After resting for 1.5 months from my korean language, it's time to pick up the book again. I have to admit korean language is really no joke - it's main diffculty lies in its grammar and the different forms that is to be used in different situations and towards different people. It's rather similar to japanese and so if you can master either one of it, you will have no problems for the other. In fact, Koreans themselves grapple with the difficulty of their own language. My korean friend once told me that because korean language is already so difficult to master that koreans do not want to even take up another langauge...haha...interesting and maybe that's why we don't hear majority of the koreans speaking a second language. I sort of can understand now that I'm learning it. Even spelling can be a problem. If you are thinking what's so difficult about spelling...just memorising isn't it?...you are wrong. There's nothing wrong with memorising and korean letters are not as complicated as chinese but...but...the one thing about korean langauge is that the sound of the vowel or final consonant of a word can actually be carried over into the next word...for eg. let's say a simple word for congratulations, in korean it is, in reduced form, 축하 ("chu-ka") (if you separate the 2 words, it is pronounced as "chuk" and "ha", ㅎ sound is omitted when combined). But to a person hearing the word, he can write it as 추가 or 추카 or 축아 or 춬아...all sounds the same but all not correct. A comfort thing is that koreans themselves also struggle sometimes with spelling so I'm actually still not that bad...kekeke.
I have yet to mentioned about the grammer which is a headache...and this post will become a long essay. Anyway, nonetheless I enjoyed my korean language and still loving it ^0^. Sounds familiar?
It's weird that suddenly I have a strange thinking a few days ago - can I be a bimbo just for a day? Not knowing anything, being ignorant, then no one will come and bother me and ask me about this and that, how to do this and that, what do you think about this and that et. Am I in the right mind? Hmm......
To visit the whole island of Jeju will take you at least 2 days. So if you are just planning to go for 1 day, it is either you visit the west side or east side of the island. Do note that to get from one place to another might take 1.5hr or so, so plan in advance which places you want to visit and make sure you have sufficient time to get back to the airport to catch your flight and bring some biscuits or snacks to eat along during the journey. There's only 2 main city areas in Jeju, Jeju city on the north where the airport is and Seogwipo (pronounced as saw-kwi-po) on the south. To get from the north to the south takes about 1hr.
Map of Jeju
Located near Jeju airport, is Yong-duam rock, a lava formation which lies near the coast of Jeju city that looks like the head of a dragon. I think after so many years, the rock seem to have been eroded away and don't really look like it anymore.
Jeju is famous for hae-nyeon, sea woman who, without any diving gill, can go under the sea while holding their breath to catch abalones, squids, shellfish etc and sell them for a living.
A group of hae-nyeon selling the live seafood at Yong-duam and customers eating.
Squids, sea cucumbers and shellfish
They prepare and cut right on the spot for you.
Driving along the coast to the next destination, the sea waters in Jeju are really clean and beautiful.
Clear blue sea
Next stop, Seongsan Ilchubong or Sunrise peak.
Although the peak is not very high, climbing to the top of it still takes a bit of an effort and takes about 30min to reach the top where you can see the crater.
The small island in the background on the right is U-do (wu-do), a coral sand beach shaped like a cow lying on the grass which can be reached via boat.
Formation as a result of lava cooling
view from the top of the peak
By the way, when you visit Jeju, you should try the abalone porridge and black pig's meat which is famous there.
poor pig......so sorry to eat you
Going down along the east coast from Sunrise peak, the next stop you will arrive at is Seopjikoji, a place well known as a shooting location for the korean drama, All in.
This is a fake church building by the way...and you need to pay to get in to it -_-''.
Can you see the white floats in the sea? Those are actually to signal to ships or boats passing-by that the hae-nyeons are working at that location and to avoid that area.
Passing by a canola field on the way
From Seopjikoji, you should arrive down to Seongeup folk village where you will meet the island people who still live in thatched roof lava wall homes with stone courtyards where there is no lock to the door but only 3 large wooden sticks to symbolise whether the owner is at home, not not around or only the women and children are at home.
There are many places to visit in Jeju and one day is definitely not enough. There's Mt. Hallasan, the tallest mountain in Korea, rising up to 1950m above sea level, located at the center of the island, Manjanggul cave, which is the longest lava tube cave in the world, Dokkaebidoro road, where the cars with brake off, roll uphill by itself, Cheonjeyeon and Cheonjiyeon falls, the Teddy bear museum etc....
Teddy Bear Museum
If you are more adventurous, you might want to consider going for the Olle walking paths. These are 200km connecting walking paths that will take you along the south coast of Jeju. They will take you through forests, mountains and remote places whereby cars are not accessible and provide you with awesome views of the island.
Do check the weather in Jeju before you fly...cos you will not want to visit the island when it's raining since all the attractions are located outdoor and be prepared that your flight can get cancelled or delayed anytime on the day you are planning to travel to Jeju due to heavy rain. And so that's about it about Jeju =).