Sunday, 22 May 2016

Jeju 4-Day Itinerary: Day Two

Read Day 1 here - Hallim Park, BBQ Pork
Read Day 2 here - Jeongbang Waterfall, Yongmeori Coast, Saeyeon Bridge, Seopjikoji
Read Day 3 here - Sangumburi Crater, Yongduam Rock, Mysterious Road, Dongmun Market
Read Day 4 here - Seongsan Ilchulbong, U-do, Jeju City

Checking the weather forecast yesterday, we knew that it would rain starting from the afternoon. Fortunately when we went to our first stop of the day, it wasn’t raining yet. We went to Jeongbang Waterfall 정방폭포 (phone number: 760 6341). It looked like two chopsticks of water. There were haenyeo 해녀 (women sea divers) who were grilling and selling the seafood they had caught. We didn’t eat there but it would have been a pretty cool experience to eat fresh seafood sitting on little plastic chairs on the black rocky coast by the waterfall.

Jeongbang Waterfall
We started driving to Yongmeori Coast 용머리해안 (phone number: 760 6321) and that was when the rain started. This weather was a drastic change from the sunshine of yesterday with the strong pelting rain and wind that blew water to soak your entire body. I went to Jeju at the beginning of May but I was told by someone who went in the summer that the wind was just as strong. For a trip to Jeju, I’d recommend being prepared and bringing a windbreaker along with t-shirts even if you’re travelling during warmer months. Of course, it is important to wear closed toe shoes to explore the rocky coasts and mountains.

When we reached Yongmeori Coast (cost 1000 won to park) it was raining very hard. We made an attempt to walk in the direction of the trail but the weather was too poor and the short walk down the first flight of stairs already had us soaked. We turned around and went into a cafe that looked out onto the sea to enjoy a cup of coffee and citron tea. It would have been a nice view if we could see anything beyond the grey cast.

Not knowing when the rain would stop, I looked up a place for us to have lunch. I had no problem with eating at a restaurant that was not famous but since we couldn’t read the Korean signs, I had no way of figuring out what food the shop sold when we were driving past restaurants. Knowing that abalone porridge was a must-eat when in Jeju, I searched for a restaurant and found one mentioned in a blog.

The restaurant’s name was 천지연토속 (cheonjeyeontosog; phone number: 733 1966) and was located nearby the Cheonjiyeon Falls 천지연폭포. The restaurant had many pictures with labels in Korean, English and Chinese so we knew what we were ordering. There were several other restaurants that sold similar food in the area so you can take a look.

Abalone porridge
Abalone Seafood Hot Pot
We ordered an abalone porridge and an abalone seafood hot pot which was plenty for the three of us. The abalone porridge was good but not that special despite being famous. I found that I liked the abalone hot pot much better although it was too spicy for us. There were 10 fresh abalone in the pot along with crab, shrimp, mussels, clams and bean sprouts. We ordered rice on the side to eat along with the delicious soup base. It was the perfect warm meal for the cold, rainy afternoon.

Finishing our meal, we went to Saeyeon Bridge 새연교 close by (phone number: 760 3471). It connected Seogwipo Harbour and Saesom (Bird Island). Fortunately for us, the rain stopped by the time we finished lunch so we could walk around. It was a nice pedestrian bridge and it was also referred to as Lovers Bridge.

Saeyeon Bridge
Next on our list was Seopjikoji 섭지코지 which was well known as the place where the 2003 Korean drama, All In, was filmed. In the drama, a white church was perched on the hill but when we went, it was replaced by a white building that resembled ice cream. Although it wasn’t raining anymore, it was extremely windy when we were walking along the coast. The beautiful scenery was worth the deafening wind but I definitely wished that I had a knit hat to protect my head - a regular hat would have just blown away! I got a headache due to the strong wind because I wasn’t prepared.

Seopjikoji
Windy day at Seopjikoji
We drove to Seongsan 성산 as the sun was beginning to set and took pictures in the canola flower fields on the side of the road. They are also called rape seed flowers and it cost 1000 won per person to enter the field.

Canola flower field
This evening and the next, we stayed at Breeze Bay Hotel. It was not in the very centre of town but was less than a 5 minute drive away from the base of Seongsan Ilchulbong 성산일출봉 so I would consider it very well located if you’re driving. The hotel was quite new with pretty large rooms, large bathrooms, free WiFi and free onsite parking.

Sunset from Seongsan
After dropping off our things at the hotel, we went into town to look for dinner. A lot of the restaurants served what we had already eaten (i.e. BBQ pork and seafood pots) so when we saw a sign that said Big Hit Chicken (BHC) it occurred to me to try the famous Korean fried chicken! Sure enough, BHC was a franchise that sold fried chicken with Jun Ji-hyun as the spokesperson. She made fried chicken look so delicious in the drama, My Love from the Star. We ordered a whole boneless chicken with fried rice cake covered in sweet and savoury sauce and it only came to 19,500 won. I watched as the girl with gloves took the freshly fried chicken and coated each piece with sauce. It was such thorough work that the wait was worthwhile for this delicious meal. The chicken was hot in temperature and spiciness level and the fried rice cake was chewy and not at all overcooked. I wish we had fast food this good in Canada!


Fried chicken and beer
Read Day 1 here - Hallim Park, BBQ Pork
Read Day 2 here - Jeongbang Waterfall, Yongmeori Coast, Saeyeon Bridge, Seopjikoji
Read Day 3 here - Sangumburi Crater, Yongduam Rock, Mysterious Road, Dongmun Market
Read Day 4 here - Seongsan Ilchulbong, U-do, Jeju City
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