Here is your fair warning: This post is NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK OR CHILDREN.
I apologize for how long it has taken me to get this posted. I have been working on it little by little since we got home. In my defense, the week we came home was the beginning of finals “week.” But here you have it, 6294 words, 121 images, and 1 slide show. Good luck!
Fourth of July Adventure – Day 1 (aka Day 157)
About two weeks before the Fourth, P and I decided we were leaving the city once and for all. While many of our peers chose to take grand trips out of the country, we opted to stay inside Korea’s borders (not as though we had much choice, however, considering some work rules that I find boring and silly). We chose to visit a Jeju, a tiny island off the southern coast of Korea.
Jeju is a one hour flight from Seoul, and are dirt cheap. We bought our tickets and booked our room just a few days out, no problem. We chose to stay in a hostel, instead of one of the cool resort hotels that have advertisements plastered all over Seoul, as we didn’t want an excuse to bum in the room all day (we can do that at home for free – well, ish, we do pay rent and all). We checked the Lonely Planet and online reviews, and settled on the Jeju Hiking Inn for a mere ₩15,000 per person per night. For the record, that’s less than $30/night.
Left the apartment at about 8AM for the 2ish hour trek to the airport (yes, there are quicker ways, but our way was the cheapest, plus it gave us time to lolly-gag and pick up breakfast). We arrived at Gimpo International Airport about an hour before take off. Unfortunately, we were accompanied by a heavy fog that threaten to delay our weekend getaway.
Luckily, we did not experience any delays. We boarded on time and were off on our quick one hour hop to Jeju!
We arrived in Jeju shortly after noon, and, boy was that place chaotic. It’s a pretty small airport with plenty of odd smells to go around, and even an “air shower” (I wish I had gotten a picture) as you walked down to baggage claim. It was also raining. Thumbs down.
We had directions to the hostel via the bus system, and a plan to rent scooters/mopeds once we got to Segwipo. However, on the plane we began throwing the idea around to rent a car. We had heard that getting around the island was a bit of a pain, since the bus schedule isn’t put together as well as in Seoul. We weren’t keen on the idea, but the rain upon our arrival was certainly a good motivator. We checked prices at the rental agencies, and weren’t quite convinced, especially considering we didn’t know the layout of the island. So as we continued discussing the pros and cons, we moseyed our way over to the tourist desk; and, lo and behold, they had a street map. At that moment the decision was made: we were renting a car.
We hustled back over to the rental agencies and decided on a company and car. And I was in luck they had the little teeny car I’ve been coveting since arriving in Korea. I handed over my passport and Korean driver’s license (I’m of the appropriate age now to rent a car, so of course we put it in my name… and P forgot his passport). We went and sat in the little waiting area while she went to make copies of everything. However, 30 seconds later, here she came scurrying around the counter, freaking out because I gave her my passport and not P’s. She was very confused when I told her that I was aware and had also given her my driver’s license. Evidently, women don’t normally rent cars in this country?
As we sat there waiting, P was mesmerized by Korean Dancing with the Stars, and I caught sight of a hat shop. Back in early April, I fell in love with the straw fedoras I saw at the COEX mall, but they all cost far more than I wanted to pay. In our shopping adventures, P and I have kept an eye out for the perfect and cheap hat, however, each that we found just wasn’t quite the one. So off I went, and at this point with little hope, to see if they had my perfect straw fedora. Of course they didn’t have the perfect straw fedora, but they did have an even better one that appears to be made from twine. Way cool. And half the price of the hats at the COEX.
We ended up sitting in that waiting area for about half an hour, just goofing off wait for our escort to show us the car. Eventually, he showed up and we made the trek outside to the parking lot and rental agency office. Y’all are going to love this. Instead of doing all the paperwork inside in a traditional setting, every single rental agency used these beat up nasty Scooby-Doo vans as offices. I kid you not. Crazy sketchy.
About ten minutes later they pulled our car around, and handed over the keys to our new Daewoo Matiz, the tiniest, cutest little car that ever roamed the planet. Ok, well maybe not the tiniest, but it is darn cute.
(yeah, I forgot to take a good picture at the airport because I was just too excited to drive it!) So off we went over the mountain and threw the woods (quite literally), in search of the hostel.
Of course, what should have taken us and hour and some change, took us about three. Why, might you ask? Well, in Korea, you don’t pick up and return your rental car with a full tank. You pick up and return your car with less than a quarter tank, and of course, sweet little ol’ me was just too excited to drive this cute little ol’ car to think about looking for a gas station before we left the city and hit the curvy back roads. Whoopsie.
We ended up stopping at a number of random establishments and making a few wrong turns before finally coming to a gas station (tucked under a bridge).
After filling up, we switched places, and headed back in the right direction. Not only on Day 1, but also throughout the trip, I proved to be a much better navigator than my love. I directed us to the hostel, and we arrived without further incident. Thank goodness. On our way, we stumbled across a Da Vinci museum, quite literally in the middle of nowhere. It was entirely random (and also where I took a picture of Baby Blue, the Matiz). We didn’t go through the whole museum, as the entry fee was a little pricey, but we did check out the gift shop (also a little pricey). It was pretty cool though.
After a quick stop at the Da Vinci museum, we got our butts back on the road.
I’m almost glad we took a wrong turn, though. The countryside of Jeju is absolutely stunning. Lots of green.
About 20 minutes later, we arrived at the Jeju Hiking Inn. I can’t believe I didn’t get a picture of the place, but really you aren’t missing much. We stayed in a small room with small bed, a small bathroom, a small trashcan, and a whole lot of mold. But hey, it was cheap, and we didn’t plan on spending much time in there anyways. Oh, we did get a picture of the schnazzy doorknob leading to the bedroom. Cool, right?
We dropped our bags in our fourth floor (er, fifth floor? The fourth floor is unlucky in many Asian cultures) room, and headed out. Of course, we had to stop for a photo shoot in the hallway. Yeah, this place hadn’t been redecorated since they opened in the 70s: mirrors everywhere. Does this remind anyone of a certain house? And, no, we aren’t very good at mirror pictures.
We were starving, but, of course, we can’t just eat at the first place that we stumble upon. Oh, no, for those of your that don’t know, when we eat out, we choose our restaurant based on my emotions. The few times we’ve tried to eat without my emotional pull to a place have usually turned out horribly. So, we walked in the general direction of the harbor in search of food (luckily, we were both craving a Korean food, so that narrowed down our search dramatically. Ok, maybe not dramatically, since we are in Korea), popping our heads in places as we went.
In our search, we did discover that the haze that covers Seoul is not unique to the city. Even in the small towns on Jeju, hazy days are still quite common. Thumbs down. I want blue skies!
We stopped at a little convenience store (P forgot to pack Q-tips, and he cannot last a weekend without Q-tips), picked up Q-tips and a couple things of ramen noodles for later in the weekend. Yum. Korean ramen kicks the crap out of American wannabe ramen noodles. Oh, and did you know that the most popular brand of soju also makes wine? Yeah that can’t be good. We should have bought a bottle.
Well, about thirty seconds after purchasing our goods, we stumbled upon this lovely sign, and my emotional cues lit up!
Thank goodness, they put this sign where they did, too, because we would have just turned and continued to the waterfalls, completely missing the amazing meal that awaited us.
Doesn’t look like much does it? But it felt right. Plus, there was a sweet tree in the courtyard area.
One of Jeju’s special dishes it “black pork,” and that was this restaurant’s main dish. We had an option of traditional Korean seating (on the floor), or tables over looking the harbor. Of course, we chose a table overlooking the harbor. The windows were thrown open, and there was a nice cool breeze. The view wasn’t spectacular since it was low tide, but it was still pretty cool.
As usual, the waiters brought out a large array of kimchi and side dishes while we flipped through the menu. For once, I actually enjoyed almost all of the side dishes. There was a shredded onion salad with that spicy red sauce and these collard greens (that’s what they looked like anyways) soaked in sesame oil and this amazingly cool cucumber soup: divine divine divine! We ended up ordering a a boiled beef soup and an array of barbecue pork cuts. Honestly, just one of the two dishes would have been enough for us, but normally, when we have Korean BBQ, there is never enough food without spending a small fortune. But oh my gosh, it was all so delicious. They brought out the soup while the pork cooked, and I was already in heaven. The beef just feel off the bone, the noodles were awesomely clear, the broth delicious. Bah. I could go on forever. And as we sat there, inhaling our soup, the pork sizzled away in front of us. There was a lot of drool that evening. Oh, and cool fun fact: this restaurant used coals to cook the meat instead of the usual gas burner.
And I was utterly fascinated with the spoons. Instead of having a round end, there is actually a teeny tiny point. It didn’t really show through in the pictures, but I did find it cool enough to take about 634653 pictures of this spoon.
To top off a wonderful dinner, I caught sight of this awesome sign on the way out the door. I love how every venue in Korea seems to have a unique bathroom sign. Some utterly strange, and other just plain cute! (It’s the small things in life.)
After dinner, we moseyed our way down to the harbor and the tucked away Cheonjiyeon Waterfall. While we were eating, a fog rolled in that was so think we couldn’t even see across the harbor.
Between the harbor and the waterfalls, was a parking lot and an odd group of tourist targeted stores. They sold these odd orange color clothes, hats, and purse (not sure what the significance is, but we saw these outfits being sold all over the island); stretched and dried out octopus tentacles (Jeju’s fish specialty is dried raw fish or something of the sort); and ice cream and other goodies.I wish I had taken more pictures of the odd things we saw.
We paid our entry fees, and in we went! It was gorgeous. The sidewalks were a pretty stone, there were statues of these crazy gnome-like Jeju-ian creatures, random crazy rocks, bridges and fish and flowers and trees and more. Even the trashcans were pretty.
After seeing the falls (this was one of three major waterfalls on the island), we bought some ice cream and walked back to the hostel, grabbing the Lonely Planet from the car (THANKS, Aunt K and Uncle R, we use it A LOT). It was 7 something when we got back to the hostel. We weren’t ready to turn in yet, but we also didn’t want to get involved in something that would take hours and hours either (we already had an early morning planned for the next day).
On the big Jeju map we got from the airport was a listing for the World Sex Culture Museum (listed in the LP as the World Eros Museum, and that was actually what the sign said out front). The museum was maybe two miles down the rode in the World Cup Stadium (after the World Cup, the stadium had a few things added like a “spa,” “water park,” arcade, movie theater, gym, and a few random “museums” to fill the space. It’s a pretty cool looking stadium though). The LP told us the museum was open until 8PM, so we hustled over. Once we found it, we had only thirty more minutes before closing time. We promised the “curator” we would be quick walking through the museum, and he gave us a crazy discount. We paid half the price of one ticket for both of us!
The museum was rather bizarre, as was expected. It was an odd collection of graphic figurines, pictures, carvings, etc.
There were much more vulgar pieces in the museum (and, yes, I do have pictures). So, if you are extremely curious, by all means, shoot me a message and I’ll email them your way. But really, this place wasn’t all that classy and I don’t think you’re missing much. There were some truly fascinating things, and if you are looking to kill 15 to 30 minutes on an evening in Jeju, I suggest a trip to the World Eros Museum/Sex Culture Museum. But I would not recommend paying full price for entry.
After leaving the museum, we moseyed around the stadium. The inside of the stadium is rather cool. It’s absolutely huge!I can only imagine the excited and energy that buzzed through that stadium during the World Cup!
There were tons of signs for a “Coffee Spa,” and we are always down for a good spa experience. Unfortunately, 1) all the shops and such were closing up, to include the “spa,” and 2) calling it a spa was BS. It was four jacuzzis with different scents poured in. Lame-tastic. They did build a mini water-park intothe stadium, which was pretty neat. I’d be interested to see that in action sometime.
After wandering the upper deck of the stadium, we headed towards the basement where was saw movie posters earlier in the night. We didn’t end up seeing a movie, because it was already pretty late and the next showing of Transformers wasn’t for another 45 minutes or so. We did, however, find ourselves in an amazingly creepy arcade. Like everything in this place was a leftover from before my time, and hadn’t been cleaned in decades. P was goofing off on one of the machines, and this little boy came up and just stared for awhile. P dug all the change out of his pocket and gave it to the kid. It was so sweet.
After leaving the arcade, we walked back out to the car, and on the way I saw this awesome green building and I NEEDED a picture of it. The lighting was just too awesome to pass up. For the record, this picture has not been edited at all.
Awesome, right? We stopped by the local E-Mart (Korean Wally World, I’m telling you) for something. Can’t remember what, now that it’s bee three weeks or so. But I do remember that as soon as we walked in we realized this was probably the right place to find P some swim trunks (remember how our apartment eats stuff? Well, all of P’s swim trucks have fallen victim to the hungry apartment). Oh, wait, I remember now, we were in search of early morning snacks (aka breakfast). Anyways, we found P some ballin’ trunks (and by we, I mean he did, I was too busy looking at shoes), and they were even on sale! Woot! After grabbing those, we found some Nature Valley bars and Knott’s Berry Farm Cookies (drool). Yeah, yeah, don’t judge us for liking our American easy foods. Oh, and dried pineapple. Can you believe P didn’t like the pineapple. He’s a loon, I’m telling you!
After safely making it back to the car (you know how you don’t go to Walmart at noon-ish? Well, you really shouldn’t go to E-Mart/Kim’s Club/HomePlus/etc. around 9PM), we rushed back to the hostel in search of sleep. It wasn’t that we were necessarily tired (although, we were, we stayed up until 4 or 5 the night before watching TV. What can I say? We’re couch potatoes, and we love it!), but we had an early morning ahead of us!
The plan, which definitely was not piss-poor, was to get up at 3AM-ish (P’s idea not mine) to go see the best sunrise on the island according to the LP, hit the road by 4AM (no we don’t need that long to get ready, we need that long to hit the snooze button eighteen time and at some point drag our happy asses out of bed), climb this awesome crater-peak-thingy-ma-bob (yeah, I went there), watch the sunrise, go see the cool diving old ladies, find some bamftastical seafood, lay out on the black sand beach, check out this crazy awesome cave, go back to the hostel & nap, hit up Love Land, then party the night away.
Well, let me tell you what really happened.
Fourth of July Adventure – Day 2 (aka Day 158)
The alarm went off at 3AM. We turned the lights on and seriously debated whether or not to go. Normally, I’d be all for P giving into our desires to sleep; however, I knew he’d be pretty upset if we didn’t see this sunrise. So, despite my my little inner devil telling me to go back to sleep, I kept asking P if he was sure until finally we got out of bed and headed towards the car. It was about an hour long drive to Seongsan Ilchulbong, aka Sunrise Peak, on the eastern coast.
Once we got there it still seemed extremely dark (and it was a bit chilly!), so we hung out at the base of the mountain for a little while. Finally, I worked up the energy to start moving, and we hit the trails. It’s clear this peak is a tourist sight because it was so incredibly maintained with staircases and stone paths. This trek seemed to be designed for your typical Korean woman in heels. As we slowly started gaining altitude, we caught gorgeous views of the local village (west of the peak). I truly wanted to stay looking at that view for the entire morning. P had to force me to keep moving up the trail.
Once we got to the top, we found a good seat and started soaking up the scenery. Unfortunately, by the time the sun should have risen there was such a thick blanket of fog covering the area, you couldn’t even see the other side of the crater!
We did meet a group of English teachers while we were waiting for sunrise, however. Interesting crowd to say the least. They were mostly Americans (the group included a Canadian and a Brit), mostly from California. Hippies, most definitely. My lovely husband does not like to tell strangers about his employment status, so most of the time he uses the “we’re teachers” or “we’re students” line and changes the subject. However, you can’t lie about being teachers when you’re talking to real teachers! So instead, we became trust fund babies, just hanging out in Seoul. The things that man comes up with.
Finally, we gave up and headed back down the mountain. Before hitting the road, we made a bathroom stop (yes, sign pictures are near), and grabbed some Dunkin’ Donuts. The Nature Valley bars just weren’t cutting it in our tired and dejected states.
After being thoroughly disappointed with our morning (and it wasn’t even 7AM), we opted to head back to the Hiking Inn for a little bit of sleep (btw, the hostel had these ridiculously hard pillows that somehow turned out to be amazingly comfortable), since we were planning on the sunrise being totally invigorating and thought it would give us the energy to power through the morning of awesomeness. It definitely was a failure. Of course, as soon as we hit the road, exhaustion set in like a heavy dose of Valium. We made it maybe ten minutes before we decided to pull over and nap. Holy moly artichokey! That little car is the best camping setup I’ve ever slept in. We slept for like three hours, and honestly could have slept longer. It was amazing. We both kind of startled awake (I think traffic was starting to pick up a bit), and P decided to continue back to the hostel. We ended up sleeping until mid afternoon. We are terrible vacationers. But that was an absolutely awesome few hours of sleep.
Once we woke up, we showered up, ate our noodles we bought the day before (had a lovely chat with a travelling Frenchman — he was wearing a lot of Rastafarian garb) and decided to head towards Love Land. When we got there, it was far too hot and we continued on to Jeju-si (the city of Jeju on the island of Jeju) in search of seafood (P’s one big desire for the trip was finding awesome seafood). We saw on the map a listing for a “fish market” near on of the major shopping districts and the harbor. So we parked there are walked a bit. P was not convinced we were in the right place, however, as the street that should have been the “market” was just a long row of restaurants (none of which peaked my emotional tummy, they just seemed so…. off). Well, after stopping to look at the LP, we concluded that we were indeed in the right place, but that the Jeju map was wrong. The LP informed us that the fish market was actually “Sashimi Street.”
Looking back, we should have eaten somewhere on that street, as this street is actually famous in Korea. But we have plans of returning to Jeju, so one day we’ll get there.
We eventually decided to go check out the local market. P was in search of CDs (there was an extremely strange mix CD left in the rental car, and we discovered that the antenna was knocked off the car, which was why we couldn’t get any radio stations outside the major towns). It was a pretty typical Korean shopping area: vendors on the streets, stores stacked on top of stores, and people, tons of people.
We didn’t end up finding any good CDs (did find some strange Korean karaoke CDs, though), or anything cool at all. We popped in a local Tom and Tom coffee shop (one of the many Korean Starbucks type chains) for smoothies and a soft pretzel (P was pretty hungry).
Since we couldn’t find any seafood that caught our attention in Jeju-si (I’m sure if we searched the entire city, we would have found something), we decided to head towards the beach. There must be good seafood at the beach.
On our way back to the car, we came across yet another crusty arcade/theme park of sorts. It even had a mangy dog trying to scratch its neck with an empty old tuna can! I kept expecting a demonic clown to pop out from some shadowy corner. For the record, the place seemed a lot more dangerous than the pictures let on.
We eventually made it back to the car and hit the road in search of Hyeopjae Beach in Hallim, which according to one of the teachers we met that morning is the most scenic beach on Jeju.
As we drove, the hazy skies were turning a beautiful blue, and we realized sunset would occur not too long after we reached the beach. The idea of seeing sunset was quite exciting as we really haven’t seen one since arriving in Korea (in addition to the constant haziness, we don’t live in the best location to view sunsets. We do get good sunrises when we are awake that early however).
Hallim appeared to be a pretty quiet older beach town. In some ways, the streets near the west coast of Jeju reminded me of the beach streets in California.
Our first view of the beach, and it was rather stunning.
The beach remind me of the east coast beaches in the States: Very flat and lots of cool wading pools. Plus a neat bonus, the beautiful island off the coast!
The water was a bit chilly, but it was nice to just relax for a while. Of course, about 30 minutes into our beach trip we realized, the sun was going to play hide and seek during sunset. So, in one day, our attempts to see the most beautiful parts of the island at the best times were foiled TWICE!
Bummed, we took off for a lighthouse we saw in the distance. We walked through what appeared to be a run-down neighborhood, but I am almost certain that it was actually an older and expensive neighborhood. I’d say the view is probably worth the cost. (For the record, just like in Seoul, people laid down vegetable gardens where ever they happened to fit.)
We weren’t able to get all the way to the lighthouse, because the there was a deliberate break in the concrete pier, but it was worth the walk out there since we got to play with the sweetest puppy. Korean dogs typically aren’t very friendly, nor are they very receptive to strangers petting them or playing with them.
After walking back from the pier, the search for food was on! In some ways, Jeju is very similar to Seoul, but in one way it certainly was not: variety of restaurants. I had been craving a big fat juicy burger since earlier that morning, and wouldn’t you know, there was a cute little joint called Big Burger right across from where we parked!
Of course, did they actually serve juicy beefy hamburgers? Certainly not! All that was on the menu were these strange pork and veggie burgers. So, out came the LP, and we headed back to Jeju-si.
According to the book, Jeju-si is home to a small Mexican restaurant complete with chimichangas. You better believe we wanted to find it, Mexican food is hard to find in this country. Somehow we managed to piece together the map from the airport and the tiny little map inside the LP to get us to the right area (don’t ask me how, clearly I just happen to be a navigational goddess). We parked in front of a bar called Kansas, with cool American signs all over, looked like a true blue country bar, and you know the real kicker? Once you got inside, it was a typical Korean bar with Korean music and overpriced Korean drinks. But it was a good marker to remember where we parked!
Remarkably, it only took us about ten minutes of searching alleys to find Zapata’s Mexican Grill. We almost missed it too, since it was so dimly lit at the end of one of the alleys.
After eating, we hurried back to the car because we still needed to visit LOVE LAND! Granted there were a few pit stops in random stores on the way. What can I say? I enjoy shopping, even if I am just looking. I caught sight of some beige rain boots (yes, I am in search of some beige rainboots), and while they weren’t quite right, P found this redonkulous dress and insisted I try it on. It was Fourth of July weekend. What could be more patriotic?
However, do not be fooled, THIS was my initial reaction. You’d probably make the same face if you’d just stuffed yourself into this little spandex and sequin gem:
They did have some other pretty neat stuff in the store. Some stuff I really liked, and then some stuff that was way far out there (like this dress).
After this little pit stop, we headed off to Love Land (for real this time). I highly suggest going at night. It was the perfect temperature, the lighting was pretty awesome, almost no crowd, and the darkness really just seemed to fit the the theme. Some of the pieces were really classy and beautiful, and others just crude, but hey, it’s all part of the fun! (Quick bit of history: Love Land was a school project for art students at a university here in Seoul in the early 2000s).
When we headed back to the hostel, we once again had to stop and pull over. Unfortunately, we had to drive a lot farther (further?) than either of us thought smart since Love Land is located some where on the big mountain in Jeju, and the road we were in was curvy and a single lane. Clearly, pulling over likely would not have worked out in our favor. We didn’t rest for long (by we, I mean P), and were soon back on the road (we pulled over maybe 15 minutes from the hostel). We went to bed excited to not need an alarm for the next morning (it’s the little things in life).
Fourth of July Adventure – Day 3 (aka Day 159)
Since we didn’t accomplish the things we wanted the day before, our original plans for Day 3 were put on the “Next Time” plate (we planned to hike Mt. Halla, the highest peak in Korea). So after we got ready to conquer the day, we drove back to the area where we attempted to watch the sun rise. This time we were in search of the Haenyo, diving women who collect seaweed and sea creatures from the water. These women dive with no equipment other than a wetsuit and a mask, and often spend 2-3 minutes under water. Cool, huh? It was raining pretty hard, so we didn’t actually expect to see any of the women. However, there was a large museum dedicated to the work of these women. Of course, the one day out of the month that they close is the first Monday of each month. Does anyone recall what day July the Fourth was this year? That’s right: a Monday.
We walked the grounds a bit, then started driving around aimlessly. We were still in search of amazing seafood, which thankfully, we eventually found. We stumbled across this amazingly quirky little restaurant, and while it wasn’t your traditional seafood place, it did the job. Plus it was just awesome.
I don’t remember exactly how the rest of the day played out (this is why I shouldn’t take three weeks to get a trip posted). However, at some point we made our way over Jungmun, the resort town, in search of massages. It took us a good bit of driving and walking to find a place that was neither crazy expensive nor insanely sketchy, and had the staff for us to get our massages together. We finally settled on a place, and decided to get a foot massage. It ended up being an entire lower body massage, and was AWESOME. We should’ve definitely gotten the back massage.
After that, we debated going out to eat, but instead decided to grab a ready-meal (pizza and sushi) from E-Mart. Big mistake. But we did get to eat on the roof of the hostel which had some pretty killer views of the harbor.
After eating dinner, we checked out the bridge that’s in the harbor picture. The bridge was gorgeous, and it led to a little wooded island, called Sod Island. The trails were extremely well maintained; the only down side of such well maintained paths, is that when the best part fell into the ocean, they blocked off all the ways to get to that area. Probably for the best, though.
After our walk on Sod Island, we began our search for a laid back local bar. We knew we were close to the one that caught our interest, but did not see anything in the area that resembled it. We ended up following this windy road to a place that claimed to be the look out point for the “Lonely Rock” (a lone rock in the middle of the sea — clever, right?). As we began the decent to the lookout point, we were quite impressed. The foliage was beautiful, there were classy yet simple gazebos everywhere, and educational plagues all over.
And then we found the stairway to the most perfect little nook I’ve ever had the blessing to find.
At this point, my camera died, and we decided to turn around and go grab our sneakers from the car. I did get a few pictures with my point and shoot, but they didn’t really turn out as it was actually almost dark at this point (and I currently have no idea where that camera is). I still haven’t decided if who ever built this staircase was absolutely brilliant or just plain stupid. There was so much power in the water. If you look in the background of a few of those pictures, you can see a natural rock bridge leading into a pool. If someone were to slip into the pool, I can’t imagine they’d come back out. It was beautiful, yet at the same time pretty scary to see that much violence in the clear green waters.
Since it was almost dark, we hurried out of the area. No need to tempt fate here. We did eventually find the bar we were seeking, and it was pretty awesome. Very laid back, mostly outdoor seating, random things (such as skis, kayaks, snowboards, etc) screwed into the walls. And get this: instead of your normal laid out bar with liquor, beer, and peanuts, the inside was almost like a convenience store with snacks, hot food, and, of course, booze.
We didn’t stay long as we were getting eaten alive by bugs and still needed to pack up to head home the next day, but we are very happy we found the place.
The next day, we got up, drove to the airport and flew home. We will definitely return to Jeju before we leave. There was too much we didn’t get to do on this trip.
I hope everyone had a great Fourth, and if you made it through this entire post, you truly deserve a cookie.