We began our Jeju adventure kinda nervous as we headed out early Friday morning in hunt of a printer to print of our booking confirmation which luckily we did. Then we went for a bus but we were late so had to get another then transfer onto a subway which would mean we would arrive 20mins before departure instead of 40!! When we got to the airport we sprinted up what seemed like never ending escalators and a long terminal and thankfully checked in on time! We also ran to the gate, and everyone was staring at us…it was at this point when we asked the flight attendant that we found out that there were 10mins till boarding!!
So on Friday our first day, we headed out Iho Tewoo Beach and relaxed, swam in the sea and watched the sunset. As we were waiting for the bus back we asked a girl about our age (or younger) if it was coming but she wasn’t sure. So, we accidentally hitchiked as she offered for her Mother to take us back and we were heading for the UFO Cafe to meet Jess’ student Gini, people in Korea are so friendly and kind!! Unfortunately, we were given a slip of paper with the Korean name on it and place where we were staying but it was the wrong place…after abut 20 phone calls later and our eternal gratitude we arrived safely at the UFO Cafe!! It was lovely to meet Gini and we tried out their delicious Pineapple fried rice as well as this, Gini gave us lots of fruit (which is difficult to buy and is expensive in Korea) including: watermelon, plums and a type of tangerine which was a real treat!!!
The next day we decide to hike halfway up Mount Hallasan which was beautiful and is a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as Jeju Island being classed as one of the New 7 Natural Wonder of the World. We went up the Eorimok Trail and came down the Yeongsil Trai whihc took us approximately 4 hours in total. On our way down we were walking into mist (literally in a cloud) along the ridge with the valley below us…it literally looked like we were walking to the edge of the world, or heaven, or into the light the views were breathtaking!
Saturday night we went to Hamdeok beach for a Full Moon Music Festival (my first music festival!) It was really cool and DJ’s were there playing electronic music as well as some English songs we knew…Jump Around in particular sticks in my mind! We even met a fellow Brit (only my second in Korea) he was from Leicester. I played a darts fair-ground type game and hit 3 out of 4 balloons and won a small key chain bunny. Jess set off a firework on the beach ending our night with a literal BANG!
On Sunday (sadly our last day in Jeju) we went to Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak which was formed by the volcanic erruptions on Jeju. It was a 30min hike and the views were great at the top. On our way down we were able to go and see one of Jeju’s famous things…the Haenyo – female divers aged around 60-80 who dive everyday for seafood without any breathing equipment and stay underwater for like 5mins…super strong women!
To top off our amazing weekend we visited Gimnyeong Seongsegi Beach which we almost didn’t reach as we didn’t know which stop it was and it resorted in me asking the driver to stop the bus by saying please can we stop?? xD It had the whitest sand I have ever seen as well as the clearest water – I loved it!! I even said to Harriet and Jess that the water appeared similar to seaweed soup as it was so clear haha. When we were in the water we were only able to go up to where we could stand we don’t know exactly why but think it is because many people can’t swim in Korea as when we told the Beach Police we could they appeared a little taken aback! We really didn’t want to leave the beach for the airport.
On our way to the airport we went to a souvenir shop where I purchased a huge neon pink Jeju or Cheju as it says t shirt which I am planning on wearing as a dress – I just loved the neon colours on it. We got to the airport and just managed to get some food before all the shops closed as our flight was the last one. We took the subway and bus home and slept soundly with the knowledge we had experienced several things Jeju is famous for: the rocks (on our hikes), the wind (there was an amazing temperature, less humidity and a lovely breeze here – oerfect summer weather), the female divers and their famous fruit a Hallabong wich is a sort of sweeter orange.
And I thought to myself…what a wonderful world ❤