Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 2 in Korea: Jeju Island (Part 2) & Seoul

We woke up early in the morning (and I do mean EARLY – it was only 4.30am!) just to catch up the sunrise at Seongsan Ilchubong or Seongsan Sunrise Peak. From most of the reviews we heard, this is the most beautiful place to watch sunrise in Jeju Island. Hence, we drove off to Seongsan which is situated at the east of Jeju Island.

Along the way, we had our breakfast in the car, while observing the beauty of Jeju Island. Suddenly, the sky was getting brighter and brighter. We were like… Oops! The journey took about 1 hour plus (with excessive speeding.. huhu) but somehow, we did not manage to catch the beginning of sunrise.

We could see the peak a few kilometers away from the highway. Once we arrived, just at my first step out of the car, I screamed, “THIS IS FREAKING COLD!!!!” Being pure Malaysian, I can never stand long in cold area. Immediately I opened my hot pack, paste it inside my sweater and put on my fall jacket. Not to forget, my warm gloves! (I always get cold hands even in the office~)

Seongsan Ilchubong (The leftover crater from a volcano erupted 5000 years ago)

Take a look at the scenery. The real view was much more beautiful than any pictures captured by the camera! And it is true!

When I was all set, I looked up to the sky and suddenly mesmerized by the whole view. In my heart, I whispered ‘Suhanallah’. The clouds were like fluffy cotton candies, moved by the wind towards an unknown direction. The flowers danced to the rhythm of the breeze and to the sound of the waves crashing at the beach.

Each of us paid W 2000 at the entrance. We went up to the peak through the stone stairs. Regardless of how cold the weather was, we keep on climbing and climbing….


and climbing….

Snapping a shot while resting halfway..

Encountered this eerie tuff cone..

And finally….(after 40 minutes of hiking)

  Tadaaaaa!!!! The sunrise was just before my eyes! Amazing!

The peak of Seongsan was underneath my feet!

We took a LOT of pictures here like nobody business! HAHAHA! The view is too astonishing that we would (kindly enough) like to share what we see with everybody. Once the sun rose up in the sky, we went down the crater for our next destination.

Going down took half the time when we hike up.. hehehe

We stopped by at Dunkin Donut for proper brunch and had ‘light’ shopping at souvenir shop before proceeding to our next destination, Seopjikoji.

On our way to Seopjikoji we found a vast field of rape seed flowers. We quickly pulled over and went for photo-shooting at the field (there was a man waiting to collect W 1000 entrance fee per person, probably the debt collector owner). The field was decorated nicely with heart-shaped arc and some carved stones. 

A heart in the middle of millions of flowers. Romantic~ ;)

My turn~

Since we are quite in a rush, we planned to stop by at Seopjikoji (a Korean drama titled ‘All In’ was shoot here, but I never watch it) for a shortwhile since it is only on the way back. When we arrived, we saw another scenic view of Jeju. Take a look for yourself:

The huge waves crashed on the stones making such loud roars that you can barely hear yourself screaming!

There is actually a lighthouse that we can climbed to see the whole view of the ocean, but we are done with climbing, so we decided to go straight to Cheonjiyeon falls.

Trust me, Cheonjiyeon falls is another scenic place in Jeju especially during spring. Located in Seogwipo-si, it is quite easy to find with numerous of signboards leading to park. So we just follow the signs and voila, we reached the entrance of the park. With entrance fee W 2,000, we strolled down the park until we reached the falls. Along the way, flowers blooming from their trees luxuriously.

The river connecting Cheonjiyeon Falls and the sea

Cherry blossoms trees as shades for the path to the falls

The sun of spring~

Cheonjiyeon Falls

Done with the stroll, we went back to the hiking in, checked-out and drove off to AVIS car rental. By their shuttle again, we went to Jeju International Airport for departure to Seoul.
We left Jeju Island at 1750hrs and reached Seoul around 1850. We took the subway to Hyehwa for our next pit stop, Friends house. It is a traditional house where you sleep on the floor. The room rates are W90,000 per night (for 3 people) include breakfast.

Friends House rating (out of 5): 
1) Bed – 4.5/5 (the floor was very warm. They have heater installed underneath the floor! Awesome!)
2) Toilet - 5/5 (It was superbly clean! Even though we had to share toilets with other guests, it was cleaned like it was home)
3) Service - 4/5 (The two ajhumma were friendly. They had dogs living with them and luckily they were trained not to disturb guests. Tell them your needs beforehand e.g. no meat meal etc)
4) Overall rating – 4.5/5

Once we checked-in, we went out again to find a restaurant for late dinner. We managed to find an Indian restaurant where we ordered prawn briyani and vegetable samosa to fill in our grumbling empty stomachs. Late that night we went back straight to our room and dozed off~

Tips for day 2:
1.    If your travel was in early spring, try to go to Jeju first as Jeju experience spring earlier than Seoul.
2.    It is kinda hard to find halal food in Jeju. If you are going to stay for a long time, bring enough canned food / bread / instant porridge from home.
3.    Try to wake up as early as you can to catch the sunrise or consider staying nearby as an option.
4.    Make sure you know your exit from the subway station to look for accommodation. Try to get some landmarks (and updated pictures) so that you will not get lost easily. You do not want to waste your time and energy (from carrying luggages) just to find a secluded house.
5.    Halal food is expensive. However, 2 portions of it can be shared among 3 normal people. Be prepared!

Lots of luv, 

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