Tuesday, July 1, 2014

[Korea] Day 3: Ero Museum, Teddy Bear Museum, Cheonjeyeon Falls, Dongmun Market

For our second day in Jeju, we visited Seogwipo. It is an area located south of Jeju and is where most tourist attractions are located. Originally we planned to stay a night at Jeju City and another at Seogwipo as suggested, however we can't. The distance of this two places is almost an hour so its definitely not possible since we have a morning flight back to Seoul the next day.

One of our must do in Jeju is to visit their waterfalls - most which are located in Seogwipo. We choose to visit Cheonjiyeon as it was supposedly located just 10 minutes from the Old Seogwipo Bus Terminal. However, we will not know as I'm not sure if we're unlucky or just plain stupid we missed our stop again.
When people say "Get off at the Old Bus Terminal" I actually expect the name of the stop to be Old Bus Terminal. =.= Therefore when it stop we did not get off as the name was different. We should've asked the driver but really you seriously don't want to walk on a moving bus in korea. It's really painful.

Ero Museum, Sex Museum, Jeju
For Adult eyes Only
Since we bypassed that area, we decided to forgo it and head to our next destination which is the *ahem* Ero Museum *cough* It was rather disappointing and a waste of time though.

This is a small museum which is much too 'educational'. We hoped that it was more like the Love Land which people said was actually funny.

There wasn't much in New Seogwipo  but before we left the area, we visited the Jeju World Cup Stadium. Pretty impressive I'd say. 
World Cup Stadium, Jeju
World Cup Stadium
Not wanting to waste any more time, we headed to Jungmun for the Teddy Bear Museum. There are a few other attraction within walking distance which was the Ripleys Believe it or Not, Alive Museum, Yeomji Botanical Park and many others.

Teddy Bear Museum was really large and worth visiting. We spent quite some time here trying to guess their Teddy-cised versions of people and events. There were so many more amazing exhibits that I couldn't choose which to share here on my blog so here's a random selection.

Teddy Bear Museum, Jeju, Goong
Teddy World~
Do allocate a generous amount of time for this place for you to appreciate and enjoy. A camera is necessary if you wish to take photographs with Teddy characters which is a really fun thing but I must say that it was really difficult photographing the exhibits because of the reflections. 

Mona Lisa, Teddy Bear Museum, Jeju
Introducing Mona *ahem* Teddy-Lisa
There are plenty of photo opportunities with giant bears both indoors and also outdoor. After finishing the indoor we headed for the outdoor.                                                                   There were supposed to be some giant 64-foot bear but it was closed. After a round tour we went back to check out the Elvis theater to watch...well~ Teddy Elvis himself performing some of his hit songs XD

We had our first fast food in Korea and quickly proceeded to Cheonjeyeon Falls. Before heading over to the Falls, we crossed the Seonimgyo Bridge. The carvings on the sides were supposed to be the 7 nymphs. It was a steep bridge and I felt like I could be blown off at any moment but the view right at the centre was spectacular.

Seonimgyo, Jeju, Cheonjeyeon
Seonimgyo Bridge

Cheonjeyeon Falls consist of three segments so its a fair walk and quite a number of steps if you wish to visit all three which I did. On that day the actual waterfall was running dry but I couldn't get over the amazing blue colour of the water.

Cheonjeyeon, Jeju
Cheonjeyeon Falls
We spent some time here hopping on the rocks and dipping our legs in the icy cold water which was refreshing after a hot day. No swimming is allowed here though. I didn't take much photos while rock hopping as I was afraid that my camera would fall in. 

2nd Waterfall
The 2nd waterfall was an actual legit waterfall. However it wasn't as fun as the first one as we couldn't go near it at all. We probably should've spent more time at the first 'waterfall'. Nevertheless it was a beautiful sight.                                                                                                  Since there is nothing much for us to do here we headed for the 3rd waterfall. It's somewhat disappointing to be so far from the waterfall after all that hiking. The 3rd waterfall can only be viewed from a platform and there was not much of a view from that angle. 

Lucky fountain~
Walking towards the entrance was a fountain which each head represents longevity, wealth, love, honour and sons. You're supposed to throw a coin on the head representing the blessing you wish for. Nothing there about education so I wished for longevity as it was the nearest.                                                           Cheonjeyeon Falls was really worthwhile and surprised me the most. I did not expect much from this place as this was our 2nd option.                

Our last stop for the day was Dongmun Market. I thought that I should visit a proper Jeju market at least once and it was really amazing. It was Orange Orange Everywhere. We didn't buy anything there as we didn't know what to do with it as we're due to return to Seoul. However I think other people do purchase as when we arrived back at Seoul at the baggage collection I saw 3-4 cartons. 

If I were to visit Jeju again,I would probably choose to stay at Seogwipo for at least a night as I felt there is so much to see here and not to mention west Jeju as well. 3 days is truly not long enough. We had dinner at one of a restaurant nearer to our guest house. This place has an english menu. Unfortunately dinner for me was disappointing as my stew tasted weak. So next time choose some place that have NO english menu. 

|Pre-Trip| Day 1| Day 2| Day 3| Day 4| Day 5| Day 6| Day 7| Day 8| Day 9| Day 10|


Friday, June 13, 2014

[Korea] Day 2: Manjanggul Cave, Maze Land, Seopikoji, Seongsan Ilchubong

Honestly before coming to Jeju, I wondered how were we going to travel as its public transportation is said to be less convenient. Most would recommend renting a car or booking a taxi. I have enquired several taxi rental and was quoted roughly 150,000won for 8 hour. The price wasn't unreasonable but it was still too expensive between both of us. In the end, we decided to appeal to out sense of adventure and challenge the public bus.

We re-arranged our itinerary after advise from our host as certain places are simply out of the way and inconvenient by public transportation. Maps can be rather deceiving as locations that looks no more 1/2 hour away could actually take more than an hour to commute by bus. Since we had two full days in Jeju, we decided to spend the first day exploring Eastern Jeju.

Once of the reasons we choose Greenday Guesthouse was because they provide breakfast. This is important as not many shops actually opens early unless you consider the convenience store. We had a choice of korean (rice, soup & kimchi) or western (toast, cereal, eggs) breakfast daily. Today, I decided to go with the korean breakfast but since we were going to have a full day ahead at ate some toast and eggs on top of it. ^^ Everything is self-service here though

Greenday Guesthouse Jeju
One of the benefits of a guesthouse was that we would get to meet different people. In our case we had the good fortune and got to know a pair of twenty-something siblings also from Malaysia (~strike 1) who coincidentally had similar  itinerary (~strike 2)  and most importantly were going to travel by bus (~strike 3) and since there is safety in numbers we agreed to travel together :D

Our original itinerary was to visit Gimnyeong Beach which was along the way to Manjanggul Cave. According to our host, its a lovely place though not very well known. From there we would visit the Gimnyeong Maze Park and finally end the day at Seongsang Ilchubung. In order for us to travel we would have to take a local bus to the Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal and from there ride the Eastern bus no.700.

But alas things happen. Although the main stops were announced in Chinese, English and Japanese we still missed our stop and this happened rather often embarrassingly. :P The bus guide had only the area names so obviously when we entered Gimnyeong area there would be alot of announcements of Gimnyeong this and that. We didn't know when to get off and so we waited...

Besides you do not want to be walking in a moving bus. Bus driver in Jeju drives really really fast. I've lost count the number of times I've bashed my leg against the arm rest trying to get to my seat when the bus suddenly lurches. When we finally heard the correct bus stop we should have pressed the red button. However we assumed that the bus would stop which it did not and so we zoomed past.

Manjanggul cave jeju
O__O||| Save me please~
The next stop was Manjanggul Cave and we quickly stopped the bus!! We were the only people to get off. I suppose the rest of them would be headed to Seongsan Ilchubung. Once we got a look at our surroundings we were stunned silly. We did NOT realise that the bus would only take us to the main road and the cave was another 2km!!

Jeju people have amazing business sense. We met an enterprising taxi driver who seems to be waiting at that particular junction for bewildered tourists like us. A taxi ride in would cost 1000won per person explaining that it would take us an hour to get there on foot. Once in, he asked if we would like him to take us to the surrounding tourist sites for 50,000won.

It was a good deal to me. Only 12,500 won in exchange for a whole lot of convenience. He would take us to the cave and then he would take us to Maze Land instead which was said to be much larger. I haven't heard of it during my research but seemed that it was popularised by Running Man. From there we would go to Seopikoji and lastly he would drop us off at Seongsan Ilchubung where we would catch the bus back.

Manjanggul Cave Jeju
Exiting Manjang Cave
Manjang Cave is a lava tunnel with a 1 km stretch is open to the public. Which means once we reached the end we would have to walk back. The cave was surprisingly chilly and wet considering that it was rather warm today. I couldn't imagine how cold this place would be during winter. O___O We had to watch our footing as the floor was uneven and and honestly I believe I could describe how the floor looked like more than the surroundings~ It took us approximately an hour to complete the tunnel. ^^

Maze Land Jeju
Paying $$ to get LOST!! ^^
Maze Land consist of three mazes actually and it is quite big. To make things more interesting, we decide to see which of us would make it to the end first. The first two maze was straightforward as we solve it pretty quickly but the third was challenging. At one point we ended up walking back where we came from!! We lost ^^ This place would be the best part of the entire day for me. =D

Maze Land Jeju
Darn it~ They've gotten there already!
After that we actually wanted to have lunch but the driver suggested that we waited till we were at Seongsan Ilchubong as there were more choices there.

I believe Seopikoji is actually a famous for being a filming spot for a drama. I had high hopes for the place but was sorely disappointed when I saw how commercialised the place is. It was a dead end but there was an endless stream of tourist bus trying to enter the place causing some sort of traffic congestions.

There were much less people after bypassing the House as I believe most people just visited the area to see it. I've read that it is possible to enter the place for a fee but since I didn't watch the drama there wasn't any significance in visiting. Our visit wasn't very pleasant due to the immense number of tourist. The view was lovely but I wouldn't recommend this place at all.

Seopikoji Jeju
Our last stop for the day was Seongsan Ilchubung or Sunrise Peak. It was only about 200m high but around the halfway point I gave up. I know I should have gave it my best but at that time I truly felt so tired like my legs could give out any minute. The fitness level of the ajjummas going uphill has really put me to shame. Unfortunately we did not come at the right timing or could have watched a hanyeo in action. 

Seongsan Ilchubung Jeju
The view~
We bought some Jeju chocolates for souvenir and decided to return and have dinner near our hostel. It was a good thing too as it took us approximately 90 minutes to reach town. We chose a simple understated restaurant to try the famous Korean BBQ.

We must have looked strange as we ordered three kimchi jigae and only one portion of bbq pork. The ajjumma was really kind. She was obviously worried we wouldn't know the proper way to eat and tried her best to explain since there is actually a step by step method on how to eat korean bbq.

They'd even grilled the meat for us there and there because I believe we were actually supposed to do it ourselves. The best part was that we were given two bottles of coke as 'service' probably because we were tourists. She even kept asking us if we had enough, if the food was delicious. It was really one of the best I've had so far.

|Pre-Trip| Day 1| Day 2| Day 3| Day 4| Day 5| Day 6| Day 7| Day 8| Day 9| Day 10| 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Afternoon Tea @ 1837 TWG Tea, Pavillion

Between our busy lives, a gathering between us girls have been long overdue. The last time we met was months ago when one of the girls returned from her holiday - and its my turn now. Since neither of us have tried having 'afternoon tea' we decided to give this place a try. Maybe it's our lucky day but on that day there wasn't a queue there at all. 

TWG Pavillion
Relaxing atmosphere~
Entering the salon, we were gently ushered to our table. With the sparkling silverware and relaxing atmosphere it was like entering a different world. Ordering however was not an easy feat as they have over 450 blends of tea and we were absolutely clueless to begin with. The employees there were very attentive and understandingly did not hurry our order.

Since there were four of us, we decided to order two Chic Sets (Rm39.50) - each which comes with our choice TWG tea blend, selection of 3 finger sandwiches and choice of 2 scones or muffins; the basic 1837 Set (Rm26.50) and later a additional ala-carte selection of tea (Rm19). Although the pots look large don't be fooled as there isn't much inside and because the tea leaves have been removed 'for a more consistent experience', refilling is not an option. 

However this is just the easy part. The next part is to choose WHICH tea blends to have...O__O||| Though my friends have quickly decided on which to have, I was still undecided. The waiter recommended their 1837 signature tea to go with my order and I have to agree with him as it is really aromatic (smells somewhat sweet?) with  a slight sour finish. To me this blend taste better with a teaspoon of sugar though one of the girls reckoned that its sweet enough already :P

TWG Pavillion
Absolutely delicious ^^
The sandwiches was nothing to shout about but the scones were lovely especially when paired with the jelly and whipping cream. The chocolate muffins however can be rather filling. We divided the 2 muffins among the four of us and its plenty - at least to me. Speaking from a person who does not like chocolate, I find the taste pleasant - not too chocolatey that I would find it cloying but just right. 

We had a pleasant time spending nearly 4 hours just sipping tea, talking and enjoying the atmosphere till we did not realise that much time has passed. I'm surprised they didn't kick us out as our table has been cleared ages ago. >.<  All in all our average bill was Rm40 per person. A little pricey since it could buy a nice meal in a restaurant but I suppose its fine once in a while. I would like to try their cakes next time though. ^^