Destination: Jeju, part 1

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After a very nice Christmas vacation, it’s taking some time to get back into the swing of things. Let’s rewind back to Christmas Day, where after signing up for an Adventure Korea trip this adventuring traveler and his fearless girlfriend met our guide at Gimpo Airport. Note: For the sake of those with slower internet connections or shorter attention spans, I’ve split up the three-day trip into three parts – one for each day of the trip.

After a smooth plane flight we headed towards a chartered bus from Jeju International Airport.

After a very nice Christmas vacation, it’s taking some time to get back into the swing of things. Let’s rewind back to Christmas Day, where after signing up for an Adventure Korea trip this adventuring traveler and his fearless girlfriend met our guide at Gimpo Airport. Note: For the sake of those with slower internet connections or shorter attention spans, I’ve split up the three-day trip into three parts – one for each day of the trip.

After a smooth plane flight we headed towards a chartered bus from Jeju International Airport.

Seongsan Ilchulbong (AKA ‘sunrise peak’)



Considered a UNESCO World Natural Heritage for its lava tubes and the tuff cave with ‘walls rising out of the ocean’, we only had time to see the latter today. Although it looked much like a mountain from the start, it was a short hike, perhaps 30 minutes from the bus parking lot.

Even for someone that wasn’t a hard-core hiker like myself, this was a fairly easy hike.

The view from the top – extinct volcanoes don’t exactly have a lot to show.

Cactus taffy – yes, you read that right. No idea how they get the cactus flavor, but after trying a sample I wasn’t about to buy it – it’s not precisely tasty. In case you were wondering, it’s kind of an off-brand faint strawberry-flavor…

After a quick ride in the bus, we enjoyed a lunch of Jeju black pork:

OK, so I’m not a food critic – it tasted fine, but nothing special or distinctive.

Our next stop was the Trick Art Museum – a great place to interact with the art with your camera or willing participants. Take classic pieces of art, change them a bit, then encourage people to trick the eye. A few are standard optical illusions, while several others are painted on the wall or floor. Sit on the frame, for example, and you look like you’re part of the picture.

The classic dong chim, as practiced by one of the tour-goers.

The difficult part of getting pictures in some cases is getting lined up just right.

‘Come on you two, get a room!’. Each picture featured a way to trick the camera – this one suggested pulling apart the two lovers.

Look at it straight on and it looks 2-D; from an angle, it’s 3D. Kind of fun.

Your classic cut-out-the-face-and-put-in-your-head picture – after taking so many pictures of other people, I couldn’t help but get in the pictures myself.

A contortionist or strong person at work? Nope – the photo is simply rotated 90 degrees to the left. In the museum, she’s laying on her back and putting her hands on the wall (what appears to be the ceiling) to simulate the handstand.

The classic ‘mirror’ room – put two people on either side of either side of the ‘mirror’ and enjoy the trickery.

While plenty of other ‘tricks’ were in store, most required being positioned just right – lots of fun with enough challenge to keep it interesting.

Next stop: Tamra Horse Riding – horses and a short trail made for a fairly short stop.

Namuggun

Lots of history in separate buildings – farm life, school life, and a ghost house are just a few of the offerings. There’s very little English to explain things; usually just the names of things have been translated into English. It was quite large – you’ll need at least a couple of hours to see it all and do it justice.

Small-scale, but lots of detail – along the wall was a number of town scenes worth peering into.

No idea whether Koreans used the distinctly-shaped anvil…

Some things haven’t changed much – hanbok and reams of fabric look quite similar to the models sold today.

Some comic books from decades old – a nice collection reaching to the ceiling. The midget-sized Korean model was rather curious – I didn’t think people were THAT short back then…?

One standard weaving machine, coming right up.

Now THAT’s one tough teacher! The hat, jacket, and facsimile gun were all available for photo ops at the front of a old-school classroom (pun completely intended)

Not precisely the place you’d expect a ghost house, but there it is. The combination of things whizzing by your head and unexpected things popping up made more than a few kids scream.

While the amount of English was again minimal, some experience at guessing goes a long way.

Now approaching late afternoon, it was time to stop by a grocery store then head back to our hotel – a pension right off the coast of Jeju. After checking in, settling down, and enjoying a special Christmas turkey dinner, it was time to break out some alcohol and start up a noraebang party:

Christmas night ended quite nicely – eventually back in bed, getting some sleep for a busy day of sightseeing.

Stay tuned for part 2 of the Jeju trip, coming up soon!

Creative Commons License © Chris Backe – 2009

This post was originally published on my blog, Chris in South Korea. If you are reading this on another website and there is no linkback or credit given, you are reading an UNAUTHORIZED FEED.



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