Last evening we flew to Jeju-do Island and used our time in the evening to figure out what we’d do tomorrow. We decided to go to the Hallasan Mountain with the idea that we would still have enough energy on our first day. There are several hiking trails but only two that lead to the summit which is where we want to go. The trails that lead you all the way up, take 4 to 5 hours for one way. You are not allowed to be on the mountain once it’s dark. In Korea, it is light from 5 am to 7 pm. Therefore, we woke up extra early because all in all it should take us about 10 hours while you only have a time window of 14. However, when we woke up this morning the weather didn’t seem to be very good. The mist didn’t clear up until 11 to 12 am so we decided to do some smaller touristic stuff in Jeju itself.
After discovering the state of the weather, we ate some breakfast and went back to our room in order to make new plans. Ina collected maps and all while I fell asleep again. By 10 am, we made it outside and were well on our way to the dragon head. We decided to walk since it didn’t seem to be that far away. This was indeed the case as Koreans tend to make distances look longer than they are. We walked past the shore and passed an almost empty crossroad; a huge difference compared to Seoul.
Because of the mist, we didn’t see much of the sea, but we could definitely smell it. Not far thereafter we had to cross a hanging bridge in order to get to the dragonhead. We spent around 1 to 2 hours in this area to take pictures, then took only 10 minutes for the dragon head in which we did not see a dragon.
Our next stop was the Jeju Mok; old government buildings. Like all traditional buildings in Korea, these were coloured dark red and had decoration near the roof. Even though the buildings itself looked similar to the ones in the palace, it was still nice to see. The entry fee was only 800 won for me since they consider me as a child in Korea (age 13-24). There were also two traditional games that kids used to do. One of them is throwing sticks and the other is a reversed kind of see-saw. We tried them both but only figured out how to successfully use the reversed seesaw.
After this, we tried to get to a park in which they placed a monument after Korea hosted the Olympic games in 1988. It turned out to be rather hard to find it since we forgot to bring the map we had prepared for this way. We thought we were almost there but then ran into a group of drunk Korean guys. Actually, they were sitting in an abandoned part of a side park and saw us. “They are waving,” I said to Ina as she was checking a map again. “So?” was her reply. By then they were heading our way and Ina spotted an alcohol bottle in the man’s hand. She said something in Korean which ‘scared’ away one of the guys but as we walked away, one was still following us while shouting things. We walked quite a bit till Ina saw a big park. Once there, he finally backed away. Big places in Korea usually have cameras. Turned out that park was the one we had been searching for. The Olympic statue wasn’t very impressive so we exited the park quite quickly but on the other side. Once out, we took a taxi. They are way cheaper than in Europe and therefore very affordable. There aren’t any subway lines in Jeju so it would be better if we had a car.
The taxi took us to the Sarabong Dong Gil. Here we tried to find two temples which also took quite a while. Lastly, we walked up the mountain with the idea to view the sunset and see the sun go down. Because there was a lot of mist, we didn’t see much. We did manage to do everything that we wanted to do even though it took longer than expected. Now the plan is to go to the Hallasan mountain tomorrow. Unfortunately, that also means we have to wake up at 5:30 am. Time to sleep now. 11/06/15
Other posts in my South Korean Travel Series:
Preparing my trip to South Korea
The way things are
Arriving in Korea
Nothing touristic, just Korean food
Gay supporters, OUT
To the summit of the Hallasan mountain!
The pond of God
Monkeys in our backyard
Yakcheonsa Buddhist Temple
Surrounded by mist on Udo Island
Busan day one
Busan day two
Seoul in ‘one week’
A large palace with little doors
Enter the Secret Garden
Love conquers hate
Bukchon Hanok Village
Chicken and beer at the Hangang River
Hello Kitty Cafe and actual cats
No more kamsamnida