Jeju Island

South Korea is said to have its own "Hawaii" known as Jeju island. It's located off the south central tip of the mainland, and about an hour plane ride from my home city. I've been wanting to visit the island since my arrival to S. Korea but simply couldn't get it done in the first (hotter) months I was here. When I found out that I had a break for the celebration of Buddah's birthday, I set my sights on Jeju. Despite checking into flights 5 weeks in advance, there was slim pickin's for flights. In fact, there weren't any seats available for a return flight. I checked three cities– no seats except an early flight on Sunday….. ok, I GUESS I'll make it work. (Flights only go on Friday and Sunday from my city so getting the opportunity to go is very difficult.)

Turns out, Hannah was able to accompany me on the trip! The way it worked out was fantastic, considering she decided to join me only 2 weeks prior to the date. Long story short, she went on a waiting list, and got tickets on the SAME flights as me! YAY

We only had 38 hrs total in Jeju… we had to make the most of it.

We arrived to a beautiful sunset on Friday evening.

We book hostel accommodations close (10 min drive) to the airport since our early flight would not afford us the luxury of traveling from the south part of the island early in the morning at a reasonable taxi fare. It was great too. We ate Mexican food— DELICIOUS! Then we headed out to Loveland. I won't post those pictures here as they are quite "adult" in nature. Loveland is the only park of its kind in Korea, and dispells the taboo in Korea of talking about sex. It was developed by 20 students who wanted to honor the fact that Jeju island is a top honeymoon destination for couples.  I was really suprised at this place, given that Koreans don't do public displays of affection, nor do they discuss sex (even with friends). Nonetheless, there were many Koreans there enjoying the parks fun, interactive atmosphere. Watching them, alone, was a blast. Side note: the cab driver told us that we shouldn't be going together– without our boyfriends as it "will be no fun." he was SO WRONG!

 

 

 

 

Saturday was our only full day, and although the rain was coming down, we decided to venture out anyway. Wow, we are hardcore… the rains and winds at Sunrise Peak ( a beautiful tourist attraction on Jeju island) were very strong! Check out this video at the top!

 

After being beated rentlessly by the wind and rain, we headed to a lava tube for some cave-like exploration. It was cool to visit, but not a must-see. It was, however, nice to get out of the rain for a bit.

Lava tube (3)
Lava tube (2)

On the way there, we had yet another adventure. The bus stops about a quarter of a mile from the site. We originally planned to walk, but given the weather conditions, we resolved to take a cab… the problem? It was the middle of nowhere and no cabs in sight! So, I prayed!! And, of course, God showed up with a cab. Now~ many of you may doubt, but let me say this… we were waiting and waiting, as soon as the words finished crossing my lips, an AVAILABLE cab shows up!! Thank you, Lord!

When we finally made it back to the hostel, we were tired and hungry. We ate a snack then took a short nap. We went to find dinner and ate a delicious Indian restaraunt.

 

 

The ambiance was nice as well. Once we finished dinner, planned to watch a movie in a DVD bang (like a home theatre for two- six people: the are everywhere in Korea) but we didn't find anything we wanted to see. So, we grabbed some coffee (well, Hannah grabbed coffee) and sat down in the coffee shop. We ran into two guys from the States~ turns out one is a Haitian-American and speaks Creole!! Small world!

Out (3)Out (20)Out (9)Out (14)

We hung out with them at a local billards place the rest of the night and made it back to our hostel around 5:30am.. just in time for a quick (1 hr) nap then up again to head for the airport. I will definitely be heading back to Jeju in the future as the weather hindered total exploration. Just a good excuse to do it again!!

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