute, although some are able to remain underwater for as much as two minutes. When surfacing to breathe, they cling to a life buoy known locally as a taewak in order to take a brief rest before the next dive.

We have not seen an actual diver in the area, but having this museum gives a tribute to them and this simply shows how proud they are for their locals.

2011 November: South Korea: Jeju: Seongeup Folk Village

Destination: Seongeup Folk VillageLocation: Seogwipo-si Pyoseon-myeon Seongeup-ri, Jeju
Located at the foot of Mt. Halla on Jeju Island, Seongeup Folk Village is a small town that holds a vast amount of culture.
I learned from Arirang channel, the photo on left side means that the house owner just left and will be back after 30-60minutes. The photo on right means you are not welcome to enter his house.

Daejanggeum (Jewel in the Palace) (Sep 2003 - March 2004)

Many of the scenes in which Jang-geum learns medicine as a maidservant for the Jeju local government from episodes 27 to 32 were filmed on this Folk Village. [Reference]

After roaming for around one hour in the Folk Village, we were given the traditional lunch with a choice of: Jeju black pork barbeque or vegetable bibimbap.

2011 November: South Korea: Jeju: Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak

I'm scheduled to visit a Catholic church before I joined the tour, but I woke up late for it. At 7am, I took a bath prepared myself and wore several layers of clothes. I skipped the breakfast at the hostel. I don’t want to cook egg at someone else's kitchen (or should I say I don’t know how to cook), plus they only have coffee.

So I went outside, go to my ever reliable cafe, Paris Baguette. I bought this cereal meal that contains 5 different grains - I don't know what I'm eating as all were in Korean signage. Also, ordered milk and a piece of bread. Back to the guesthouse, took my things then joined the tour.

First destination is Sunrise Peak.

Destination: Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak (Sunrise Peak)
Location: Seogwipo-si Seongsan-eup Seongsan-ri 114

Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak rose from under the sea in a volcanic eruption over 100,000 years ago. Located on the eastern end of Jejudo Island, there is a huge crater at the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak. The crater is about 600m in diameter and 90m high. With the 99 sharp rocks surrounding the crater, it looks like a gigantic crown. While the southeast and north sides are cliffs, the northwest side is a verdant grassy hill that is connected to the Seongsan Village. The ridge provides an ideal spot for walks and for horse riding as well. [Reference]

After almost an hour road trip from the city, we were able to reach the Sunrise Peak. I'm geared for this trip but not on this day... when I step out from the bus, there's the chilling effect of the very cold and strong wind. In less than 5 mins, I'm literally having runny nose, I can't take my photo as every second, that thing is flowing from my nose. It’s a very long walk of climbing the active volcano with both seaside and grassland on the background.
When I say a lot, yes really a lot of people are coming to his place. When we were there, about 9-10 buses full of tourists came in too.
Can you imagine me walking with a mass of people. So decided to stop at a point and some of them also stop on the same place where I was. Too bad because I have runny nose that I can’t immediately take a photo of myself.

I’m in Jeju, but it felt like walking to a demilitarized area. Some military men are also visiting the place.
The place is really picturesque.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

2011 November: South Korea: Jeju: Yeha Guesthouse

Yeha Guesthouse (
Yeha Tour (

I would recommend Yeha Guesthouse if you are looking for a place to stay in Jeju – for a positive note that they have a very good English guided tour. I commend Zin for his very informative and clear English on my West and East coast tours – courtesy of Yeha Tours.

The website shows true and good information and they answer my inquiries/email quickly. They also offer special discounts on accommodation and tours like early-bird booking, etc. There are dormitory and private rooms to choose from.

I booked at their site last July for my stay this November. Upon check-in (until 10pm) to their place, they requested for a 10000krw as deposit which I also got back on my check-out (11am).

Good thing that I got room 201 just near the stairs and take note that they do not have an elevator. The room is a typical Korean room, which you have to take off your shoes and change with your indoor slippers.

I’m happy with my room, I don’t need an air-conditioner but good thing they still have fan – in the middle of 13 degrees Celsius. They have television without cable channels, refrigerator, hair dryer, small towels and mosquito repellant. They don’t have cabinet to place in your clothes, but they have wall hangers. Good thing that have also have clock on the room.

For the bathroom, they provide toiletries, tooth paste, soap, shampoo and conditioner. It looks like there used to be a bathtub on it, but they removed it and I prefer if they could add shower curtains.

I so loved my bed – its soft, silky, clean, and it has its own heating pad which you can easily control.

The other facilities they offer are “do it yourself” breakfast, snacks or noodles you can buy, and open entertainment room (games, television, chess, computer and internet). If you don’t want to make your own breakfast, there is Paris Baguette just across the street which is always open.

You’ll notice that most of the memorabilia from the guests are all over the place, from the stairs to the walls. And, I also add a piece on my own – pinned this Manila postcard just near room 201.
Their front desk has very good English. I was also able to buy postcards and stamps from them. It feels like home on their place and I would really recommend this to you if you are looking for a place to stay.

2011 November: South Korea: Jeju: Teddy Bear Museum

Teddy Bear Museum
Location: Seogwipo-si Saekdal-dong 2889 (Jungmun Tourist Complex), Jeju
Entrance Fee: 8000krw

At the end of the tour, our guide (Zin) allowed that I can be dropped off at Teddy Bear Museum. The one in Jeju is the actual location place of Princess Hours, but I’d say that I appreciate more the one in Namsan Tower than this museum in Jeju.

The Birth of Teddy Bear: “Teddy Bear” was named after Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States. The story begins in November 1902 when Pres. Roosevelt was bear-hunting in the state of Mississippi.
There are 3 galleries at this museum.

First, The History: Teddy Bear takes a journey in time. Ride the time machine with Teddy Bear Marty and learn the history of the past hundred years. Enjoy the quirky combination of history and teddy Bear charm.

Second, The Art: Masterpieces like Mona Lisa as well as noted celebrities are reborn as teddy bears.
Third, Teddy’s Forest: I think you should visit this gallery first to catch it with sunlight, or else it is hard to get a better photo in the dark.

Going back to the city from Jungmun Tourist Complex is just easy, just go to the bus stop behind the Believe It Or Not Museum and wait for Airport Limousine 606, it would cost less than 4000krw and you can also use TMoney for your payment. The location is west part of Jeju and will take around an hour to reach the Airport. From there you can take another bus or a cab to go to your next destination.

2011 November: South Korea: Jeju: Jusangjeolli Cliff

Destination: Jungmun Daepo Coast Jusangjeolli Cliff
Location: Seoguipo-si Jungmun-dong 2663

The Jusangjeolli are stone pillars piled up along the coast and is a designated cultural monument of Jejudo Island. The Jusangjeolli was formed when the lava from Mt.Hallasan erupted into the sea of Jungmun. They are rock pillars shaped like cubes or hexagons of various sizes and almost seem as if stonemasons had carved them out. -

Sunday, November 20, 2011

2011 November: South Korea: Jeju: Yakcheonsa Temple

Yakcheonsa Temple
Location: Seogwipo-si Daepo-dong 1165, Jeju, Korea
Website: (KR only)

Yakcheonsa Temple, largest Buddhist Temple in East Asia, located in southern area of Jeju.

2011 November: South Korea: Jeju: Saeyeon-gyo

Saeyeon-gyo (Bridge) is located in the southernmost Korea as the landmark of Seowipo tourism port and the longest pedestrian bridge (168m). This is also having a meaning of making new relationship between the main Jeju island and islet of Saeseon.

I see this as a good place for locals to spend their mornings - having a long walk or riding with their bikes together with friends and family.

2011 November: South Korea: Jeju: Cheonjiyeon Falls

Cheonjiyeon, meaning "God’s pond," derives its name from the legend that the seven fairies serving the King of Heaven came down to the pond on stairs of cloud and bathed in its clean waters. [Source]

Cheonjiyeon Falls
Seogwipo-si cheonji-dong 666-7, Jeju, Korea

Along the way going to the falls, while we were above a bridge we saw some ducks and fish.

Another nice thing is these blocks on the water, which also serves as a bridge. Having this is really a nice opportunity for tourists to take their photos.

More than the falls itself, I like better the view below on the water spring in layers.

2011 November: South Korea: Jeju: O’sulloc Museum

The O’sulloc Museum, located on Jeju-do Island near Seogwangdawon. The “o” in “o’sulloc”, means to appreciate and enjoy, and it also stands for the origin of sulloc, only sulloc, and of sulloc tea. [Source]

O´sulloc Tea House
Seoul-si Jung-gu Myeongdong2-ga 33-1

This is my second visit at a tea farm. My first was in Meijiawu Tea Village at Hangzhou, China. In terms of presentation, I prefer my experience in China – full explanation on why tea is healthy and on how the farmers prepare the tea. But as for the photo-opportunity, I love it here in Jeju, because I was sick when I visited China before.

There is a viewing deck to see the overall site of the tea farm, and you can actually get close to the plants.

2011 November: South Korea: Jeju: Hallim Park

There is much to see at Hallim Park, Jeju and I was only able to visit the left wing of the park at a given time of less than 1.5 hours.

First we visited Hyeopjae and Ssangyong Caves, formed by the eruption of Mt. Halla and there are stalactites and stalagmites which were seldom found in lava caves. These are more of basalt rocks than limestone. It looks to be a living cave as water is still dropping from the ceiling. Also, the temperature in the cave is at 17 to 18 degrees Celsius all year around.Next, I visited…

Jeju Stone

Bonsai Garden

Flower Garden

Water Garden

Hallim ParkLocation: 300 Hallim Road, Hallim, Jeju, Korea

2011 November: South Korea: Incheon to Jeju

In less than 18 hours, I've been to 4 airports: Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, Incheon International Airport, Gimpo Domestic Airport, and Jeju International Airport.

Flight 5J 194 is from Manila with arrival time of 20:45 at Incheon International Airport. I decided to spend the night at the airport just in time to my flight the next day. For my late dinner, I was hoping to take a soup from Paris Croissant Kitchen – sad, but it is no longer available. So I started to enjoy Paris Baguette goodies.

The following day, I started it with a very quick breakfast at McDo, then run to Airport Railroad. I was able to take the 2nd AREX train departing from Incheon to Gimpo Airport (6:05am).

Find Exit 1, this will take you to the Airport. On the following, left will be going to Gimpo Domestic Airport while the right direction is to the Gimpo International Airport.

You will pass around 3 walkalators and 2 more escalators to reach the Check-in Counters.

Initially I saw the one for Asiana Airlines, following is Korean Air. Far left is the check-in counter for Jeju Air. The counter told me to wait for the next 5 minutes before I can proceed to the Departure Gates – this for the security check of the check-in luggage.

Gate 17, the last gate, I arrived there 5 minutes before boarding time, just enough to finish my breakfast. Exactly 7:15am, the plane departed and it is my first time to see the ground personnel directing the airport traffic and waving goodbye!

With only 55 minutes of air travel, they no longer offer food, but instead the flight attendants were offering free water or juice. We arrived at Jeju International Airport exactly 8:20, took an airport bus going to the terminal and took me few more minutes before I got my luggage at the rotating belt.

Short-distance taxi is available between Gate 4 and 5. I was bit caught in traffic while going to Yeha Guesthouse. So as I arrived at the place, the receptionist and the guide is already looking for me, “Actually, we should depart now.” He immediately took my luggage, carry it inside and good thing he asked me if I still need something. I just took my monopod and we immediately left the place.

So we started the West Course English Guided Tour...