This is part of an ongoing travelogue, to start at the beginning click here.
Gooood morning Jeju!!!
Our second day in Jeju started off early as driver was to pick us up at 9.30am. We woke up quiet early and had a simple breakfast of instant noodles and coffee. After that I took a walk outside to see our surroundings.
Our house is surrounded by a tangerine orchard, and it looks beautiful in full bloom. The fruit is widely planted here for export, it sweet and juicy, and is often made into chocolates.
Even though Jeju is the southernmost island in Korea, it is still pretty cold in November. It snows in winter, too, so be prepared for unpredictable weather especially in December to February.
Our house is located in the countryside away from Seogwipo, it is a quiet street with a few small houses surrounded by greenery and tangerine orchards. So early in the morning no one is up yet (or maybe they all just stay indoors). Anyway after washing up and locking the house, our driver came. Today’s driver is a different guy from yesterday. This guy drives much slower (and safer) but acts more as a tour guide, giving back stories of the local legends.
So first stop today is Jeongbang waterfall. This is a different one from yesterday’s Cheonjiyeon Falls. Jeongbang is the only waterfall in Asia that falls directly to the sea (this is mentioned in the tourism websites, but Wikipedia says there are 2 more in Asia…hmm. What gives?). The effect seen at high tide, but its better to visit at low tide so you walk up to the falls on the rocks.
The falls is very easy to access from the main road, just down some steep steps.
Then you can see it. To get a good view, you need to walk onto the rocks. Make sure you are wearing appropriate shoes as the rocks are slick and may be loose.
Then we went to Oedolgae. First thing we learnt from our driver is that it is pronounced ‘Woo-der-gay’. He told us the interesting legend of the two rocks, but I’ll let you figure out yourself what the rocks are supposed to look like. This spot is very popular with locals and tourists, there were many groups of students there for field trips while we were there.
Like many places in Jeju, this place was featured in Jewel in the Palace (Dae Jang Geum). And they’re not shy to advertise this fact.
From Oedolgae you can hike along the cliff to the end of the trail, it takes you 40 to 60 minutes and you can enjoy the pine forest and view of the cliffs.
Besides being known as a honeymoon and holiday destination with lots of theme parks, Jeju is more famously known for its natural wonders, primarily from its volcanic activity. The most popular attractions in Jeju are Hallasan mountain and Manjanggul Lava Tubes. We skipped both as climbing Hallasan takes a few hours (although I’m sure the payoff is fantastic) and my family wasn’t keen in walking in the dark and damp caves to see the lava tubes. So our itinerary are the easy to reach places, that are equally stunning.
And one of the most beautiful is Jusangjeolli cliffs, which are lava extrusions shaped in pentagons and hexagons. This is similarly to the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland. But to see it yourself, waves crashing, its really breathtaking to say the least.
Here we say another (very old) woman diver selling her catch. She’s very skillful is shucking the oysters an other strange mollusks (with her BARE HANDS). To eat it, you dip into some chilli sauce, and eat it RAW. Some Chinese tourists were eating it, we passed on it.
According to our driver the last generation if divers are now in their 70’s, and it won’t be long before they retire and the craft is gone forever.
For lunch we had black pork BBQ, one of the dishes we were looking forward to try in Jeju. Unfortunately, our driver wasn’t familiar with this area, and he brought us to this rather touristy restaurant near the Lotte Hotel that catered mainly to Chinese mainlanders. It was rather disappointing, as the previous day’s driver told us that the best restaurants slaughter the livestock on the same day and the meat is never frozen. And this one didn’t seem like one of them.
Ah well, not to complain too much. I’d say black pork does have a distinct taste, but honestly speaking its nothing spectacular. Maybe I’ve been spoilt by Ipoh siew yoke…