[SOUTH KOREA 2012] Day 4: Jeju Day 1 (West Course)

DAY 4 (14 Nov): Jeju Day 1 West Course

- Teddy Bear Museum
- O'Sulloc Museum (Tea Museum)
- Glass Castle
- Jeju Soingook Theme Park
- Jusangjeolli Cliff
- Cheonjeyeon Falls

We arrived late at night the day before to Jejudo (or Jeju Island), so we only had time to check in at YEHA Guesthouse before we fell asleep, anticipating the next day.

I had decided to go to Jejudo because I've heard so much of its beauty from - weirdly enough - Korean variety shows, lol. I knew that I had to visit the place, and kept a lookout for discounts through Korea's domestic flights. There are two cheaper flight options to get to Jeju Island, which is by Jeju Air or by Eastarjet. I'm the type of traveler who would rather choose their own timing rather than follow a tour, so those are the cheapest options I could find - you can always google for other flights as well as a tour group which could handle everything from flights to accommodation there.

Anyway, during early bird discount, we managed to score an Eastarjet roundtrip ticket for 77000won (RM224 or USD69) per pax. So my advice is, keep a lookout for discounts, of which there are many types.

We hired a private tour for 6pax for our two days there, since none of us had an international license and we didn't have that much time to get lost on the island. We contacted Mr. Won, who agreed to take us on a 2-day tour for West Course and East Course. To give you an idea of that, here's a map of Jeju and its tourist attractions:

Picture from LookatKorea website. Larger picture here.
One attraction will take you 2-3 hours, and because there are just too many attractions, you can see why we needed the help to get around. Plus Mr. Won and his gang (later on that) are fluent in English, Japanese and other languages as well, which is dead helpful.

So on the first day, we had a hearty breatkfast at YEHA Guesthouse (there were two: Jeju Terminal and City Hall. Ours was at City Hall). This guesthouse is HIGHLY recommended. We booked a 6-bed dormroom, which had its own private bathroom to be shared amongst us, and only paid 19,000won (RM55, USD17) per pax per night! It's also located quite centrally and most tour guides would definitely know where it is without you needing to give them any directions, and it has a great kitchen with free serve-yourself breakfast kitchen, where you can sit down with other guests and get to know each other. The kitchen/dining area in itself is worth a look around - so many interesting maps and notes left by guests. I absolutely loved the place and would definitely have a stay there again.

Anyway! Mr. Won was regrettably occupied (I think he was double-booked for another trip), so he organized for our tour to be conducted by two of his friends, Mr. Ko and Mr. Kim on the two days we were there. We had no problem with that, as they were both pleasant :) You can contact any of them through Mr. Kim (kimi9461@hanmail.net; 010-2693-9461), where you can Whatsapp him directly. Techology is amazing :')

So our itinerary for the East Course was basically planned by Mr. Ko - you can plan your own itinerary and ask them to take you to the places that you want, but we were happy with what the tour guide had chosen for us on the first day.

I will warn you, this will be a huge picture spam basically.

Teddy Bear Museum
I will admit that I'm not a teddy bear or a stuffed toy person AT ALL (my reaction at receiving any of these as gifts would be "omg thanks so much! ...now what do I do with this?"), but I thoroughly enjoyed it here. So many photo ops and wonderful craftsmanship. Kids would love it, as we (the supposed young adults) did.

My sister, expertly disguising herself as one of the bears with her Korean-bought sweater

These are miniature displays!!! All kept in glasscase! wtf dude how'd you even do these?
Still miniature
Still miniature, seriously what do they drink for creativity over there???
Yup, miniature
Oh thank God, something our own size.
Again, expertly disguising herself as a bear (not)

These girls approached us and asked for pictures with them. Omg how are you guys so cute and perfect with your beautiful skin and cute expressions T_T
This was supposed to be Kim Jong Kook, lol
This kid was so cute, we couldn't resist asking her dad if we could take a picture with her. She wasn't as accommodating, lol.

O'Sulloc Museum (Tea Museum)
Afterwards, Mr. Ko took us to O'Sulloc Museum, which is basically a tea museum. I didn't know the significance of O'Sulloc in Korea - apparently it's one of the hugest tea manufacturers in Korea, and they make absolutely wonderful green tea and green tea rolls.

Beautiful architecture

Bonus if you do get a tour guide: he will act as your personal photographer without being asked omg! I love Mr. Ko so much! He came up with the idea of this photo op, which we would've never thought of. 
Seriously, he coordinated all of our photos. And took amazing photos. DID I MENTION I LOVE YOU, MR. KO?

Also, the tour guide usually won't follow you into all the attractions - Mr. Ko only followed us up to the entrance for some photos, and then he would leave us to our own devices, so we wouldn't feel too guilty making him wait while we're taking pictures with teacups or something. 

Best green tea roll ever! Bought a whole roll for myself back in Seoul (there's one O'Sulloc store in Dongdaemun / Myeongdong) so you can buy all your O'Sulloc needs there instead of in Jeju.

Glass Castle
We were taken to Glass Castle afterwards, which is basically a park made out of glass (well, mostly - water is still unsurprisingly water instead of glass).

Yes, the beanstalk is made entirely of glass. 

What is it with Korea and their miniature displays?
Glass miniatures - look at the details!
This was our tribute to 2PM's video. 
Yes, these are glass beansprouts. A sentence I never thought I'd type in my whole life.

We are young adults, or at least that's what we told ourselves.

So after all that walking (that was 3 attractions already!), it was noon and we were famished. We decided to have lunch at the restaurant outside of Glass Castle, and another added bonus of having a tour guide: he will arrange all of it for you. We just pointed out what we wanted and he ordered everything - he didn't want to eat his lunch with us even though we asked him to; I think it's an unspoken rule that they won't join us or something, because the same thing happened the next day with Mr. Kim. We did pay for his meal though, which is not included in the initial fee they'd quote you, so just take note. Anyway the tour guides are so nice you wouldn't mind paying for like 3 of their meals, honestly.

One of the ahjumma waitresses there were talking to Mr. Ko when we were paying for our meals, gesturing to our headscarves. I guess they must have had a number of Muslim travelers like us - wonder what she thought of us.

I'm salivating just remembering this meal. Best meal ever in Korea, seriously. The anchovies side dish haunted us to this day.
Okay enough photo op I'm famished!

Jeju Soingook Theme Park
After lunch, it was to another theme park - this time, a miniature land theme park. There are two miniature theme parks I think, the other one was called Mini Mini Land, which we weren't too interested in going. So we picked this one to go to instead.

We picked a non-peak travel time I think, so most of the attractions we went to were thankfully not crowded. At this particular park, there was another group of tourist from South Korea, not sure which province they were from. I spoke very little Korean and they (an elderly group) spoke very little English, so we tried to make some conversation for a little while before we broke apart. It was like ducks and chickens trying to converse lol. This is another reason why I love traveling.

Miniature of Jeju International Airport
Uhhh girls, it's leaning the other way

My childhood!
I've never been, so this will have to do.
On our way from this theme park to the next attraction, we decided to do our daily prayers in the car (Islam is so flexible). We took turns in our prayers so that the ahjussi won't start wondering why we're all suddenly silent in the car lol.

Jungmun Daepo Coast - Jusangjeolli Cliff
Our next stop was Jusangjeolli Cliff, an interesting geological formation due to the volcanic nature of Jejudo. They're basically rock pillars formed when lava from Mt. Halla erupted into the sea. It's a beautiful sight, and considering it's a natural formation, just makes you think how beautiful God has made this earth :)

Before we stopped by the cliffs, we went to a tangerines orchard! Jejudo is famous for its yummy tangerines - we bought a box to share among us.

The wonderful Mr. Ko! The only photo he would pose for lol

Cheonjeyeon Falls
Afterwards, we went to Cheonjeyeon Falls, one of the many waterfalls in Jeju Island. The place itself was huge, but we only manged to get to one of the levels of the waterfalls (that is, the main Cheonjeyeon Falls). The journey there itself was pretty torturous since there were steep steps! It being almost winter, we were out of breath, but happy by the time we reached the falls.

We are all young adults, or so we told ourselves.

Mr. Ko making his way back to the entrance ahead of us. Thank you, Mr. Ko!
And so that rounded up Day 1 of our Jeju tour. We were dropped back at YEHA Guesthouse at nighttime, made dinner at the kitchen (only breakfast was provided) and went to sleep to prepare for the next intensive day.

Go to Day 3 (Namdaemun Market, Jeju) | Go to Day 5 (Jeju Day 2: East Course)
South Korea 2012 Masterpost