Monday, June 11, 2012

11 Days Korea Trip 2011 Free n Easy - Day 1, Jeju

1 Dec 2011 (Thur)

Incheon Airport/ Gimpo Airport/ Jeju/ Cheonjeyeon Fall/ Seogwipo Daily Market and Arcade

The flight took us 6 hours and Korea is 1 hour ahead of us, so we reached Incheon Airport at 7am (Korea time). Immediately we rushed to take the AREX (Airport Railway Express) to Gimpo Airport. We should have spend more time at Incheon Airport instead of rushing to there (due to my high anxiety...), since Gimpo Airport is much smaller and nothing much to do there.

We just followed the sign Airport Railroad (English sign) and we won't go wrong. I spent too much time checking on website on how to go to AREX station, and when I reached there I realised it was just too easy..just follow the signboard.

Here we are at the AREX Station, Incheon Airpot;
It cost us 3,600 won each for adult and 1,300 won for my daughter (12 yrs ). Always ask for student price if your child is still schooling. There was ample space for us and our luggage in the train but the journey was rather long (about 50 minutes) though comfortable.

The interior of the AREX;
Finally we reached Gimpo Airport after a long ride. It will be better to allocate an hour for this ride in your planning. Once we reached the Gimpo Station, just follow the signboard out (most have English signboard, so not a problem). We purchased our T-Money from a convenience store (Family Mart) and again must tell them 1 was for student as the charges for the transport was lower. We paid 75,000 won for all the 3 T-Money;

Here are the T-Money;

We proceed to the Domestic Flight terminal of the Gimpo Airport;
Luckily there was the travellator to ease our walking;

Upon reaching the Domestic Flight terminal, it's not difficult to locate the Eastar Jet counter for check-in. But we were too early so had to be back in an hour's time.
As only local can book their domestic flight, we got Yeha Guesthouse in Jeju to book for us the air tickes. The return air ticket to Jeju cost us 324,600 won and had to pay Yeha 30,000 won as service charge. We also book our accomodation in Jeju with Yeha.

We had our lunch at Gimpo Airport and regretted should have taken an early lunch at Incheon Airport as there will be more choices. Our lunch that cost us total 17,000 won for 3;

After checking-in our luggage, there was practically nothing much to do except to sit down and wait;
Even the Duty Free shop had nothing much to see. Our flight to Jeju was at 1pm and the wait seem too long, so we decided to snack a bit;

We took a good aerial view of the airport surrounding at this cafe;
Finally it's time for boarding and on our way to the boarding gate, we saw this huge drum;
After about an hour flight, we reached Jeju. It's a small airport and since the journey from airport to Yeha Guesthouse was not far (only about 4,000 won, should be lesser if the taxi driver can find the place), we took the taxi. It was not easy to locate the taxi stand (best to ask around) as we need to cross the road to the opposite (even the Koreans in front of us also having problem locating the taxi stand).

After a short ride, we reached Yeha Guesthouse;

The 'roof garden' of the guesthouse without the garden;
The aerial view from the roof top;
The temperature was around 6 to 7 deg C in Jeju when we arrived but was drizzling throughout our stay.
The Hankook Hospital just opposite the main road from Yeha Guesthouse that I liked to just as landmark when taking a taxi back;

We booked a room with 1 double bed and 1 single bed that cost us 80,000 won per night. We stayed 2 nights in Jeju at this guesthouse. It was a basic room with no wardrobe (you hand your clothings on the wall) and so you cannot unpack your luggage;
Not much space in the room for our luggage;
Only 3 hooks for us to hang our clothing;

Cheongjeyeong Fall

Without wasting much time, we quickly proceeded for our first location in our itinerary, Cheonjeyeon Fall. Even though we showed the taxi driver the location in Korean words and gave him the telephone number as some said they can key into their GPS which most taxi have, he still took a long time to locate the place. Ended up we paid 35,000 won for the trip. As our guesthouse was in the Jeju city (North part) and Cheonjeyeon Fall was in the Southern part (Seogwipo), usually the taxi fare will be around 30,000 over won. We should have taken the Inter City Bus to Seogwipo Bus Terminal, then took a taxi from there will be much cheaper. The bus fare was about 3,300 won per person.

As it was Winter time, so the taxi will not turn on the aircon but the heater. All taxis that we had taken all went by meter, so there was no bargaining on the fares.

After a long journey, we finally arrived;

We were surprised that why we were not charged any entrance fees when they supposed to. We only find out the reason the next day. 

Some of the scenic views;

The waterfall;

And this is the beginning of my 'nightmare' in Korea with walking up and down the stairs;
For people like me with knee joint problem, all these steps and stairs are really a nightmare!

The Cheonjeyeon Bridge;
Walking up the Cheonjeyeon Bridge;

The aerial view;

The Fountain of Five Blessings;

 And on our way out;

And now I know why admission was free;
So Jeju had won the new 7 wonders of nature, and most tourist attractions were admission free during our visit there. Lucky, right?

My wife touching the nose of the Dolharbubang (stone grandfather guardian of Jeju Island), hoping that her wish will come true;
No wonder the color of the nose part was slightly faded off;

Found these unique trees on our out;
And an interesting building;
We supposed to look for Yeomiji Botanical Garden as it was near by but somehow we lost our sense of direction, and ended up in Chocolate Land (just next to this building);

Had to pay a small entrance fee but you will get it back if you buy something. We bought about 19,000 won worth of chocolate but later found out the Yeha Guesthouse also selling some of it at lower price....

Inside the Chocolate Land;

These are made of chocolate too;

Since we decided not to visit the Botanic Garden and visit the Lotte Hotel and hoping to see the popular windmill, we walked past the Believe It Or Not museum;

We didn't go in;

We also walked past the Teddy Bear Museum, which probably also free, but we didn't have the time to go in;
Finally got a glimpse of the Lotte Hotel;

At last we reached the Lotte Hotel, Jeju;

But the hotel was too big, and there was no sight of windmill around;

Seogwipo Daily Market and Arcade

As it was too cold and hungry, we decided to take a taxi to our next destination, Seogwipo Daily Market and Arcade, (서귀포매일올레시장, 271-38 Seogwi-dong), for dinner;

Oh no, we were not having roasted chestnut for dinner;
We bought some tomatoes (about 3,000 won for half a basket full) from here after dinner, very cheap;

Surprised to find that the stalls were still opened at night;
Still have no sight of where we could have our dinner;

Even their 'wet market' was nicely landscaped in the middle between the 2 rolls of stalls;
We decided to go out of the market and looked around the side lane. Finally we found a restaurant that sell 'black pig meat' which is famous in Jeju;
It was rather crowded and those table and chair seats were fully occupied, so we had no choice but to choose the partitioned room sitting on the heated floor;

I didn't quite like it sitting down and eat as my knee joint pain will hurt and also I find it rather difficult to digest. Also their Korean words only menu on the wall;

Luckily my wife did some preparation and had the English to Korean words translated for some food that we wanted to try. We managed to place our order and for such hot plate grill, it was placed slanted to one side so the oil will flow out;

Also I liked the idea of they doing all the preparation of food for us;

I also ordered a bottle of Makeoli (막걸리, Korean rice wine) which one must really try to appreciate it. Well not too strong but went well with our food;
And of course we drank from a bowl instead of cup.
This is how the 'black pig meat' looked like before cooked;
And after cooked and cut up;
Have to wrap it up in the vegetable leaf with other 'indegrients' to taste better;

The whole dinner only cost us 30,000 won (all in and in Korea, I like best is what price you see on the menu is what you pay. There is no +++ charges).

A very interesting enclosure of teddy bears for sale;
And after dinner, we stroll around the area;

As there wasn't much to shop or see around that area, we took a taxi back to Yeha. That was a long 1 hour journey and cost us 30,000 won. Moreover, it took some time before the taxi driver found Yeha Guesthouse.


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