We took the Yeha East Tour on Tuesday, which although rather pricey, is a no-nonsense tour that brings you to the majortourist spots on the island. The tour started in the morning at 9am and unsurprisingly, most of the participants were from Malaysia and Singapore
SEONGSAN ILCHUBONG / SUNRISE PEAK
Although called the Sunrise Peak, apparently not many have been lucky to witness the sunrise due to the foggy nature of Jeju Island. In fact, it might be better to visit the UNESCO Heritage Site at sunset as on the peak, you’d get an lovely overview of the island.
Having said that, the place was full of tourist as we got there long past sunrise. For some reason, Megasari and I decided not to bring the extra winter accessories such as gloves. A bad decision as the wind was very strong that morning and it numbed my hand so much that even hitting the shutter was a chore. Easily the coldest day of the trip.
The hike up to the peak didn’t take long (Approx 1/2 hour) and once getting there, you will be able to see a bowl-like crater. A truly unique sight.
SEOPJIKOJI & ALL-IN HOUSE
Only a few kilometres away from the sunrise peak, Seopjikoji is famed for its land of greens and flowers. It’s a shame that Spring was only a few weeks away and we missed the blooming flowers. Despite all that, we managed to catch a glimpse of the rapeseed flowers that bloomed early. It’s bright yellow petals provides a great backdrop for any photo. One can only imagine how beautiful it would be in Spring.
On a sidenote, this place is also famous for being the shooting location of one of the popular Korean Dramas, All-In. If you’re a fan, the house below is specially catered for fans of the series.
SEONGEUP FOLK VILLAGE
Our next destination was the Seongeup Folk Village, which was basically an Orang Asli Village in Malaysian terms. Although still inhabited by locals (Tour guide warned to respect their privacy), most of the houses are vacant and opened for tourist.
Interesting sights including an outdoor toilet where human feces are being pushed to the black pig barns as food. (Don’t worry, the guide assured us that such practice has been extinct for centuries. Pork in Jeju is delicious and clean.) Also, you’ll notice that the houses have wooden sticks in place as house gates. The number of sticks in place indicates how far away from home the owner is. One stick indicates that the owner will be home within the day, 2 sticks indicate the owner will be away for a few days while 3 means a long period. (Months I suppose?).
It got me thinking, how about 4 (死)? xD
Another UNESCO Heritage Site in Jeju, the cave is unique for being one of the longest lava tubes in the world. Upon every interesting lava columns, walls and stones etc are clear explanations of their origin and formation in English, ensuring that you never miss an interesting sight.
DONGMUN TRADITIONAL MARKET
Our final stop is the traditional market located at Jeju Town. This market is very clean (Tourist-y as well) and upon getting off the bus, our guide introduced us to a local snack – a fried pancake with honey filling. The pancake was fluffy hot and the sweet honey filling melts into your mouth on each bite – It was so delicious that some of us actually came back for more before leaving.
JEJU TOWN & BARBEQUE @ SEOGWIPO
At Dongmun Market, we said our goodbyes to the others in the group and headed our own way. We then strolled our way along Jeju Town but unfortunately, there weren’t much to see in the evening. Finally we gave up and took a taxi to the airport before catching the limousine bus back to Seogwipo City.
Back there we randomly picked a barbeque restaurant. It was empty (We got there at about 9 plus) and to make matters worse, the staff speak very little English. We had a big communication breakdown when ordering and had to resort to picture pointing. The girl who served us must have found us amusing and kept laughing whenever we ask for something (Even asking for an empty bowl reqiures some outrageous sign language lolx!). The food wasn’t too bad and we had a fun time due of her cheerfulness.
Oh, the dinner total came to 24,000 won (Approx. RM70/USD20), which was rather cheap! FYI, Korean BBQs in KL could easily cost about RM30+ per person.