Okay, let me first show you where we stay in Jeju. It’s at an apartment-like building called Yilin Pension. Yilin Pension is located at Seogwipo, just beside Jeju World Cup Stadium. Tsk I’ve been to Jeju World Cup Stadium in my first trip hence I skip it (in case you’re wondering).
Why I choose to stay in Seogwipo or rather why I choose to stay at Yilin Pension? I choose Seogwipo because I have stayed at Jeju City before. One thing that attracts me to Yilin Pension was its parking lot. The parking lot can accommodate about 8-10 cars I think. Secondly was because the room is rather huge and thirdly due to kitchen in the room. I had no plan to cook but having a kitchen is convenient as I can reheat food, wash dish after eating and so on.
Finding Yilin Pension the first time was easy peasy as we relied on the car’s GPS. Just key in the pension phone number and the GPS will know where to go. We knew the apartment has no lift (elevator) so I was prepared and when I got the chance I asked the owner to help us carry our luggage. Hahaha The owner is very friendly and knew quite a bit of English. He told us about Tam Gung when we asked him to recommend us an eatery frequented by the local.
While I slept on the floor. Don’t get me wrong. The bed can accommodate the three of us but I choose to sleep on the floor. You see the floor has underfloor heating or in Korean we called it ondol. It’s super nice to sleep like that (with the heat blanketing your whole body).
This deluxe one-bedroom apartment cost 100,000 won per night (RM300). We stayed there for 3 nights. Yup a staggering RM900. If you rent a car, Yilin Pension is a great place as there are supermarket (Emart) and convenience store like 7-11, CVS and restaurant few minutes away by car. There is also a bus station beside Emart.
Overall I was really fond of this place. Clean, spacious and convenient. Won’t mind coming back again. Ohh btw the owner and his dad stayed at a house opposite the pension. So in case you need them, it’s easy.
Alright now back to my day 3 trip.
We depart from Yilin Pension around 7.45am and reached Seongsan Ilchulbong about 9am + later. See that mountain? That’s Seongsan Ilchulbong. Just like Mount Hallasan, Seongsan Ilchulbong is also a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. I’ve been to Seongsan before and because I love this mountain so much, I’m giving it a second visit.
Peak of Seongsan Ilchulbong! Took us 1/2 hour to reach the peak. The name in Korean 성산 일출봉 – Seongsan Ilchulbong means Seongsan Sunrise Peak. Sunrise Peak because it’s one of the most beautiful place to watch sunrise. I wanted to come here during sunrise initially but then I think bed is more comfy. Hehe.
The town of Seongsan from Seongsan Ilchulbong’s peak. As you can see this mountain is sort of like joint to the mainland. Well, initially this mountain is surrounded by water (an island) but as time goes by deposit of sand and gravel formed a connection to the land.
Haenyeo 해녀 is Korean sea diving women. They are also known as the women of the sea or the last mermaids (called by Westerners). You only get to see this in Jeju-do. It’s a dying form of job. Why women in the first place? That’s because their men go out to sea to work (fisherman) hence they are left behind fending for themselves thus diving and becoming head of the family become part of their life.
Some haenyeo go further out to the sea. They are really brave women. They dive 20 meters or more without any gear… holding their breath only. At another area where the water is shallower, we saw quite many haenyeo practicing diving. What a rare treat! 🙂 Bear in mind these ladies are not in their 20s or 30s. Most are grandmothers in their 50s or 60s.
By the time we reached back at the parking lot, tonnes of car were looking for parking. We decided to leave our car there and walk to find breakfast. There are many restaurants just outside Seongsan Ilculbong, so we simply pick one. Find out what we had for breakfast at Han Seong Restaurant.
After breakfast, we proceed to coastal drive 4.
This is what we saw along the way. Sun drying squids along the road. I gotta admit that coastal drive in Jeju is not as interesting as The Great Ocean Road in Australia as they lack beautiful coastal scenery. But then the thing is you get to see other forms of beauty in Jeju coastal road such as their houses, their way of life and so on.
We then proceed to Rabbit Island (Tokkiseom 토끼섬), an island which is accessible by foot when low tide but became an island on high tide. Unfortunately we couldn’t find it. I knew we passed the island but we don’t know which one is it. Hahaha It was high tide at that time and there were so many rock-like island out there. Plus there is no clear signage. GPS also cannot help. 🙁 So we gave up.
That’s it for day 3 part 1. Stay tuned for part 2.
My South Korea travelogue so far…
Incheon + Jeju-do Self Drive Day 1: MAS, Car Rental & Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival
Jeju-do Self Drive Day 2: Yeongsil Trail at Hallasan National Park (Part 1)
Jeju-do Self Drive Day 2: Jusangjeolli Cliff, Yongmeori Coast & Cheonjiyeon Falls (Part 2)
Photos from Nikon D80 and Panasonic TZ-7.