A Travellerspoint blog

South Korea

Volcano part 2

Yesterday was my last day in Jeju island, and I wasn't sure what to do. I don't have patience for long and confusing bus rides, where you have to change buses, so I just settled for a long one. I decided to return to the volcano called Seongsan Ilchulbong, which I visited my second day here, and hope for better views.

So I got on the bus for the 1 1/2 hour bus ride.

First the bus arrived at a field of flowers, which there we're lots of cars parked, since some Korean soap opera was filmed here at one point. Across the street is a beach used for horseback riding. I wanted to stop here before, but this time I got off the bus.


Next the bus reached the volcano, and once again, walked to the entrance, bought a ticket, and walked up all the stairs to the top, which took about 45 minutes to the hour.

It was a nicer day-not to be confused with a nice day. it was a cloudy, very windy 60 degrees, and I had a great view. I could see the surrounding mountains, as well at the crater of the volcano, which now was filled with lush vegetation. There was a commanding view of the sea and towns around. I was glad to be able to catch the view this time.


After standing there for a while, I went back to the base of the volcano, and decided to view the diving show again with the elderly ladies. Now, however, the show was cancelled, because the seas we're too rough. I then had lunch at a seafood restaurant. it was good, but by now it was only about 3:00-and I wasn't sure what to do with the rest of the day. It was now cold, windy, and raining-so I decided to go to a indoor market near by where I went previously. i walked around looking at the various vendors, and eating some snacks. I then walked down the hill to the hostel, and took a nap for a few hours. Then I took a walk at night-this time bundled up with a sweater and regular shoes, and saw the waterfall and bridge at night.


Posted by DavidPearlman 14:47 Archived in South Korea Comments (0)

Jeju Island S Korea-Forget you Bus 720

Yesterday. I left the hostel early to look for a bus to Sangumberi mountain, which is supposedly an alternative volcanic peak I can climb-it is only the supposed to be 3 miles long or so, and isn't as crowded as the first volcano i climbed. (and supposedly, the weather would be better). it wasn't nice out-it was cold and windy. (about 60 degrees but felt much colder). According to Google, the bus to take was 720, and it left from the nearly bus station, called the Segawipo intercity bus station-only about a 20 minute walk from the hostel. While the ride was supposed to be an 1 1/2 hours-I would be ok because I have spent a lot of time on busses.

When I got to the Segawipo Intercity Bus Station-I learned I was at the wrong bus station. Although the manager at the hostel and the map given to me at the hostel pointed this out to be the right place, this was actually the OLD Segawipo intercity bus station. I had to take another bus first to the new one-about 10 minutes out of town. So a kid at the station who spoke a little English told me to wait across the street for a bus to the new one. I waited about 5 minutes so not so bad.

When the bus arrived at the New Segawipo Bus Station, I tried to find a sign for bus 720. I couldn't find it. I asked a lady inside. She spoke little English, and she called a friend, who I spoke to-and he knew nothing-nor where I was going. I Googled it once again, and this time It appears I would have had to take bus 102 1 1/2 hours-walk across an intersection and find another bus stop, and then take bus 720 for an additional 1 hour 40 minutes-a total trip of around 3 hours-I am not sure if that was correct. But since it was already 11:00-that would be arriving after 2. By now I was frustrated. So I just decided to walk to a place called Jungman, which I was saving for my last day. Jungman is a resort type area with lots of museums, attractions, etc. I started walking-it was nice to be in the fresh air, although it was cold and windy. Although Jungman was about 5 1/2 miles away, I made the walk. I passed by gardens, old stores, hills that overlooked the sea, citrus groves, and stone "Grandfathers", and other statues. Once in a while i stopped to rest.

I got to a sign for the Jungman resort, and headed down a hill. Once there, I didn't see much except big hotels blocking the sea view, and a big castle. I walked towards the castle, and saw it was the African musuem, and had animal statues out front. I wasn't interested, but another sign pointing towards the sea towards Daepo Jusangjeolli Cliff. I paid $2.00 and walked to an overlook with massive lava sized cliffs that looked like containers, and the view was breathtaking.

After standing there for a while, I walked along a path along the water, which was nice. I tried to get back to the main road-All I could see we're hotels that we're blocking my view. I walked through a ginourmous hotel, which was rather plain, looking for the exit, but I had issues-I took the elevator and escalators up and down but couldn't find it.
Eventually, I found the exit, and walked up to what would be the direction of a waterfall, which was supposed to be spectacular (although I saw waterfalls the day before). I walked up a hill, and found a giant staircase headed up another hill with signs in Korean. I walked up that long, and tiring staircase. Then I took a turn and walked up some more. I came to a viewpoint of the harbor which was nice. Then I walked down the hill a little bit in a different direction-I found a Buddhist temple. I have seen many Buddhist temples in my travels, but unlike the others there we're no crowds-just peace, and two other people wandering around. I saw a monk working on something. There was soft meditation music playing. a62f5f80-5bb9-11e8-b240-274d0810a1f1.JPGIMG_3648.JPG

After spending a few minutes there-I met someone else hiking up a hill-I asked him for directions to the waterfall (I took a screenshot of the name in Korean-in case I couldn't find anyone who spoke English). He took a long time looking at his phone. I figured that would mean I was far away. After this long time-he told me "just go up the road-and the parking lot is on your left". I figured that couldn't be true-it has to be more complicated. But it was true-I was there, and came across three waterfalls, and a huge bridge over one of them. I spent time. First of all, I was in the mood for a snack-a healthy one. There are sellers of tangerines all over the place-but a bag is about $10.00-I wasn't having that. But I learned I can get a bottle of tangerine wine for $5.00-it tasted like a wine cooler-but it was interesting and made the waterfalls even more appealing. It was getting dark as I was at the last one. Here I met a photographer taking photos of the falls, and we we're showing each other pictures, and I was drinking my tangerine wine.


It was then dark, and i took a bus back downtown, had soup for dinner and went back to the hostel.

Posted by DavidPearlman 14:57 Archived in South Korea Comments (0)

Jeju Island, S Korea-Don't go Chasin Waterfalls (for lunch)

Yesterday, I woke up and it was another cloudy, rainy day. I left the hostel and walked about 20 minutes from the hostel to the entrance of the waterfall, and then another 15 minutes to the
Cheonjiyeon Falls waterfall. It was a nice walk, and I walked along a path of stone grandfathers, or Harubangs, which are the statues placed in front of houses to offer protection, and fertility. The waterfall was nice, with of course the usual crowds with selfie sticks taking pics in front as well. It was a pretty scene, even with weather that wasn't great.

i then walked for about an hour along the waterfront (taking a break to rest)-to find another waterfall. This one is called the Jeonbang Waterfall, which is thought to be the old waterfall in Asia that goes directly into the ocean. The waterfall is reached by a downward path about 10 minutes from the ticket widow. Along the path, there are many steep rocks to grapple with, so I had to climb up and over rocks, but finally I reached the waterfall, and this was beautiful. Once again, there we're of course lots of folks with selfie sticks.


After a few minutes watching the falls and the people. I climbed over more rocks to find folks gathered together under a tent-it looked like a picnic. I learned it wasn't a picnic-it was more of a restaurant. Two ladies we're cracking open fresh sea food, and serving it together on a plate. I am not sure what types of shellfish this was-but one was called abalone I believe. Anyway, it was expensive-$30 for a plate of what ever they caught, but unfortunately, I had that much in my wallet, and I have never had food caught straight from the ocean. (I normally don't eat shellfish, but I like to eat foods endemic to a culture).

I took the plate, and tried to pick up the gooey, wormlike morsels on my plate with my chopsticks, but I gave up after a few tries and just ate with my hands. The man sitting on rocks next to me was laughing at me. Then I ate it-the food was so fresh-it was literally disgusting. I think I developed a shellfish allergy right there. The food tasted like worms mixed with salt water. I couldn't finish the plate. The good news is the weather started to clear up a little.


After lunch, I went up to the ticket booth, and inquired about the way to the Jeju Stone Park. I wanted to see more of the haubangs, and other lava statues. I found a bus left from a station about a 1/2 hour walk away. It took a while for the bus to came. I was talking to a lady flight attendant from Hong Kong, whose bus came before mine-when I realized that i got so busy talking I missed the bus-so I waited around another 1/2 hour for the next bus it seems. The ride took about an hour or so {everything takes a long distance here on the island).

I got off at the Stone Park, where first I went to a museum which was kind of boring. it taught about how the earth was developed, how volcanoes came to being, and how lava burned on the inside even when a rock was solid on the outside. I then went outside on the trail to look at the different types of statues. There are stone grandfathers, but also other types, such as child-like statutes that stand in front of noble homes. It was actually interesting, and peaceful walking along the forested path. I learned there was a myth of a woman who had 500 kids-and they we're going hungry. The woman jumped into a cauldron of soup to feed her family, and one son discovered bone in the soup and was horrified. The others we're turned into stone.I was chased out of the park at closing time, around when i went to wait for the bus back to town. it was then I saw the rocks of 500 generals in the sunlight (there wasn't much of it). I took pictures. A bus came-I decided to wait for the next bus so I could take more pictures-which took almost an hour. It was getting dark, there was not much traffic, (and no stores or any other commerce along the road) and i was worried another bus wouldn't come. But it came-i got on-and made it back to the hostel after around 10:00 pm.


Posted by DavidPearlman 16:07 Archived in South Korea Comments (0)

Jeju South Korea-A beautiful place I can't see

Yesterday, I walked out of the hostel for the last time-as I couldn't stay any longer since the hostel was booked. When I looked at the sky, however, I was really hopeful-it was a sunny, warm day. I could see mountain peaks in the distance. I was even considering returning to the volcano I had went to the day before in hopes of seeing the full view.

But first, I checked out of the hostel, took a bus 10 minutes to the airport, where I boarded another bus. The new hostel was at another point on the island, 1 1/2 hours away. As the bus drove down highways and past downtowns, as the day before, the sky grew gray and it got foggy out. Then it started drizzling. As the bus got closer to my stop, many stops we're made at various luxury hotels. Finally, the bus reached the 22nd stop, where, I got off. i walked down the hill and in the rain, found the hostel. I was a few hours from check-in time, so I left my bag there, had lunch of noodles, which we're good but I'm also getting somewhat tired of, and then walked down the hill towards a waterfall called the Cheonjiyeon Waterfall, which was a well-known waterfall here in Jeju. But I figured I would save the waterfall for another day. I headed off in another direction towards a pedestrian-only suspension bridge called the Saeyeongyo Bridge, which I could barely make out in the fog. I crossed the bridge in about 10 minutes-and on to an island called birds island, which was nice and peaceful with a conservation zone, where I walked along a boardwalk viewing the ocean, and pools I could just barely see through the fog. Although it was foggy and raining lightly, a lot of people we're on the walkway. I ran into groups of school kids. I enjoy running into them because they like to test their English on me by saying "How-low" "Where you are frommm?" One girl asked me how old I was an i said 48 and she couldn't believe it-she said I looked younger. i am not sure if she is right but i sure haven't felt like I looked good over the last few years. One girl showed me a snail she caught.


I walked back to the hostel and checked in. i looked at the pictures on the wall-beautiful shots of the island, with verdant greens, shining yellow flowers, and the ocean with was stunning turquoise-of which made me feel really great since I couldn't see any of that. After that I walked a few blocks for dinner to a seafood restaurant, and found an indoor market I walked around in. Then I went back to the hostel and feel asleep around 9 or 10:00 pm.

Posted by DavidPearlman 16:00 Archived in South Korea Comments (0)

Jeju Isl-84 year old woman divers and praying to a d__k

Yesterday, I left the hostel early, and took a 1 1/2 hour ride on the bus to the dormant volcano in Jeju, called Seongsan Ilchul-bong. The pictures of the volcano we're absolutely breathtaking-a huge mountain above the beautiful blue seas surrounded by lush greenery, and I was looking forward to seeing it. After the long bus ride, I climbed up a hill and a trail made up of a lot of stairs, and I saw-absolutely nothing. While the weather seemed sunny and warm near the hostel-as the bus continued across the island, the clouds and wind rolled in and it was drizzling. So it turned into a very cloudy day. By the time I got onto the peak, I was surrounded by fog. But i did reach the top, because there we're no more stairs, and I was by a sign that said I reached the top. I decided to stay at the top for a while, in case the clouds lifted and I could see the wonderful view. But after about 1/2 an hour, I was cold and decided to walk down-deciding I could always come back later if I felt like it. At the base of the mountain, there was a Duncan Donuts, so I had a bagel and coffee (there was also a Mcdonalds and Starbucks). IMG_3162.JPGIMG_3164.JPGIMG_3158.JPGIMG_3170.JPGIMG_3183.JPG

After I had Mcdonalds, I took a walk down another path, which led to the sea. Earlier I learned that a woman's divers show was going on. Woman divers' all in the their 70's and 80's, dive for shellfish for up to 7 hours every day without oxygen masks. A sign said that women do it because the men left the island hundreds of years ago, because they didn't want to do this type of work. There is still a show of women, including one who is 84 years old, diving for shellfish. At the beginning, they sang a song and did a short dance (or prayer). Then they all went into the sea to go fishing. Afterr 1/2 an hour (or so), they emerged with loads of something. Some just a seaweed type substance. Another, perhaps, the 84 year old, emerged carrying a huge sack of shellfish on her back on to land. IMG_3333.JPGc2086fc0-5962-11e8-a3f2-cd4a3940226e.JPGIMG_3337.JPG

It was now late in the afternoon, and I next wanted to go to a historic folk village. A worker back at the volcano told me that I could take a bus directly there-when I got to the bus stop-the bus # he told me about didn't exist. So I got on another bus. When I told the driver I wanted to go there-he told me to switch to second bus (after riding his bus for about 1/2 an hour). The bus he wanted me to switch to wouldn't arrive for around another 1 1/2 hours-but I found a bus that seemed to go in that direction, so I got on that bus-got off at a stop, and walked roughly 1 mile. (I saw a sign on the road for the folk village).

The folk village, like many things I tried hard to get to, was somewhat disappointing. The travel guide portrayed it as free and a place where folks still lived in and pigs ran around. This one wasn't free, nobody lived there, and there we're no pigs (just a few cows and horses). For around $11.00 (plus $2.00 for an audio guide), I looked at ancient houses. I did learn some things, like large statues are placed outside homes, that are called grandfathers, that are used for protection again demons (made of lava) there was a phallic-looking statue that folks used to pray for a boy when they we're expecting (also made of lava). I also learned of funeral rituals, and that the outdoor bathroom combined with the pig-pens, as pigs ate human poop, and the combined pig/human poop was used as fertilizer.
i was at the park until after closing time, I know because a voice on my audio guide gave an abrupt "good bye", and shut off. I left the park around 7:00, and walked to the bus stop where I caught the first bus. First I stopped for dinner at a burger place (I didn't want to spend money on Korean food again, which is expensive)-and it was close to 8:00 by the time I arrived at the bus stop, and dark. I waited for the bus. Taxi drivers tried to offer me rides-but i didn't have much cash in my wallet and just chose the bus. When I asked some kids also at the bus stop if the bus goes to Jeju, he used a phone to tell me (in English)-yes-but it would take a long time. I said i didn't care-since I didn't have any reason to get back soon. I got on the bus after waiting around 10 minutes, and he was ride-it did take a long time. The bus took 1/2 an hour just to get back to the volcano stop I got off at in the morning, and another 1 1/2 hours or so-past dark towns with restaurants, bars and hotels (the terrain of Jeju is sort of similar to Cape Cod or the Keys-sandbars, restaurants, bars and hotels). Finally, around 10:00 pm, I made it back to the hostel.

Posted by DavidPearlman 14:59 Archived in South Korea Comments (0)

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