Jeju Island Part I

Jeju Island, a volcanic island with the longest lava tunnel in the world lies in the Korea Strait (sea passage between South Korea and Japan). It is home to several UNESCO World Heritage natural sites and has been coined by the UN as a natural preserve, natural heritage and a geological park. It has also been listed as one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature.  So if the above sentences weren't enticing enough, I hope the photos you will see in the next few blog posts, including this one, will do Jeju Island a semblance of justice on how amazing it is.

After arriving at the airport, we headed straight to our rental car designated area to collect our one for the week. Seat belts on and epic tunes playing aloud, Seongsan was awaiting our arrival. We arrived at our Airbnb, quickly freshened up and went out to explore the area.

Seongsan Ilchulbong i.e. Sunrise peak was formed by hydrovolcanic eruptions in a shallow seabed approximately 5 millennia ago and is said to resemble an ancient looking castle. The tuff cone is 182m high and can be climbed up so that you can enjoy the views from the top.

Since the sun was setting already we didn't think that we would be able to do a round trip before dark so we didn't climb to the top but I guess that means we just have to come back to the gorgeous island of Jeju.

We made our way to dinner and then straight to bed for an early start to Udo Island the next morning.

We walked to the Port Passenger Ferry Terminal (don't forget your passports), bought our tickets and boarded the ferry to get us to the island. 15 minutes later and we had arrived.

The island translates to mean cow island since it apparently looks like a cow lying down from a birds eye view- I can't see it but maybe you can? 

The entire island is lava plateau and a fertile flatland where agricultural products such as peanuts are produced. In fact, Udo Island are known for their peanuts so it was imperative that I tried their peanut ice cream. Ice cream lovers unite!

Not specific to Udo Island but Jeju Island in general, they are known for their female divers (haenyo) who exude independent spirit, iron will and determination and symbolise the semi matriarchal family structure of Jeju. Go Queens, go! They gather abalone and other seafood for up to five hours a day in the cold sea WITHOUT scuba gear. There are still these wonderful and powerful women working this dying profession into their 60s/ 70s.

You can hire different forms of transportation (don't forget your (international) licence) but since I forgot we didn't have the option. Even still, we were planning to go around by foot and I am glad we did. Either way, it will be great.

We bid farewell to one of South Korea's most popular destinations and got on the ferry to take us to the main island.

We said goodbye to Seongsan and headed to Seogwipo. As soon as we arrived, we checked into our hotel and headed straight out. The sun had set at this point so we couldn't really explore and therefore decided to just shop for the rest of the evening after dinner. Stationery was high on the list of priority purchases (for me) and I think we did pretty well.

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