On Jeju-do – [Iho Beach, Cheonjiyeon Waterfall, Citrus Museum, Good Food]. This past weekend I took a trip to the beautiful Jeju-do. I muttered an early morning goodbye to my friend and fellow CSer who was using the apartment for the weekend and I headed out on Saturday morning in order to catch my flight. It was a brief flight of 55 minutes and when I arrived I hopped in a cab headed to my CS host’s apartment. The first thing I noted was that the cab driver spoke a bit of English, which is not the norm in Seoul (although, I have experienced this once). This happened throughout the weekend.
Once meeting my host and getting set up I headed down to the beach closest to the apartment.
After walking around the beach, I walked down a path to the residential side.
One of my main goals while on the island was to rent a scooter. After calling a few places and not having much luck, my smartphone directed me to go south and try in the Seogwipo. I wasn’t able to understand the hangal on the passing buses fast enough, so I put my thumb out. This ultimately didn’t result in a ride, however a very kind man asked me if he could help me and later after about 20 minutes of conversation outside of a bait and tackle shop another fellow asked if I would be interested in going squid fishing the next day. Fishing is something I have been curious about for quite sometime, so this was a fantastic opportunity! I finally managed to get on a bus, with their help. This bus took 3 hours, along the coast, to get to Seogwipo. Once there I wandered around the world cup stadium and then found a place that would rent a foreigner a scooter with only an RA card and a CA DL.
Once I learned how to ride it, I took off to explore…this is some of what I saw…
After returning the scooter I went to the bus terminal were I was able to catch a bus that cut the travel time back to Jeju-si in half and I headed back to the apartment where my host was making American food for his friend. It was delicious!
As it turned out his friend was hosting a neighbor of mine from Seoul (who I knew was there, but didn’t know where he was staying), we had a mini CS gathering with Cass Lemon and a guitar with the Barca v. Real Madrid game on in the background. Then a few of us headed out for a coffee at a unique self-serve cafe with a view of the ocean and following coffee we took a trip to a suspension bridge.
The next day, after the rain and thunder completely disappeared (in no longer than a morning) I headed back down south to get the scooter again! There were quite a few museums that I had wanted to visit, but after getting lost in the gorgeous Seogwipo Natural Forest (not complaining) and not being able to find the places I was looking for , I settled on the museums that were right in front of my face. One of those being the Jeju Citrus Museum.
Jeju is famous for oranges and tangerines. This museum was actually quite interesting and located in the middle of an orange grove, which was lovely. I was so inspired that I stopped at a road side store to buy an orange.
I rode past a temple with lanterns hanging, these have been all around Seoul as well because Buddha’s birthday is next month.
Before returning the scooter I stopped in at a kiosk with very friendly and helpful patrons who were drinking makgeolli while being decked out in cycling gear, helmets still on their heads. I ate jeonbyeong, a tasty and very, very cheap food that dates back over 700 years!
I hopped off the bus at Sanbangsan, the only landmark I had seen while on the bus. I walked around the mountain and then traveled down the road to the Jeju Art Park with road signs to guide me. There is something I really enjoy in not really knowing where I am and walking down a road with the occasional car passing by and how ultimately it’s just me and the trees and mountains and the rapidly setting sun.
After a stand down with some cows and a walk through the art park, I was able to meet with my new friend for the fishing date. There are no pictures from fishing and I didn’t catch anything, but I really enjoyed it. The place was somewhat secluded yet there were other fishermen and the sky was clear so the stars were visible at the top of the surrounding mountains. Quite nice and an absolutely special experience.
Finally, another famous food from Jeju.