Breakfast was at a shop next to the hotel. The abalone porridge was tasty, but note that it takes at least 30min preparation time. It came with two baby abalones, as compared to others which usually only gives one. The abalones were soft and tender, as opposed to those I had eaten from bottled cans during Chinese New Year. In my haste to finish breakfast and move on, I forgot to take photos of it… 😦
First stop was a UNESCO site, Seongsan Ilchulbong. My initial plan was to stop by another UNESCO site, Manjanggul Cave, along the way, but it only opened at 9:30am. To catch sunrise at Seongsan Ilchulbong, which was what it was famous for, I would have to wake up at 4:30am. Debilitating that sleep was more important to me, I decided to forgo the sunrise. Upon reaching Seongsan Ilchulbong, it was a 20-40min hike up. This place is a tourist hot spot, and the carpark can be seen packed with tour coaches. On my fateful visit, I happened to run into at least 5 busloads of Chinese tourists. Knowing them to be a loud and shoving bunch, I decided to give them a head-start, by visiting the temple at the base of the eruption. Actually the younger generation of Chinese are not that bad, having spent 2 years in Beijing, I can attest to that, but not for these older folks.
Next up, is a further 10min drive south to Seopjikoji, which is a scenic plateau. The wind was very strong, so girls, keep your hair tied up, less you want hair flying all over your face during photo-taking. Along the way to Seopjikoji, you will drive past a beach, where you can pull up along the road to take more scenic pictures. Seopjikoji have a few point of interests, namely the cathedral where the series “All-in” is filmed (not that I watched it), a smoke mound, a lonely rock cropping and a lighthouse. Again, this is a favourite tourist destination with hordes of tour bus and tourists. Be sure to get there early, or you will have no where to park your car.
After Seopjikoji, it was lunch time! I drove westward, towards Seogwipo. The drive was a whooping 2 hr journey. Halfway through, I was feeling sleepy, and decided to take a detour, off the coastal path, and into a region abundant with tangerine farms! Somewhere at the end of the farms, was this really pretty looking place, hence I decided to check it out. Turned out, it was a hotel, Kasan Tobang! Their rooms were traditional Korean huts, and were so beautiful. This will be where I am going to stay during my next Jeju visit. I ordered a fish stew here, and must say that the broth was really good. I also like their kimchi. Desert was complimentary, and was a sweet refreshing drink made from fermented rice. Another surprise during this detour was that the receptionist in this hotel used to work in Singapore! Her husband is still working in Singapore. How nice to meet someone familiar with my country.
After the invigorating lunch, I continued towards Mt. Sanbangsan & Sanbanggulsa Grotto. This is a temple set on the wall of Mt. Sanbangsan. If there was only one temple that you could visit in Jeju, I strongly suggest this, as at the peak, is Sanbanggulsa Grotto. Within it seats a Buddha shrine, and mountain water from Mt. Sanbangsan trickle down from the cave roof into a catchment area. It’s exceptionally refreshing.
My last stop for the day was Mt. Songaksan. Sadly, even my spare battery died, and I needed my Iphone for navigation purposes, so there were no pictures of Mt. Songaksan. 😦 While driving back to the hotel, I stopped by a brightly lit store for their famous Black Pork. Sadly, this location cannot be found using google map, and the restaurant name is in Korean. The black pork is served with a condiments of various types of kimchi, steamed egg, steam peanut sauce, bean curd, and three types of vegetable leaves for you to wrap it up and eat. It is not my favourite, but definitely an experience.
|South Korea Day 2, Jeju||South Korea Day 4, Busan|