jeju island: thursday and friday

I first learned about Jeju Island through the popular Korean drama Boys Over Flowers  that I watched a lot of years back. It was the first drama that exposed me to the Hallyu wave and got me into k-pop. Specifically, they have a song that’s part of the OST that literally screams Jeju Island. I never thought I would get the chance to go to Jeju Island, but since I’m on exchange… it was a definite must do!

There are a few small airlines that just do flights within South Korea, so we ended up travelling via Eastarjet. Our flight was originally at 4:20pm but it got delayed by an hour ): By the time we got to Jeju Island it was almost dark! So we just put our bags down at the hostel after taking the bus there and went out to find dinner.

We stayed at Jeju Hiking Inn, which is located in Seogwipo City on the south of Jeju Island. Now that I think back, our hostel was really located in a convenient area of the city – it was near a food street, a market, and it was within walking distance to the airport limousine as well as the intercity buses that run on Jeju Island.

We ended up having bibimbap (비빔밥) for dinner – it was expensive and not anything special, but it was definitely the hottest bibimbap that I’ve ever had…

At the hostel, we discovered that for whatever reason, Stef and I had been assigned a 3-person room instead of a 2-person room. So we ended up in a room with a double bed and then a twin bed – lucky us!

The next morning we woke up and had breakfast downstairs. The hostel provided bread and eggs, but for whatever reason we didn’t eat any eggs on the first day. I had also brought some oranges with me from Seoul since I was worried they were going to go bad, so I got some vitamin C into my breakfast as well.

Our first stop on Friday was Soesokkak Estuary (쇠소깍). We had originally wanted to go kayaking in the clear kayaks there, but the weather wasn’t nice enough for us to do so ): So we just walked around, took some pictures, and ate some food. The owner of the hostel was also nice enough to drive us there since there were no buses that went there!

We first went down to the beach area and took some pictures with the amazing view.

There were some street stalls there selling food so we tried some dol hareubang (돌 하르방) bread filled with orange jam. Jeju Island is famous for the dol hareubang, or the rock grandpa statues, and hallabong oranges are one of their signature products as well, so of course we had to try.

The little breads were being made fresh since there was a lineup for them, and they were so yummy (even though I burned myself while eating one)!

There was a red lighthouse that stood out from the sky since it was so gloomy that day.

While near the lighthouse we went to have mango juice as well. I’d previously done some research about Jeju Island and one of the things that I had wanted to do was try mango juice. I was really surprised that I managed to find the same store that I had found on the internet!

The store was really cute in that they’d give you a sign with the name of a famous actress on it, and they’d use that to tell you when your order was ready. Stef got Song Hye Gyo (and ordered a mango lassi) and I got Kim Tae Hee (and ordered a signature mango shake), and we both thought it was hilarious that we responded to the name of a famous actress. And the mango juice was seriously so delicious! My friends were all laughing at how content I looked while sipping on my mango juice.

Stef and Vivian also tried the hallabong orange ice cream they had there. Though the ice cream was really good, the piece of chocolate they put on top was not… which was a shame, because I was going to buy some back home as souvenirs.

We then walked over to a trail area, and I found that there was a section you could climb down to be closer to the water, so Stef and I decided to climb down to take some pictures while Vivian and Estevan waited for us above (since Vivian is scared of water). It was absolutely beautiful there and I really think that some of the best pictures I took during the trip were taken there!

Before leaving the estuary, Stef and I tried an omegiddeok, which had red bean paste on the inside, the mochi wrapped around that, and then some unsweetened red bean on the outside. I would have liked it a lot more if the outside beans were sweet as well! But apparently it’s a famous food on Jeju Island, so I’m glad we got to try.

We used Kakao Taxi to call a taxi to get us from the estuary all the way to the ICC (International Convention Centre). I really think Kakao Taxi is a useful app but unfortunately I don’t know how to use it… at least some of my friends do so I don’t have to worry!

We were also getting a little bit hungry so we had lunch at the ICC. I didn’t feel like having a 12 000KRW burger so I went to get a cup noodle from the 7-11 upstairs instead. It was my first cup noodle in Seoul… meaning I haven’t had instant noodles in 3 months, even though instant noodles is one of the staple foods that South Koreans eat. It was really good :’)

We walked to the Daepo Jusangjeolli Cliffs (주상절리(대포동지삿개)) and took some pictures there as well. We were really lucky because we arrived in Jeju Island on a long weekend, so a lot of public attractions were free! So we saved a little bit of money 🙂

I should add that it was while we were walking to the cliffs that Stef got screamed at by a kid while taking pictures.. she seriously has zero luck with kids. Honestly, this was probably the highlight of my entire trip.

Then we walked to the Jungmun Saekdal Beach (중문·색달 해변) and took some more pictures there as well.

At this point we were getting really tired, so we decided to head back to our hostel.

We walked back to the street with food near our hostel, and decided to try an udon place that looked quite full. We actually wanted to try this place on the first night but they said there was an one hour wait… but luckily we got a seat when we went and asked.

The udon was so good. The tempura that came with the udon was so good, even the fried boiled egg (I normally don’t like eggs at all!). I didn’t really like the fried chicken that we ordered though since the alcohol taste was so strong, but I miss the udon so much ;A; I really want to eat it again!

And when we went back to the hostel the owner told us that he’d switched our room for us to a two-person room. He was also nice enough to have moved all of our things to us!

And that night, Billy and May arrived at Jeju Island as well! So they came over and we planned out what we would do the next day. We were kind of loud.. but planning with them was a lot of fun (:

Our first day and a half in Jeju Island was well spent and my favourite part was probably that everything was free since it was a long weekend (: Next half of our trip coming up soon!

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