Sunday, July 1, 2012

My Jeju Vacation

So I finished another session at work and got another 10 days for vacation! For this trip I met up with my good friend Ian to explore the Hawaii of Korea, Jeju Island. Now I had been to Jeju before with the TaLK program (briefly mentioned in my post Recap) but I was on a tour and hung over/sleep deprived most of the time. This trip we were able to explore on our own time and what we wanted which is a style of travel I much prefer.

So Ian got to Jeju on Thursday and I was to arrive later on Friday so he could hike Mt. Hallasan (tallest mountain in Korea) while I was traveling (I'm not much of a hiker, he is). Unfortunately, it rained hard for the first half of Friday so instead I met him in the city of Seogwipo and we explored town (The rain stopped when I arrived). To be honest there isn't much to do in Seogwipo except waterfalls. We found Jeongbang Waterfall (the only waterfall in Asia to fall directly into the ocean and one of the "three famous waterfalls of Jeju") just in time for sunset. The problem was the waterfall was already closed for the night so we just snuck in and took our pictures without having to fight with other tourists. It was lovely.

Saturday was a beautiful day and Ian left early to do his hike. It's suppose to take 8 or so hours so I had the day to myself. I love wondering new cities by myself, taking in the feel of your surroundings and to fully experience little things that happen without the distraction of someone else. Luckily, he is a machine and did the 8 hour hike in 5 hours and was back in time for us to catch the submarine tour. A little expensive but so much fun!
We went down about 33 meters and saw a ship wreck!

The inside of the submarine, I love that lady's face.

Ian and I are white so we got to sit up front with the captain! 
They took this picture before we went in and then had two of these waiting for us after for no extra charge. How very unAmerican of them! (mine suffered a bit of rain damage)
Sunday! We had enough of Seogwipo and decided to move on to Jeju City, we checked into the new hostel then headed out to the Manjanggul Lava-tubes and near by a human maze. It was a long walk to our destination but we were pleasantly surprised when an old Korean man in his truck stopped to pick us up and drive us out of his way to the Lava-tubes. The simple generosity of this country is something an American city girl like me has trouble getting use to yet would love to try.
Also, I was highly amused at the Lava-tubes because I was able to buy a youth ticket (Look Ma! I'm still a kid!) while Ian still had to pay adult price (HAHA *immature noises*).

We completed the maze in 40 minutes, I'm going to pretend that that's a good time...
Later that night we bought a bunch of beer and taught the Koreans at our hostel how to play Kings Cup (Ian calls it Socialbles...weird Canadians and their weird words) and how to shotgun beers. We had a blast getting plastered with out new friends!

Monday: Blah! Rain! What a downer. We tried to make the best of it, joining one of the Koreans we made friends with the night before on a bus trip around Jeju but when it's raining cats and dogs its hard to enjoy yourself. We did hit up Seongsan Ilchubong aka Sunrise Peak which was beautiful despite the rain (sadly we couldn't climb it) and a trick eye museum. 
Ar-a confused about Ian's misplaced legs!
I'm coming for you!
He always calls me short...

Tuesday: The greatest (last) day! Woke up, IT STOPPED RAINING! So we instantly hit up Loveland, Jeju's sex museum. Graphic, larger than life status doing all sorts of sexually explicit acts pretty much sums up the museum. Awkward. Yet highly entertaining. 
Inappropriate yes, but this was the most mundane of the art pieces...and I couldn't resist  :P
Just outside Loveland there was a sign that had alot of Korean and the word "ATV," We both love ATVing so we decided to follow it. After a beautiful (albeit long) walk we came across this random place in the middle of no where that rents ATVs that float in water and no one speaks English. Now this is my kind of place! We had a blast!
We aren't driving in shallow water, we are actually floating through it! Such a neat experience.
So how do we make an already awesome day even better? PLANETARIUM! Unfortunately, it got really foggy that night so the telescopes were kinda useless but we still got to lay back and watch a movie about stars in a huge dome theater and go on a $D ride. It was some fun times!
Cool photo huh? Too bad he's only looking at a sticker.
Next day Ian had to get up super early to catch his flight home while I lazed about the hostel trading contact info with all the new friends. To our annoyance there was a Nation-wide Taxi Strike on this day so getting to and from airports was a challenge but I made it home safely and Ian made it to his next adventure (a cultural trip with his province).

An overall splendid trip and much needed vacation.


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